Saturday, 16 January 2016

Week in review - how am I doing?

Another week gone already - and we arrive in mid-January. The weather has been cold and wet all week, so people have been miserable (that'd be the rain). Woke up to heavy frost yesterday - that I know what to do with: woolies!! It sounds ridiculous, as a Canadian, to constantly whine about how freaking COLD it is here, but it's true. A +2C day, if it's raining, can feel much, much colder - it's that damp. It goes right through you. I've spent several days at work this week just unable to get warm, huddling in front of my oil heater.

I can deal with frost and ice - I'm welcoming it actually, even if the cold - again - goes right through me. The Yukon was so dry that several layers ensured that as long as you kept moving, you'd be sweating in no time. It's a tricky thing dressing for cold, wet weather, never mind the fact that it's hardly motivating to get out into.


But there's rumours of S-N-O-W in Hampshire and Dorset overnight, so fingers crossed. I'm probably the only person in the entire country to be happy about that, but so be it. I can get bundled up and go for a walk. I hope to see the New Forest under snow, but it is unlikely.

Anyway, what are my finances looking like?

I did a grocery shop today which cost me £73.46. 90% was veggies. 

Meat: roast chicken, 2 x salmon, pork chops: £11.02

Non-essentials (cider x 1): £1.65

Veggies: a bazillion greens, cauliflower, lettuce, cucumbers (x 2), avocadoes (x 4) and various other bits: £30.34

Fruit: lemons, limes, berries (various), 1 x grapefruit, 1 x granny smith apple: £13.87

Dairy: 4 x greek yogurt, 3.23L milk: £5.30

Other: rice, coconut milk, cat food: £11.28

Very pleased with the result as I'm hoping that will take me over more than a week's worth of meals. Some of the cost in the 'veggies' section is actually herbs & spices (bottled). Like the rice, they're items that will stick around for quite a while.

I printed off a bunch of recipes from my no sugar programme and thought I could get started a bit early. Sure can't hurt! The recipes are truly delicious, too, and quite simple and straightforward, which is even better. I've decided that I'm not going to stress out about finding the exact ingredients for these no sugar recipes - it can be time consuming and a pain (never mind expensive) and will substitute as and when needed. I wouldn't buy items I don't like simply because a recipe calls for them, so why spend more than I need to on anything else? It's not the letter of the programme, but I think 98% is better than stressing out about an elusive ingredient or two.

I confess I bought my Feb treat(s) early! I got my little food warmer yesterday, along with some cocoa powder and arrowroot powder. I also have another book coming. As I'm not intending to go to the coffee shop while I'm on my no sugar programme, I'm hoping I can stay well within my £40 monthly 'misc' budget, possibly rolling some of it over towards debt payments instead. I think that would be wisest thing to do, particularly as the Canadian dollar is so low at the moment. It makes sense to take advantage of it while I can.

I had car repairs today: £57.20, so not as bad as I was expecting, but still a pain. The auto locks on the driver's side (both doors) weren't opening all the way, so I had to clamber across the passenger seat to open the door. Not a big deal, just annoying. The lock mechanism is old so will, eventually, need full replacement. Those will be £70 (incl VAT) each. At least I only need two - so far - and can do them independently of each other if I need to. But fingers crossed I'm good for a while yet.

I returned one of the shirts I bought last week, too: +£10 and deposited £10 in coin, too.

While I was in town returning my shirt, I stopped at the library for my book that arrived (The Pale Horseman, No. 2 in the Last Kingdom series). Apparenty it costs .50p to bring in a book from another library branch. This is good to know for future reference. On top of DVD/CD rental costs (£2), this is another one I'd like to avoid, as it's possible it could add up. I certainly don't begrudge the library some small charges - god knows they're fighting for every penny they can here, sadly - and in the grand scheme of things, I am happy to pay for a service like that. I'll stick to what I can find at the smaller local branches and in Southampton at the central library.

