Monthly Archives: October 2013

Reducing the spending… week 41

Week 41 already and I have started the week with a new months allowance so I must not let this go to my head and overspend in the first week.  But you may ask how did I do in September – I have just been totting up the figures and this is what they look like:-

  • Groceries, which for me includes cleaning products – £190.03
  • Lunches at work – £25.66
  • Supplements and food from Health store – £21.58
  • Toiletries – £65.21 (this is the stock of No7 face creams I got on offer)

And just in case you were wondering – I confess to spending a total of £19.53 on magazines – my target spend in this area should be zero.

Overall I am quite pleased with the results – the toiletries were a bit of an outlay but I won’t need to buy face cream for a long time.

October Challenge

Areas for improvement – definitely magazines, closely followed by those lunches at work, however it should be noted that my grocery spend would go up slightly if I took lunches to work from home, so I wouldn’t be saving the whole of the £25.66 I spent.  An easy adjustment to make will be to take my own bread – which I did do this week saving me £2.68 a week.

As I did very well the week before last by only shopping for what we needed during the week and not doing a big shop I am going to try this again.  So I will do a bigger shop once a fortnight and then buy as I need on the alternate weeks.

I had 3 birthdays this month for special friends and on Sunday I made a card for each of them – (pictures of these will be over on my other blog where the journey takes me soon) saving me about £6-£7.

In November I have 4 birthdays and an Anniversary so my aim is to make these in October as well as beginning to think about making for Christmas.

I will continue with my store cupboard use up and making sure that nothing goes in my bin.  I congratulated myself last week as I used up every last morsel…

…so this over ripe banana

Ripe Banana

added to these ingredients –  the last 2 eggs, the end of a chocolate bar and some left over walnuts…

Chocolate Loaf ingredients

became these…Mini Chocolate, Walnut and Banana Loaves

Chocolate Banana Loaf

They didn’t even get as far as having the chocolate topping!

The end of the Ciabbatta loaf…

Stale end of loaf

became breadcrumbs

Breadcrumbs

and eventually the topping on the Macaroni Cheesbake on Thursday…

Macaroni Bake

and remember I froze the ends of tomato paste and some Barts Mediterranean Herbs in the ice cube trays which I have now transferred into my storage tubs ready to use.

Flavour cubes

Menu Plan Week 41

  • Monday – Lasagne with Peas
  • Tuesday – Lasagne with Broccoli
  • Wednesday – Baked Potato with cheese, homemade coleslaw and salad
  • Thursday – Macaroni Cheese Bake and Peas
  • Friday – Cheese and Leek ramekins and salad
  • Saturday – Meal out
  • Sunday – Cheese and Leek Ramekins with salad

Spending so far this week – cash

  • Monday – Lunch at work -Soup –  £2.55
  • Tuesday – Lunch at work Soup –  £2.55
  • Wednesday – Lunch at work Soup £2.55, Hot choc in Sainsbury’s £1.80
  • Thursday – Lunch at work Soup £2.55, extra groceries £2.80

Spending this week by Card

  Sainsbury’s – Groceries

  • Lactose free milk    £1.48
  • Lettuce and watercress  £1.50
  • Bertolli margarine  £1.50
  • Organic  mushrooms  £1.28
  • Blueberries  £2.25
  • Courgette  £0.42

Total spend £8.43

Health Foods

  • Blackcurrant Spread  £2.49
  • Rude Health Spelt Flakes  £2.99
  • Viridian Acidphilus  £7.80
  • Viridian Vit B comples £6.50

Total spend £19.78

On Wednesday I had to go to the out of town Sainsbury’s for Petrol and I called in to get a few items – but not to do a big grocery shop.   Luckily I did the shopping before I bought the petrol so I was able to get £0.8p per litre off the total with the voucher I got for spending more than £20 on their clothing range.

Wool Jumpers

This is what I got for hubby dear – 2 wool jumpers @ £20 each which I didn’t think was bad and I brought a pair of leather boots home to try (not pictured) price £40, however all these come out of our clothing budget.

Groceries

I spent £22.27 on groceries and veg for my planned meals and items we had run out of.  The Oatmeal is ready for making some Parkin.

Fruit and Veg

I also took advantage of one or two bargains – I know the weather is only just starting to turn but I do not possess a heated blanket or have a microwave to heat up a wheat bag so I treated myself to a brand new Hot Water Bottle £5.99 (every girls dream eh!).  Actually I put two in my mum’s bed when she visits and one of my old ones sprung a leak on me recently so this new one is just what I needed.Bargains

The Atrogel – Arnica Gel had a third off only £6.85 so couldn’t walk on past that  and the dispenser £3.00 is for…you will have to wait and see…

Then it happened…unexpected item in the bagging area!!!

Christmas

Well I never said no magazines meant no Christmas Specials  – Prima Xmas Makes £3.99…and the red raffia – just what I need for my Christmas parcels £1.00.

My total spend at Sainsbury’s was £119. 41 with £80 of that from my clothing budget.

Reward points earned 481

New total 12050 worth £60.25

So that is the week so far – I have still to get through Friday, Saturday and Sunday but I should not need to spend any money on food shopping.  I am now going to snuggle down in bed and browse through my Prima Xmas magazine looking for Christmas ideas.

