Tuesday, October 02, 2012

ODP Day 2: Budget

Today I am wearing a lavender button-up shirt under the dress, with a pair of jeans and some sparkly flats that are one size too big, but I loved them so much I bought them anyway. The shirt under the dress is proving slightly more awkward for breastfeeding than I thought, but it's doable.

I kinda feel like a phony today because the jeans and shirt would've constituted an outfit all on their own, so I feel like I just threw the dress on over it. In reality, I'd been thinking of trying a button-up shirt under the dress already; the jeans underneath were more a safety net in case breastfeeding was too difficult, and while in the cafe at Tesco today with Jaguar, I was glad I'd opted for the jeans (allowing me to feed from underneath the dress rather than through the top).

Getting this photo, by the way, wasn't easy. This is pretty much how it went:

Also, I'm not wearing any make-up yet in these photos, so I kinda hate them.


A few years ago I posted about The Supermarket Game, my way of keeping to a budget while in the supermarket back before I'd gone back to work. Then once I started childminding, I sort of went wild, what with all that money I was suddenly getting! (No, really, after four years of not working and living penny by penny, suddenly getting a paycheck made me feel like a millionaire.) I then sort of forgot that going on maternity leave meant going back to that penny-by-penny thing, and it's been hard getting back into it.

Thus, I decided to use October, my new month of simplicity, to start budgeting again.

Going to the shops with a list, as we all know, is so much easier and money-saving than not, but it's the time and preparation involved beforehand that make it difficult to follow through with. It's all the menu-planning, checking the cupboards and so forth that I'd gotten out of the habit of doing. So last night, I dutifully sat at the kitchen table and began planning the week's meals. Breakfast and lunch were easy; dinner is where I really struggle. But I sifted through the cupboards and the freezer, thinking of what I could make using what I already had, and planned my week. (I got off a bit easy this week, because we are going to be away Friday, Saturday and half of Sunday.)

I then prepared my shopping list, calculated the costs and came up with a list that would cost approximately £75. More than I like to spend shopping, granted, but I did have some expensive additional items on the list like vitamins and shampoo. (I only wash my hair once a week so I allow myself to buy the fancy shampoo.)

Today I took my list - again, actually remembering to bring the list is another downfall of mine - and played The Supermarket Game.

I failed in that I had to add some items to the trolley that I'd forgotten to put on the list but succeeded in not buying ANYTHING I didn't need. And know how much I spent? £65. £10 less than predicted!

See how worth it it is to make a list first? The only thing on the list I didn't manage to get was bacon, because it's way cheaper to buy bacon at Farmfoods than Tesco. (Everything is cheaper anywhere other than Tesco, but Tesco is so damn convenient.)


On the other hand, yesterday I wrote about simplifying my kitchen. I thought clearing out tea mugs would be no problem, but what I didn't anticipate was the nostalgia that tea cups carry. Why, I don't know, but there's memories in tea cups. I thought I'd be able to ruthlessly throw out all the mismatched mugs but no such luck. There were mugs I'd been given for birthdays, Valentine's Days and Christmases with sentimental value, mugs that belong to the kids that hold meaning to them, like Fifi's Highlanders (her old school) mug, mugs that Scott likes drinking out of and would kill me for throwing out, mugs that belonged to his gran, and big chunky mugs that are really satisfying to drink hot chocolate from.

Needless to say, I wasn't able to get rid of many. I threw out 3 boring mugs from IKEA and a Glee mug I got with an Easter egg one year.

As it turns out, simplifying your life is anything but simple.

We are taking part in the October Dress Project in support of Macmillan Cancer Support. Please consider donating to our cause.

1 comment:

  1. Great blog. Love how you are simplifying. And awesome photos. Kids are so fun :)


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