Saturday, 12 November 2016

Back to shopping, stocking up and budget

Thank you for the birthday wishes.

Now we're home and getting back into some sort of routine after a bit of a disrupted few weeks, I'm thinking about our budget and shopping habits again.  Planning, putting money aside, and stocking up I think is definitely the way to go - well it is for us anyhow. 

For the past couple of years now, we've been saving all our £2 coins, and some £1, this is used to pay for diesel when we go away.  This year we'd saved enough to cover all of our fuel for our Scotland trip, Torquay this week, and we still have £24 left in coins, which I'm really pleased about.  By the time we go on our next trip, which most likely will be around next Feb/March, we'll have more than enough to pay for that too.

We have 2 bank accounts, the main one and another which is the car account - a standing order goes from our main account every month to the car account, this is used for tax, mot and insurance, plus an amount to pay for any parts or work needed for the car.  We also have a savings account - if OH's done some overtime, the extra pay gets paid into there.  Also, every couple of days I check our main account balance and transfer a bit over to the savings account....I round the main account balance down to the next £10 - i.e., if we had, as an example, £258.30 in there, I'd transfer £8.30 into the savings account.  I find this a very easy way of adding to the savings, and hardly notice the difference in the main account.  The savings account pays for our breaks away and for replacing any household items that break down (we need a new kettle, eg, as it's on the way out).

For a couple of years now I've been stocking up whenever I see a good offer on something we use regularly.....our favourite antiperspirant, toothpaste, coffee, etc.  Luckily we have the space to store extras, we have a good sized utility room (it's an outhouse actually, brick building tacked onto the side of the kitchen, used to house a loo, coal cupboard and fire with bread oven, all long since gone before we moved in....now it's just a large room with a cupboard for the boiler, plus kitchen cupboards and worktops installed by the previous tenant, with my washing machine, tumble dryer, extra fridge and freezer in there).  This year I decided to experiment with getting a bulk order - supermarket delivery - of all the toiletries, washing up stuff and non-perishable foodstuffs, I aimed for 6 months' worth of goods, estimating the quantities.  It's worked really well, the 6 months are now up and we have almost run out of some things (coffee, baked beans, washing up liquid), but still have plenty of other stuff (tinned tomatoes, sweetcorn, chickpeas, toothpaste).  So now I know what to get more of, and less of, when I put in another order next week.  I'm going to set up another account to put money into to do a bulk order twice a year of the non-perishables, and a bulk meat order too.  We get our meat from a local butcher, he knows us and always gives us a good discount for buying in bulk and being regular customers.  We've been doing this every 3 months, but in practise the meat lasts us longer than 3 months, so will now do it every 4 months, or even 6 if we can. 

Next I'll tackle the weekly shopping, I want to see if I can get it down to fortnightly.

16 comments:

  1. Stockpiling is a sensible thing to do, especially now things are set to get tougher for us. Have a good weekend.

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    1. Thank you, yes I think it's a good idea to stock up when we see things we always use on a good special offer.

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  2. We buy loads of regular used items when we see them on offer and store them, there are loads of things we never pay full price for. Every year after our holiday we start getting extra cleaning and toiletries, so in November and December when we have more outgoings we have less basics to get. We run with 3 bank accounts, a bill account, a savings account and our spend account, it works for us we transfer money to which ever account needs it and any extras go to the savings account.

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    1. That's a good idea to buy stuff earlier in the year, to give yourselves more spending money later on when you need it more.

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  3. I must admit that since hubby started with investigations into his health and following cancer diagnosis I went a bit off track with my stores shopping. Once he is back to good health and driving again I must get back on top of it. We live a good way from the shops so it's nice to have my stores to use-x-

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    1. Same as us Sheila, we don't live near any supermarkets either. It's good your hubby is getting more active, but you'll be so glad when he's driving again!

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  4. I really want to curtail spending and start saving more. It is going to be my big goal next year. I'm not sure how I'll exactly go about it yet, still thinking on that part. Some of it is food, but other things too. Also I think I'm going to have a good sort out and see what I can get rid of and maybe make a little money.

    I definitely buy food when on sale, but I need to do better about using things up especially fresh veg. I'm trying to have a clean out of the freezer too.

    Thanks for the tips!

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    1. You're welcome Sharon, I hope some of the things we do give you some ideas too. If I have any fresh stuff that I know I won't be able to use before it goes off, I cook and freeze it, I hate to waste anything.

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  5. The way I spend less on food is (a) not to stockpile, we have sufficient supermarkets in our area to make this totally unnecessary and (b) make meals with what there is in the larder/fridge/freezer and only shop when necessary. I am seldom seduced by offers as this tends to make us spend more than we need to, and the very best way to save money it not to spend it in the first place.
    Margaret P

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    1. As I've said before, we don't live near any supermarkets. As to being seduced by offers - erm, no, I only buy extras of things we use when they're on a good offer and thus it will save us money in the long run - better to buy at a reduced price than full price, isn't it?

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    2. I totally agree, Sooze, to buy at a reduced price if it's something you always use, have room to store it, and it's something that won't degrade if kept long-term. And, of course, if you don't likve near supermarkets then it makes sense to stock up on things. We have rather too many of them in our area, from Lidl and Aldi, via Asda and Tesco, to Morrisons, Sainsbury and Waitrose. We have the blimmin' lot.
      Margaret P

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    3. Good margaret , you should write your own blog,

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  6. Shopping on line and having a grocery delivery for £1 a time has really established what are our "regular" buys. I have a shelf with a good supply of housekeeping items now; brought when on offer and topped up.

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    1. I have done our shopping online a few times when it wasn't possible to go to the supermarket (when husband has been working, or we've been too busy). I do prefer to go myself though, I've made a few mistakes with online shopping (wrong sizes bought) and the shop has also made some mistakes (delivering the wrong items, or missing a whole bagful, or on one occasion delivering someone else's shopping!).

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  7. I like to keep my pantry well stocked, it comes from growing up in a rural environment. My granny had her shopping delivered weekly but there was always at least a months worth of food and cleaning stuff in the house. I plan meals for 4 weeks and do all the non-perishable shopping in one go plus all the perishables for the first week. Then it is just a quick shop once a week. I will scoop up any good offer on things that I use, at the moment my toiletries store is full and most of was half price.

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    1. Planning meals for 4 weeks is a good idea. Our area gets flooded in heavy rain, so that's another reason we like to have good stocks in.

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Thank you for your comments, I love reading them!