 

Have a lovely frugal weekend.

Reducing the spending…week 40 days 1-5

Firstly a quick update on my September Challenge

If you have been following along you will know that my challenge for September was to use up the food in my store cupboard, spend a lot less on groceries and reach the end of the month without using any of my pay that was deposited into our bank account on the 20th September.

Well it is good news – my bank statement shows that I did manage to get to the end of the month with my pay intact and £30 to spare this is largely due to my efforts to plan our meals around the items in our store cupboard and freezer and only buy in necessities.

So far this week it has been very boring on the meal front though luckily everything up to today has been very quick and simple as time was a bit in short supply.

I planned the meals around all the ‘need to use up items’ lurking in the freezer – you know all those odds and ends that are often not a complete meal by themselves and by Thursday we sat down to a rather strange combination, which I decided was even too odd to photograph.  Hopefully from today the freezer is almost empty of the ‘bits’ and we can return to preparing something a little more exciting.

Cauldron Sausage

Menu Plan

  • Monday – Cauldron Lincolnshire Soya Sausages from freezer and served with little potatoes, sweet   potatoes,  a carrot and the remaining button mushrooms with gravy. (pictured above)
  • Tuesday – Higgedy Spinach and Feta pie from the freezer served with little potatoes the last of the packet frozen broad beans and the 2 remaining carrots.
  • Wednesday – Pizza base from the freezer, topped with last of the open jar of stir through tomato sauce that hubby had on his pasta last Friday evening, mushrooms, grated cheese from freezer, served with peas.
  • Thursday – Sainsbury’s frozen veg pie and a Pea and Mint rice cake –  both had half each as neither could decide which one to have!  – served with little potatoes and fresh French beans.
  • Friday – Mushroom Stroganof served with savoury frozen rice ( a free trial pack from Ocado months ago)
  • Saturday – Halloumi and salad
  • Sunday – Lasagne with green salad

The Weekly Shopping #40

It was decision time all the way around the supermarket and I was exhausted by the time I hit the tills because although I had planned to only buy exactly what we needed for the week and no more I hadn’t bargained for the bargains so to speak!

First of all I needed a pack of butter, however it was on offer so it seemed more cost-effective in the long run to buy the 2 for £5 saving £1.

This was repeated on the milk, the bread and the cheese.

Then I had to buy one or two items we had almost run out of that are expensive like the organic, cold pressed unfiltered virgin Olive Oil £3, a jar of organic Mayonnaise £2.50, a packet ground Flax seed £2.40 and a dozen organic mixed size eggs £3.60.

I also needed some items like frozen peas that we were completely out of but  I could not find an offer on these so had to pay full price.

 Grocery items

Groceries

Fruit and Veg

Fresh Fruit and Veg

Bread

Bread

I spent £59.86 on the groceries  £14.64 of this was for those extra 2 for so much offers so you might say this week was £45.22 for the items we really needed.  My target is now £26.96 for the remaining weeks of this year so I am £18.26 over budget.

Sainsbury's non grocery items

The Extras

Yep this is where I fell down – mooching round the clothes (not a good idea) I saw they do the soft cord leggings I bought in Maroon a while ago in a Navy (not pictured) – so in the trolley they went – cost £14 (but out of my clothes account).  Then walking through the Housewares department (another bad idea) I noticed that plain white Egyptian pillowcases with a high thread count were on offer £6.66 for 2 cases – a bargain and much cheaper than the John Lewis ones sold singularly, maybe not quite the same quality but I only want them as a pillow protector under the proper ones.

Snack bags

The sandwich bags were on offer and don’t you just love these little patterned snack bags – obviously not a good seller as they are being discontinued for the knock down price of 75p.  I thought I might use them for my craft bits and bobs and freezing small amounts of herbs.

And did I mention the magazines?  They kind of leaped off the shelf and into my trolley.  The card making one had a free offer of clear rubber Christmas stamps, which I know I will use for cards etc even though I am not keen on the actual magazine – £4.99.  The other magazine ‘What doctors don’t tell you’ cost £3.95 and is my way of keeping up on any healthy foods and new research that might be of interest to keep us healthy into our old age!

Yes it was all going well until the extras – total spend £31.35

Did my cash spending for the week go any better?

I went to draw out my £10 for the week at Sainsbury’s cash point and like last week found that they no longer appear to be dispensing £10 notes – they start at £20.  Shame on you Sainsbury’s encouraging me to overspend!

  • Because we ate ready prepared foods this week there was no leftovers to take for lunch at work so I had soup and a breadcake from the local bakery, however I did think ahead to take my own buttered bread one day saving 55p.  Cost – £8.99
  • Extra groceries – Lactose Free Milk £3.11,  Mini Potatoes £1, semi skimmed milk £0.89
  • Birthday card for a colleague £1.99
  • Hot choc and custard treat before shopping at Sainsburys £2.65

Total cash spend £18.63 – cash allowance for the week £10 (major £8.63 overspend!)

 

Despite the overspends I am pleased to have used up some of the foods in the cupboard and freezer and will continue to do this.  Not doing a weekly shop last week certainly saved a lot of money and I might consider doing my bigger shop once a fortnight. I will keep you posted on this.

 

Join me in my next post when I will outline my October Challenge