Monday, 30 June 2014

Freezing Bread

 
Day  181
 
Money Spent Today - £0    Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent - £0
Money Spent in Total - £193.58  Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent in Total - £231.09
Emergency £5 Spent on Butter
Money Earned Through Sale of Food £30.50
Money left in purse  -  £17.92
 
Someone asked me about freezing bread, this is how I do it.
 
 
Open the bag, shake it about a bit to separate all the slices, and then use a peg to keep the bag closed.  It makes for much easier opening and closing of the bag when you want a slice and saves you faffing about with that little sticky tab. 

 
You can see the difference in length between the bag I have already separated and the one waiting to be done. 
 
Then simply place your bread in the freezer.  After a few hours, take the bag out, stand it on end to get all the slices back together again and exclude as much air as you can before using your peg to tightly close the bag.  Now whenever you want a single slice you can take one out without having to use a knife to separate the slices or having to thaw out a whole loaf.
 
If you are storing your loaf for longer than about a week it's a good idea to double wrap the bread, I just have a carrier bag in the freezer for all my bready things.
 
Sue xx
 
 
 
 


Sunday, 29 June 2014

Shopping - Bargains and Treats


Day  180
 
Money Spent Today - £5.56    Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent - £1.05
Money Spent in Total - £193.58  Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent in Total - £231.09
Emergency £5 Spent on Butter
Money Earned Through Sale of Food £30.50
Money left in purse  -  £16.92
 
I panicked for a moment when the cashier said "That'll be £9.06 please" ....

 
... then I remembered I had bought Corned Beef for the dogs ...
 
 
... and a paper for Lovely Hubby.
 
Phew that brought the food bill down to £5.56 a much better total :-)
 
 
 
I had a coupon for 50p off the bread, they were still on offer at two for £2, normally they are £1.50 each so with my coupon I got two for £1.50.  So a free loaf of our favourite bread.
 
I also had 55p off a packet of crisps so that is our treat for tonight, with a glass or two of wine for me and Port for LH it's be a relaxing and bargain evening in front of the tele.
 
Sue xx
 
 
 

Saturday, 28 June 2014

I Like My Brother

 
 
Day  179
 
Money Spent Today - £0    Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent - £0
Money Spent in Total - £188.02  Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent in Total - £230.34
Emergency £5 Spent on Butter
Money Earned Through Sale of Food £30.50
Money left in purse  -  £21.48
 
Out at the garden centre for a late lunch with my Mum and brother the other day, after eating and putting the world to rights over coffees we split up and went our separate ways, to browse our favourite departments for a while.  Me and Mum like to look through the plants and clothes, drool over the shoes and generally look at more girly things, while my brother Graham browses the speciality foods and beers.  He has no green fingers nor garden to worry about, just a regularly empty tummy.
 
And when there's football on the tele I guess a bloke needs his beer and nibbles ;-)
 
When we met up back at the car he presented me and Mum with a packet of biscuits each.  He had been so happy at finding his favourite biscuits in stock that he'd bought us each a packet too.  Another freebie for my freebie page!!
 
I like my brother  :-)
 
Sue xx

Friday, 27 June 2014

Nothing to Say

 
 
Day  178
 
Money Spent Today - £0    Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent - £0
Money Spent in Total - £188.02  Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent in Total - £230.34
Emergency £5 Spent on Butter
Money Earned Through Sale of Food £30.50
Money left in purse  -  £20.48
 
Sometimes it's hard thinking of what to say when you write a blog post each and every day, and no I have not missed a single day during this Challenge!!
 
Today I cannot think of a single thing to say though. 
 
So you've simply got a progress report and a picture of my tea.
 
It was yummy :-)
 
Sue xx

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Keeping the Purse Firmly Closed

 
 
Day  177
 
Money Spent Today - £0    Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent - £0
Money Spent in Total - £188.02  Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent in Total - £230.34
Emergency £5 Spent on Butter
Money Earned Through Sale of Food £30.50
Money left in purse  -  £19.48
 
At the moment I am trying my hardest to keep my purse firmly closed.  The knowledge that I have so much money (well for me anyway) available to spend is simmering in my mind, but I am being strict, super strict.
 
