Tuesday, 1 February 2022

Second Month of Challenge - Comparison Photos

 
February

So here we are the first day of the second month of my No Spend Challenge, and time for you and me to play a little bit of Spot the Difference.

January

I don't think there's a huge amount of difference between the two photos of my main larder cupboard, it's neater and I don't have to rearrange quite a many things when I need to get something out though that's for sure.

February

The fridge shows a marked difference, well you would expect it to wouldn't you.  The fresh stuff had to be eaten first.

January

A few things were opened and eaten and a then second portion of it transferred to the freezer so that I could have a good selection of foods over the course of the month and to make sure that nothing went over it's Use By date.

February

A very different door at the moment.  I do have an almond milk in the cupboard that should be transferred into here ready for use.  But I always use long-life plant milks so they don't have to be in the fridge until they are needed.

January

With leftover Christmas alcohol and a few more chocolate bars it looked much fuller.

February

The fridge drawer will never change much as I usually have the same things in,  it's the same onions, celery and lettuce as the January photo, but the tomatoes are new.

January

Slightly fuller and a different pack of tomatoes.

February

The biggest difference is that there is no food on the top of my little drawer unit now, just cookbooks and the Challenge Pot.

January

All the food has been eaten and the red Flour tin is now on the shelf where the cookbooks used to live.  Filled with some of the sweets that had the longest shelf life ... out of sight out of mind was the plan!

February

The top sweetie drawer this month.

January

And the sweetie drawer last month.  Some of these are in the red flour tin and some have been donated to the Food Bank trolley at our local supermarket.

February

Just two unopened jars of coffee now and one of the bags of crisps that used to live in the bedroom.

January

Last month there were three jars in here, not much difference then.  The other jar was used to top up the Kilner jar of coffee I keep by the kettle ready for making a drink, so I do still actually have it.

So there is less food and the biggest change for me is that there is no food in the bedroom, out on surfaces or hidden away in non-foody places.  The boxes of crisps have now been absorbed into the gaps in the kitchen, the jars of jam that were in my little green chest are now at the back of the larder cupboard and food that was out on worktops has now either been eaten or has fitted nicely into the space it should have been in originally.


End of Month Financials

Cash Spent  £9.32
Booth's Voucher  £10.00
Nectar Points  £5.00

 Making a total of £24.32

This morning I can take out this months £50 and the money leftover from January has been put into a different pot.  One that I have decided that I will allow myself to dip into if and when I really need it for anything.  It's really nice to now have a little safety cushion.

So it's been a great first month, but I have noted that although I have bought little actual food over the course of January I still managed to spend almost half of the budget.  While this doesn't seem like much of a problem now, with food prices rising, my budget staying the same and knowing that my store-cupboard supplies will start to dwindle before the second half of the Challenge, this year is looking to be very interesting indeed.


Sue xx




20 comments:

  1. I think it's the fresh veg and dairy I'm going to struggle with, when they start running out. It's going to be interesting, as you say - I've never really done this before.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm lucky that I don't need to buy cows milk, as that does need restocking regularly, something I used to find many years back when I tried to live cheaply, and doing challenges like Live Below the Line it was surprising how much of the budget buying milk to go in drinks used up.

      The Smeg seems to keep my fruit and veg in fantastic condition for such a long time, I am still eating satsumas that I bought in December for Christmas and they are so sweet and juicy.

      Delete
  2. It's not just about the food, is it? It's all sorts of other things that make the food rises seem harder to cope with.|
    You're doing really well, I think. xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is, I don't think I'll be buying anything that is not on special offer once I need to start buying more non-food items. But I do have a good stock of things like shampoo, soap, toothpaste etc so I will be ekeing them out for as long as possible.

      Delete
  3. Great start to the year! I'm concerned about food prices too, in fact rising prices on most essential things. It's going to make life harder for lots of folks this year xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It really is going to be year of tightening already tight belts for so many people isn't it. I wonder if people will finally learn to buy what they need instead of building up debt to buy what they want? Years ago a large proportion of our wages went on housing, then bills and then what was left was spent on food. Any surplus was saved. These days it seems to have switched around for some first treat yourself with your wages ... new clothes, nights out, new gadgets etc, then pay for ready-made foods and then housing and bills. It's all arse-upards as my gran used to say.

      Delete
  4. Glad you are pleased with your challenge results. Me, I'm laying down more store cupboard items before the prices go up and UP!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You've made me wonder if spending the leftover cash on store-cupboard items might be a good idea before I can't afford to restock at all. I'll have a re-think at the end of this month once I've looked through the stash of tins and freezer foods properly.

      Delete
  5. It is a fun little challenge, at least so far. Just being mindful has saved me money, actually. Looking at what I have and making dinner is a huge savings. It sounds like a very simple thing, but when you are working long days and throwing together quick meals, it is very easy to lose track of what you have, isn't it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think you have hit the nail on the head exactly. Hopefully once my supplies dwindle I should be able to keep a core stock of things I can make meals with a few fresh items added, and that I can have in the freezer and know exactly what I have in. No more missed items or random ingredients that need too much brain power to use up.

      Delete
  6. I think you have done really well on your first month but then I knew you would as you are well practised.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The first month is always simple isn't, I reckon there's another really simple month ahead and then things will need thinking about a bit more carefully, and there will have to be a bit more cooking up of basic ingredients instead of the luxury of boxes of things to simply cook up. THEN the Challenge starts in earnest. :-)

      Delete
  7. You have done well - but I always have to chuckle when I see the "sweetie" drawers in most Brit homes. I think that I have a sweet tooth but I never have a real stash - it would just be too tempting!

    I have spent about half my usual budget this month and fridge, freezer and pantry are pretty full. I'm heading out shortly to get cheese, some fish and some fresh fruit & veg. Aside from some milk next week - I shouldn't need to do much more shopping this month so hoping to come in way under budget again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I didn't have one until last year, I think sweetie drawers invaded the homes of more of us Brits during lockdown. But I do need to knock my sweet tooth on the head again, and once I run out of these items I will not be replacing them in such bulk numbers.

      I think it could be a Frugal February for lots of us.

      Delete
  8. You have done really well and now no crisps in the bedroom! It's amazing how quickly we can develop a sweet tooth isn't it, Sue, I have stopped buying any chocolate for myself this year. I really must cut down. You have only spent actual cash of £9.32 last month which is pretty good. I agree that we will all be tightening our belts a bit as the months go on 😳

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It really is quite scary how what could almost be called a sugar addiction can develop. I'll be cutting back for sure as my supplies dwindle.

      I made the mistake of adding my vouchers and points total to the cash total right at the start, so every time I spend on Nectar points for instance I have to take the equivalent amount of cash out of my purse. Once the initial points have been used up I can stop doing that.

      Delete
  9. Just for a change, our food bill this week was £27 rather than £50 plus. Our menu isn’t even delving into the pantry too much, just using things up. We really enjoyed our black bean chilli, which made enough for 3 meals each so shall make more of that. Same with the Quorn curry.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a really good reduction especially as you aren't depleting pantry supplies too much either.

      Delete
  10. Prices are rising weekly. Even the price on the shelf is not the price that rings up at the cash register. Stores can't keep up with pricing increases. Just yesterday, I bought an item at $69 dollars according to the label yet the cash register said $79. I corrected the error and made the purchase at $69. I'll continue to watch pricing. Your stores look fantastic. Very neat and organized.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We've really got to keep our wits about us and our eyes open as we shop haven't we. Well done on spotting the error, far better $10 in your pocket than in the shops!!

      Delete