Life gets in the way of blogging, occasionally! Sorry to have kept you hanging on...
The confessions? Well, last weekend I went to Tesco. Personally, that feels like a failure in the challenge, as it meant that I spent way more than the £21 a week limit, and there were lots of offers on! The spending on groceries amounted to £29.20 and brought the total for last week to £55.34 - whoops indeed.
What did I buy? What were the temptations? Why did I even go in?
There were some certain feminine products we needed, and at 8pm on a Friday night, there are a limited number of places to buy them. We ended up buying a selection of other things of which we had run out:
S R flour 52p
squash (3 bottles) £3.74
Weetabix (offer - £1/box) £2.00
sunflower oil £1.39
Baking margerine £2.89 (1kg)
UHT milk (4@49p) £1.96
Frozen mixed peppers (2) £2.00
Pack reduced bananas 28p
Bacon (2 for £4) £4.00
Pink salmon (offer - half price) 4 @ £1.34 = £5.36
Twix pack £1.00
The thing with doing these back-to-back challenges is that one runs out of standard stock cupboard items, and then only replaces them if absolutely necessary. There is no budget for stockpiling this cupboard, and this affects the long-term budget. For example, the salmon in the list above - I can make a selection of dishes which will feed us for a main meal with the salmon as the main ingredient - that is cheap at £1.34 when compared with, for example, a meat-based dish which could easily cost £1 per person or more, just for the meat part of the dish. By stocking up on salmon when it is on offer like this, I am able to put together these cheaper meals and reduce the amount spent on meals those days. If I don't buy the salmon because it is a challenge week, I am hampering myself on those other days. Do you see?
We have just 6 days to go to the end of the month, and I am still convinced that these challenges work, since the amount I have spent overall on food this month so far has been less than £97. This is still a success, even though it is a few pounds over the £84 which would have been 4 times the £21 set. I anticipate that by the weekend, I may have spent about another £5 on fruit and veg, but we'll see!
Being given a lot of leeks this month has helped no end as we are eating a lot of leek and potato soup for lunchtimes at home, and I have served it with baguette as an evening meal twice. It has also set me back on the straight and narrow as regards my breakfasts - there is a huge container of oats in the pantry, so I am enjoying porridge for breakfast each day - lots of goodness in there!
It has also been a boon this month that the hens have begun to lay again, so there have been no purchases of eggs. I am not "buying" them from myself, although that might have been a consideration in some methods.