Yes this is my purse, remember THIS post in March last year, my purse still looks this good, I wouldn't have believed it was over a year old.  I'm happy :-)
 
Sue xx

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Not Spending for Spendings Sake

 
Day  176
 
Money Spent Today - £0    Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent - £0
Money Spent in Total - £188.02  Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent in Total - £230.34
Emergency £5 Spent on Butter
Money Earned Through Sale of Food £30.50
Money left in purse  -  £18.48
 
It feels a bit weird seeing so much money available to spend on food in my purse.  It feels almost as though I should dash out and spend it on something just to get the level down to a figure I'm more used to ..... but I'm fighting the urge.
 
I need to think about what I need to spend it on, and as I have something coming up next week that I have to really control the food for,  I guess having that money will be a god send.  So I will resist the urge to spend for spendings sake!!
 
The picture is my breakfast of choice for most days this week, sometimes with a dash of cream or sometimes just as it is, I have mostly berries with just a couple of spoonfuls of one of my Dorset cereals.  All the berries except the strawberries are from the freezer from last years harvest.  They have preserved very well and taste completely fresh once they have been sat thawing in the bowl on the Aga while I walk the doggies round the paddock each morning.
 
Sue xx

It's Expensive Eating Meat

 
Day  175
 
Money Spent Today - £1.77   Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent - £15.00
Money Spent in Total - £188.02  Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent in Total - £230.34
Emergency £5 Spent on Butter
Money Earned Through Sale of Food £30.50
Money left in purse  -  £17.48
 
Just a few fresh bits for the week ahead bought with one of my M&S vouchers and just a little of the cash .....  and yes, I've included a couple of packs of meat in this shop.  It seemed churlish to pay for them separately, so as the purse is quite healthy at the moment I decided to pay for them in with the Challenge money/vouchers.
 
It does highlight that it is eating meat that is the most expensive way to eat, as these three packs cost me £6 out of a total spend of £16.77.  Although these packs will last Lovely Hubby all week in sandwiches and on salads, so I'm not grumbling really .... honest ;-)
 
 
Sue xx


Monday, 23 June 2014

Living Off the Land

 
Day  174
 
Money Spent Today - £0   Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent - £0
Money Spent in Total - £186.25  Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent in Total - £215.34
Emergency £5 Spent on Butter
Money Earned Through Sale of Food £30.50
Money left in purse  -  £18.25
 
 
Digging on the hillside yesterday and planting the first of the vegetables into the couple of beds that we have just filled with earth, we chatted about our diets and our plans for the next few years. 
 
We both want to really 'live off the land' and produce all our own vegetables and fruits  Eventually Lovely Hubby wants to produce his own bacon, rearing rare breed pigs again to do this, possibly a few chickens will be brought in as meat birds, and he is determined to thin down the rabbit population before they eat all our food, so there will be a decent selection of meat for the freezer that we will be able to produce here too.
 
In the meantime whilst we are spending this year setting all of this up we are obviously having to buy lots in, and although this Challenge limits the budget for everything except meat it is doing very well.  I have surprised myself at how much pasta and rice I had in stock, the food in jars has hardly been touched over the last couple of months and I have noted that we hardly eat any tinned foods.
 
Little by little I am compiling an inventory of the foods we do eat regularly and once they run out they will be replaced and the foods we rarely eat and that I have to think of special meal plans for will not.
 
I bet most people have a revolving menu of only a limited few meals that they turn to time and time again whether they realise it or not.  Hopefully soon I will be able to have a menu plan that contains all of our favourite meals and the ingredients will always be available to have these whenever we fancy them.
 
Sue xx
 


Sunday, 22 June 2014

Selling Food To Boost the Coffers


Day  173
 
Money Spent Today - £16.07   Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent - £0
Money Spent in Total - £186.25  Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent in Total - £215.34
Emergency £5 Spent on Butter
Money Earned Through Sale of Food £30.50
Money left in purse  -  £17.25
 
Well a first for this year ... I decided to sell some food and deposit the money into the Challenge fund.  After all the foods that were already in the cupboards and have been bought during the Challenge are ours to either eat or to sell to make the money go further.  So that's what we did.
 
