Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Day 111 - Question

I had this comment yesterday ....

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The lemon marmalade looks wonderful!
I believe you've said this challenge is to get an idea of your costs when your DH leaves his weekday job. But I'm wondering if you will get fewer food vouchers as you continue to limit your spending and how that will impact your budget in the future. Will you buy other necessary items at Tesco and M&S to continue to earn vouchers? This is interesting to me because here in the U.S. you really can't earn vouchers or cash-back from grocery stores (at least in my area) but some money can be earned shopping at drugstores and the big thing here is credit card rewards.
Good luck! To me it looks like you are doing great.
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So I thought that rather than leaving a long winded reply to it and no doubt be asked it again in the future I would give my answer a short post all of it's own.

Yes, Barbara has got in right ... this year is all about testing the waters for our future spending needs.  We want to be as self sufficient as possible, to not be in any way extravagant in our lifestyle and pare right back to comfortably simple levels our whole way of living.  This obviously means we won't be shopping that often, in fact we would like to get to a stage where we would shop once a month for staples ... bread, flour, rice, pasta, tea, coffee etc. and the rest of the time be reliant on our own fruits, vegetables, eggs and meat products for Lovely Hubby.
So this year is about starting the process off whilst also monitoring via this blog the purchases that we do make.  My 'Shopping' posts with the photos of the purchases I am currently making will stand us in good stead as pictorial proof of what we buy regularly, and hopefully will be a useful resource.
Obviously at the moment I do not need to buy rice or pasta as we have lots in store, but I have almost run out of tea and coffee and have completely run out of ordinary plain flour, although I have been using up stores of my rice flour in baking instead.  So soon we will start to have pictorial proof of our usage of dried goods as well as fresh ones.
Barbara raised a very good point about the vouchers.  We currently get virtually all of these because we use our Tesco and M&S cards for either fuel purchases or larger non food items, such as building supplies or new henhouses.   So really our 'food vouchers' are in fact the same as your 'credit card rewards' as these are what we get back for using our credit cards outside of the food shops that we then spend the vouchers in.  
We get very few points for food purchases and thus next year the level of our points will most likely plummet as we will also not be spending on the larger items that we have already purchased to set up our lifestyle, and the voucher 'windfalls' will almost dry up.  We are very aware of this but are allowing ourselves the luxury of using them this year to boost the housekeeping coffers whilst we pay off our mortgage, which is vital if we want to have a hope in hells chance of self sufficiency.

I hope I have answered your query Barbara, thank you for your comment it was good for me to get all this down, sometimes seeing plans in the written word, in black and white is, extremely helpful in setting it even better in my mind.

Today is a No Spend Day


  1. You are also being very conscientious in recording your use of vouchers so you will know how much "extra" money you will need to make up for them. In fact when you do lose them you will probably spend less than their current face value as you are a canny shopper and will shop cheaper places than M & S. All in all you will have very accurate data from which to calculate your budget.

  2. Thanks for the good explanation. Since most of your vouchers come from non-food items, you will probably still accumulate a fair amount from petrol and other necessities. Most of my credit card points come from vehicle maintenance, veterinary bills, Rx and medical co-pays (might not be as big an item in the UK) and household repairs.

    1. That's just it we will have made most of our major purchases before LH gives up work, so there will be a lot less spent on any of our cards. Also as he won't be working away from home anywhere near as much, there will not be the weekly round trip of over 500 miles, so we will be buying MUCH less fuel.

      No the only medical bills we get in the UK are dentist bills and vets bills.

  3. I now know for certain that I need new glasses, I thought that you had a jar of rubber bands as your photo of the day...

  4. Vouchers can be useful but it ties you to supermarket prices, your strategy of poly-tunnel and freezer is much better, you're doing great!

  5. It is so interesting to see how things stand at one third of the way into your year. I know you can do this!


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