It’s All About The Money…Or Is It?

I’d like to tell you a little story.

It’s about my grocery shopping trip last Saturday.

With a £50 budget, reusable canvas bags in hand and an armful of parcels to be posted, I hit a local shopping centre.

First destination was the post office, whereby I posted some of my eBay sales. Last week I generated approx £60 from eBay sales. I’m still working on selling all my unwanted items which began back in the Spring.

Then battle commenced. It’s not for the faint hearted or the weak bodied reducing your grocery budget by 50%. It takes planning, organisation and willpower to meet the £50 target. Plus carrying all the shopping back from 4 different locations to the car park isn’t a walk in the park. I’ve said it before, but actually carrying your shopping is a real deterrent to adding more items to your basket.

My total bill came to £50.46 – so a little over, but there or there abouts. To get to this however I did have to forgo 3 items, and buy an alternative fish. The self-raising flour and bran was shelved. This was for my bran loaf. But I know I can adapt and use plain flour with baking powder, and have a plan to try out oat or wheat in place of bran. I also purchased cod instead of salmon for the fish cakes this week to halve the cost.

By the time I was hauling my last load to the car, my arms and brain hurt. Then the doubt started to creep in… why am I doing this? I could easily order online and nice Mr Sainsbury’s would arrive all polite and smiley and drop my shop at my doorstep. Okay, so it may cost me more – approx. another £25 minimum, but isn’t it worth it for an easier life?

I don’t recall anyone claiming a simple life is a convenient one…

Then as the thought crossed my mind, I heard an amazing sound. In the walkway from the market to the car park was a busker.  I love buskers, and had never seen a busker in this town before although I’ve frequented it for 37 years. He was playing a violin. Busking to me symbolises true entrepreneurial spirit. To put yourself out there in the elements for all to see whilst displaying your talent to brighten someones day and earn a few pounds, I find highly admirable.

I threw a pound in his violin case.

That’s when I realised it’s not all about the money, it’s all about the waste. I don’t mind spending money, I don’t like wasting money. To spend an extra £25 on my grocery shop is a waste because I do have a couple of hours to spare, to give a busker a £1 isn’t. For my extra £25 on groceries I’d have a few more luxuries and some wine, but much of the increase would be for nothing (although I appreciate at some point an online shop may be required and won’t be a waste as I will save on time – at the moment I have the time). For £1 I got a lift to my day and my spirits.

For me it’s about conscious spending and eliminating waste.

What’s it about for you?

***This post is a little more morose than usual (which is demonstrated by the lack of exclamation marks!!!!)!!! – I’m not really into writing ‘heavy’ posts, I’m a light-hearted gal and I always feel a little reluctant to hit the publish button on my blog when I start getting down and dirty! So I’ll finish off with a little link love (and music!) that kind of inspired some of the above to lighten the mood…***

Motivated by Jenny’s endeavours I started tallying my unwanted goods sales – nowhere near as impressive as what the ex-consumer achieved

Faced with overspending on my groceries or looking at alternatives I choose the latter – do as Rachel suggests and be adaptable

If I see a penny, I pick it up, and my little spotty piggy bank is where I pop it – I do what Donna does and donate the pennies to charity

Even if you don’t donate it to charity, still pick it up – as Coingirl herself demonstrates even cent, dime and penny counts

For the final say… over to Jessie J

“Money can’t buy us happiness, can we all slow down and enjoy right now”

{ 42 comments… add one }
  • Jenny @ exconsumer November 15, 2011, 5:16 pm

    HI Jo!

    Don’t you just love it when you get a little message (or reminder) about why you’re doing the things you do? I loved this post.

    That said, I think it’s okay to order your groceries online and spend a little more if you’re feeling overwhelmed with the multiple trips needed to save on your groceries. 🙂

    Thanks for the link love too!

    • simplybeingmum November 18, 2011, 10:35 am

      Hi Jenny – sorry for late response – it’s been a bit of a week! I am planning to experiment with how I’m shopping to see whether this reduction is still possible without shopping the way I am at the mo. I’m not hopeful however. We all know that stores stock loss leaders and make it up on the basket of goods plus impulse purchases and other items such as clothing, magazines etc… It’ll be interesting to see how it compares however, and I haven’t done a comparison exercise for a few months!

  • Jenny @ exconsumer November 15, 2011, 5:16 pm

    HI Jo!

    Don’t you just love it when you get a little message (or reminder) about why you’re doing the things you do? I loved this post.

    That said, I think it’s okay to order your groceries online and spend a little more if you’re feeling overwhelmed with the multiple trips needed to save on your groceries. 🙂

    Thanks for the link love too!

