This morning I finally got around to adding up the Cash Stash.
I had built up my little pots of money from various sources, the enamel teapot held the cash unused from the previous years Sealed Pot Challenge as well as the money I have been making recently from selling on Facebook Marketplace. Then there was the little wooden box that has been collecting all the little bits of change to keep my bag lighter and the tile-fronted drawer that sits in the kitchen was used to save some £2 coins and had money added to it over the course of the year whenever I drew some cash out of my bank account, it was just there for emergencies and was never intended to become part of a Challenge.
It all adds up, and I consider myself to be very fortunate that I am able to do this. Back in the day when my boys were growing up, any pots of money around the house were but a pipe-dream. Our only savings were a large whisky bottle that we dropped pennies and two pence coins into ... and even this was raided as emergency food money some weeks. It's this background that has honed my frugal mindset and which inspires me every so often to buckle my belt tighter and challenge myself to do better with my budgeting.
Do we all really need everything that we have?
So lets go through the cash I had around the house and get it all together to see the final budget for 2022.
In my handbag there was £25 in notes and no small change*. I don't use a separate purse as this handbag has slots for cards and space for me to keep bank notes nice and flat, these plastic notes are murder to store folded!!
The little vintage money box didn't seem to have that much in ...
... but it all adds up.
Yes, there was £12.44 ... and a Kune! I had to Google that one, seemingly it is a Croatian coin worth at todays exchange rates 11p, so although it's un-spendable someone palmed me off with more than the 10p it pretended to be. 😁
I'll keep it as a souvenir.
Peering inside the teapot for the first time in months, it looked pretty promising.
And indeed it was.
The notes, and one and two pound coins were from Facebook Marketplace sales and the money in the polybag left over from last years savings. A grand total of £117.88. The odd 6p that you can see on the edge of the front £5 note was found on the ground on a dog walk and had been added to the pot on our return.
The little drawer I knew would be holding the bulk of this years budget.
Oh, that looked so much better ... and there were coupons that I had forgotten about.
A lovely round total of £400, plus the two coupons which are worth a total of £12.50.
It's lucky that I did dig them out now as the Booths coupon expires in a couple of weeks, and I have no intention of losing £10. I think I will wait as long as I can and then use this for a fresh fruit and vegetable top-up shop just before it expires. This should mean that I can get through January with a very low spend.
Seeing the two coupons in the little drawer jogged my mind about my Nectar points, which are given out on any Sainsbury's shop, and which I have built up quite quickly over the course of the past year by buying some of the items that they give me extra points for. The good thing is they usually issue the extra bonus points on your regular purchases and as mine have been mostly fruit and veg this means that I could continue to accrue many more over the next few months just by buying a few things that I need when they are on offer and then use the even higher points balance to pay for my shopping one or more weeks to have a bit of a top up as the cupboards start to run low.
(It works by for example them offering you 20 points which you would normally only get for spending £20 on something like bananas. So buying one banana for 12p means you get points as though you have spent £20. I hope this makes sense for those of you not used to Sainsbury's system.)
* The reason I had no change in my bag became obvious when Alan came in yesterday afternoon just after I had finished all my workings out and said he had found £5.20 in his coat pocket that I had given him along with other coins when we went to the hospital for my consultation. He had paid for the parking ticket with money from my bag ... and kept the change. So my workings out were quickly revised to include this unexpected windfall, luckily at this stage my scribbles were still on a scrap of paper
I have decided to use my free gift Country Living diary as my Challenge notebook for the year, so all the workings out were written down at the front of it. As you can see I have an average of just over £50 a month, which if I can keep the first few months spend really low will rise, and looking at the amount of food I have in the Lodge this should be quite easy to do.
The rules are still whizzing around in my head a bit and not really finalised, so I will come back tomorrow with a new blog post containing them ... and if you would like the photos I have taken of the Food Stash.
I have food in the strangest of places, as I discovered when I went to bed last night!!
I am really interested in seeing how your challenge works out and how you manage your shopping and meal plans. Thanks for another great challenge.ReplyDelete
It's good to get stuck into something new in the New Year isn't it. 😀Delete
Happy new year. It looks and sounds off to a good start...Food in the strangest of places sounds like the title for an interesting post...ReplyDelete
Haha ... it really does. The stuff clickbait is made from. 🤣🤣Delete
Oooo, I do love your challenges! That's a decent budget per month and knowing your previous challenges I can't wait to be inspired by your meals! :-) xxxReplyDelete
£10 a week for food seems eminently doable. 😀Delete
Wow, a very respectable cash stash Sue. And yes please I would love to see the food stash 😁 Unfortunately, I had to spend my sealed pot savings on Christmas gifts for the family and can only plan a one month at a time challenge. Actually you have reminded me that I can still accrue some Nectar points when we do our bit of shopping at Sainsburys. They will certainly help me out towards the end of the month when things get tight, so thank you 🤗 Good luck with your challenge 🍀ReplyDelete
At least you had the sealed pot savings, what a good job eh. 😃. Thank you. xxDelete
Looking forward to seeing you work your usual magic with this challenge. Yep, definitely want to see the strangest places you stashed your food.ReplyDelete
In a small space things get stashed wherever there's room 😀🤣Delete
Your challenges are always inspiring. I have used your idea of the sealed pot a few years ago and liked that challenge.ReplyDelete
It's a good pain-free way of saving isn't it. 😃Delete
Sounds like you are ready to go! Do you count the food you need for your pets? Or is it just your food and expenses? I am sure you will cover that in the "rules" tomorrow. Good luck!ReplyDelete
Alan buys the pet food ... but all should be covered in the rules tomorrow. 😀Delete
Good job! Can well imagine some strange places you may have stashed food especially as you had so much work being done in your new kitchen. I've been surprised at some things I have stashed away (and forgotten) when I finally get a step stool out and check out the back of tall (non food) cupboards. Being short--I miss a lot. What was I thinking? :)ReplyDelete
Looking forward to reading about your challenge.
