Financial Review of Week 46


Something is amiss.

As I went to do my weekly transmitting of bar code’s to Shop and Scan I noticed that I had 13 food shopping receipts.

One show I love is Eat Well For Less on the BBC. On this show they take a family who are struggling with their food bills (although one family of four was spending £14000 a year on their grocery shopping, which may stretch the traditional definition of ‘struggling’) and every show the family is asked how much they spent and how many times they went to the shops. And the poor family never get it right.

And I would feel a little flabbergasted and be like ‘How can you not know?’ as I have a meticulous record of everything I have spent since April 1st 2015.


I have this saying which is ‘I write things down in my diary so I don’t have to remember’

So I had no idea I made 13 food shopping transactions this week.

And I don’t know how much I spent. I will soon find out how much I spent, as I do have the records, but I’m going to play a game and make a guess now.

I guess that I spent around £40 on food this week.

I guess that I spent around £40 on non food things this week.

Let’s see how far off the mark I am.


Batteries, Rice x 4, Prunes, Toilet Cleanser £4.63

Soup x 2, Bread Rolls, Eggs, Mincemeat, Food colouring x 2, Treacle £8.85

Milk, Self Raising Flour, Carrots £2.16

Sweetcorn, Demerara Sugar, Paprika, Soft Brown Sugar, Spaghetti £5.10

Laundry Cleanser £2.99

Scampi £1

Rice Krispies, Orange Juice £3.69

Sandwich tins x 2, Bramble Jelly, Baking Tray £2.25 (Used a £5 off Voucher)

Teabags, Milk, Bread £4.24

Naan Bread £0.49

Milk, Orange Juice, 2 x Men’s Shower Gel, 3 x Hand Wash, Frozen Broccoli, Quorn Pieces, Apples, Baking Potatoes, Sponges, 2 x Cheese Rolls £10.35

TOTAL = £45.75

So in this category I have spent more then I thought I had. So that’s one I’ve got wrong.

Let’s see the disposable income now.



Weighing myself £0.70 (my scales are broken and I am trying to keep track of my weight, it is so far not going well)

Coat Hangers £2.99

4 items of clothing £2

TOTAL = £5.69


Coach to Birmingham to see Queen in December £40.20 (ok, so my guess is completely f***** now)


Present for friend £2

2 x Cards £1.18

TOTAL = £3.18


Envelope £0.75

Posting Present to Friend £3.40

TOTAL = £4.15


Plant tray £1.74


Re-soling shoes £14.95

Fixing 2 items of clothing £8

TOTAL = £22.95



So I was out on my guess about the food spends by about 14%, and I was out on my guess of my disposable income spending by a huge near 95%.

Let’s is, oh, how do I say it? TERRIBLE.

Given that I now only have about £4.65 in my wallet, and about £9 something in my savings, and still no job, I may have to look at selling some more stuff.


Financial Review of Week 45

Hello all.

This is the last of these till Sunday when I do a review of this week’s spending, how exciting (not).


Big Tesco Shop £61.86

Marmite £2.25

Toilet Roll £3.99

Milk and Bread £1.85

Probiotic £8.09

Lots of tins, Lots of noodles, Lots of tea £12.85

Coleslaw, Gum, Icing writing pens £5.34

Milk, Chocolate, Sandwiches, Mozzarella, Cucumber, Bread £7.57

Crisps, Potatoes, Tomatoes, Sweetcorn £4.25

Pizza £3.90

TOTAL SPENDS = £111.95



10 x Coffee Jars for Food Bank = £7.90

New Baby Cards £1.38

(Total = £9.28 )


Money tin £2.39

Weighing myself £1

It’s a Wonderful Life DVD £7

Coffee £3.05

(Total = £13.44 )


Posting card to my cousin in America £2.27


Indian Night £8.05

Dessert £2.50

(Total = £10.55 )



Well, I’ve definitely run out of money now, I think this week will show much leaner spendings.


Financial Review of Week 44

I’ve got a lot of catching up to do regarding these weekly reviews so let’s crack on.

