Tuesday, 2 January 2018

A Limited Income


I guess that those of you who know me well, and those of you who have read along with the old blog for a while, or even just the last month, will have guessed that the Limited Income of the title and our food money for the coming year is going to be the cash saved all through 2017 in the Sealed Pot.

See HERE for the grand emptying.

We saved all our small change, excess small change from the car boot sales of last Summer and most of the £2 coins  that came into our possession over the course of 2017.

  We knew at the time of saving that it was going to trigger a Challenge, but perhaps if we had worked out what this Challenge was going to be we might have saved just that little bit harder.

As it was when it was emptied on 4th December there was £325.96, we decided to continue saving until the end of the month while we discussed what this Challenge would eventually be, and to see what we could manage to raise it to.  Anyway as you can see in the photos, another £36.93 was added ... giving us a grand total of  £362.89


It looks a lot, indeed it is a lot if you think of it as a lump sum, but when you start to break it down ...


... it's not so much !!


Basically it gives us a monthly budget of £30.24 

 ... which is a weekly budget of £6.98

... or to make it sound even more alarming a daily budget of 99p.


Of course we have to try to make this last as long as we can and I think the best thing to do is not to shop for as long as possible.  We have just about everything we need for the month of January, except for a couple of bottles of milk for Alan. 

So if we can keep spending to say £5 for the whole month just for milk, living off what is in the cupboards, fridge and freezers (very doable), that would mean that at the start of February I could have £357.89 left, which bring up  the available amounts for the rest of the year to ...

Monthly - £32.53
Weekly - £8.13
and Daily - £1.16

Not much better ... but better  :-)


And at the moment that is how my mind is working ... not spending rather than figuring out what to buy.  As the Challenge wears on things might change. 

At the moment we have no hard and fast rules, other than this is our food money for the year.  We can supplement this money with any vouchers, coupons or freebies we can get.  But I shouldn't imagine there will be many of them.  We don't fuel the vehicles anywhere near as much as we used to so Nectar points and Tesco points will be very limited and obviously if I shop in Tesco from now on it will be spending very small amounts, so even over the course of a year the vouchers we get back will not amount to much after the first delivery of 2018, which have been amassed over the last couple of months of last year. 

I have £5 in Nectar points, but won't be able to spend them unless we are out near our nearest Sainsbury's which is a 30 minute drive away and we are also being careful with fuel.  Any trips out will be combined trips, so errands run all at once, shopping and doggy walks etc. etc.

We can accept gifts of food, and ask for food as presents for birthdays, next Christmas etc. if people enquire what we would like.  We can enter competitions to try and win food and we can forage for free wild growing foods.

But the majority of our food for the coming year will come in the form of home grown and home produced foods.  The polytunnel, net tunnel and veggie patch should be once again in full production in the next few months, and hopefully our stored produce from last year will last us until then.  Once we have eaten down the contents of the fridge and the Christmas goodies and then our already frozen foods and our store cupboards it is up to us to be careful with planning, growing and preserving everything we can ready to see us through the next Winter.  The cash will only be there to re-stock with foods that we cannot produce ourselves.



I have just finished reading my Christmas reading book and it has been fascinating.  I've learnt more from this book about my own country and it's recent history than I ever did at school.  Because my parents and grandparents lived through this time period it has made for really sobering and thought provoking reading. 

Our Challenge is not in any way meant to belittle the hardships that my family and all the people that lived through this period went through, it is quite the opposite, we hope to highlight how brilliant they were with what they had.  We are hoping to take on board all the advice we can read about in books or watch on Dvds and put their learnings back into practice to help us survive this year and into the future with a much more frugal and less consumer driven mind-set. 

Can I just say a massive thank you to all those of you who have already pressed the Follow button to follow our exploits over the year ahead and thank you for all the lovely comments on the first post yesterday. 

If you know of other blogs, or indeed if you write one yourself, please let me know so I can follow them myself, as we both want to take inspiration from wherever we can get it.  I will be updating this new sidebar as and when I find or rediscover blogs that fit in with the theme of what we are doing this year.  The other blogs that I read regularly can still be accessed via Our New Life in the Country, which I will add to this sidebar as a handy link.

Sue xx

46 comments:

  1. We've been watching our DVD of Paul Heiney's Wartime Farm Summer and Winter. They tried out some "interesting" wartime recipes on there, some more successful than others.
    If you don't have a copy of it I could lend it.
    I'm loving your new blog already after just 2 posts I know it will be a good one!
    (We have to live on much less this year as savings went down so drastically last year with all the things that needed doing here).

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    1. Thanks Sue, but I think I've got a copy of this. I need to have a sort through of all my relevant Dvds as well as my books and surround myself with inspiration.

