Monday, 15 July 2013

Cooking the books!

My Monday monitoring has been done this morning, and there are swings and roundabouts to the findings, as usual.

(image from

Our electricity consumption for the week has dropped to 105 units for the week, where we had been in the 110-119 range the past few weeks, so we are doing something right.  However, the tariff has changed, and we are now paying slightly more for the electricity than we were.  This week's charges will amount to £15.12 for my 105 units....the last time I paid an amount close to that, £15.19, on the old tariff, it bought me 139 units of electricity.  Having popped back to Martin's Cheap Energy Club on MSE, I can see that there are cheaper tariffs available, but none of them are fixed until Feb 2016 the way this one is.  Comparable long term fixes are more expensive with other companies.  Just like other people, we will have to look for more ways to cut our consumption if we want to keep our bill stable.

Financially, June was a hard month with lots of expenses all coming at once, and the savings account suffered badly with no savings made at all.  That situation is very rare here, and I am determined to make up the difference over the course of the year.  Calculations this morning show that if I want to hit my target for the year, the average monthly saving for the next six months has to be higher - quite a bit higher - at nearly £900 a month - £890 if we want to be precise.  Because we saved nothing at all in June, the average for the first six months was only £611 a month.

Strategies to help us to achieve this are going to be focussed around the house and the food budget - I will be taking more recipes from "A girl called Jack" and we will be eating more from the garden over the summer too, which should help somewhat.  Remembering that we have peppers, cucumber, courgette, beans, lettuce, strawberries, raspberries, beetroot and spring onion all in production, we should be able to think of several meals we can make with those, especially with the eggs that the girls are producing!  I am also going to make sure that the ground where crops finish producing is used again this growing season if at all possible, so I am going to be looking through the seed packets this morning for some inspiration there.

We also have a stocked cupboard and freezers, so we need to be eating more from those before we buy more food.  Sounds like I need to sort out a menu plan for this week today as well.

See you later!

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