This is the shopping for last Thursday the last of the February shops – I am just a little late in posting it due to our weekend in Scotland.
The General Spend
Out of my £10.00 last week I bought
- A special card for a special friend – £2.50p
- Body shop for hair conditioner – £3.00
- Pre-shop hot – choc pleasure plus indulgent custard tart – £2.64
- Homeless guy – £1.00
Balance left for weekend £0.86
Weekend Spend – Trip to Scotland
- Tebay Services refreshments with half price coupon – £2.10
- Extortionately priced biscuits for starving travellers – £2.75
- Forgotten items bought from local shop – £3.85
- Lunch on journey back (Toasties and drinks) – £10.40
Total cost – £19.10
The Weekly Shop
On the positive side I am getting into the flow of planning the meals and then doing the shopping and taking lunches to work – no bought ones this week.
On the negative side I am still making big or silly mistakes and sometimes both big and silly.
I am still dithering over ‘do I purchase or not’ should I pass over a bargain because I will overspend but even worse are the missed opportunities of gaining bonus points or saving 10% on items other than food and this is often because I have either dithered or found that some of the offer dates have expired before I can get to the shop to use them – how annoying is that!
I could have saved 20% on the skirt I bought for my mum-in-law in M&S but it expired last Sunday when we were in Scotland miles from any Marks and Spencers.
I could have saved a further 10% on the Hair Mousse I bought on top of the buy two for £6 offer saving a further 60p off the £5.18. Instead of paying £18.95 for my 3 for 2 Boots No 7 creams I could have bought each pot with a £5 off coupon (always loads for the taking at work) had I waited making the total only £12 95.
Now I need to up the game, but this will not be until after my mum’s visit this week from Thursday for a long weekend. I can already see the money flowing out of our account and into the tea shops that she likes to visit while we are out and about. As it is Mothers day this weekend I can hardly deny her the pleasure. We will just have to cut down in other ways afterwards and enjoy our time together without me feeling guilty about spending.
Our trip to Scotland this last weekend was a very sudden decision and didn’t leave me very much time to prepare. I managed to throw a few vegetables into the pot on Friday so that we could have soup for tea and I was left with a portion for my lunch this week at work. I didn’t get to make any homemade cake and we ended up buying biscuits on the motorway to go with our drinks (there can hardly be a dearer way – £2.75 for a tiny box of Borders chocolate covered coconut biscuit but it was cheaper than buying a cake each) and we did get one drink half price plus two stamps on our reward card towards another free drink on our next visit.
On the way home we treated ourselves to lunch in a local tea shop overlooking the beach rather than make sandwiches but did organise ourselves enough to make flasks of hot chocolate for the journey to go with the rest of those yummy biscuits.
Had I not forgotten to buy some bottled water in Sainsbury’s for the trip and whatever else it was I had forgotten (see I even forget now!) we would have been £3.85 better off (that is more than another bag of mixed nuts which would make two Nutloaves – four meals!)
- 2 x 4 pints organic milk 2 for £3.00 saving £0.58p
- 2 bags Organic Mixed nuts @ £2.87 each saving £1.50
- Tomato,Mozzarella and Basil Tart reduced to £1.50 saving £1.50p
- 2 x Organic Mature Cheddar 2 for £4.50 saving £1.10
- 1 dozen medium Organic eggs £2.00 saving £0.65
- 2 packs of Pea and Mint Rissotto bakes 2 for £4.00 saving £0.58
Fruit and Veg
- 1 bag organic apples £2.50
- 3k bag organic potatoes £3.00
- 1 bag organic Sweet Potato £2.00
- 1 bag Organic Parsnips £1.50
- 1 Pkt Tenderstem Broccoli £2.00
- 1 x 3 courgettes £2.00
- 2 bananas £0.246
- 1 pack organic beetroot ££1.00
- 1 Bramley Apple £0.51
The Store Cupboard and Dairy
- 1 tub Prunes £1.49
- 1 pkt fresh spinach and ricotta pasta £0.99
- 1 small Coleslaw £0.55
- 1 Organic Baked Beans £0.57
- 1 Natural Yoghurt £2.50
- Box Clipper Organic Decaff Teabags £2.55
- 1 Espresso Coffee Lavazza £3.69
- 1 Atrogel – Arnica gel £9.14
29 items Total spend £58.34
Reward points earned 156
Bonus points coupon nil
Bag re-use 4
Total Points 2883 worth £14.41
So to recap
For the money there doesn’t seem to be as much food compared to other weeks and considering the items I didn’t buy such as bread, butter and fromage frais pots. I also bought less veg on this main shopping trip as my plan is to buy fresh throughout the week when required so I had already bought some extra veg on the Tuesday and Wednesday to top up the previous weeks a total of £10.83. Vegetables and nuts are certainly not cheap anymore and for the few pence I would save I am not prepared to give up eating organic.
Getting the Arnica Gel from Sainsbury’s was for convenience as I usually support my local Wholefoods shop and this was my dearest purchase without it I would have been under my £50.00.
So I have worked it out at last (I am a slow learner!) that planning and thinking ahead are key to budgeting – you cannot take your eye off the ball for one moment. The other lesson I have learned is if you look for it there is invariably a bargain to be had somewhere even if it is just that the item can be found cheaper elsewhere. This gets easier as the price of items becomes ingrained into your mind and my next trial will be to venture into the pound shops (of which we have many in town) and other places I don’t normally shop such as Superdrug and Bodyline to check out what offers or bargains I might find there and see if there is anything we use. I did notice that the pound shop had Simple handsoap at £1 – this is £2 at Sainsbury’s I remember because I bought it on offer at £1 and thought I had done well.
I have been doing really well at use up and making things last – even though I have a stock of hand soap in the cupboard I have been using up any old bits of soaps from gift packs and hotel rooms and the same with face creams – I have used night cream during the day rather than pay full price for a new day cream knowing that an offer was bound to present itself soon!
My total spend for February will be another post – my instinct is I probably did quite well but overspent a bit on food but have ended up with quite a few stock items on offer which I now need to turn into meals for March. I am not looking forward to March as it is usually a long month although I am planning to change the way I portion out the money and think of it in terms of the whole month rather than a week at a time. This should give me ore flexibility but could also tempt me to spend more …we will see.
Two months of the year down how are you doing with the budget?