So the weekly spend looks like this:

11-Jan  £      10.00 misc cash PAID Costa weekly draw for tea
11-Jan  £        5.55 savings cash TRNSF savings tea/muffin NOT bought wk of Jan 3 + Jan 7
11-Jan  £        4.75 groceries cash PAID Co-op soup, 2 x buns, ibuprofen, pain au chocolate
12-Jan  £        1.95 misc cash PAID Costa tea
12-Jan  £        1.00 misc cash PAID Co-op 2 x chocolate bar
12-Jan  £      31.24 misc CC PAID Amazon crockpot, arrowroot, cocoa powder, book
12-Jan  £        0.60 misc debit PAID FB game tokens
13-Jan  £        1.95 misc cash PAID Costa tea
13-Jan  £        8.85 groceries debit PAID Sainsbury's buns x 2, soup, blackberries, bag of cookies, carrots, Kleenex
14-Jan  £        1.95 misc debit PAID Costa tea
14-Jan  £        3.29 misc debit PAID FB game tokens
15-Jan  £        1.70 groceries cash PAID Sainsbury's 1 x bun, 2 x pain au chocolat
15-Jan  £        1.95 misc cash PAID Costa tea
15-Jan  £        1.50 savings tnsf PAID Barclay's covering cost of muffin
15-Jan  £        5.32 groceries debit PAID Ethical groceries truvia (for Jan, got cash)
16-Jan  £      73.46 groceries cash PAID Morrisons veggies for week's detox
16-Jan  £      57.20 car repairs debit PAID Cadnam garage auto locks

And the totals look like this:

Rent/Mortgage  £ 450.00 30.9%  £  450.00  £                -  
Utilities  £   -   0.0%  £          -    £                -    
Groceries  £  250.00 17.2%  £  188.13  £          61.87
Internet  £   -   0.0%  £          -    £                -    
Mobile  £    18.00 1.2%  £   27.00 -£           9.00
Petrol  £    40.00 2.7%  £          -    £          40.00
Toiletries  £    10.00 0.7%  £     3.71  £            6.29
Medical  £           -   0.0%  £          -    £                -    
Home Maint./Stuff  £           -   0.0%  £          -    £                -    
Laundry  £           -   0.0%  £          -    £                -    
Eating Out  £    25.00 1.7%  £   14.90  £           10.10
Car repairs  £    20.00 1.4%  £          -    £           20.00
Car Insurance  £    27.43 1.9%  £   27.43  £                 -  
Cat Protection  £    10.00 0.7%  £   10.00  £                 -  
Car Tax  £    12.68 0.9%  £   12.68  £                 -  
Train Pass  £    72.20 5.0%  £   72.20  £                 -    
Chinese doctor  £          -   0.0%  £          -    £                 -    
Naturopath  £          -   0.0%  £          -    £                 -    
Monthly Treat  £    20.00 1.4%  £   24.96 -£4.96
[Insert Name]  £           -   0.0%  £          -    £                -    
Miscellaneous  £    40.00 2.7%  £  196.41 -£156.41
LLP  £           -   0.0%  £          -    £                -    
Credit Card Debt  £  411.26 28.2%  £  100.00  £          311.26
LOC Debt  £           -   0.0%  £          -    £                -    
Enter "X" Fund Name  £           -   0.0%  £          -    £                -    
Savings  £    55.00 3.8%  £   65.35 -£          10.35
Retirement  £    55.00 3.8%  £   55.00  £                -  
Emergency Fund  £           -   0.0%  £          -    £                -  


Gill - That British Woman said...

it is because it's so damp that's why it feels a lot colder. Minus 30 oC can feel warmer in Canada, than minus 2 oC in Britain. And the older you get the worse it feels!!

Jane said...

It's always more expensive getting set up for an eating plan than just buying what you normally buy for groceries. Compared to what you would have paid in the Yukon the prices must seem quite good for you. Here, our very low dollar means higher costs on produce shipped in from the States so I will try to buy more local produce depending on what's available. A person can only eat so many root vegetables! I managed to snag 2 cauliflowers @ 2 for $5.00 - my major shopping coup of the week! They've been going for $7 or $8 for one recently.

Northern Living Allowance said...

Hi Gill - yes, it's like living on the West Coast, but worse somehow. The damp is awful. And I agree - the older you get, the worse it is!

Hi Jane - it's true! Hopefully I'm sorted for the next little while (at least a week). The recipes I made over the weekend were delicious and very filling and while I wasn't able to stay away from sugar entirely (hello, tea!), I feel I made great in-roads with my produce, recipes and eating. My cousin was sick, too, so I played 'nurse' and cooked and made her hot drinks, etc. I can't get over the price of produce there at the moment - outrageous, really, and most of that is simply going to go to waste because who's going to buy it at that price??