Saturday, 2 January 2016

Day Two - Coupons, Vouchers and Points


To bolster up our housekeeping cash all through this year I will be using up our 'saved from last year' coupons, vouchers and Nectar points.  We only decided to start saving these up halfway through the year so I was pleasantly surprised at the amount we managed to get together.

As you can see from the top photo there is £34.50 in Tesco vouchers.


And a brilliant total of £66 in Marks and Spencers vouchers.

We bought some of the building supplies for the garage and workshop on the card a couple of times and then paid it off in full at the end of the month.  The vouchers soon add up if you have a couple of big purchases  :-)




We also use Sainsburys for petrol and diesel which adds nicely to the Nectar point stash, and if you go on the Nectar website you can load your card with the ability to get an extra 250 points with your next fuel purchase, something I have done a few times.  

At the moment the account stands at £72.47, well worth having.  Lots of folk save up and use their points for their Christmas shop but I had this years Challenge on my mind and steadfastly refused every "would you like to use your points" offer that was made before the festive season.

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And finally I also have a coupon for £2.50, thanks to my Holland and Barrett loyalty card.


So as well as our Sealed Pot cash total of £328.71 we have a total of £175.47 thanks to our coupons, vouchers and points.  Which added together means we have £504.18 for the coming year, giving us  a potential weekly housekeeping amount of £9.70.

But of course the longer I can hold off spending any money at all the more this will rise.

Today is another No Spend Day  :-)

40 comments:

  1. Hi Sue just found your new blog really looking forward to it, can you tell me how you started the sealed pot, is it money from boot sales and any change you throw in? I would like to do one for next year x

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    1. We started the Sealed Pot Challenge about five years ago and have kept it going ever since.

      We simply found a pot that we couldn't get into and then put all our small change into it at the end of each day from my purse and Lovely Hubby's pockets, usually anything that is under 50p. Half way through the year we decided to add any £2 coins to the pot. After our last car boot sale we did put all the profit we made into it which has given us a really good boost for this year.

      We will continue with the Sealed Pot this year, although obviously it will not be getting as much money simply the bits and bobs of change from the £10 a week 'spends allowance' I am giving myself and the spare change from Lovely Hubby's weekly money that he has while away from home. This money will be used at the end of the year to fund our 'Good Life Christmas'.

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    2. Thankyou for the reply Sue, x

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  2. Wow Sue - I am impressed! I had to do the pounds to US $ conversion and I am even more impressed. Will be following along to see how it goes. I am doing a January No-Spend -- we'll see how it goes - so far I am on track!

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    1. Sorry I'm no good at doing conversions, I'll have to see if I can find a 'thing' to add to the sidebar to do it for all my overseas visitors.

      Good luck with your January No-Spend, it's really good to hold ourselves accountable in some way isn't it :-)

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  3. Just caught up with days one and two. I honestly can't wait to see how you set about this.

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    1. Nice to have you along ..... I'm still thinking of things and working things out so I can't wait to see how I set about this either ;-)

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  4. A Question the £10 a week allowance is just for housekeeping at home or does it include what hubby spends on meals working away, Martin takes meals from home with him for through the week and vegetables and meat for cooking, does your hubby do the same.

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    1. There's no £10 allowance as such, the only £10 involved in this is the 'spends' that I am taking as personal money for myself, which will pay for my £17 every 6 weeks haircut (this includes cut and tip), The Big Issue that I buy weekly and any bits and bobs, I can't think off the top of my head what they would be!

      The average of £9.70 for housekeeping was just done to work out what the weekly average would be if I were to divide the money and vouchers into a weekly amount. Obviously the only regular things I will need to buy straight away are things such as milk and fresh fruits such as bananas, but I am holding off from buying anything except the milk for as long as I can.

      LH uses his own money for food bought whilst away working if he needs it, but like Martin takes enough for home to see him through at least the first two days of the working week and for eating in the evenings for the first two days.

      In the flatshare he and his housemate share the main food purchases, milk, tea, coffee etc. so on a Monday LH buys himself whatever else he needs for his evening meals. So the simple answer would be he takes as much as he can, but the type of job he does, the varied places he is at and the long hours worked means that food cannot be something on his mind at all and he needs to keep it as simple as possible.

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  5. Just found your new blog and am looking forward to seeing how your year progresses. I'd love to do a no spend month but we move house in 4 weeks for hubby's job so not much chance of that at the moment. I am however planning on spending very little on food this month as we eat what is left in the freezer, I've just made a list of what is left, and also trying to reduce the cupboard contents in preparation for the big move.
    Jackie x

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    1. It's surprising how much money you can save when you do eat out of the cupboards and freezer and forget about a 'proper' weekly shop. I hope the move goes well, exciting times but also expensive ones, there are ALWAYS lots of little things that crop up. Good luck :-)

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  6. What a challenge, I look forward to seeing how you do.

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  7. Hi Sue, It's going to be interesting to see how you navigate through the year on so little cash, I'll watch and learn...

    Out of interest, with the Tesco vouchers, I don't know if you've ever mentioned it but I'm curious to know why you don't spend them on the 'double-up in store' promotions that they have 4 x per year and use them on the stuff that's on offer such as opticians or electricals and pay yourself back for the value that the opticians etc would have cost you, or even better the year round points boosts for such as RAC membership which you can buy with tokens at a fraction of it's true price. Not being nosey, just curious.

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    1. There have never been any of the promotions that we could take advantage of!!

