A month has passed since I started monitoring my spending more closely, you might remember my post announcing my plans to do that here. I have definitely been more conscious of where the money has been going since I started keeping an eye on it. Although it’s not been our best month with lots of builder’s bills and materials to get for the house, but those sadly cannot be avoided. If I count my own extras and the food shopping itself I can safely say we have made some sensible cutbacks.
I was most grateful for the book The Wealth Chef from Wilson Field in the end for the helpful suggestions here and there to cut back in places we can, given their article about how many families are struggling I think they knew the book would be just the thing to get us back on track. We are guilty of being convenience food buyers; according to the book I could save as much as 120% by buying basic ingredients and making meals from scratch myself, because of this I have been having some cooking lessons with my mum and I will continue with them so I am more confident in the kitchen.
My mum is always freezing portions so I too was aware of making extras for us to use the next day or for hubbie’s lunch to stop him buying pre-packaged sandwiches from the supermarket, each of those £3 meal deals does add up! It’s not just that part of it when he goes shopping without me he tends to add bits and bobs, like bumper packs of chocolate he hides in his work draw when I am not looking…
I have been trying to avoid going shopping with the children, as they always want extra naughty treats like fizzy pop! Eldest said “well its on offer!” but it’s not an essential for family life when you can save water drinking from the tap for free.
So I think I will stick to doing my grocery shopping online in future with no children to badger me for treats.
Using the voucher we were sent for the challenge I did try out some store own brands and it’s remarkable how much of a saving this can bring and they taste okay. I do not think I am in a position to be a brand snob at the moment not if I one day hope to be debt free. We have also had a few no spend days, which always feel hugely liberating. I am grateful I have taken time out to begin to understand my spending habits and try and rein them in.