    • simplybeingmum November 18, 2011, 10:35 am

      Hi Jenny – sorry for late response – it’s been a bit of a week! I am planning to experiment with how I’m shopping to see whether this reduction is still possible without shopping the way I am at the mo. I’m not hopeful however. We all know that stores stock loss leaders and make it up on the basket of goods plus impulse purchases and other items such as clothing, magazines etc… It’ll be interesting to see how it compares however, and I haven’t done a comparison exercise for a few months!

  • Jenny @ exconsumer November 15, 2011, 5:16 pm

    HI Jo!

    Don’t you just love it when you get a little message (or reminder) about why you’re doing the things you do? I loved this post.

    That said, I think it’s okay to order your groceries online and spend a little more if you’re feeling overwhelmed with the multiple trips needed to save on your groceries. 🙂

    Thanks for the link love too!

    • simplybeingmum November 18, 2011, 10:35 am

      Hi Jenny – sorry for late response – it’s been a bit of a week! I am planning to experiment with how I’m shopping to see whether this reduction is still possible without shopping the way I am at the mo. I’m not hopeful however. We all know that stores stock loss leaders and make it up on the basket of goods plus impulse purchases and other items such as clothing, magazines etc… It’ll be interesting to see how it compares however, and I haven’t done a comparison exercise for a few months!

  • Rayna (the Suburban Minimalist blog) November 16, 2011, 1:32 am

    Dear Jo,

    This was a fantastic post! Not morose at all – rather, a reminder of why we try to live a little more simply than before.

    Excellent.

    • simplybeingmum November 18, 2011, 10:36 am

      As I said – simple doesn’t necessarily mean convenient! I have a post planned on this very subject! What it does mean by simplifying is that I do have more time now to do things such as shopping for groceries rather than shopping online – because other tasks have been eliminated… Thanks Rayna xx

  • Rayna (the Suburban Minimalist blog) November 16, 2011, 1:32 am

    Dear Jo,

    This was a fantastic post! Not morose at all – rather, a reminder of why we try to live a little more simply than before.

    Excellent.

    • simplybeingmum November 18, 2011, 10:36 am

      As I said – simple doesn’t necessarily mean convenient! I have a post planned on this very subject! What it does mean by simplifying is that I do have more time now to do things such as shopping for groceries rather than shopping online – because other tasks have been eliminated… Thanks Rayna xx

  • Rayna (the Suburban Minimalist blog) November 16, 2011, 1:32 am

    Dear Jo,

    This was a fantastic post! Not morose at all – rather, a reminder of why we try to live a little more simply than before.

    Excellent.

    • simplybeingmum November 18, 2011, 10:36 am

      As I said – simple doesn’t necessarily mean convenient! I have a post planned on this very subject! What it does mean by simplifying is that I do have more time now to do things such as shopping for groceries rather than shopping online – because other tasks have been eliminated… Thanks Rayna xx

  • sharron November 16, 2011, 7:07 pm

    Hi Jo, what a fab post. I too get bogged down sometimes by going to four different shops. But the thing keeping me going is that i have the choice to do this. If i am short on time or i’m really cheesed off i can and will do a internet shop, but at least i have that choice, i know far too many people who simply do not have that choice, they have to shop at the cheaper shops and even then they can’t always get everything they need. I know a family who rely on foodbanks as they simply do not have any cash for food. I used to know and elderly lady who due to being proud could not eat and heat the house yet she never asked for help She chose to heat the house. So i am grateful i have the choice, and i, like you, choose not to waste money, And when i know of someone who is struggling to feed their family i always try to help.

    November has been a tight month for us so far, With only having £60 a week for food, but it is just for November and i think it has helped focus my mind for December, which traditionally is the month of excess food, it has made me realise that i don’t need to spend £150 for one weeks shop.

    Yay for the ebaying, i have a love/hate relationship with ebay but have done really well latley, but i am fed up with it now so going to give it a break untill next year!!

    Sharron x
    P.S Did you get the email i sent you the other day?