After a big declutter and sort last week we decided we liked the space on the worktop and in the cupboards more than we liked the taste of the coffees made by our Tassimo drinks machine.  So the machine and the coffee pods were sold at the car boot sale that we did yesterday.
 
 
Recently we have also been compiling a list of the foods that we eat and those that we want to stop eating, and so decided to sell these bargain bags of Bread Mix that I bought from Approved Foods earlier in the Challenge.  As I only paid ££4.42 for this entire order and I sold the four bags of Bread Mix for a total of £7 I'm well in profit  :-)
 
(See this post from April to see how I got the order so cheaply.) 
 
I also sold some of the things from our yearly Fortnum and Masons hamper that we don't eat (Loose Tea, Christmas Puds and some Mulled Wine Sachets) but that had been lurking at the back of the cupboards from last December AND the one before.
 
So yesterday was a good day for boosting the purse.
 
Now it's looking extremely healthy, and what is actually more important to me all the food that is left in the cupboards is what we will be eating and I have been able to stock us up with the coffee we will be drinking and some more Lime Cordial to go with the cheapo Sparkling Water.
 
 Jars of Coffee - 3 x £4.97  =  £14.91
Lime Cordial - 2 x 58p  = £1.16
 
Total Spent  =  £16.07
 
Sue xx


Saturday, 21 June 2014

Don't panic ......

 
Day  172
 
Money Spent Today - £0    Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent - £0
Money Spent in Total - £170.18  Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent in Total - £215.34
Emergency £5 Spent on Butter
Money left in purse  -  £1.82
 
Don't panic .... just because there's hardly any cash in my purse it doesn't mean we aren't eating very well.
 
And I've come up with a plan that fits in with our wanting to eat more 'real foods' and less processed ones too, that should also help my purse out a little bit.
 
Oh ... and don't you think Lovely Hubby's body language here just screams
 
'stop taking photos and let me eat scones  :-)
 
Sue xx

Friday, 20 June 2014

The Lowest

 
Day  171
 
Money Spent Today - £4.64    Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent - £0
Money Spent in Total - £170.18  Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent in Total - £215.34
Emergency £5 Spent on Butter
Money left in purse  -  82p
 
This is the lowest my money has ever been, even on day one I had a pound!!
 
I decided to stock up on Garlic paste as I had just used the last tube, I find it works out cheaper in the long run than buying fresh garlic and risking it going off before I use it all, of course once I am growing my own again this won't be such a problem.  The milk is for guests one day this week and of course for Lovely Hubby at the weekend, I don't touch the stuff anymore.  The baking butter is to whip up a new supply of crumble mix for the freezer to go with all that lovely rhubarb and any other fruity bargains I might find, so all things I really needed .....
 
... but now I'm virtually skint.
 
I think all next weeks shopping will have to be with the Nectar points and M&S vouchers so I can let the purse replenish itself again.
 
Unless I can think of something else ......
 
Sue xx

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Black Coffee and Strawberries

 
Day  170
 
Money Spent Today - £0    Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent - £0
Money Spent in Total - £165.54  Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent in Total - £215.34
Emergency £5 Spent on Butter
Money left in purse  - £4.46
 
Black coffee and strawberries go soooo well together, it's been my breakfast of choice all this week.  I think a dash to M&S and a splash out on the vouchers is called for to keep supplies up while the strawberry season is in full swing.
 
It's nice to eat with the seasons .... and so much cheaper too.
 
Sue xx

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Shop Bought Meringues

 
Day  169
 
Money Spent Today - £0    Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent - £0
Money Spent in Total - £165.54  Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent in Total - £215.34
Emergency £5 Spent on Butter
Money left in purse  - £3.46
 
I was asked in an email why I bought shop bought meringues yesterday when I have my own chickens and thus lots of eggs. 
 
