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.