Wednesday 31 May 2023

End of May Round Up

 We certainly didn't get the warm sunny weather that other parts of the country had through the second half  of May. The position of the jet stream across the Atlantic meant the weather here in East Anglia came from the north and north east. This has meant that the heating has come on in the mornings and one morning when I got up too early the living room was freezing, as cold as a winter morning. That's taken the oil in the tank down to six bars = 840 litres. I'm watching heating oil prices and tank level ready to stock up during the summer when it tends to be cheaper. 

We had all 100% of our May rain in the first days of the month and then nothing, and already I've had to fill a water butt from the mains for watering in the greenhouse- annoying.

As you can imagine going on holiday meant it wasn't a frugal month - I decided my biggest treat would be eating out and had one very good meal and two average meals - which made me glad to be home to cook my own again! -just can't win with this holiday thing!
Joining the National Trust for a year was a chunk of money but it does mean I will visit all the Suffolk NT places later in the year without any extra expense. Other larger expenses were breakdown insurance and diesel for the car, council tax, phones and broadband plus food of course.
No electric bill again this month as I'm still in credit from the chunk we got from the government but next month it will be back to paying again

My personal spending was for swimming a couple of times, the Keep Moving Group, some second hand books, new underwear, 2 x flowers and 3 tee-shirts - one new and 2 from charity shops. Plus the Buddha head.
And I  bought a ticket to see Eldest Granddaughter in this. 

She's been going to the School of Dance since she was a tiny tot. This lady runs classes in lots of places near the Suffolk coast and the older children do modern dance and tap as well as ballet which is what the little'uns start with...... "Good toes - Naughty toes" was the first thing she told me about! As a 6 year old she's still in the ballet classes. There were more than 100 little and bigger girls in the show and just a few boys. Great fun was had by all I think.

Other smaller expenses like bin bags, dishwasher salt, toothpaste, bits for grandchildren, all add up even though they don't seem much at the time. I bought some wild bird feed too but might have to stop for a while as a suet block attracted a large family of starlings who ate the whole thing in one afternoon - could prove a bit expensive to keep feeding them like that! 

Any Frugal things in the days I wasn't on holiday?

  • Used the tumble dryer just once during the month
  • Bread maker for home made bread and spiced fruit  loaf
  • Still mixing milk half and half with water
  • Only use 2nd Class stamps
  • Mainly reading free library books
  • 2 tee-shirts from charity shops
  • Several Christmas and birthday cards from car-boot sales for 20p or 50p each
  • Mending leggings - yet again
  • Not buying make-up and fancy products
  • No alcohol bought
  • Reading light for an hour is the only lighting needed now.
  • And these Six 'posh' Christmas crackers were a 50p - car boot bargain

I finished the April Frugal Month notes by saying I MUST not buy any more plants so why did I buy a tray of marigolds to help with pollination in the greenhouse, a Rowan tree because it was 'only' £5, a Begenia plant to fill a space, and a small Heuchera because it had variegated leaves and I've not got one like that!

Expenses coming up in June? Not too many I hope. Last year June was the month I spent less than any other month. I know the fee for having a garden recycling bin is due - no doubt it will have gone up but apart from that only the usual monthly outgoings. I'd like to try and spend as little as possible - need to start saving for next years holiday!

Back Tomorrow


  1. It was freezing cold here yesterday and no sun.

  2. We have had absolutely wonderful sunny weather for weeks now (sorry to rub it in). When we first moved to Carms we could always depend on a sunny May - then about 20 years ago the weather pattern seemed to change. Glad to welcome it back! I have got lots done in the garden - still 101 jobs to do though - and having had some winter losses, I have HAD (ahem) to buy some more plants. I sold a few things on Facebook Marketplace though (old stock as I'm winding down on that front) so that paid for my purchases.

    Loved hearing about your little grand-daughter at the Dance School performance. Middle daughter belonged to one in Carmarthen, they also did acting and Gabby was in Joseph's Technicolour Dream Coat on stage in Swansea, plus I had to take her up to London for a photoshoot for Yoga Poses for a teenage magazine, things like that. Oh, and a blink and you'll miss me bit of a few of them on Blue Peter. The friend she went with went on to become a professional singer.

    Glad you have been more frugal than me!