Well firstly at the moment we don't have lots of eggs, last week five of the girls were broody and now three different ones are.  It's a full time job trying to cool them down by taking them out of the nesting boxes and cooling off the henhouse (they go broody when both their and the outside temperature rises).  So we are just about keeping up with our regular orders.
 
Secondly, I have not been making anything that requires just egg yolks or I would have frozen some whites until I had enough to whip up a batch of meringues.
 
Thirdly and finally these were a real bargain at just £2 for two packs and as we don't eat them very often will last us for ages, thus freeing up any eggs that we do get for making something else of slightly more nutritional value.
 
Sue xx

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Windy Shopping

 
Day  168
 
Money Spent Today - £6.43    Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent - £0
Money Spent in Total - £165.54  Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent in Total - £215.34
Emergency £5 Spent on Butter
Money left in purse  - £2.46
 
A little bit more fresh shopping bought the other day, unfortunately the receipt was snatched from the top of my shopping bag by a sudden gust of wind and blown across the car park, but I couldn't chase after it as I couldn't let go of the trolley ...
 
... I felt like such a litter bug.  :-(
 
 But the prices were -
 
Lemonade - 17p
Carrots - 89p
Potatoes - Yellow Sticker - £1.39
Cucumbers - 49p each
 
 
Salmon Paste - 25p each

 
Ready-made Meringues - 2 for £2
 
Total Spend = £6.43
 
It's much easier with the receipt .... I'll tuck it further down next time it's a windy day !
 
Sue xx


Monday, 16 June 2014

Rhubarb

 
Day  167
 
Money Spent Today - £0    Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent - £0
Money Spent in Total - £159.11  Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent in Total - £215.34
Emergency £5 Spent on Butter
Money left in purse  - £7.89
 
It's a lovely feeling stashing into the freezer something which hasn't cost me any money whatsoever.
 
Fifteen minutes washing, chopping and laying out on an open tray gave me enough rhubarb to fill this box. 
 
Lots of tasty treats ahead :-)
 
Linking over to my main Blog, Our New Life in the Country  for more pictures of this Rhubarb preparation.
 
Sue xx


Sunday, 15 June 2014

Winning More Food

 
Day  166
 
Money Spent Today - £0    Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent - £0
Money Spent in Total - £159.11  Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent in Total - £215.34
Emergency £5 Spent on Butter
Money left in purse  - £6.89
 
Free food ... Yay!!
 
 
I bought some little Eglu egg cups online a while ago, and I was lucky enough to find one of the 'Willy Wonka' style Golden Eggs in one of them.  So I emailed my code number and this is what I won .... 
 
 
 ...a  lovely little jar of Artisan Orange Marmalade.
 
Free food is good food :-)
 
Sue xx

Saturday, 14 June 2014

So Close

 
Day  165
 
Money Spent Today - £0    Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent - £0
Money Spent in Total - £159.11  Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent in Total - £215.34
Emergency £5 Spent on Butter
Money left in purse  - £5.89
 
This picture was taken in my last polytunnel way back in June 2010, we are now so close to be able to be growing our own again it hurts.
 
Hopefully by the end of today we will have the first of the seedlings planted out in one of the raised beds and then over the next couple of weeks the polytunnel and net tunnels will be going up and once again we will not have to pay for salad stuff and veggies.  My purse will be delighted.
 
So close  :-)
 
Sue xx

Friday, 13 June 2014

Coffee

 
 
Day  164
 
Money Spent Today - £0    Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent - £0
Money Spent in Total - £159.11  Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent in Total - £215.34
Emergency £5 Spent on Butter
Money left in purse  - £4.89
 
I've been thinking a lot recently about coffee ..... I know sad eh!!
 
I drink my coffee black, and at the moment de-caffeinated.  Lovely Hubby would prefer caffeinated it's more natural he says, but to be honest I wasn't enjoying the 'buzz' I was getting from it, so I switched without him knowing .... and then came clean when he hadn't spotted the difference.
 
The trouble is I have a jar of the caffeinated stuff in the cupboard and I'm loath to leave it just sat there and I can't afford during this challenge to give it away really.  Now that the coffee canister is getting low I think I'll buy a couple of jars of de-caff and combine two thirds de-caff with one third caffeinated ..... then we can all be happy and I'll not waste any money. 
 
