There will be custard

A lot of people go food shopping and buy the same things over and over again or on impulse with no plan and end up wasting a lot of food as it expires before being eaten.

A few smug people will food plan against what they have in stock, what their plans are that week/month and what is fresh against what isn’t.

I have decided to be one of those people.

I am still running down my epic beans and pulses tinned goods, and the freezer food, so I am not planning a big shop for a while yet but I am itching to start planning it.

I have just sat down with my diary and a fresh sheet of paper and worked out what my plans are like for the upcoming food month.

And our next food month (Saturday 25th February-Friday 24th March) looks a little like this:

HOME MEALS = 11

(Meals where both my boy and I will sit down together and have dinner)

SUNDAY = 4

(A little like ‘HOME MEALS’ in that we will both be at home eating together, but Sunday’s are an excuse for a B I G meal that seems fitting for a Sunday like Toad in the Hole, Cottage Pie, Pies and Veg etc. British style Pub grub basically)

INDIAN = 4

(It is sort of a house rule that we must have an Indian on a Friday or Saturday. I think my boyfriend would riot if we had something different)

OUT AND ABOUTS = 2

(Days when we have mega exciting plans that will take us out of the house all day, though one of these days we will be at the football and our team has lost an awful lot recently so it might not be too fun)

MAKE ‘YER’ OWNS = 8

(Make ‘yer’ owns comes from an expression of my dad’s. When us kids would have to take care of our own dinner because he was working late or out or something he would say goodbye with a cry of ‘Remember, it’s make yer owns tonight’. This means my boyfriend and I will be eating separately due to our plans)

SPORTS DAY = 3

(Sports day is essentially Make Yer Owns, but it happens on a Thursday when my boyfriend plays squash and I play football and come home starving and want to eat quickly in between showers and bed. It is usually heavy on the carbohydrates)

So this is good as it means I need:

4 lots of food we have when having an Indian dinner

4 lots of food that we would eat on a Sunday.

11 meals planned for the days when both my boyfriend and I will be eating together (and taking in his fussiness)

11 meals where I get to experiment and make something creative as I will be cooking just for me

11 meals that can either be ‘pinged’ in a microwave, heated up quickly in the oven/hob or come in a tin for my boyfriend who is an unconfident cook.

I can now structure my food shop against this.

Which will perhaps mean I don’t end up with an intense amount of tinned soup.

I can also make sure I buy my fresh fruit and veggies at certain points in the week so that they don’t expire too quickly.

I have learnt from this week that a tin of beans and some chopped tomatoes will take you a long way towards a filling and cheap veggie meal so I will be sure to stock up on them.

I have also learnt I love custard.

There will be custard.

 

 

 

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You Know What Time it is (Financial Review of Week 5)

Hi everybody,

Well another week has been completed, it’s Sunday, that means it’s time for a financial review!!

Here is how my money left my wallet this week:

SOCIAL

Ticket to football match in March £23

Coffee x 2 with friend £5.59

WORK EXPENSE

Milk £2.25

GIFTS

3 x presents £24.87

3 x birthday cards £2.57

TRAVEL

Bus £1

POSTAGE AND PACKAGING

Stamps £3.84

FOOD

Milk, Bread, Cucumber and Cheese £5.19

Carrots, Instant Cous Cous, Naan bread, Poppadoms, Tortilla Wraps, Fry Lite and Potatoes £6.56

2 x pizzas, ketchup, carrier bag charge £6.05

Lettuce, Sweet Potatoes, Orange Juice, Coleslaw, Burger Baps, Bag Charge £4.37

TOTAL SPENDS THIS WEEK = £85.29

So it has been another week of heavy spending. Everything has been needed (apart from the 15p spent on plastic bags), everything has been in budget, and no forbidden purchases have been bought.

I find it shocking that I am spending close to £100 each week, as I don’t have that in disposable income each month, so it is strange to see how all your expenses add up without you realising.

I am hoping today will be my third No Spend Day of February.

I have tomorrow off work because today, as I’m sure my American readers are well aware of, is…..THE SUPERBOWL!

Watching the Superbowl is almost like a national holiday for my boyfriend and me as we take the next day off work, eat a huge amount of food, use it as an excuse to drink as much as we like and in general feel very much in the party spirit.

Although we have no particular allegiance to any individual NFL team, we love watching the Superbowl and season in general.

So I won’t wish any team good luck, I will just say ‘GO SPORTS’

January 2017 Financial Review

Hi everybody,

It is the end of the first month of the year. I am 1/12 of the way through a No Spend Year and it is time to assess how I spent my money this month.

HOME £5/£2.50

WORK EXPENSE £5.90/£7.50

SOCIAL £161.07/£25 (ooops)

HEALTH £13.50/£5

GIFT £27.87/£25

TRAVEL (DAY TO DAY) £2/£10

So good points:

I was under budget on a couple of categories.

There were no ‘forbidden’ purchases.

Nothing was put on a credit card (not that it was going to be but still I celebrate small victories).

Some budgets will be inflated this month but will balance out in the long run.

Due to my payday being before the end of the month some of these expenses were from my December-January pay and some were covered by my most recent payday.

