Friday, 1 February 2013

Frugal February


I'd decided to join in with the Frugal February challenge, but was having difficulty deciding what to do as I already have a weekly cash budget (which is all I can spare). Cutting that down by much 'doesn't suit me'.

As I'm away most of the week, I spend money on convenience food for J.  If he had to he'd cook from scratch, but he'll generally only do that if a mate is round. Otherwise he puts things in the oven, sets the timer and goes back upstairs until its cooked. So I'll still make sure there are pizzas, burgers and frozen chips for him.

 I'm going to take out my normal cash allowance, and focus on what I actually spend on.  Consciously see where I'm saving money, or am I just kidding myself? We don't buy cheap quality food, I don't think its worth it, but am I shopping at the best times to get the bargains? 9 am probably isn't a good time to get offers, so should I change the time/day I shop?

Freezer is quite full, and its amazing what was lurking at the bottom. Huge bag of sausages bought from the butchers van before Christmas, gammon, leftover turkey/chicken/ham.  Plenty of frozen veg.There is also a mountain of pasta, rice and noodles from Approved Foods. The plan is to live out of freezer and the Approved food stash as much as possible, and take lunch were practical.  This isn't as easy as it sounds - I can generally take lunch for the first day I'm somewhere, but I don't like sandwiches unless they're freshly made, and it does depend on the facilities available.

I've got plenty of loo roll, soap powder, washing up liquid and toiletries, but never know how much is enough.  I finished the last of the soap powder, so have a new box, so I'll see how long it lasts, same for washing up liquid.  Last lot was Fairy, bought on offer, this is supermarkets own. Is it worth the saving, do you use more of the cheaper stuff?

Fuel for the car, I'm not counting at all. Its work mileage and they pay for it. Personal mileage is too small an amount to calculate.
Any money left over from one week, will go in a pot and may be used as spends for weekend away in March.  Next week won't be bad as I'm at home most evenings, so a good start will be made on eating out of the freezer.
Hotel 'fancified meal'

Meal planning isn't really my thing, but for a rough idea.
Breakfast - well this is 2 cups of tea. J doesn't even have that.
Lunches - weekends, HM bread and soup, if working see above. J generally has toast. With or without scrambled egg or beans. Or soup.
Dinners - during the week, this is easy, in a hotel and work pay.  I don't normally even have to pay and claim it back. Otherwise , freezer has food batch cooked during January, so we have a choice of curries, chilli, and cooked chicken/turkey and ham which can be added to other meals.
This weekend
Tonight - Fish and chips - fish out of freezer, home made chips, can of mushy peas
Tomorrow - stir fry of some description
Sunday - Sausage casserole - will make enough that this can also be heated up on Monday by son.
Monday - I'm away, son can have reheated casserole with jacket spud.
Tuesday - too far into the future to think about.

I also don't have a free Council Tax month as I pay over 12 months.  They actually don't allow it, but it doesn't suit me to pay an extra £20 a month for 10 months, so I don't.