    • simplybeingmum November 18, 2011, 10:42 am

      Sharron – spot on girl! Choice! that’s what makes is doable for me also, rather than resentful. I’m choosing to do this. Relying on foodbanks must be so very hard, in so many ways.
      Last year my Dec spend was way down and I anticipate it’ll be even lower this!
      I haven’t had an e-mail (unless I’ve missed something – had a busy week) and was going to get in touch today for a catch up – drop me another one please? 🙂

  • sharron November 16, 2011, 7:07 pm

    Hi Jo, what a fab post. I too get bogged down sometimes by going to four different shops. But the thing keeping me going is that i have the choice to do this. If i am short on time or i’m really cheesed off i can and will do a internet shop, but at least i have that choice, i know far too many people who simply do not have that choice, they have to shop at the cheaper shops and even then they can’t always get everything they need. I know a family who rely on foodbanks as they simply do not have any cash for food. I used to know and elderly lady who due to being proud could not eat and heat the house yet she never asked for help She chose to heat the house. So i am grateful i have the choice, and i, like you, choose not to waste money, And when i know of someone who is struggling to feed their family i always try to help.

    November has been a tight month for us so far, With only having £60 a week for food, but it is just for November and i think it has helped focus my mind for December, which traditionally is the month of excess food, it has made me realise that i don’t need to spend £150 for one weeks shop.

    Yay for the ebaying, i have a love/hate relationship with ebay but have done really well latley, but i am fed up with it now so going to give it a break untill next year!!

    Sharron x
    P.S Did you get the email i sent you the other day?

    • simplybeingmum November 18, 2011, 10:42 am

      Sharron – spot on girl! Choice! that’s what makes is doable for me also, rather than resentful. I’m choosing to do this. Relying on foodbanks must be so very hard, in so many ways.
      Last year my Dec spend was way down and I anticipate it’ll be even lower this!
      I haven’t had an e-mail (unless I’ve missed something – had a busy week) and was going to get in touch today for a catch up – drop me another one please? 🙂

  • sharron November 16, 2011, 7:07 pm

    Hi Jo, what a fab post. I too get bogged down sometimes by going to four different shops. But the thing keeping me going is that i have the choice to do this. If i am short on time or i’m really cheesed off i can and will do a internet shop, but at least i have that choice, i know far too many people who simply do not have that choice, they have to shop at the cheaper shops and even then they can’t always get everything they need. I know a family who rely on foodbanks as they simply do not have any cash for food. I used to know and elderly lady who due to being proud could not eat and heat the house yet she never asked for help She chose to heat the house. So i am grateful i have the choice, and i, like you, choose not to waste money, And when i know of someone who is struggling to feed their family i always try to help.

    November has been a tight month for us so far, With only having £60 a week for food, but it is just for November and i think it has helped focus my mind for December, which traditionally is the month of excess food, it has made me realise that i don’t need to spend £150 for one weeks shop.

    Yay for the ebaying, i have a love/hate relationship with ebay but have done really well latley, but i am fed up with it now so going to give it a break untill next year!!

    Sharron x
    P.S Did you get the email i sent you the other day?

    • simplybeingmum November 18, 2011, 10:42 am

      Sharron – spot on girl! Choice! that’s what makes is doable for me also, rather than resentful. I’m choosing to do this. Relying on foodbanks must be so very hard, in so many ways.
      Last year my Dec spend was way down and I anticipate it’ll be even lower this!
      I haven’t had an e-mail (unless I’ve missed something – had a busy week) and was going to get in touch today for a catch up – drop me another one please? 🙂

  • Apple November 17, 2011, 12:13 pm

    Excellent post Jo. I like your non-nonsense, pragmatic style.
    …will you also have a post on how NOT to have regrets about making expensive mistakes in the past with non-conscious spending? 🙂

    • simplybeingmum November 18, 2011, 10:45 am

      OH Laura you have me intrigued – is this something you have regrets for? expensive purchases? Or am I on the wrong track?
      Anyhow…No Regrets Hun! No Regrets ever for anything! What’s done is done, you can do what you can to compensate (to yourself and others if needed – plus sometimes a sincere apology is required :)) with future actions and that’s all that can be done.
      As Joan Collins famously said ““Show me a person who has never made a mistake and I’ll show you someone who has never achieved much”

      • Apple November 19, 2011, 12:48 pm

        Regrets? …not so much buying clothes that I don’t wear or items I don’t use, moreso financial stuff…investing into things (property, funds) that due to recession we lot loads of money on. And you know what? Even at the time, my (simple, minimalist and does-not-have-a-clue-about-finances) gut feeling said, simply put any savings into and old-fashioned secure savings account.

