Ate my packed lunch by 11am (to be fair it was only a smallish bread roll with peanut butter because I was short on time and inspiration this morning), so I bought some blueberry soya yoghurt from Green and Pleasant on Queens Road before I went to my afternoon job. £1.90 for 400g which I felt was rather steep, but it did taste good and wasn’t a bag of chips, which is what I was tempted to get.
I also bought a Big Issue from my usual vendor, who I was surprised to see there as it’s not her usual pitch, but she said this one is better so I was pleased for her, and for me that the cover price has gone back to £2.50 after the hike to £3 over the holiday period.
£4.40 spend today, added to £3.51 comes to £7.91 (goal for day six is a max of £12), so I feel like I’m doing okay so far.
January got off to a good start with plenty of rain and hearty gusts of wind to discourage any inclination to shop during the limited New Year’s Day opening hours – already I’m two quid up!
I’m limiting myself to £2 per day for food, travel, clothes, entertainment, and anything else that doesn’t come out by direct debit, and as usual I have withdrawn the total cash so I can see exactly where I stand throughout January.
Since I came in under budget for October and November, this reduction should push me a bit more, although I did make several bulk purchases of staples I was out of over December which will make the going easier, most notably 5kg chickpeas, 5kg split red lentils, 10 litres value soya milk and 16 loo rolls. I also visited my parents over the holidays and came away loaded down with frozen goodies, mostly soft fruit, plus jars of pasta sauce and a box of apples. I shouldn’t need to buy very much food at all apart from cabbage and carrots, I hope!
Not expecting to blog every day, might do a weekly summary plus anything notable.
If anyone reading would like to join the £2 a day challenge please let me know in the comments, or set your own amount. If you’ve never done anything like this before I really think it’s an interesting thing to attempt, just to drive home how much many of us will fork over loose change in the usual course of things, not realising how it adds up, and how seldom we would go back to purchse that thing if there hadn’t been cash spare on first sight. Limiting for two months made the freedom of December seem very luxurious to me, even though don’t think I went over what I would spend in a normal, unconstrained month.
Yesterday my spend was at £26.52, which was over my goal of £24 for day eight. I wasn’t able to get back on track today either, as I had work too far away from my house to walk it so needed to pay bus fare. Also, the bus got me there twenty minutes before the building opened, and the only warm place to go was a nearby Co-op, where they happened to have reduced-price goods I wished to purchase, such as not-from-concentrate orange juice and ‘truly irresistible’ seedy bread at half price (even though the use-by isn’t until tomorrow), with the result that my spend today was £5.69, taking the month’s total to £32.21, that’s £5.21 over today’s target.
In better news, the pasta I put raw into yesterday’s leftover stew softened up just fine and it made a good, filling lunch after heating up in the microwave at the place I was working.
New month, new challenge.
See my fantastic photo editing skills there? I didn’t manage to get to a bank before the new challenge, but you’d never know if I hadn’t confessed, right?
November should hopefully be an interesting month where I make a start on creating some gifts for the coming holiday season and as thank-yous to people who have been helping me out so far, pay for my dental check-up and the occasional treat, buy fresh produce as needed, but otherwise continue to live off the contents of my cupboards. I’ve got about two kilos of split peas to get through that I’ve been putting off making a start on as I’m not a massive fan and am not quite sure why I bought that many! Maybe they were on sale? There’s also a modest variety of the cheaper types of nuts, a few chickpeas, a few odd cans of stuff, plenty of dried herbs and spices, and I still have quite a few onions (10 kilos is a lot of onions for one person to get through, even if some are given away), plus the massive pumpkin I was given last month.
Since November has thirty days, I’m making it easier to keep track of how much my daily spend should be by knocking the total down to £90. Today I could have spent £3, but am still at zero so far! There may be birthday drinks for a friend tomorrow though, and I’m probably going to chip in for a present too, unless I can think of a good gift I could make for him (unlikely, as I’ll be at work some of the day tomorrow). I don’t think the friend reads this blog, but situations like this are a bit awkward, I’ve always been taught that you don’t discuss the cost of gifts. Maybe I’ll not mention how much I spend on any presents, but at the end of the month will deduct “miscellaneous spending”. Yeah, that’ll do the job.