Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Preparing for lots of No-Spend days

Today was a day for filling up - the car, the fridge, the cupboards, the fruit bowl. You get the idea.
These days, all this takes some planning. In the past, when the fuel gauge looked a bit low, I'd pull into the nearest petrol station, put in some fuel and then, often pay with a credit card - eek!
Now, I check the petrol prices website, find the cheapest fuel in my area, decide when to go, plan the journey to coincide with another errand - no special trip made. Then I fill up a predetermined amount, pay either cash or on debit card and the money comes from the amount allotted to petrol in that months budget.

I'm sure I'm not alone in this. In addition, I also drive more carefully and more slowly. I can usually work out how long my tank full will last. Petrol is so expensive, I can't believe people are so reckless and waste so much with bad driving habits, but, hey it's their money.

As the cupboards were pretty much bare, I also did the dreaded 'big shop' at T***o. Of course, this was planned as well. I made a shopping list using the Mysupermarket website. As I live quite close to a Mr T ( and I'm too mean to pay for delivery), I print off the list and take that with me to the store.
I plan the shopping around what vouchers and coupons I have - I don;t do brand loyalty, I buy what's on offer. However, I still only get what I will use and would have bought anyway. I find taking a list makes me much less tempted to buy anything extra. Today, I only made some substitutions rather than going 'off list'.

I spent £81.98, but a nice fat pile of coupons brought that down to £68.19, plus some extra Clubcard points. I was quite pleased with that.
It may sound a lot - I know some people manage a much lower food budget, but this included everything for the month - food, cleaning stuff, toiletries, pet food. All stocked up and in some cases slightly overstocked.
I like the idea of have a food store, but lack of space restricts what I can stock up on. My plan is not to go near any supermarket again until the end of the month. I've got long life milk, fresh and tinned fruit, bread making mix as well as lots of veg waiting for a session of batch cooking. I think I will eat well this month, even if I do have the same thing a couple of nights on the run.
Right, off to make some cereal bars, using this recipe.
Will report back on my no-spending progress.

1 comment:

  1. I agree with you entirely.. the best way to keep the bills down is to plan carefully. Until recently I just used to create meals with anything I fancied. For the last 12 months I've probably saved about £10 per week through careful food shopping. It may be a bit of a pain - but I'm sure that it's worth it. All the best, Jx