Today was the day of the weekly supermarket shop.
I went armed with my list as usual, and my cash in my purse. I felt a little nervous as I was putting the children in the trolley, what if I overspend? What if I get to the checkout and don't have enough money to pay? But, comforted by my list and the amount in my purse, I went shopping.
It was a tough shop with the children with me. Benjamin moaned most of the way round, causing 2 or 3 people to come over and ask what all the noise was about. Nosy old people. Makes me cross when they do that, its almost as if they think that by coming over, they will solve the problem. Anyway, I digress.
I got everything that was on my list, plus a couple of extras such as loo roll and vegetable crackers which Ruth and Benjamin love to snack on. They would eat all day if they could, so I am trying to find healthy options for them. On my list was also food to make a meal for 2 families who have recently had babies. I must confess, however, that it was a fairly light week for us food wise as we are away (hopefully) for a long weekend visiting family.
I got to the checkout, and the kind lady there packed my bags for me. Then she asked for the money. £40.42. I was amazed! I handed over the cash to the penny and left with a smile on my face :)
Using cash made me be even more aware than usual of what I was putting in the trolley. Often I would pick up special offers in addition to what was on my list because I would use them at some point. I didn't do that today, although there were a few things that were very tempting.
It also means that I now have £50 to last me until next Tuesday with all the food until then taken care of. The priority spending has been done, and I have no other planned expenditure for the cash. This takes the pressure off, and I feel that I can treat ourselves without feeling guilty, knowing that there is enough money each week to buy food until the end of the month.
Obviously, there are going to be weeks where I have to buy food for 21 meals for 4 people. That's 84 meals. There are going to be weeks where I have to buy nappies and wipes (I'm still using the bulk pack from Lidl I bought last week), and toiletries. But for those weeks, I can choose to make cheaper meals.
So, so far, so good.