FINANCIAL REVIEW OF WEEK 44 (October 30th – November 5th)


(Things the boy bought whilst I was away)

Chocolate, Fries, Pizza, Pepsi £7.29

Plasters £1

Strawberries £1.49

Chicken, Orange Juice, Bread Rolls £3.81

Flu Max, Cold Remedy, Deodorant x 2 £5.50

Pizza and Cherry Tomatoes £4.75

Milk, Butter £2

(Things I bought once I returned)

Frozen Chicken, Chicken Dippers, Chicken Tikka £11

Chickpeas x 3, Carrots, Parsnip, Potatoes, Apples, Bananas, Grapes, Sausages £9.98




Food things for my parents £6.17

Mother in Law’s Birthday Present £19.14

(Total = £25.31)


Train fare to meet friend £6.90

Train fare to meet Aunt £4.50

Train fare to meet Granddad £3.40

Beer £5.20 

Round of drinks £15 

Takeaway Pizza £7

Contribution to Petrol £5

Breakfast £9

Train home £5.10

(Total = £61.10)


Lunch £4.09

Tea £2.10

(Total = £6.19)



A lot of money was spent, but I was ‘sort of’ on holiday.





My Top 10 Own Brand Products From Sainsbury’s

Disclaimer: The prices quoted in this blog post were what I most recently paid for the item, so it is possible they have changed since then. Also this blog post is entirely of my own doing and is not affiliated with or endorsed by Sainsbury’s in any way.

As a student I almost exclusively shopped at Sainsbury’s as it was the biggest supermarket nearest to where I lived. I was not aware at that time that Sainsbury’s had a reputation for being upmarket and therefore expensive until someone I worked with asked where I shopped and when I said Sainsbury’s they said in disgust ‘Huh, you’re rich’

(Despite the fact I only bought Sainsbury’s basic products and was from a low income family, the people I worked with thought I was rich because I chose to shop at the supermarket I could get to on foot, and they were sending their kids at University money each month whereas I was working two jobs just to survive. C’est la vie.)

Anyway, as my funds decreased I had to become a bit more savvy about where I shopped in order to get the best deal, and Sainsbury’s rarely made the cut.

I generally no longer shop at Sainsbury’s unless I feel like treating myself, because Sainsbury’s do genuinely do some nice, what I consider ‘fancy’ products, and I felt bad neglecting a supermarket that had served me well for many years.

As I am long out of the habit of shopping regularly at Sainsbury’s I have gone for some old favourites and it is possible that Sainsbury’s has a much wider range of quality own brand products, this is just what I have chosen.

#1 Sainsbury’s Instant Vegetable Flavour Noodles


I chose these for a few reasons. One, they were a large part of my student diet. Two, they, unlike so many instant noodles, are vegetarian and three, they use sustainable palm oil.

And they taste nice too.

RETAIL FACTS – 40p for a 90g pack

#2 Sainsbury’s Indian Style Poppadoms


I am not fussy about poppadoms, so I chose these because they are the cheapest poppadoms I have seen. As you know from my weekly financial reviews the boy and I get through a lot of poppadoms!

RETAIL FACTS – 95p for an 8 pack (typically about 64g)

#3 Sainsbury’s Fruit/Herbal Teas


Sainsbury’s have a great selection of herbal and fruit teas, there is really nothing wrong with any of them, but I chose these two as I love anything with apple or blueberry in it and these two flavours compliment each other well.

RETAIL FACTS – 75p for a 20 bag pack

#4 Sainsbury’s Free From Ginger Crunch Biscuits


Aside from not eating meat, I will generally eat anything and everything and can only think of two things I don’t like – tinned macaroni cheese and lychee’s.

But, some of my friends aren’t as lucky. I have a lovely friend with coeliac’s disease, and another friend who is intolerant to dairy, wheat and gluten. Therefore due to my need to be the world’s best hostess, I always try to have some soya milk and a treat of some description in stock for when they come round.

I chose these as they have always been well received by my friends and are crucially free from the bad trinity of dairy, wheat and gluten.

Sainsbury’s are pretty good with free from products, and I think they have a wheat/dairy/gluten free lasagne, so go them.

RETAIL FACTS – £1.30 for 150g pack

#5 Sainsbury’s 5 Beans


For when you are feeling a little decadent and normal beans on toast just won’t cut it.

RETAIL FACTS – 40p for a 390g tin

#6 Sainsbury’s  Spiced Squash and Red Pepper Soup


We are now going to enter the convenience portion of this blog post. As a student I wasn’t a confident cook at all, I knew my way around a pasta dish and soup, but that was about it. I lived with someone who was an amazing cook, to the point he later quit his film degree to train at catering college. I remember being entranced by his array of spices, but now I have a collection to rival his.

I am generally happy to pay a little bit more for soup as long as it has some hint of being nicer then your bog standard vegetable soup. Yes, I could make my own for about 15p, but sometimes you are busy.

