Frugality and Purse Strings

Nearing the end of the first week in January and I am smiling. Why? well, as part of my taking control of my life I also decided to watch the pennies. That includes saving, wherever and whenever I can, who knows we might just be able to have a bit of a holiday this year. I long to go back to Cornwall, want to see friends in Ross-on-Wye and we are overdue a family visit to N Ireland, so every good reason to try my best. The reason I am smiling is that so far I have saved £35 from this week’s shopping budget! For me that is good, really good. If I managed to save at least twenty-five every week that’s a hundred pounds a month! I am so pleased with myself. It does help that I have quite a lot of food in my freezer where we ‘made sure we had enough in case of visitors’.

The secret is to shop myself. Hard as it is to manage the walking that shopping involves, it is worth it on my purse. The other part of the secret is – lists – and not ones that I give to Harry to go shopping with. Bless him he does really well for a guy, well, too well really. I always give him a list of necessities, most of which are fruit and vegetables , and he hops in the car in his element – he loves shopping and browsing – drives me nuts especially as I am a get in the store, get what I want and go home sort  of shopper. His philosophies are – they were on offer so buy it – and – why get one when you know I always buy two. A few weeks ago I fixed my well done smile as he came home from shopping grinning from ear to ear at the bargains he had found. I bit my tongue hard and tried so hard not to laugh… is he really that forgetful? I took him gently by the hand and led him to bathroom sink cupboard where half is devoted to cleaning products and the other half to toiletries. ‘I wonder if you could just put them in there for me?’ Eager to please he went back and gathered up the armful of shampoos, conditioners, body washes and various sprays and toilet cleaning products and headed for the bathroom. I opened the cupboard and he stood looking at me.  ‘Oh’ says he. I smiled sweetly at him again and said, ‘I think we have enough to last for a while don’t you, maybe we can add them to the extra stock we also have in the broom cupboard under the stairs?’ I think he got the message. I have no idea why he must think we use so many bottles of stuff in a week? I guess he is trying his best but I think it is time for the magic cleaning fairy to enlist his help a little more often instead of just replacing the empty items.

How much am I going to save on that? we could last at least 2 months on what we have already… I know, I know, it isn’t all his fault, having brought up eight children in the country where the nearest supermarket was 8 miles away and not driving myself, I guess I got used to making sure there was always plenty in the store cupboard. Now there are just two of us and the odd visitor and family popping by, I am sure we don’t need so many things ‘in stock’. So, on Monday we had a roast shoulder of lamb, cost – seven pounds. On Tuesday I added chopped vegetables, spices and rice and we had risotto, which also lasted for lunch for both of us the next day. Tonight, we had the last of the meat and the stock from the bones in a rather delicious Rogan Josh. Better than that it made five meals! So that one piece of lamb made eleven meals at £1.57 a meal! And , I might add there was plenty of meat in each meal.  We don’t eat the same every day, just to reassure, I like to be creative and I usually freeze each spare meal separately for those times when I have been busy and we can just have a quick meal or H can take it for his lunch at work – sorted! All I have to do is keep my wonderful shopaholic man away from the shops.

All this frugality should also help my weight loss, says she with hope in her heart. Having shown how easy it is to gain weight (over Christmas) now let’s see if my eating plan and frugality will do the trick, next Wednesday at weigh in will tell me.

P.S. We have a local convenience store a hundred yards from our house and we ran out of bananas for his packed lunch and rather than spend money from the budget I am trying to save on, I gave him five pounds from my purse. ‘I’ll only get a few because we will be shopping at the weekend.’ says he. The look on his face as he arrived back told me he had failed miserably… ‘They had chickens on offer and I thought you might like to try out that clay cooking crock I bought you.’ Like I couldn’t wait till the weekend? I rest my case, bless his cotton socks, he does try so hard to please me… and he does, just not my purse strings!

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2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    It’s fatal to “pop to the shops” you go for one thing and come out with a dozen!

    Good for you saving so much money!

  2. 2

    wordangell said,

    Thank you Pip, I think I can keep it up, loads of practice over the years but Harry? I reckon he’s a lost cause, haha We shall see how it goes…


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