Sorted  :-)
 
I'm also struggling to use my coffee machine, |I think it's turning into one of those gadgets that you love at first then quickly sits gathering dust, the Lattes (which is what I bought it for) are proving too sickly for me.   I think I'm just really off milk now and I don't think I'll ever get back 'on' it, so I don't know what to do with the machine for the best .... oh no, something else to be think about !!
 
Sue xx

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Good Food

 
 
Day  163
 
Money Spent Today - £0    Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent - £0
Money Spent in Total - £159.11  Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent in Total - £215.34
Emergency £5 Spent on Butter
Money left in purse  - £3.89
  
Even though I'm spending a pittance on food at the moment, making full use of vouchers, points and coupons is meaning that we are able to afford fresh fruit and veg .... thank goodness.  I really thought we would be luxuriating in home grown goodness by now.  Hopefully once the poly tunnel is up I will be able to spring into action and get some late crops in that will ease the spending.  
 
In the meantime I am rationing out the M&S vouchers and the Nectar points to ensure that over the next couple of months we have an abundant supply of all the fresh foods we need to supplement the frozen ones.
 
The freezer is getting lower now and we can see the bottom in places, but it's not too worrying as in other places there are stacks of plastic boxes filled with sweetcorn, broccoli and other healthy veggies.
 
I need to have a sort through and make an inventory I think.
 
Sue xx

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Fruit and Cream

 
Day  162
 
Money Spent Today - £7.06   Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent - £5.48
Money Spent in Total - £159.11  Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent in Total - £215.34
Emergency £5 Spent on Butter
Money left in purse  - £2.89
 
Just when the money in my purse had risen to a brilliant level I go and shop two days in a row!!  Oh well there's enough fresh and fruity things to last this week out now tucked up in the fridge. 
 
 I bought the large tub of cream as I have just found a big bag of Blackberries picked last year, lots of Blueberries bought when they were on a yellow sticker offer and all tipped into one big tub, and also a tub of our own redcurrants and white currants picked before we moved all lurking at the bottom of the freezer under the bags of oven chips.  So a few lovely breakfasts of berries and cream coming up,  I don't have desserts any more after meals so I have my berries and cream for breakfast instead, it makes a wonderful start to the day.
 
 
 
And some of the berries will be popped into jugs of Pimms.  I know I have a bottle stashed safely away from last year, and you can't beat a jug of Pimms after a hard days digging on the hillside :-)
 
Sometimes using up what you find can be very rewarding .... and very tasty!!
 
Sue xx

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Water and Cordial

 
 
Day  161
 
Money Spent Today - £2.66   Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent - £0
Money Spent in Total - £152.05  Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent in Total - £209.86
Emergency £5 Spent on Butter
Money left in purse  - £8.95
 

Working hard outside as we are at the moment, means lots and lots of long cold drinks, and currently Lovely Hubby's drink of choice is Sparkling Water with a really good dash of Lime Cordial.  This is working out much cheaper than the bottles of flavoured water I used to buy him, sometimes he could drink three of those in one day, so sparkling water at just 17p for two litres is much better value.
 
Yesterday I stocked up with two more bottles of cordial, which at just 58p each from Asda were a real bargain and I think a trip to Tesco for more sparkling water will be on the cards in the next couple of days.

 
While I was in Asda I got some bread rolls, three packs for just £1.50 another bargain and now tucked in the freezer so they will last as long as possible.
 
Sue xx
 
 

Strawberries

 
Day  160
 
Money Spent Today - £0   Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent - £0
Money Spent in Total - £149.39  Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent in Total - £209.86
Emergency £5 Spent on Butter
Money left in purse  - £10.61
 
This year for the first year in a long time, most of any strawberries we eat will be coming from the shops.  The couple of plants I brought with us when we moved, have sadly been nibbled at by the pesky rabbits and the couple of fruits left on them are struggling to ripen.  Next year hopefully things will be better when I will be able to have a strawberry bed in the net tunnel away from little furry critters.
 
