This main part of this year long challenge is all about us feeding ourselves for a year without our usual housekeeping money. Our average spend per week last year was around £50 a week on food, drinks and toiletries for the two of us, with splurges every now and then to top up the freezers and stockpile essentials.
This year we have much less.
We have the contents of the Sealed Pot, which contained all the small change we ended up with at the end of each week, any £2 coins that we had received over the course of the last six months of 2015 and the proceeds of our last car boot sale of the Summer. This is to be our cash for shopping during the course of 2016.
The Sealed Pot contained - £328.71
To bolster the cash we have the Nectar points earnt over the whole of 2015, which we have saved up. These will be added to whenever we buy petrol and diesel from garages that give them out.
At the start of the year our Nectar point total was - £72.47
We also saved our Tesco Vouchers from Springtime onwards, and should have some more of these to arrive during the course of the year.
We started the year with vouchers totalling £34.50
We also have a M&S credit card which gives us money off coupons four times a year. We used this card for a lot of the building supplies needed for the work we had done during 2015. We obviously had saved for this work, and although we paid for things on the card this was to accumulate points and the total amount was, and is, always paid off when the bill comes in (the only sensible way to use a credit card) and this has given us a head start with vouchers totalling -
Another valuable resource will be the free seeds that I have been saving all through 2015. I took out a magazine subscription which gave me over £36 worth of seeds.
Then all through the year the magazine arrived with additional free seeds and other gifts.
I also bought some copies of another gardening magazine which added to this freebie stash.
All these seeds have been saved up, and with the seeds I already have in stock, both previously purchased, given to me and saved from our own plants we should have a bountiful amount to give us homegrown food both from the Veggie Patch and the poly and net tunnels.
Well that's the food sorted ... hopefully.
The other part of this challenge is to stop buying completely for the whole of 2016 any clothes or books. That I think is pretty self explanatory.
We both have enough in our wardrobes and drawers to last us for at least one year and hopefully enough underwear etc so nothing should need replacing.
I have two books that have already been financed during 2015. The latest offering from Ella Woodward .... which is not coming out until the end of January, for which I have a £10 Waterstones card and enough points to cover whatever it costs over this amount so NO cash will be spent on it. Also the latest offering from Jack Monroe is expected out later in the year. I have taken part in the KickStart funding for this so that is also already paid for too. There will be NO other books purchased.
I hope this explains the remit of this years Challenge. Obviously I am still in the throes of working things out, but hopefully having it here in black and white will help settle things in my head and explain to anyone that takes the time to read just exactly what it is that we are up to.