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  2. You can do it Sue, you have been so inspirational to me over the years, we are cutting back big time this year, we want to be sat in our own home by next Christmas, many bloggers are set to be cutting back this year, so we can all help each other, we are in it together. x

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  3. Meat is the biggest expence unfortunately:( we no longer eat anywhere near what we did, although even then, it wasn’t much.

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  4. Cheers to a happy New Year and a new beginning!
    I like this new challenge and looking forward for new ideas as things are getting tighter and tighter...

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  5. You will succeed in this new challenge, I'm certain of it! I've picked up so many useful tips from your blogs in the past and look forward to picking up a few more!

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  6. Really looking forward to reading this blog Sue you're such an inspiriation. I've always wondered how people got on with rations, growing there own, make do and mend etc. As a culture I thknk we've lost alot of basic life skills like growing food, sewing etc shame really though i think it is starting to come back slowly and I'm sure your blog will encourage and inspire so many to try!

    Quick question though why not buy Alan long life milk you can easily store? Would that prevent you from needing to go the shops thus saving fuel & avoiding temptation?

    Also where did you get hold of all your books, materials, leaflets about rationing etc?

    Thank you & all the best!!

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    1. Unfortunately Alan doesn't like long-life milk in his tea or coffee or that would have been a good option. I do have at least one carton in the cupboard for emergencies though ... we're a long way from the shops!!

      My wartime books have mostly been picked up over the years at car boot sales and charity shops, I bought the ephemera (leaflets and booklets etc) on our two visits to the Black Country Living Museum last year.

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  7. Good Luck with the Challenge. My parents went through the war and thus I was brought up not to waste. Although I am now in the fortunate position of not having to struggle I still watch my spending and wastage. I noticed that I have several books that you showed in your first post!

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  8. It's an amazing challenge with a very worthwhile aim and I have the feeling that you will not just manage, you will triumph.
    I'm so looking forward to reading about your adventures this year.

    I have a couple of blogs, Diary of a (retired) teacher and The Frugal Factor. I'm living and learning with the second one. :-)

    J x

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    1. I've Followed both your blogs and I've linked to The Frugal Factor on my sidebar. Thank you :-)

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    2. I thought maybe you had (but wasn't 100% sure) and thank you very much for linking. Can't wait for your next entry (but will have to, won't I)! :-)
      J x

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  9. I will be following along Sue, I’ve really enjoyed your challenges over the years and am often inspired or learn something new.
    I wondered if you had read the blog “gdonna” - I think you would find it interesting.
    Melissa

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  10. I'll be reading with interest, we want to keep to a frugal budget now husband is retired. We do grow a lot of fruit and veg. We are meat eaters though and probably always will be, but try to have a couple of meat-free days a week.

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  11. All the best with your challenge. Having a productive garden saves so much, as I found when feeding a family,first on a smallholding then with two allotments after a move.
    I was brought up with Make Do and Mend..sometimes a challenge,other times soul destroying!!

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  12. I am hoping our garden is a bit more productive this year. We had a drought which really impacted our harvest.

    I will be watching you as you continue this challenge and learning from your experiences. Must remember to add this new blog to my side bar.

    God bless.

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  13. Found you - and my goodness this is sounding interesting! Looking forward to seeing how you progress!

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  14. Looking forward to the new blog, I'm going to try to spend less on food and use up my store cupboard stock in January and then be less wasteful for the rest of the year. I hope to grow salad leaves this year and some perennial vegetables, so I will follow your blog for inspiration and to spur me on. Happy New Year

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  15. I'll look forward to your posts and I'm sure you will do it! We managed to pay off our mortgage last year with plenty of inspiration from blogs like yours. I am facing redundancy at the end of Jan, so more savings needed to provide a buffer.
    I don't know if you have seen a you tube channel called 'what vivi did next' about a lady who is trying to mostly live off the food she grows on her allotment?
    Good luck for the year ahead and Happy New Year.

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    1. Brilliant, I'll look it up, thanks 😊

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  16. Wondered if you'd heard of the Olio app? It lets people know where others are offering free unwanted food so it doesn't go to waste.
    Arilx

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    1. I looked this up, it might work out in the future but at the moment the only 3 businesses or individuals signed up in our area are a good hours drive away. I've got the App on my tablet noe though, so thanks for the heads up 😊

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  17. A great new challenge -they are always a brilliant read. If you haven't seen it, Hugh F-W's dvd 'A Cook on the Wild Side' is very interesting. He goes travelling/foraging/cooking and his 'kitchen' is amazing! Books are also available. Unfortunately, I don't know if either are stocked in libraries.

