During September I've done fairly well using up some of my food stocks from the freezer, shelves and cupboards, but sometimes you just have to spend money in order to save in the future, and that's why I've parted with over £80 this week.
Firstly I spent £46 for goods worth £60 by doing a Tesco online shop. As I haven't shopped online with them for over 3 years I discovered I could register as a new customer and get a £15 discount on a £60 shop, and by tracking my purchase through Quidco I could also get cashback. With Tesco's reduced cost delivery charges adding only £1 to the bill I shopped wisely buying a lot of their a special offers for things I would definitely use. I stocked up on toilet paper, Quorn chicken-style fillets (on offer anyway), Bold washing gel, large bags of cat food, disinfectant, baked beans, frozen veg, frozen white fish fillets, frozen minced beef and tinned green lentils amongst other things that had a long shelf life.
In a similar vein, I took advantage of today's Aldi money off vouchers in the Daily Mirror. £5 off a £40 shop, plus a number of 50% off vouchers for items such as sliced Wiltshire ham (89p), a large jar of mincemeat (89p), soft brown sugar at 47p (unfortunately they only had light brown but the voucher for dark brown is valid for a week so I'll have a look for that again in a few days), malt loaf (24p) and a 6 pack of their Dreamy chocolate bars (only 24p with the voucher and given to DD1 as a thank you for his assistance with the shop). By using the 50% off vouchers and the £5 voucher my £43 shop was only £38. I have stocked up on those things already mentioned plus sausages (Pork, Irish and Cumberland at 99p a pack), Quorn sausages (£1.49 for 8), more toilet rolls, washing up liquid, extra mature cheddar cheese(£1.75 for 350g) crinkle cut oven chips (89p for 1.5kg), free range eggs (£2.19 for 15 medium) and funsize apples (69p a bag as part of their latest week's fruit/veg promotion).
I now have enough washing gel, washing up liquid, loo paper and disinfectant, plus 20 large tubes of Colgate toothpaste that I got last week in Poundsaver for 50p a tube, that will last me for at least 3 months if not longer. In addition, my freezer is pretty full again with frozen meat, fish and veg, plus about 5 lbs blackberries I foraged so they cost me nothing.
October will definitely have to be a very low spend month as DH's first salary payment from the school was lower than expected. By the time they've taken a huge chunk for pension contributions (that he won't even be able to claim until he's 68) we're actually worse off after taking petrol costs into account, despite him earning nearly £3000 a year more. He's seriously considering applying to go back to the college as it's a much shorter, easier and cheaper journey to work and they did say he'd be welcome back at any time.
Anyway, I'm hoping the food element of my stock up will see us well through the month of October - and hopefully beyond - with just some fresh fruit and veg, yogurts and bits and pieces to add to meals. I'll definitely be meal-planning this month and trying hard to stick to it.