RETAIL FACTS – 50p for a 400g tin

#7 Sainsbury’s Vegetable Chilli


Ok, so before you all come after me with pitchforks as vegetable chilli is the easiest thing in the world to make, let me explain.

I love a good bean chilli.

The boy hates all beans and pulses.

Therefore I rarely bother to make bean chilli as it would take up too much space in the freezer if I batch cooked it, and it would be just me eating it.

So sometimes a tin of the stuff is what you need.

RETAIL FACTS – £1 for a 400g tin

#8 Sainsbury’s Bombay Potatoes and #9 Sainsbury’s Vegetable Curry


Sainsbury’s has a great range of tinned products, and I am saving my favourite for #10. The vegetable curry made up a large part of my diet during busy times, and the bombay potatoes are something I love but the boy doesn’t, therefore I rarely get to eat it.

RETAIL FACTS – Both £1, both 400g tins.

#10 Sainsbury’s Chickpea Dhal


This is probably my favourite ready meal of all time. I love this so much that I frequently will enter a Sainsbury’s store to exclusively see if this is in stock.

Yes, again I could make this myself for about 7p, and most of the time I do, as you well know from my previous experiments with Dhal’s. But sometimes I need something like this in stock, particularly for Monday nights when I return from counselling emotionally wrought and need to make something quick for dinner, and having a tin like this in stock will stop me from buying a mega cheesey pizza (also usually from Sainsbury’s funnily enough).

And call me shallow but I like the purple labels on their Indian tins, they look regal and lovely.

RETAIL FACTS – £1 for a 395g tin

So there you have it, my favourite own brand products from Sainsbury’s.

Are there any supermarkets or stores you would like to see similar blog posts for? Let me know in the comments.


My Top 10 Own Brand Products From Morrisons

Disclaimer: The prices quoted in this post are based on the price I most recently paid for said product, and they may have changed since then. Also this post was entirely created by me and is not affiliated with or endorsed by Morrison’s in any way. I merely wish to share my love of these products.

#1 Morrisons 100% Peanut Butter (Available in smooth and crunchy)


I love this product so much that I recently shouted out about it on Twitter (yes I have Twitter now, my name is @Jillettuce based on a stupid nickname my friend Joel gave me).

You know me, I love peanut butter (please see proof here and here) and my love of peanut butter is matched by my hatred of palm oil. And having principles is often expensive.

But Morrisons are (to the best of my knowledge) the first supermarket to introduce an own brand 100% peanut, peanut butter, so well done Morrisons.

RETAIL FACTS – £1.78 for 340g

#2 Morrison Prawn Crackers


The boy and I like a Chinese ‘Fake Away’, or we like to cut costs on our Chinese takeaway by having prawn crackers in stock.

And because I am both a glutton and a cheap skate I know that these are the cheapest prawn crackers based on price per gram (or they were before inflation occurred). And they are yum.

RETAIL FACTS – £1 for 80g

#3 Morrison Chickpea, Sweet Potato and Kale Pies


The boy likes a gravy based meal on Sundays, and pies feature heavily.

As I don’t eat meat (I’m a pescetarian) I need a suitable substitute so I don’t get food envy, and these bad boys do the job.

Filling and tasty, and good in gravy.

RETAIL FACTS – £1.42 for 2 Pies (360g)

#4 Morrison Frozen Diced Swede


The boy and I love a bit of swede, usually in our Sunday ‘Gravy Based Meal’, and I think this is the best based on price per gram. It is yet to fail us.

Things to do with Swede. Scones and Cous cous.

RETAIL FACTS – 60p for 500g.

#5 Morrisons Savers Family Size Facial Tissues


These are the best value facial tissues from a supermarket (that I shop with). Cheaper then Tesco’s own brand equivalent and one more tissue a pack.

RETAIL FACTS – 65p per 226 tissue pack

#6 Morrison Curry Flavour Noodles


The boy likes these noodles. Also available in various other flavours.

RETAIL FACTS – 28p per 85g pack.

#7 Morrison Savers Pasta Sauce


In my post about my favourite Tesco own brand products I divulged that the boy (and again, ‘the boy’ refers to my 36 year old boyfriend) doesn’t generally like pasta unless it is cooked in a gross sugar and salt enhanced ready made sauce (whereas I like my home made sauce ). As I refuse to waste my money on something I could make for pennies with a tin of chopped tomatoes, this is our compromise. The boy likes it, I like it. And it is cheap and tasty.

