I realise that due to an eventful few weeks I have been ‘missing’ from this blog but I am happy to report I am still managing to keep a hold on my spending. I had a little blip when my mum came to stay and actually spent £67.83 just on lunches, coffees and cakes in various Tea Rooms between Thursday evening and Sunday afternoon. However I do not see my mum that often and I do like to treat her when she comes to stay. Perhaps in the summer we can do more picnics. I haven’t mentioned to mum that we are on a tight budget or she would worry so I need to make any picnics seem like fun rather than a no spending exercise!
I have noticed that the big supermarkets and also Boots can be more expensive for toothpaste, toiletries and cleaning products unless they are on offer so I had a trawl of the town centre pound shops and Wilkinsons this last week. I was looking for Dettol wipes as they are useful for cleaning my desk and keyboard at work but Mr Sainsbury was not very forthcoming with any offers on these! I found that the packs in the pound shops are the small ones but Wilkinsons have the large pack on offer at the moment at only £1.50 normally £3.60.
As fast as I am saving the pennies it feels like I am running to stand still. For instance tonight I went to buy some foot cushioning pads that had always been £3.95 only to find they are now £4.75 an increase of £0.80p or 20%. No longer are items increasing by 0.05p or even 0.10p the rise in price is becoming significantly larger.
When it comes to fuel prices (gas and electricity) and utility bills it is almost name your price as increases send the cost of staying warm sky-high. All I can do to reduce this spending is try to use less and find a good deal.
The breakdown of our electric shower unit both at home and the old one at the cottage, together with the computer monitor has been quite an expense this month. We are covered in our bill account as I always keep some money by for maintenance and contingencies but of course if everything was to breakdown at once we would be rather stretched.
So far this year I have bought very little for myself not even a magazine and my one treat has become the hot chocolate and an egg custard before I do the weekly shop. Every small amount I save seems to go out again to pay for the unexpected and unfortunately the unexpected have been quite large bills. I can only hope that eventually the savings I am making do end up as just that…savings.
So how did I do this last week?
The General Spend
Out of my weekly £10 I bought
- The pre-shop Hot Choc and tart £2.64 I can save 85p here if I took my own cake
- To exterminate the germs at work a large Pack of Dettol Wipes £1.50 on offer at Wilkos
- A tub of creme fraiche for the Leek and Potato soup and Apple crumbles £0.77
- When hunger took over a small bag of Kettle crisps £0.50
Total of £5.41
I also withdrew £10 extra from the card cash to give to Red Nose day collection at work.
The Weekly Shop
This is last Thursdays shopping I wasn’t feeling altogether well and so it was a bit of a dash round. I am glad I went though as we were snowed in all weekend.
- 2 x Large Kettle Crisps @ £1.00 a bag Saving £1.58
- 4 x 4 pack Cirio Tomato Puree @ 2 packs for £1.00 Saving £3.16
- 2 Organic semi skimmed milk 2 for £3.00 Saving £0.58
- 2 x 4 Fromage Frais packs @ 2 for £2.00 Saving £1.00
- 2 Organic cheese @ 2 for £4.50 Saving £50
- 1 Golden Syrup cake @ £1.00 ( this was to take with us to Shrewsbury but we did not go because of the snow)
- 2 packs of Petite Pois Peas @ £0.99 each (not shown)
The bread also on offer @ 2 for £1.50 saving £0.30
Items not on offer but running out of
A couple of treats
A little Easter Bunny to take to my mum in law and a few mini eggs for the top of my buns which I am going to bake this week. Hopefully!
The Bunny was £1.50 and the eggs £1.00
There are vegetables as well but not sure what happened to the photo.
36 items £47.94 Total savings £5.54 (almost the same as my cash spend this week)
Reward Points earned 94
Bonus points coupon 50
Further Bonus Points coupon 80
Bag re-use points 4
Total Points 3616 worth £18.08
So to recap
I came in on budget this week but it is surprising how little shopping you get for your £50. I only had to top up the veg this week with celery, onions, eating apples for work, 2 cooking apples, a pack of watercress, spinach and rocket ( I am learning to add the wilting end of packet to soups now so there is no waste), Sweetheart cabbage and Broccoli.
As I missed posting about weeks 10 and 11 this is a summary of what I spent
Week 10 was £67.89 and this was all on food for mums visit apart from £5.98 on some Easter cards.
Week 11 was £69.30 and included a bunch of flowers for a friend £4.00, Persil Non-Bio original washing liquid £5.70 and a pack of 18 toilet rolls £6.65 and 3 plastic clip top tubs £4 to store snacks for work.
Both weeks I went over budget so I will try to keep the final week of March under budget to compensate. I will be raiding the store cupboards this week to make our meals and I will not be buying very much on Thursday so over the month when I do my review I think it will average out.
My reward points are building up now and Simone from Linden Grove mentioned that you can use these on Amazon. As I am trying not to buy books at the moment I thought they would be useful for buying new printer inks when the time comes.
March has been a long month but I have been able to practice all my new spending or rather no spending habits and quite a few of them are beginning to take root. When I visit Boots I head straight for the Advantage Card machine to print out the offers before I go to find whatever it was I had gone to buy. When I go to Sainsbury’s I still browse the magazines but I know I do not really need to buy one. Each week I check the store cupboard items for offers as I go around the store. I continue to take my lunch to work and even though I have missed the odd day the savings allow me to last the week easily on just £10.
How are your no spending plans shaping up so far?