Well 2017 started with a bang here in North Somerset, new job, giving up smoking cutting back on unnecessary spending to name but a few of the things I have embraced in the last 17 days.
Like many other bloggers on the path to frugal living, the weekly food shop has been my first focus. Reviewing our spending over the last 6 months was a bit of an eye opener.
Our average spend each month included £50 in coffee shop purchases
£120 in take away /lazy nights
£90 in meals out
£80 in work lunches
making a ridiculous total of £340 per month!
Then add the £50 per week we were spending in Morrisons, Tesco or Home Bargains. Our spending has been out of control.
Mr Lovely and I have a system where we have estimated the household bills add £200 divide by 2 and pay half each into our bills account at just over £600 per month we are able to save as a couple for treats and trips away. This works for us.
The household spend has been a little different….Each of us pay £250 into the magic pot of household funds. This had been evaporating, absorbed by the above frivolity well not any more.
Here are the foundations of changes we have made.
- Meal Planning.
- Mr Lovely takes, home made soup or leftovers as lunches. I get fed at new work so no issue there.
- Take away, time out. I wont say never but certainly not a weekly event anymore.We have already started noticing the difference.
- Due to paydays and work commitments we began this frugal approach from the 4th of January. Changing our shopping venue to Lidl and sticking to the list while running down or stores in week one our spend was only £17. We ate well.
- Week 2 began with a meal plan. Not day by day but 7 options for main meals that we can cook according to commitments with leftovers and soup included for Mr Lovely’s lunches. a. Vegetable Satay and noodles. b.Roast dinner (Quorn fillets from freezer). c. Curry d. Mixed bean Chilli e.Pasta and sauce f. Fish dinner with potato g.Broccoli and Cauliflower soup with home made bread. We have a standby dinner of veggie sausages and wedges if we fail to find inspiration but so far the week is working out well. Having checked the cupboards the list was written and we spent a total of £23 in Lidl youngest adult accompanied us and bought 2x Sushi packs (we were refunded). Bubbling away on the stove is vegetable curry for pre night shift dinner. Tomorrow will be a zombie day for me as I turn my body clock back to daytime mode so I shall be baking bread and making soup, so far I think we are making a super start to frugality.
Savings from not smoking to date £38. (It sure adds up quickly) The overall aim is to reduce our household spend to £150 per month. This include the food for Angus and the cats. Looking at our costings I am sure we can manage it.