I guess I'm simply going to have to get used to the later growing season up here.  I have a lot more to learn over the next couple of years.  I was spoilt living down south for the last five years, everything was earlier, warmer and drier.
 
Now it's just later, cooler and wetter ... much much wetter.  

Sunday, 8 June 2014

No Eggs

 
Picture from Google Images
 
Day  159
 
Money Spent Today - £0   Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent - £0
Money Spent in Total - £149.39  Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent in Total - £209.86
Emergency £5 Spent on Butter
Money left in purse  - £9.61
 
Yesterday's post was about our egg storage, it's ironic then that at the moment I have seven, yes SEVEN broody hens,  When a hen goes broody she stops laying, thinking that she is sitting on her already laid eggs in preparation for them hatching.  So I am getting seven eggs less than usual each day.  (I am taking all the steps I can to stop the broodiness.)
 
This little chart might just come in handy for me over the next couple of weeks.
 
It's also very useful if you are vegan or intolerant to eggs or know someone who is.
 
Sue xx

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Eggs

 
Day  158
 
Money Spent Today - £0   Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent - £0
Money Spent in Total - £149.39  Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent in Total - £209.86
Emergency £5 Spent on Butter
Money left in purse  - £8.61
 
We treated ourselves to an Egg Spiral when we were out and about having a day off last week.  It just holds the eggs that we keep for ourselves that we can't sell for some reason, and because you add them to the top you always know the ones at the bottom are to be used first. 
 
 Makes life simple  :-)
 
It's full at the moment because Lovely Hubby took too many eggs to work last week and didn't manage to sell them all, he had forgotten that it was half term and lots of his regular customers had taken the week off, so he brought them home.  We won't sell them now because they have been through fluctuating temperatures, and that is the one thing that makes eggs go off that little bit faster.
 
Whether you store your eggs in the fridge or out at room temperature the main thing is that they are held at a reasonably constant temperature, that way they can last weeks beyond their 'Best Before' date.
 
Sue xx
 

Friday, 6 June 2014

Free Herbs


Day  157
 
Money Spent Today - £0   Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent - £0
Money Spent in Total - £149.39  Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent in Total - £209.86
Emergency £5 Spent on Butter
Money left in purse  - £7.61
 
No money spent, again, I'm really doing my best NOT to shop for food for a few days, we have everything we could possibly need or ant in the cupboards and freezer so there is no real need.
 
I have just potted up this Rosemary cutting which I posted about HERE on my other Blog.  You can't beat fresh herbs .... especially when they are free herbs :-)
 
Sue xx

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Salad Leaves Tip

 

Day  156
 
Money Spent Today - £0   Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent - £0
Money Spent in Total - £149.39  Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent in Total - £209.86
Emergency £5 Spent on Butter
Money left in purse  - £6.61
 
I have made really good use of the Cheesy Coleslaw and mixed leaves bought last week.  Two days of sandwiches already eaten and .....
 

 
... just enough left for one more tasty lunch.  :-)
 
Just in case you don't know (but I think you most likely will), if you tip all the leaves out of your bought bag and place a piece of damp kitchen roll in there, putting the leaves back in on top of it and then tightly seal the bag and store in the salad drawer of the fridge, your leaves will keep for a lot longer and I mean a lot longer.  These were going out of date when I bought them with a yellow sticker on last week and because I did this I am still eating them and they are lovely and fresh.
 
Sue xx


Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Lots of Shopping ?

 
from Google Images
 
Day  155
 
Money Spent Today - £0    Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent - £0
Money Spent in Total - £149.39  Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent in Total - £209.86
Emergency £5 Spent on Butter
Money left in purse  - £5.61
 
I keep notes in my diary whenever I go shopping to keep me on the straight and narrow with this Blog, and also to act as a back up in case any information gets lost on here,.  Yesterday I noticed how frequently I seem to be shopping.  Well I guess that's to be expected when you only have dribs and drabs of cash to actually spend.
 
