The first week of Frugal February has flown by and now that I am nine days in, I am feeling pretty darn thrifty! It does not help that my purse was stolen from my bag on the way to/ from work and that I had to cancel all my debit and credit cards. Those of you who follow on Facebook and/or Twitter will have heard the good news that George the litter warden found my purse in a bin on some random street and he very kindly returned it to me. Even though I cancelled all my cards the minute I realised that my purse was missing, I was still happy to have my loyalty cards, Boots card etc back. Of course, every cent that was in my purse was gone (and two holy medals!), but I can get over that. I can never use the purse again, I just can't bear the thought of some lowlife criminal pawing in and pulling it apart looking for cash before tossing it in a bin, so I have tossed it, literally sterilised any cards or anything I had left in it. The bank still have not sent me out my replacement cards which is most annoying quite frankly I think, I mean a week is a long time to wait for something so important but anyway!
It seems quite misfortunate that my purse had to be stolen just before Frugal February began but that is the irony of life. My man friend was in Dublin last weekend and he very kindly brought me groceries for the week and gave me cash to tide me over for the week so I was not too badly off. That said, I didn't spend a single cent of it until yesterday when I did my grocery shopping. I went to four supermarkets to peruse the aisles looking for Slimming World appropriate food. My weekly shopping before used to be in the region of €30 but I would supplement this alot during the week- popping into my local supermarket for bits and pieces and buying my lunch and dinner everyday. Now that I have changed my ways and I am cooking/preparing/planning what I will eat for the week ahead, I have to concentrate more on shopping, have a bit of foresight and pick up the bits that I need and then put everything together in a somewhat intelligible and edible manner. I am not sure whether I think Slimming World is more expensive or if it's just the initial layout trying to stock up my kitchen with fat free this and low fat that and herbs and spices and staples. My grocery shopping for the week, across all the supermarkets, was about €80, and that's after using my Tesco clubcard vouchers that arrived during the week and those receipts you get at the till with the money off vouchers. On the plus side, I don't think I will need to spend another cent on food again during the week. Still though, €80 seems like a lot for one person for one week? Or maybe I am deluded!!
8 out of 9 days in February were spend free days for me which means I have almost hit my 10 day target for the month and to be honest, it was a lot easier than I thought it would be. I haven't spent any money on non-essential items- in fact, the only non-food purchase I did make was a set of knives in HomeStore and More, and these were essential because the knife I was using was so blunt that I had to karate chop my veggies. Of course, I did manage to slice my finger with my new knives on their maiden outing. I haven't bought any magazines, cosmetics, clothing, etc in the last week, and I haven't really missed them. I haven't touched my money in my bank accounts over the last week so I am still on course for saving an extra few bob this month. This last 9 days has really made me reflect on my spending and I definitely think the rest of the month will be an eye opener for me, hope the willpower will get me through and that I won't revert to my spendy ways come 1 March (that said, there are a few things I have mentally wishlisted... :) )
Finally, the picture above is a little investment I made and I am going to use it to record and keep record of all my spending- bills, direct debits, etc.- just so I can clearly see where it all goes. This is a very interesting exercise in itself so I hope it will help me to sit back and take stock!
Hope frugality is treating you all my frugal friends as well :)