It's keeping things within reach that's been the issue. I can't reach the top two shelves of my kitchen cupboards without a step stool and as I'm not allowed to climb it's been a problem. ☹️Delete
Ooh I do love your Challenges, they give me so much inspiration and encouragement. So where DO you stash food?! xxReplyDelete
Haha ... here there and everywhere it would seem. 😃🤣Delete
I do love your challenges - I find them very inspiring. Would love to see the food stash and my imagination is going into overdrive imagining where you stash food!! I've a husband and two teenagers and for January my challenge is to start to empty my three ( !! ) freezers so I have allowed myself £20 per week for food. The food will mainly be fruit and vegetables and cheese. I'm going to dig out my breadmaker and use all my bread flour ( I seem to have six bags ). I have to use my car to commute so I have allowed £30 a week for petrol. We'll see how I go but I think it's eminently doable. Fiona xReplyDelete
It's always good to finally see the bottom of the freezer isn't it. I have to admit to leaving some of the food in the big chest freezer behind when we moved from Wales, we just had nowhere to put it.Delete
I think most of my spending for the first couple of months will be on fresh stuff.
I have accrued most of my Nectar points from buying thru e Bay this year every little helps.ReplyDelete
It really does doesn't it. 😀Delete
happy new year to you, i'm looking forward to your new challenge xReplyDelete
Happy New Year, so am I. 😃Delete
Oooh can't wait to see how your challenge goes. I've had a complete mind block on what the sealed pot challenge entailed though 🤦♀️ I'm guessing saving and only opening at the end of the year 🤷♀️ReplyDelete
I'd love to see how you meal plan with such little money. As a family of 4 on one income and the price of food constantly on the increase I'm always looking for ways to reduce our spending.
Does the £50 a month Inc general spend like charity shop spend or garden spend like seeds or is it strictly for food?
Do you have any plans on how you will spend your time? Sometimes it's nice to browse the shops but can lead to spending so do you think you'll keep busy with other things instead?
All the best and please keep us updated. I love reading your challenges so inspiring!
The sealed Pot challenge is just that, you put money in but can't get it out. I've gotten so used to it over the years though that I didn't need to seal up any of the boxes, I'm just that used to putting money in and never taking it out. 🤣😀Delete
Ps I'd love to see your food stash too it'll give us an idea of what you've got to work with 👍ReplyDelete
Photos coming in a day or so. 😃Delete
We stash the cash we get when we return our empty bottles and cans. This year it was $132. So a crate of Heinikken for the men folk and a chinese take away dinner was consumed. We still have $25 left. So an easy New Years Eve splurge without touching the family budget.ReplyDelete
One of our large grocery stores has a point system, tied in with a gas station and a drug store and they quickly add up. I cash my points in when doing the shopping when I reach the $50 mark. Tuck it away for holiday spending money. Seeing as we haven't been able to go overseas since the beginning of 2020, there is now $800 in the jar, which should give us a fair amount of Euros.
Im looking forward for some recipe inspirations.
It sounds like you're doing really well. 😀Delete
That is quite a nice total there! With your challenge experience I know you will make the most of this challenge and I'm looking forward to seeing how it goes for you. A very Happy New Year to you, Alan, and your sweet furry family members!ReplyDelete
It's not a bad amount, I breathed a sigh of relief when it went over £500. 😀Delete
Happy New Year to you too, I hope it's a good one. ❤️
I've read this after your next one so knew how much but that really is seriously impressive. It's made me think . . . thanks.ReplyDelete
And that's exactly why I like to do a Challenge every now and then, to make myself think. We soon get onto auto-pilot with shopping and cooking don't we, hopefully over the next few months this will change for me. :-)Delete
I have been reading your challenge with great interest. It is something I would love to do but with two young children and another bean on the way. And hubby facing semi retirement we have decided to take a much more measured approach. As your challenge would send my BDP and my anxiety through the roof. We have agreed on no new clothing purchases for the adults. I have enough to get me through my pregnancy. And we have bought yearly train tickets as it worked out cheaper.ReplyDelete
No one in Tokyo really uses a car we own 2 but we might get rid of one . Plus cash is king over here so we have cash jars all over the place. So we are going to move them into one. Shopping is quite hard so we have decided a monthly trip to Costco is the only way for us . I admire your spirit though . You should read Kath Kelly’s how I survived on a pound a day it’s awesome and Judith Levines not buying it. It made me think. Good luck. We are due to fly home next week so I Will keep popping in
It is definitely much harder to do with children, I learned most of my coping mechanisms when my boys were small and money was really tight and then built on them with years more experience. 🙂Delete
Yes I have read all of Kath Kelly's books, I might have to have a re-read of all my frugal books to get me firmly in the right mindset. 😀