But just out of interest this is how often I have shopped each month since this Challenge began:
 

January - 3 times
 
February - 6 times
 
March - 8 times
 
April - also 8 times
 
May - 7 times
 
At first I thought it was excessive, but I guess at an average of just below twice a week it's not too bad at all, although of course there is always the risk that the more often I go, the more I may be tempted to spend what I haven't actually got!!
 
So this month I'm going to try and bring this average down by shopping five times or less.  Oh no another 'Challenge with a Challenge' :-)

Sue xx

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Water, Water, Water!!

 
Day  154
 
Money Spent Today - £2.84   Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent - £3.50
Money Spent in Total - £149.39  Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent in Total - £209.86
Emergency £5 Spent on Butter
Money left in purse  - £4.61
 
I decided to go and stock up on some more Sparkling Water as with all the hard work on the hillside we are going through lots at the moment. Although we are drinking tap water as well, keeping a jug in the fridge at all times to quench our thirst, having a couple of these bottles in the fridge as well means there is always lots of chilled water to choose between.
 
 Lovely Hubby has switched from drinking bottled flavoured water to drinking my simple sparkling water with a shot of lime cordial in for flavour.  It works out much cheaper and when you are going through two 2 litre bottles a day you need to keep the cost down.

 
I finally picked up my free Lurpak Cooks Range product while I was there and was tempted by another bunch of celery at just 50p.
 
 
 I also got another bottle of milk to use up the second usage of the coupon, this will be stashed in the freezer as we didn't really need it.  We only go through one two pint bottle a week now that I drink black coffee.
 
 
Not a bad mini shop.
 
Sue xx

Monday, 2 June 2014

May Comparisons - Part 3


May
 
January - at the start of the Challenge
 

Day  153
 
Money Spent Today - £0   Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent - £0
Money Spent in Total - £146.55  Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent in Total - £206.36
Emergency £5 Spent on Butter
Money left in purse  - £6.45
 
Now these pictures give me a real buzz.  At first glance it doesn't look like the contents have gone down that much, but then you see that the shelves are now holding my present of lots of lovely free Tassimo pod packs (I got a voucher with the machine we were bought as a housewarming present by my Lovely Mum, which we redeemed for some of our favourite drinks) AND also there are the all Dorset cereals that I won for being Blog of the Month with my other blog  Our New Life in the Country.
 
January - at the start of the Challenge.

These photos at first glance don't seem to show any reduction in food stuffs either ....

May
 
... but in this second one some of the recent order from Approved Foods,  (see it HERE) the four large bags of bread roll mix are in there  ...... and they take up a lot of space.  So it shows that a lot of the previously stored food had already gone from this cupboard.
 
All in all I am really happy with the way the cupboard contents have gone down, the things that are left are mostly what we enjoy eating on a regular basis and so we are definitely going well with the Challenge.
 
The only thing that is concerning me is that we sort of assumed that home grown fresh foods would have kicked in by now, and we would be spending virtually nothing on salads and vegetables, and being able to save the pound per day towards shopping for the leaner months of Winter.  If I do get the polytunnel up soon I will have to set to straight away and get crops in that will see us well into the Winter ahead.
 
Sue xx



Sunday, 1 June 2014

Comparison Photos - May - Part Two

May
 
 
January - at the start of the Challenge
 
Day  152
 
Money Spent Today - £0   Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent - £0
Money Spent in Total - £146.55  Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent in Total - £206.36
Emergency £5 Spent on Butter
Money left in purse  - £5.45
 
The biggest difference between these top pictures is startlingly obvious ... where once there were three shelves in this cupboard containing food now there is just one!!
 
February's photos showed one shelf given over to medicines and medical items, this months shows that there are two shelves for them, bringing in some of the things that were in different places in the house.  So this eating down the food supplies is doing us a great favour in that we can store things together in the kitchen instead of having some things in other rooms of the house.
 
 
Now I really like these pictures ....

 
... lots of things have gone, mostly eaten, a few donated to the Foodbank but what is left now has the space to be organised into handy boxes.  I found these handy little plastic crates in Sainsbury's for just £2 each.  An organisational bargain which keeps all the little things, sachets etc in one easy to get at place.
 
Back tomorrow with the final comparison photos.
 
Sue xx