  • Apple November 17, 2011, 12:13 pm

    Excellent post Jo. I like your non-nonsense, pragmatic style.
    …will you also have a post on how NOT to have regrets about making expensive mistakes in the past with non-conscious spending? 🙂

    • simplybeingmum November 18, 2011, 10:45 am

      OH Laura you have me intrigued – is this something you have regrets for? expensive purchases? Or am I on the wrong track?
      Anyhow…No Regrets Hun! No Regrets ever for anything! What’s done is done, you can do what you can to compensate (to yourself and others if needed – plus sometimes a sincere apology is required :)) with future actions and that’s all that can be done.
      As Joan Collins famously said ““Show me a person who has never made a mistake and I’ll show you someone who has never achieved much”

      • Apple November 19, 2011, 12:48 pm

        Regrets? …not so much buying clothes that I don’t wear or items I don’t use, moreso financial stuff…investing into things (property, funds) that due to recession we lot loads of money on. And you know what? Even at the time, my (simple, minimalist and does-not-have-a-clue-about-finances) gut feeling said, simply put any savings into and old-fashioned secure savings account.

  • Apple November 17, 2011, 12:13 pm

    Excellent post Jo. I like your non-nonsense, pragmatic style.
    …will you also have a post on how NOT to have regrets about making expensive mistakes in the past with non-conscious spending? 🙂

    • simplybeingmum November 18, 2011, 10:45 am

      OH Laura you have me intrigued – is this something you have regrets for? expensive purchases? Or am I on the wrong track?
      Anyhow…No Regrets Hun! No Regrets ever for anything! What’s done is done, you can do what you can to compensate (to yourself and others if needed – plus sometimes a sincere apology is required :)) with future actions and that’s all that can be done.
      As Joan Collins famously said ““Show me a person who has never made a mistake and I’ll show you someone who has never achieved much”

      • Apple November 19, 2011, 12:48 pm

        Regrets? …not so much buying clothes that I don’t wear or items I don’t use, moreso financial stuff…investing into things (property, funds) that due to recession we lot loads of money on. And you know what? Even at the time, my (simple, minimalist and does-not-have-a-clue-about-finances) gut feeling said, simply put any savings into and old-fashioned secure savings account.

  • Carla November 18, 2011, 11:23 am

    You’re very inspiring… when it comes to food I’d have just tossed the extra items in my basket truthfully. But shouldn’t as we have a house FULL of food… If you were closer I’d beg you to come over & help me menu plan with it all & see things differently!! That’s my downfall… :/ Can I ask if you were always like this with food or came to be this way somehow…?

    • simplybeingmum November 18, 2011, 1:05 pm

      Carla – I love your comments as they are always thought provoking. The food thing is a combination of my upbringing and also forming habits over the years. I’ve always been interested in food, planning and prep. As soon as I moved out of the family home I had a menu board put up in my kitchen, so I could list the dinners for the week.
      I’d be very happy to hold your hand (electronically) and walk you through some meal planning fundamentals and see if we can make some progress on your fridge clutter and planning going forward. There may even be a post in it! Drop me a line if of interest – you can get my e-mail via the Contact Me page 🙂

  • Carla November 18, 2011, 11:23 am

    You’re very inspiring… when it comes to food I’d have just tossed the extra items in my basket truthfully. But shouldn’t as we have a house FULL of food… If you were closer I’d beg you to come over & help me menu plan with it all & see things differently!! That’s my downfall… :/ Can I ask if you were always like this with food or came to be this way somehow…?

    • simplybeingmum November 18, 2011, 1:05 pm

      Carla – I love your comments as they are always thought provoking. The food thing is a combination of my upbringing and also forming habits over the years. I’ve always been interested in food, planning and prep. As soon as I moved out of the family home I had a menu board put up in my kitchen, so I could list the dinners for the week.
      I’d be very happy to hold your hand (electronically) and walk you through some meal planning fundamentals and see if we can make some progress on your fridge clutter and planning going forward. There may even be a post in it! Drop me a line if of interest – you can get my e-mail via the Contact Me page 🙂

  • Carla November 18, 2011, 11:23 am

    You’re very inspiring… when it comes to food I’d have just tossed the extra items in my basket truthfully. But shouldn’t as we have a house FULL of food… If you were closer I’d beg you to come over & help me menu plan with it all & see things differently!! That’s my downfall… :/ Can I ask if you were always like this with food or came to be this way somehow…?

    • simplybeingmum November 18, 2011, 1:05 pm

      Carla – I love your comments as they are always thought provoking. The food thing is a combination of my upbringing and also forming habits over the years. I’ve always been interested in food, planning and prep. As soon as I moved out of the family home I had a menu board put up in my kitchen, so I could list the dinners for the week.
      I’d be very happy to hold your hand (electronically) and walk you through some meal planning fundamentals and see if we can make some progress on your fridge clutter and planning going forward. There may even be a post in it! Drop me a line if of interest – you can get my e-mail via the Contact Me page 🙂

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