The end is nigh!
But only to the last days of the Value Range Experiment so don't panic!
Here is my regular end of the month look back at everything.
First of all it was a wet month but after the exceptionally dry February that was probably a good thing although why did it have to be raining on almost every car boot morning? I've kept fairly busy despite the weather and gardening has started - mainly in the heated propagator and greenhouse.
Income was 2 pensions as usual, plus the £67 from the government towards electricity and £14.70 from books sent off to Ziffit.
March was not too bad for spending and of course it's been almost a whole month of spending less than I usually do on food.
The car annual service and MOT was the main expense. It passed with nothing needing doing so just oil and filters and labour and the MOT to pay for. Had to buy 2 lots of diesel this month - been out and about a lot.
I bought a basic photo-copier/printer at last and stocked up on a few stamps before the price goes up in April. I thought we weren't going to be able to do this because of the new bar codes on stamps but it was on the Martin Lewis Money Saving Website so hope it's correct.
My personal spending was one new book, W.I Subs, a haircut - price gone up again (and going up again in April), plus 4 x swimming and 4 x exercise group, second hand books and one bunch of tulips..
For the garden I bought 2 net cloche tunnels, onion sets and lettuce seed, 3 primrose plants, 2 rhubarb plants, wallflower plants and leek seedlings and finally an unusual perennial geranium.
|Purple leaved perennial Geranium 'Storm Cloud' |
A gift was bought for my Sister and Son in Law's birthdays and something ready for youngest granddaughter's birthday next month. The rest of the spending was the usual direct debits for charity, phones and broadband. Electric bill was nothing again thanks to the Governments one off £200 'Alternative fuel allowance' and their £67 monthly allowance and I'm still well in credit for next month. Other spending was the usual odds and end and I needed washing soda and 5L of Ecover Laundry Liquid for the clothes washing and some wild bird food again. Right at the end of the month the window cleaner appeared. It never seems seven or eight weeks since he was last round.....but it always is.
The information about next years Council Tax came and I was correct in working out that a 5% increase meant £7 more each month to pay for 9 out of the 10 months of Direct Debits.
All month I've been clearing things out of the house for Losing-it-in-Lent. Some baby toys went to DiL as her sister has just had a first baby. Also out went several books and lots of duplicate card making peel-off labels to charity shop. Then I had a sort out of a couple of small craft drawers and chucked several bits, moving the pens, pencils, hole punch and similar bits into my big chest of drawers. The little set of two drawers also went off to the charity shop along with two boxes of staples for a stapler I no longer have. Plus I sent a small box of books off to Ziffit.
- The Value Range Experiment has kept food spending to a minimum
- Still mixing milk half and half
- Always trying to avoid using tumble dryer (but bad weather meant it had to be used 3 times)
- Shut curtains as soon as it gets dark
- No magazines or newspapers except Radio Times Subscription
- Mainly reading free library books
- Sowing Aubergine, pepper, tomato and cucumber seeds
- Using only 2nd Class Post
- Don't buy alcohol and beauty products
- Only use dishwasher when it's completely full - every 2nd or 3rd day
So into April and no more government help with electric costs and another unit price rise, but I'm still well in credit so the bill will be covered. It's month one of Council tax and my TV licence is due. Youngest Granddaughter's birthday and House Insurance too.
Meal for Day 25 - something I used to make quite often until one day Colin said he didn't really like it as it was too sloppy. He wasn't at all fussy with food and generally ate anything and everything but I thought it best to stop making it - and that was probably 20+ years ago! and I'd forgotten just how sloppy it was so fished half a garlic bread baguette out of the freezer to go with it. I've added 25p onto the running total. £69.80 + 25p = £70.05
So what was this thing that I'd not made for years ?.......... Leek and Bacon Pilaff . Using ordinary long grain rice, sliced leeks, 2 slices of bacon and vegetable stock.
I'll be making it again.