I said March would be an expensive month and Oh My Goodness it really was! I paid the water bill and the sewer bill (two different companies) all at once. I could have sorted monthly direct debit but the amount paid would still have been the same.
The regular phone/broadband and charity direct debits and the 4 weekly Electric bill and worse of all ....the car service, tyres and MOT....... which was huge but totally unavoidable, and diesel of course.
As everyone knows the price of fuel for cars has rocketed again this month, at my last
fill-up of February diesel was £1.49 a litre I think, that was up from around the £1.30 mark last year. Then in the first week
of March it was £1.67 at my nearest garage and then £1.77. The 5p a litre off fuel duty announced on the 23rd will not make a whole lot of difference. I'm going to have to cope with it because after the Covid years I really don't want to forego trips out.
The bill came for Council Tax for the next year. I opted for the 10 month direct debit this year, so that I'd get the £150 Government "gift to help with price rises" automatically in April rather than having to claim it. That will cover one month.
Garden spending was a biggie too because I bought two water butts and fixings and sent for another water pipe connection for the other side of the greenhouse and a filter kit for the house down-pipe. That means I just need one more water butt and another filter kit and Brother in Law to fit them, then all will be sorted so that I can ask for a water meter.
There were small plants for the plant stand from boot sales and I have ordered some brassica plants to arrive in July and some enviromesh to cover them with.
Also splurged on some new clothes - much needed underwear and this will shock the kids......I bought a dress. I really need something to wear at things like WI when it's too hot for jeans and shorts are definitely not suitable. Then I had to send for a waist slip to go under it as the linen mix material was a bit see-through!
Much of my other spending was small things at boot-sales..... 50p here and a £1 there which adds up but not to too much plus a hair cut which has gone up by £2 since last time and my dual membership for Bacton WI (which is half full price). I still owe for main membership for this village but they are thinking about subsidizing it so it might be less than the £44.
Then just before month ended the dreaded dentist check up - which isn't cheap of course but at least I've not got to have anything done this time and finally I've paid my membership for the over's 60's club.
I've thought of a few things done this month that might have saved me a few pence
- Dyed a pair of old beige shorts with some navy blue dye, they came out a bit blotchy because I forgot to stir them but will be fine for at home and more practical than a light colour - I'm a dirt magnet when working in the garden!
- Home made bread
- 1 Pensioners discount Fish and Chips
- Sowed seeds of Aubergines, Peppers, Leeks and planted onion and shallot sets, and the aubergines and peppers are now pricked out into their own pots.
- End of the month I sowed seeds of tomatoes
- 4 tins of fruit for £1 from boot sale
- Noticed an ad for the occasional Co-op Freezer Deal , and bought this lot for £5(although I got the substitute ice cream which was Ben and Jerrys Cookie dough ice cream instead.) I don't usually buy fish like this but needed fish fingers for grandchildren and peas were on my shopping list anyway. The fish was OK but I wouldn't bother with it at full price. I prefer my once a month treat from the chip shop.
- Lots of lovely library books for free
- Gift of half a dozen eggs
- Used up the remaining unusual fruits from the jewelled Christmas cakes to make a small fruit cake (it was mainly angelica, crystallised ginger and mixed peel and was slightly odd...but edible!)
- Made lemon and grapefruit marmalade with a tin of prepared lemons and a tin of grapefruit.
I knew February food spend was just too good to be true at under £80. It just meant that the March food spending was nearly £50 more than that although I bought a few extras including flour, butter, cooking oil and sugar(for marmalade) before they go up in price even more.
Out of the house this month went..............
A bundle of random card blanks and envelopes that I won't need......... to charity shop
Some various craft papers .................To charity shop
Some children's books not needed ........To charity shop
Pair of too short shorts.............................To charity shop (although I've just realised all the above are still in a bag on the back seat of the car!)
Next month can't be as bad can it? The House Insurance and TV Licence are due but no other big outgoings although we are having a family get together for Easter and birthdays and I've offered to treat us all to a meal out which will be lovely........ I hope!