  3. It was cold in Norfolk yesterday too.

  4. I've had to light the woodburner a couple of times recently, unheard of at this time of year.This nagging NE wind seems to have been with us for weeks in East Suffolk and crops on the allotment are painfully slow, a good 2 or 3 weeks behind where they should be.

  5. Also cold in Dorset, nasty wind. Like you I keep my expenses down by not buying alcohol or meat and enjoying salad from the garden atm. I also belong to NT so that covers parking at a lot of coastal car parks so managed my first sea swim of the year, it was rough! First truss appearing on toms and runner beans going up poles but the wind is drying the soil out. Maybe the jet stream will move for June. Sandra.

  6. and just like that, May is done! Bitterly cold here, too, unless you can find a sheltered spot out of the wind.

  7. In South Devon, we’ve had ‘flamin’ May’! As well as this, a hosepipe ban, which isn’t helpful for the garden! Even though I grow a lot from seed,I do tend to spend a lot on the garden at this time of year 😱 However, I’m very careful this year, as last year was a very dry summer so I’m trying to buy plants that prefer dry conditions.

    Having The National Trust membership is a lovely treat! My son recently bought membership and is enjoying it. If you ever get to travel south, then I can recommend Stourhead! It’s stunning!

  8. Blooming cold here as well and we had rain last night, which wasn’t forecast but saved me watering.

  9. It's cold again here today - not at all nice.
    I agree about meals out. Often, the anticipation is the best part - and not having to wash up afterwards, of course. The actual food isn't necessarily any better than home cooked and ten times more expensive. xx

  10. The breeze is cold along the south coast, but not enough to keep us inside. We desperately need rain.

  11. Love those Christmas crackers. Very pretty. I hope the gifts inside match up to the outside appearance!
    We have had two weeks of sun and no rain. Almost unheard of for here. It was in the 20s yesterday. I got sunburnt even though I thought I had covered up sufficiently.

  12. We've had gorgeous weather here but this week, we're getting cloudy mornings before it brightens up in the afternoon. Oh yes, those greedy starlings, they always come for the suet blocks here too.

  13. We have some squirrel proof cages round some of our bird feeders and have found that the openings are too small for starlings so put the suet pellets and blocks in those - and hang out some cheep fat balls in accessible feeders for the starlings. We like to encourge them as they are also good at 'debugging' the lawn.

  14. Sounds as if a chilly May is widespread. Here in NJ we've had sunshine, little rain, but cold winds and record breaking late frosts.

  15. I so admire your frugality. Agree with what you said about the little things adding up. I've cut out loads of things , like no spending on cosmetics or books but with food prices so high it feels like fighting a losing battle!
    Alison in Wales x

  16. It's been hot here in Illinois and no rain which we really need. I hate to have to water my plants but they look so droopy if I don't!

  17. May started out cold with some freezing over night. More recently, it is warmer and sometimes quite hot in the sun (80 degrees F). We've had little rain during May. Everything is dry. This post shows, you live a comfortable and well managed life. The dance performance must have been lovely. Little girls in costume on stage are adorable. Buying well priced plants/trees is a must. Like you, I do it all the time.

  18. We've had a few cold nights that are in the 40s and I have to turn heat on in the morning. We have a heat pump that gives us air conditioning as well. Not much rain here in Oregon. I've yet to get seeds planted as I planned on due to not feeling well lately. Disappointing that I spent money to get starter pots for seeds. May get it done soon this week. Will see as I'm not working .

  19. They are making hay and silage here in West Cork. Unbelievable hot weather for May.

  20. Those Christmas crackers are really pretty - great find :)

  21. Those crackers were a great find! You must be a bit better at remembering where you put things lol. A holiday is worth the treat!

  22. Great find on the crackers. Those are really not a big thing here, but so many times I have considered purchasing some just for the fun of opening them.

    I hope you enjoyed the dance recital.

    God bless.

  23. I commented yesterday but don't see it here, I find that so many of my comments disappear these days, glitches with Blogger no doubt. I was saying that we're having cloudy mornings this week but the sun is breaking through in the afternoon. Back to wall to wall sunshine again tomorrow though if the forecast is to be believed. Yes, the starlings love suet blocks, we have the same problem with them here.

  24. We've had lots of sunshine, but unfortunately most days it has been accompanied by a really cold breeze, which is great for drying the washing on the line but does make sitting out a tad chilly.