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    1. We've met Hugh a few times now and have all his and the rest of the River Cottage gangs books and Dvd's so I'll probably have another read and watch of them all to keep me on track.

      I will be visiting the library soon to see what other books I can find 😊

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  18. Have you heard of Buy Nothing Groups, Sue? Google the term and see where some may be in the UK.

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  19. That is quite the challenge. Your poly tunnel though is amazing. I would love for you to add me to your blog roll. thanks
    christina1952.wordpress.com (tahoe girl)

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  20. Oooo, I love your challenges! Can't wait to see how you get on with this one :-)

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  21. May I recommend the youtube vlog "What Vivi did next". She is a vegetarian who was a nurse at great ormond street hospital who now lives off her allotment. Her love of life, animals, and growing and living off her allotment is infectious and she is always a joy to watch and listen to. I hope you enjoy her planning and growing in order to be as self sufficient as possible, as much as we all enjoy your blog!!

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    1. Whst Vivi Did Next is mentioned on another comment above. I'm going to take a look, it sounds great 😊

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  22. Have you come across this blog with War Time Diary and recipes/menus? http://frugalinnorfolk.blogspot.co.uk/p/war-diary.html

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    1. Thanks, she's already on my sidebar, and has been on my original sidebar for many years. Her wartime rationing pages are inspirational.

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  23. Looking forward to reading the new blog. We did the sealed pot too and then had to use the money towards a roof repair! Catriona(in very wet Scotland)

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  24. a american blog .the prudent homemaker is one of the good blogs about living on een very tide bugget

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  25. You two are an inspiration. Good luck!

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  26. Goodness Sue, this is going to be a challenging year! Someone mentioned Long life milk- its a pain because it has an expiry date, and once it's opened it goes off quickly, but I know someone who swears by powdered milk (are you shuddering too!!) which she said was perfectly fine if you left it in the fridge to 'settle' after making it. Has Alan tried that?

    I read recently the during the war years the sugar ration was 2 Kilo (4.4lb) per person per YEAR, and now we each consume about twenty or thirty times that!! No wonder we're the fat generation! And butter was also very limited. Of course they used seasonal fruit and dates to sweeten a lot of recipes, but still, it was a much healthier diet. I so try to keep the sugar under control but it's in EVERYTHING!

    Good luck with your proust - I"ll be following with great cheering in the background!

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  27. I've never done a sealed potbefore, perhaps this is the year I do one. It would be quite exciting to open it at the end of the year and count the pennies.

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  28. I am following our example sue and keeping a sealed pot. All my copper and small change will go in therethis coming year. It will be interesting to see how much I manage to accrue. I amdoing my utost tohave a 'no spend' year. Anything that isn't essential will simply go on my wish list. It will be evaluated over the year and I bet I find that I don't actually want it next year.

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  29. Hello, I'm so excited to follow you with your new adventure, myself and the other half try and go to wales every year camping! I've been inspired by your blog and a few others to start my own as I have several goals I want to achieve this year. I'm focusing mostly on my back garden 50sq Feet (my own victory patch, I'm wanting to become as self-sufficient as possible) and my "larder" I'm wanting to learn more about what I can forage and preserve. I'll also be dipping in and out of minimalism and Zero Waste. I'm blogging at www.simpleliving-islandlife.com if you want to have a look. Not much but I have just started :). Looking forward to reading more on yours. Nessy

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    1. Hi Nessy, I've just added you to the sidebar, it looks like an exciting year ahead for both of us. Let me know if you come to our bit of Wales and we can arrange a visit .... our neighbour owns a lovely little campsite :-)

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    2. Hi Sue just wondered is this a campsite anyone can book on? We love camping too :) and always looking for new places to visit thanks

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    3. Yes anyone can book. Google
      Erw Glas campsite for more information.

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  30. I read this post AFTER your most recent one and now see why you are planning to buy basic peanut butter. Phew! This is some challenge. I do admire your bravery in the face of something which seems very daunting. I shall follow with interest. Best of luck. Eloise at thisissixty.blog

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  32. We once moved to Switzerland (the middle of our three periods there near my inlaws) so we could pay off our house mortgage. Very satisfying to see the balance melt away like snow in summer each month!

    About the milk in tea - when we lived in Porterville (2 hours drive from the city) I would buy as much milk as we could fit in the freezer, 6 litres at a time - and that covered us.

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    1. We have frozen milk in the past and found that as long as we used it within a month or so it was fine, but we did notice once defrosted it went off much quicker, I don't know why this is but I think rather than risking this, as there is now only one of us using milk, we will just buy one four pint bottle a week for Alan.

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