RETAIL FACTS – 38p per 400g Jar.

#8 Morrison Soup


These three, plus the Carrot and Parsnip soup I would have featured had The Boy not eaten it, make up a frequent staple of my food shop with Morrisons. They are very cheap but do not lack in flavour and they were for my emergency lunches at work when I had been too busy to batch cook something.

RETAIL FACTS – 45p per 400g tin.

#9 Morrison Savers Mature Cheddar Cheese


My favourite cheese. It packs a punch. Some own brand mature cheddar cheeses are basically quite mild in flavour, this is strong and mighty.

RETAIL FACTS – £5.50 per 1KG.

#10 Morrison No Added Sugar Summer Fruits Squash


The boy’s favourite squash is Summer Fruits flavour. Every supermarket has a Summer Fruits squash. I chose Morrison’s as being the creme de la creme as it is double concentrate (therefore it lasts longer), comes in a 1.5 Litre size bottle (which is usually what the boy and I get through in a month) and is almost always on a multi buy offer.

Well done Morrison’s.

RETAIL FACTS – £1.24 per 1.5 litre bottle (frequently on a 2 for £2 offer)

So there you have it, my favourite own brand buys from Morrison’s.

Do you have any supermarkets you would like me to investigate what the best products are?



October 2017 Accounts

So I got into debt in October. I have paid the debt in full, but I’ll explain how it happened.


(A quick recap. I do my monthly expenses posts based on the full calendar month, but my accounts posts run from payday to the day before the next payday).

WAGES £1215.03

PRESENT £50 (My dad sent me the money probably because he felt sorry for me)

SAVINGS £1.15 (Yes, that was the total of my savings)

SEALED POT £4.58 (This was one of those money tins that is hard to open)

TOPCASHBACK £20 (For switching energy suppliers)


TOTAL = £1297.73


Now time for the less fun bit.


Excess Food Budget Spends £51.67 (Seriously went over last month)

Expenses Post September Payday £47.09

Expenses Pre October Payday £313.58 

Bills £1142.50

TOTAL = £1554.84


MONEY IN (£1297.73) – MONEY OUT (£1554.84) = -£257.11

So I got into £257.11 of debt last month. This was the excess spends on my credit card I referred to in my previous post (see here if interested). I have paid that off in full now, so I am back to square one.

No more additional debt, just the horribly big underlying amount.


October 2017 Spending Review

Hi Everybody!

(I always begin these posts with ‘Hi Everybody!’ to try and attract attention for the posts which historically get the least views)

So time for an analysis of how my disposable income was spent in October. This is what I was calculating on my spreadsheet at 11.50 pm yesterday.

GIFTS £37.68

The majority was gifts for my work colleagues, a birthday present for a friend and a few treats for my parents.


Ok, so if I am doing a ‘No Spend Year’ I think it is fair to say that has been truly scrapped and it is fairer to call it a ‘Low Spend Year’.

This is high, and a lot of it could have been avoided. But it did include £34 on bra’s after it transpired I have been wearing the wrong size for somewhere between 3-6 years. I think you can forgive me for that.

By the way ladies, do get your breasts measured professionally. I have the happiest breasts ever now that they are safely and comfortably encased in a bra that support and fits and I don’t have to pull up the straps every 30 seconds.



Not bad, but all of those journeys could have been avoided if I had been less lazy.

HEALTH £10.67

Travel insurance to see Queen in December and gum, lots of gum. (Gum has been classified as a health expense because I have increased thirst due to my medication and chewing gum helps with that).

SOCIAL £130.16

Not bad, well actually it is a lot of money, but I had a good time.


Going to see my parents ‘daan sarfff’ (Down South, but in a south coast accent) and going to see my sister in Norwich (I don’t have that accent). This could have been a lot higher but I decided to get the coach to Norwich as it was only half the cost of the train and would only take 8 hours….

TOTAL SPENDS = £400.91

So, disclosure time.

About 5/8ths of that spending was put on my credit card. I have paid that credit card in full, but I had slipped into the habit of buying things when I didn’t actually have the money to buy them.

I am a bit scared of this, so didn’t put the food shopping on the credit card either like I have been doing recently as I don’t want to be reliant on it. I may put it somewhere safe at home.

When I applied for the credit card I set up the direct debit to be paid in full each month as I knew that if I did fall into bad habits that would force me to keep on the straight and narrow. It works a bit like a charge card.

Next up will be a post about my October 2017 accounts, so I have warned you.