Never spend your money before you have it…

and when you do have it hold on to it and don’t waste it on lots of things you don’t really need…I really should listen to my own advice!

I have spent all day today entering a stack of receipts into my money program on the computer and balancing bank statements from as far back as March.  That must be when my life notched up a gear and everything went a bit crazy for a while.  As I remember we had my sister’s wedding, then a two-week holiday at Easter, followed by my return to working a lot of overtime well into the evening, followed by a visit from my mum, followed by another holiday and so on and so on…

Anyway I am now balanced again and it has been no surprise to find that I have well and truly overspent on food, clothes, general day-to-day spending and dare I say it…I will whisper it (magazines).  So much for my budget and good intentions – so much for those good ideas I had to shop at home – so much for my pledge to myself to avoid the magazine aisle – I certainly need to take myself in hand again as I have 10 more days to pay-day and I refuse to dip into savings to bail myself out.

Tonight I have been down to my local Sainsbury’s to do the weekly shop (yes I know how sad I am to be shopping in Sainsbury’s on a Saturday night) and I managed to claim back £65 before I began by returning some clothes that didn’t really work for me and some door hooks we decided didn’t look right where we were going to put them.  My total shop was £74.79 and with items already in my store cupboard and freezer I should be able to make a decent meal every night and packed lunches for me and my daughter to take to work each day.

As it happens many of the items I bought tonight were on offer so certain items will cover next week too.  I actually saved £3.34 according to the slip of paper I was given at the till called a Brand Match. I don’t usually buy many Brand items as I tend to go for the Sainsbury’s own ranges but I do like the Alpro Organic Soya milk mainly because Sainsbury’s don’t do an organic one.  My most expensive item was a block of Organic Parmesan cheese at £4.50 but I intend to grate it all and freeze it and that way it is much cheaper than buying those little ready grated packets.  I find that it adds flavour to many dishes when sprinkled on the top and as you need less it is better for you than other full fat cheeses and apparently easier to digest.

Deutsch: Parmigiano Reggiano in der Markthalle...

My cheapest item was a tiny tin of Tomato Puree for 25p followed closely by 4 Bananas for 40p.  It is unusual to see anything on a receipt for under a pound now – I expect if I bought the Basics range there might be more but I do tend to go for the Organic range and foods with no additives and as close to nature as possible especially with dairy foods, eggs, breads and vegetables.

This week I intend to make a Nutloaf to use up some of my left over nuts and we can have it hot one night and then cold with salad the next.  I also like to sprinkle Almonds on my Cauliflower and Broccoli bake as they are an excellent source of protein.

My budget isn’t the only thing I have been busy on today – I have been developing a new system for my clippings as I seem to have quite a collection.  I see all kinds of bits and pieces when I am flicking through my magazines, sometimes it is a new beauty product or supplement that I might like to try, sometimes I want to keep an article about a place or art exhibition I want to go to or a play I might be interested to watch at the local theatre – so tomorrow I will introduce you to SPIF my Systemized Product and Information Folder.  Until then I am going to bed with a mug of cocoa and a couple of magazines ( that I bought last week and not tonight – just in case you were about to ask!)

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