January will be a weird month anyway as my account balanced was increased from having Christmas present money.

Bad points

I am over budget on most categories including a very, very high balance on my Social budget.

And that is all that needs to be said.

Hmmm.

Let’s look at my January accounts:

MONEY IN

£1485.62

MONEY OUT

£1378.45

DIFFERENCE

£107.17

Which in theory is great, except I don’t know where this £107.17 profit has disappeared to.

Better than my ‘January 2017 Accounts’ spreadsheet telling me I am in debt this month, but it is confusing.

I need to reign it in this February. I don’t have Christmas money going spare, I only have what is in my account and purse. I will have to be careful.

Shopping Mission

Today I sent my boyfriend on a shopping mission as he is on annual leave and I was working.

It was a very detailed shopping mission even though it only involved going into two shops and buying one item in each. But I had to send him instructions in a text.

The shopping mission was as follows.

STEP ONE

Go to Iceland. Take Iceland Bonus Card. Pick up Frozen Broccoli (we need frozen broccoli, this is not the exciting and dangerous part of the mission). Then head to till. When paying hand over the bonus card. This should generate a ‘Free Frozen Dessert’ voucher as a reward for being a bonus card holder. BUT WE MUST DO IT TODAY! TIME IS RUNNING OUT! TICK TOCK TICK TOCK

STEP TWO

Go to Tesco. Select 500ml bottle of Listerine (We need Listerine, this is not the Exciting and Dangerous part of the mission). Head to till. Hand over the £1 off voucher that you downloaded from the Everyday Caring website which you have registered with. AND WHATEVER YOU DO DON’T FORGET TO COLLECT POINTS ON THE CLUBCARD! AND THE VOUCHER EXPIRES SOON. TICK TOCK TICK TOCK.

This little mission will have resulted in gaining a voucher worth £2 and getting £1 off my shopping, which will come in very handy when before the shopping trip I had £3.75 remaining of the shopping budget, with 8 days still to go before payday.

Ok, so maybe I have oversold how exciting and dangerous this mission was. But it made my boyfriend chuckle.

When I got home from work my Boyfriend had lots to show me. Not only did I get the deals listed above but also Tesco’s gave my Boyfriend a ‘150 clubcard points bonus on your next shop’ voucher (which equals £1.50 in points) but we also received a £1 off the Financial Times Newspaper. The irony is I can’t use that voucher to buy it as Newspapers are a banned purchase. And I love the Financial Times!

So yes, despite my best intentions I will most likely end the first month of the year over budget. I am ok with this though, because in December I was paid on the 20th instead of my usual date of the 27th, which meant I had nearly a week extra that I would have to buy groceries for until the next payday.

I am determined to remain as close to the budget as possible, which is why a few vouchers will go a long way to achieving this. What I go over by I will deduct from next month’s shopping budget. Despite the fact that my payday dates will change nothing, psychologically because February is a short month I feel like it will be easier to come under a reduced budget.

And if I don’t I have all year to claw it back.

I ended the 2016 Food Budget year 37p under the year’s budget, so it is possible for me to dig deep and claw it back.

A review of this week

I’m bending the rules a bit here as there have actually been 8 days of the year so far, but I thought I would do a little review of where I stand statistics wise, and Sundays always feel like a nice day for reflection.

NO SPEND DAYS (NSDs) = 3

SPENDING

FOOD/HOUSEHOLD

Tissues £0.80

Milk £1

Bread £0.50

Milk £1

Frozen Onion Packet £1.29

Milk, Orange Juice, Bread, Parsnips, Cucumber and Bananas £4.34

Apples and Grapes £2.19

TOTAL = £11.12

 

PERSONAL SPENDS

HOME: Printer Paper and HDMI Cable = £5 (paid for with a £5 note I found on the floor)

WORK EXPENSE: Milk = £0.80

SOCIAL: Train to friends baby shower = £3.90

SOCIAL: 3 Drinks meeting recently engaged friends with my boyfriend = £7

TOTAL SPEND = £16.70

Also this week I have earned 25p in a supermarket survey (to be uploaded to that supermarkets loyalty card) and a £5 Amazon voucher through the app Shopprize.

I have also earned enough points to exchange for a £10 voucher for a store of my choosing (from a selection) through a shopping data collection company I use.

Including the £5 note I found this week I have earned £20.25 on top of my wages.

The food shopping money comes from a separate budget so this week I am in profit when you compare my personal spends against what I have acquired.

I would find it extremely hard to make every week like this week, but I feel very positive about this start to 2017.

Also I have lost three pounds through healthier eating so go me.

Next week is going to have a few more spends in it than this week. I am on annual leave tomorrow and am using the day to go to the Dentist for a check up. Then I am travelling to a Football Theory session with my team on Tuesday, Wednesday should be a NSD, but Thursday will involve travel to my Football training, and also paying for the football session, Friday will hopefully be a NSD but then I am watching my football team on Saturday and may be seeing friends afterwards.

All of those things have been budgeted for but it still involves money leaving my pocket, something I am keen to do a lot less of this year.

I need to do a tally of all the money I have this month as I am determined to clear one of my credit cards-the one with the balance of only about £90 on it-before payday.

Wish me luck guys.