      They used to allow you to double up and buy frozen food, but since that stopped we have had to just use them as they are. There are no electricals that we have wanted or needed, we are Gold AA members and pay for that through our company. As we both have to travel on company business it is tax deductable. We have never wanted to or have had near to us the restaurants that are listed, and theme parks or such are of no interest to us as we don't see any of our grandchildren. Hope this answers your question. I think especially for this a year just the basic voucher value in food is the best way.

      I am actually thinking of cancelling the Tesco card completely as I don't like the 'Big Brother' mentality of them spying on my food shopping and other places we use the card in. Better to stick to one card I think and we have decided the M&S one is much better. (I also signed up for M&S's new 'Sparks' card when it was offered before realising this is just another spying tool. That is about to be cancelled!!)

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  8. All the best with your challenge. I'm afraid I succumbed and spent money today but it was for something for next Christmas. That's my excuse!
    xx

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    1. I was 'almost' tempted myself yesterday. They were selling 3m rolls of Christmas wrapping paper for 25p each, then I remembered we are having a 'Good Life' Christmas next year and stopped myself :-)

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  9. I'm really looking forward to following along with your challenge. having read your blog from the beginning I now how successful you have been with other challenges you have set yourselves. So I'm pretty confident that you will rink every penny out of your money and make it and the coupons go a lot further than many of us. your readers could!

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    1. I'll do my best to make everything we have last and last, and it's my readers that I look to for inspiration at times. Being accountable via a blog makes the Challenge more satisfying .... and keeps me on the straight and narrow.

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  10. I live in the States, so, I checked to see what the exchange rate was. It's $1.48 (US$) to 1 British pound. So, your 9.70 pounds per week is equal to $14.35. Your challenge sounds quite doable since you have produce from your garden, your own chickens, etc. (A dozen large eggs sells for $4+ here, in So. Calif. area). My monthly grocery budget for food only (no toiletries, household products, pet food, etc.) for one person is $75 (I increase it to $100 when my daughter, who is attending university, is home for extended visits, as she has been doing since my cancer diagnosis - I often send cooked food back with her). I've been told that's not an adequate food budget, but I manage quite well on it.

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    1. It's the vegetables and eggs that will be our saviours I think. I need to make the chickens and the polytunnel really earn their keep this year.

      It sounds like you do really well on your budget. I hope you are feeling okay and coping with everything that you are having to go through at the moment. xx

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  11. Crikey Sue, you are brave. I will be following this blog with rapt attention for inspiration. Good luck!

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    1. Very brave ... or very mad ... that is the question.

      Thanks :-)

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    2. I find a bit of both helps me through. Good luck though lovely!

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  12. You make me want to be a better person, thank you Sue.

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    1. Awww ... it works both ways you know :-)

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  13. Not sure if you get emailed when people comment so thought I would let you know I have replied on my original comment with regard to the website which shows what Kindle books are free.

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  14. This is an amazing challenge, Sue, I don't think I could do it. May I ask a question? well two actually :) Regarding the chickens... (I can't remember if you eat meat or not but) do you only eat their eggs? Will you be able to barter polytunnel produce for meat perhaps for LH? I think this challenge is going to be riveting and will help so many people to focus on eating healthily, myself included, so thank you in advance for sharing. Good luck!

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    1. At the moment we only eat their eggs, and I will continue to do so, I don't eat meat of any kind. Lovely Hubby was going to bring in some specifically meat birds, ours are predominately layers which have a much smaller body mass and are geared towards laying not putting on weight just producing eggs during their first few years.

      But after thinking about it long and hard we have decided that it makes more sense from a self sufficiency point of view to have dual purpose birds, of which we already have a few.

      This means that once they have had a good two years of life and laying well throughout their first productive year and into their second we will cull them as and when we need chicken meat for Lovely Hubby and to store in the freezer. Making way for new birds to come onto the property which will be laying at full capacity.

      The one exception will always be that I will have my Lavender Pekin Bantams, for their six months of egg laying each year for the first few years of their lives and then they will stay on into their dotage as pet hens. They hardly eat any pellets anyway, as Pekins prefer greenery and grass, so it is not too much of a 'soft option' ;-)

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    2. Ah, thanks, Sue, I understand. I can see you have really thought things through :-)

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  15. Good luck with your challenge! I'll be following your progress, getting the inspiration and motivation along the way.

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  16. I too have moved over to my M & S card as Tesco are only paying 1 point for £8 spent outside Tesco now. I just use the Tesco card for petrol (no choice in a small town). I do find the coupons are useful when short of money. Looking forward to your progress Sue.

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    1. Petrol is the only reason we have kept the Tesco card up to now. We use our business debit card for fuel but choose the 'points only' option with our Tesco card to gather points, something you can't do with the M&S card.

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  17. hi sue,love what you're doing. You can double up your Tesco points and buy a magazine subscription. Although as you have one it might be worth bearing in mind for next time. Laura x

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    1. Noooo ..... don't tempt me ;-)

      It's a year of no books and no magazines ... other than the subscriptions we already have .... and we have quite a few!!

      The Tesco points will all go on food.

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    2. You're quite right! Keep up the good work. Laura

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  18. Great challenge, am doing a bit of it myself as currently trying only to buy fresh food when I need it and eat down the cupboards and two freezers, makes for some interesting and innovative meals! One question - re the 250 points you can sign up for on the Nectar site, next time you buy fuel. I couldn't see that on the website, can you point me in the right direction please.

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    1. All I do is login, and then scroll down to the 'Offers Tailored to You' section. There is usually a box there which offers the 250 bonus points if you have purchased petrol from them in the recent past.

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