Spend less: Avoiding unnecessary expenditure

As Christmas approaches, we are keeping the belts on a tight notch.  We want to avoid unnecessary expenses and spend less.

Spend less on entertainment

It’s lovely to meet friends and go to the pub or cinema, but even just a couple of drinks out costs a lot these days. Instead, we will invite friends round for a glass of ‘vin du supermarche’!

It is possible to get cheaper cinema subscriptions from time to time through cash back sites like  Top Cashback (who currently have £11.97 cash back for a Cineworld subscription) or Quidco, but we are already paying for Netflix, so will make the most of what’s on there and stay in.

Spend less on food

I have planned all of our meals for this week and will sit down tomorrow and do the same for next week.

Saving money on food is all about preparation in my view.  Make a meal plan based on what needs using up, write a shopping list, use a discount supermarket and don’t shop when you are hungry. 
Shoestring Cottage pumpkin harvestWe only have spinach and pumpkin left on our veggie plot but have a lot of frozen fruit and vegetables so I will be building some into the meal plan.

Spend less on toiletries

I never spend a lot on high end cosmetics and toiletries. I am not short of much as I got my recent beauty bargains. If I do run out I will go to Home Bargains. I am a fan of this shop. There is a great choice and everything is superb value for money in my view.

Spend less on hair care

I have mentioned this in previous posts, but I always touch up my own roots and sometimes even cut my own hair. I will be giving it a little trim and will save the trip to the hairdressers until next month.

Spend less on clothes

I would love to splurge on clothes, but I’m not even going to allow myself any charity shop stuff this month. I bought a couple of things from my favourite online fashion retailer Everything Five Pounds last month so I don’t need anything desperately. Maybe it is time for another wardrobe challenge? Wear it or get rid of it!

Spend less on travel

Driving is by far the cheapest way for me to get to work. Otherwise I would need to take two buses. This would also cost a lot of my precious time! However, I will try to reduce other journeys by using shops en route and walking locally.

I love autumn and really enjoy walking anyway. This week we are dog sitting for friends, so no reason not to walk.

Spend less on fitness

Relaxing in the hot tubAs well as walking, me and Mr S have been doing quite a log of yoga at home. This is free!

This is my plan to spend less for the whole of the rest of October and November.

In other news

We are enjoying our dog sitting this week. The house is beautiful, the dogs are lovely and they have a hot tub! I don’t know if I would ever be prepared to buy one, but it’s lovely for a change. It feels like we are on holiday!

The reverse advent idea I mentioned in a previous post has already begun at work. We already have a lot of contributions so I think we wil need several boxes. Other colleagues have taken up the idea, which I’m very pleased about.

I can look at how to spend less, but it is good to be reminded that other folk have things much harder and can’t spend anything at all.

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5 thoughts on “Spend less: Avoiding unnecessary expenditure

  1. I always love your posts, Jane, as we can all learn something from them, ways of belt-tightening. But I must tell you something I thought was funny: yesterday, bearing in mind what I’d learned about the Trussell Trust (is that the right spelling) I decided to put into the food bank container in Waitrose some things which wouldn’t need cooking, for those who are unable, for whatever reason, to re-heat food or cook a meal. I chose tinned mackerel and then looked for tinned potato salad but could I find it? No, I could not. So I asked at the check-out where I might find it, and the assistant said no, they didn’t stock it. Perhaps too declasse for Waitrose, ha ha! I explained my reason for my enquiry and she said she’d not thought of that, that some people weren’t always able to re-heat food, so perhaps she will pass this message on to others who wish to pop items into the food bank container. I hope so, anyway.
    I’m happy to report, too, on the cost-saving front, at our ripe old age we no longer feel the need to go out at night for meals, but we sometimes meet friends for lunch. Le Bistro Pierre do wonderful meal deals, it’s not an expensive restaurant (not sure if there is one in your area) and the food, while not haute cuisine, is good for the money (and I’m a fussy beggar.)
    I’m not keen on squash (such as butternut squash or pumpkin) so I won’t be buying any of those this autumn, nor will I buy one simply to carve a face in (I have husband to look at, who needs a pumpkin, ha ha!) so more saving there.
    I buy very little in the way of facial toiletries, a pot of L’Oreal Age Perfect face cream once every three or four months, Boots No 7 foundation twice a year, and the rest – lipsticks and eye make-up, lasts for ages. I also use cleansing wipes from Lidl which are just as good as the expensive ones from other sources.
    I have never spent on fitness; I simply do housework and walk!
    How lovely to house sit in a lovely home. A friend (sadly no longer with us) did this to supplement her pension for years, and she did dog walking, too.
    I have actually spent quite a lot today, but necessary – not unplanned – spending: a new printer for the computer; and new glasses – our eyes are precious: if we need new glasses, then we need new glasses. It’s not enough to pop into a chemist and pick up some off the peg; having eye tests can detect more (glaucoma, for instance) than just the need for stronger lenses.
    Have a good weekend.
    Margaret P

    • That is fantastic Margaret. Lots of people live in a room with just a kettle, or power has been cut off or have horrid meter cards with no money to put on the card so no power or cooker is broken no money to fix and no microwave. I,ve just done my weekly shop. Put in tin of corned beef, potatoe salad from Tesco heinz . Tin mandarin oranges in juice. UHT milk. Cornflakes.
      Tesco give a healthy percentage of the value of goods given to the Trussel Trust from their stores so increases the amount!.so they do not profit from people buying for the food bank!.

      • This is great, Kirrie, the Tesco do this. I’d not thought of the profit the stores make on the items sold specifically for the food banks. But even if the store profits, I will still continue to support the food bank scheme.
        Margaret P

  2. Nice post. Sometimes being thrifty is just knowing when spending money adds value, or is just spending to spend. I agree, little changes in normal weeks, dog sitting at a home with a feature you don’t have in your own, a night at a friends house, an impromptu bon fire on a cool, but nice fall night with neighbors, feels like little holidays if we view them as such.

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