Friday, 8 February 2013

Frugal February...week 2

Week one started well - I have a small notebook which I'm using to keep track of things and it hasn't seen much activity yet!  Grocery shopping was quick and easy - the Farm shop spend came to £5.52, the £4 change from the £10 cash has gone into a small bag in my purse so I remember that it's grocery money - the odd small change went into our change pot, of course. The Tesco shop was £8.52 which was paid on our Clubcard Plus. There was an additional spend of £6.22 in Tesco yesterday - more sugar for marmalade making, a bag of yellow-stickered cooking apples and a piece of yellow-stickered cheese. Of the £20.26 we spent on groceries this week £7.45 was spent on marmalade making items - the Oranges and the sugar. The marmalade not only sees us through the year, but also gets bartered with Mum-in-Law in return for jams and other preserves, as well as some being given away as presents. Here's the shopping I got on Friday anyway...

...Looks like quite a lot for just over £14, doesn't it?!

And this is what my shopping list for this week looks like:

Nice and short, that! I'm cross about the bread flour - although we did stock up as much as we could when Tesco had their 3 for 2 offer on before Christmas, I remembered the other day we were limited on how much white bread flour we could buy as the shelf kept being empty whenever I went in. We do have good supplies of the seeded flour we use to mix in with it though.  My plan for this week is to leave the "weekly shop" until Monday, and do it in Morrisons, using that £5 voucher I have, and the remaining cash. I might slip into either Lidl or Tesco to get milk though as Morrisons is quite a bit more expensive. The meal plan is all written up as well and will include curry, fishcakes, mince & potato pie, and pasta at various times through the week.

We did have one unplanned spend - I noticed when I returned from the shopping on Friday that MrEH's car had picked up a screw in the front tyre. Annoyingly it was right on the outer edge, too, so couldn't be repaired, and we had to get a new tyre fitted on Saturday morning, costing £48. This spend has been put on our cashback Credit card - as usual - and will come up on the statement which will be payable at the end of the month. Thankfully we budget for eventualities like this - by paying a fixed sum monthly into our "car costs" account we assume that as well as the predictable costs of things like road tax, insurance and servicing, there will be unexpected bits and bobs like this, too, so the money is there and waiting for it.

My personal spending hasn't proved to be any sort of challenge yet. Friday was spent doing general sorting-out bits around the house, and on Saturday MrEH was playing rugby so I went and watched them - all looking very smart in their new kit! I spent £1.40 while I was out, on two cups of tea - it was so cold on the touchline I was very glad I had, too! Sunday we spent mostly indoors and quite a lot of it cooking, so nothing tempting there, either! I have found myself thinking occasionally "I must just pop into XXXX and look for XXXX" - this is sometimes my downfall with frittering oddments of money I think - just popping into the charity shop for a browse can easily lead to temptation striking - a nice scarf, an interesting book...likewise a quick call into 99p Stores or or bargain-haven B&M. My hope for this month is that it will knock me out of the habit of calling into these places "just because". we did wander into two of our favourite charity shops on Saturday while we were waiting for the car to be done, but I didn't spend anything. I *did* see an item I liked, but I didn't buy it - partly as I couldn't think of anywhere it would fit. I have thought that one through and now have an idea of how I'd use it, so *might* pop in today to see if it's still there. If it is, expect to see it as a "Scrapbag Saturday" post tomorrow.

Those shorts won't be white for long...!
Both cars have now been "fed" with diesel - mine got the promised £50 worth on Monday, and MrEH's got a full tank on Tuesday. This was mostly done using cashback earned on MrEH's credit card, and the money which we would have spent on it normally will be transferred out to the holiday savings account. MrEH's monthly railcard expired over the weekend too so he renewed that on Monday morning.

So far then:
Groceries: £20.26 (£5.52 of this was from the saved £10 note so £14.74 actual cost to us)
Personal Spending: £30 withdrawn - £1.40 spent, £10 set aside for clarinet lesson
Travel:  £106 Diesel, £85.30 Railcard
Unplanned: £48.00 Car Tyre

One of our lovely old local churches...
I've touched above on the holiday savings account. Like the car account, this gets "fed" with an agreed amount monthly as a regular transfer, and then we rely on oddments to make up the remainder of the cost of the holiday. By cutting back on the shopping over a period of time, a balance builds up in our (interest-paying) ClubCard Plus account, which can be withdrawn from cashpoints, then there is MrEH's "Roadkill" - money found just lying on the ground while out and about - I describe this as his because he's far better at spotting it than I am! Last year that amounted to over £65! Then there is cashback from the credit card (boosted this year by the introductory offer we used on a new card), and from TopCashBack, change saved from our personal spending money, and odds and ends from elsewhere. It all helps, and means that we know there is a "cushion" formed in the holiday account which then finances things like our planned trip to Orkney in the Spring.


Also joining in with Frugal Friday today is Jenni at A Cheerful Living Adventure


Debbie said...

That grocery shopping seems very organised and frugal! I seem to be doing shopping all the time, and prices seem to rise almost daily, don't they?

Mrs T-W said...

As my son plays rugby and has done for years, one tip I can pass on is take a thermos. My steaming cup of drink (tea, coffee or hot chocolate depending on my mood) is readily available, doesn't cost very much and I don't have to stand in line! Even one of the nicer thermoses pays for itself within a few weekends if you drink two or more cups while out.

Morrisons had 3 four pints of milk for £3. Don't know if it is still on, but a pretty good deal. 12 pints for £3.

Btw, I'm in Essex too. :-) That rugby kit is familiar... I'm sure my son's played the younger ones in that kit. LOL

Robyn said...

Debbie, tell me about it - I noticed just recently that the bread flour I buy has gone up again too - that seems to see-saw up and down all the time!
Mrs T-W - I do use a thermos sometimes, if we're going to be on one of the far pitches it works well. Likewise for away matches sometimes. One of my cuppas is usually drunk in the clubhouse after the match though so I can't very well take my own tea in there! the kit is Harlow - so if you're in this bit of Essex your son mayb well have played our youngsters at some stage, yes! That Morrisons deal is decent too for the milk - although last time I was in our local store they had no 4pt full-fat bottles at all - ludicrous!

Mrs. DishPanHands said...

just visiting from Rhonda's blog.
I like how organized and frugal your shopping lists are. :)
- Kristin

Scarlet said...

You're doing very well with your spending.I too had an unexpected 48 pound spend this week - a dental bill as I had broken a filling and chipped some enamel on another tooth. I swapped a duvet cover, some Tupperware and some old pots for it( ebay sales last weekend!)Bread flour in Asda had shot up from 60p to 80p last time I looked , so I went to Lidl and paid 55p for it.I buy seeds, grains and bran at the health food shop and mix it in with the white flour. It seems to work out quite a bit cheaper than buying seeded flour.

Robyn said...

Hi Kristin - thanks for stopping by! My lists aren't always that organised - they're usually scrawled on the backs of envelopes! I'm not sure I could (or would want to!) keep quite this level of frugality up long term, but it's useful for a month!
Scarlet, nice work on making your trip to the dentist cash-neutral! I wish our Lidl was as competitive as some - because there's no Aldi nearby to act as competition ours just price matches to Tesco on a lot of things which is irritating! I did notice that Sainsbury's are currently selling bread flour at 70p a bag though so might end up waiting a week and getting it there instead.