I have kicked off my re-focus on frugality by investing £80 of my usual Council Tax payment on a load of fire wood this month. Since there is no Council Tax payment due this month, I could have just moved the money into the savings, but I thought it would be sensible to stock up on some more firewood.
The wood was delivered yesterday afternoon and I have two tonne-bags of ready chopped wood sitting on the back driveway now - it was gone 4pm when it was delivered and there was no time last night to get it stacked. That will be a job for this afternoon. It is wood which needs to be stacked so that it can continue to dry out and it will be ready to burn by the autumn.
Now that it is February, I am hoping that we are looking forward to Spring, but I do fear that we still have some wintry weather to come before the weather changes for the better. The wind is howling here this morning!
We went to Tesco yesterday afternoon when we came out of gymnastics. I had two vouchers which had arrived in the post - one for £4 off a £30 spend, and one for £6 off the same - and I was curious to know whether our local system would let them both be used on the same shop, inspired by reading on Sue's blog some time ago that she had done this in Wales - I certainly think it was Sue, but if it wasn't, I apologise - someone somewhere blogged about it! Anyway, I tentatively offered both vouchers to the cashier, and they both went through, so I achieved a £10 saving on the shopping. I have a few more of those, and may use some of them, but I don't think I shall be going there every week! They are not getting the better of me that easily, as I know that there is not going to be the need to spend as much as the vouchers require each week.
I was delighted this week to get the electricity direct debit down to £44 from £50. Entering a reading regularly has enabled the company to work out that we are not using £50 a month, and they can also see that we are heathily in credit too, so we have a reduction - and more pennies left in my bank account each month, rather than languishing in their coffers! To think that we were paying Utility Warehouse over £100 a month when we were here first just shows that shopping around for better prices, combined with monitoring usage carefully, can really reduce the costs. Yes, halving the number of people in the property most of the time has also helped, I know, but I am still running three freezers, hoovering the same number of times a week, and so some things haven't changed.
Today, I have a service to lead first of all, then I am planning to get that wood safely stacked away, do the ironing and get some work done on Faith & Worship - and then it is feet up with the knitting for a while when Call the Midwife and the last Last Tango in Halifax come on. That is my Sunday night treat!