Year Of Buying Nothing Update #7

Another successful no-buy month. Keeping the tally – Our record thus far – January, February, April, May, July = nothing bought. March, June = something bought. Out of 7 months, two = a buy month.

I did have to buy some clothes for work but I was reimbursed for those. I want to give a shout out to W.Lane and their comfort jeans which don’t really look like jeans at all but are super comfortable for work.

July No Spend Days

Almost made the goal of 7 days. Unfortunately the total was 8.

So on the list of spending, not counted this month will be my dentistry, the dentistry for Happy who broke a tooth, and other cat related vet bills, plus one chook related vet bill. These are things that were necessary and not something I could arrange to pay on specific days.

No Spend Goals For August

I would like to try for 4 spend days in August. We don’t have anything special planned, other than a possible night out in late August. But we do have family visiting and it is my favourite Aunt who loves to shop, so.. crossing my fingers on this one.

July Grocery Spending

Coles sent us a 10,000 points offer and this time we decided to see if we could do it. Three of the weeks were in July.

So how did we do at spending $50? It seems like a small amount but I found it was really difficult to get to that amount. I could usually make $30 in a shop but after that I began to struggle, and I don’t like to pad it out buying extra chicken roasters especially if they are not on special.

Week 1 $55.90 (bulk potatoes & eggs)
Week 2 $56.03 (bulk bread mix & paper towel)
Week 3 $54.52 (bulk a2 milk here instead of Aldi, eggs)

There was also a small shop in the first fortnight before I got the offer which was $15.50.

With Aldi I have been keeping a decent stock of the things we regularly use so we could do a smaller shop for the second fortnight (just $34) and use up all our stocks, buying any extras we needed from Coles. I ran out of pineapple, feta cheese and olives. The last was a good run out because I am now using up stuffed and marinated green olives which are not pizza olives but needed to be eaten.

Grocery Budget for July – $620

Coles – 181.95
Aldi – 327.20
Woolworths – 30.97 total
Total grocery spend – $540.12
Grocery cost of $17.42/day.

Bulk Items Budget = $100
Bath & Body Works bulk toiletries $92

Grocery Spending Goals For August

August has 31 days = $620

July Thoughts

I ran out of freezer mushrooms for the first time in a while. I can’t tell you how awesome it has been to not even have to think about it, to just have them there and available on Pizza day each week.

July was a difficult month teeth wise. I mentioned that I broke off part of my long ago fixed by a root canal but waiting for the restoration tooth and had to finally suck it up and do the restoration.

I did not mention that when we arrived home from our Sydney trip we discovered that Happy had broken off quite a bit of her large canine tooth. You know the ones right at the front that look a bit like vampire teeth? So The Other Half went to google and returned quite upset at some of the horror cat teeth tales he’d seen. It didn’t seem to be bothering her and she certainly was eating well enough but we knew a vet visit was called for.

We learned that root canals for cats are not a done thing for the most part. It is mainly extraction, so that tooth had to come out. She also needed a cleaning – we knew that from our last vet visit – and we found out about Prozym which is something you can put in the water to help keep the teeth cleaner and that will be good for her because she gets tartar building up very easily unlike any of our other cats.

While they were doing the extraction they checked all the other teeth and found another broken one, on the other side of the mouth. She likes to do “crazy run around cat” at super high speeds and we think she’s run into something and that is how this happened. But we weren’t here, so we don’t know for sure.

Let us hope for a less tooth eventful August. :)

2018yobn

Things I DID Buy June

I received $500 in birthday money and here is some of the items which I purchased with it –

We needed new sheets for the bed. We’d bought some sateen sheets at Aldi in mid 2017 and they were fantastic, until one of the seams on the fitted sheet broke in February or so this year. Now it was still useable, and we loved those sheets so much we kept using them for a while but I was always on the lookout for a bargain set.

I found them at Harris Scarfe for $19.95. Can you guess what colour we bought?

The first clothes I bought were these – 1 longline chenille cardigan (24.99) & 1 chenille scarf (20) from Rivers. I love chenille, but I once owned one chenille item and I killed it with washing, mainly I think because I did not wash it in a garment bag, and I had a top load washer way back then. Hopefully with our Miele front load washer. I will not murder these clothes with washing.

I was only going to get the cardigan – which finishes about the knee on me, it is a good long length – because I felt $20 for the scarf was up money, but then The Other Half said to me – you deserve the scarf, you have been so good all these months not buying any clothes. Little did he know of the spending spree about to occur this month. I have worn them both once and I have to say they are toasty warm, soft, fluffy and perfect for this very cold weather we are having.

2 pairs of new leggings – one with “sueded” lining @29.95 and one houndstooth pair $34.95. Seriously the sueded lining has spoiled me. Now I want all my clothes lined this way.

2 pairs of fleece lined leggings @ 24.95 each. All 4 of these are from TK Maxx. If you are looking for workout leggings with any kind of lining this would be #1 on my list to search. These are super stretchy and incredibly warm without being too hot if you are running.

3 ponchos $29 each from a local store that was having a sale. I had been looking for a poncho for some time but every one I saw was so boring, these at least had some personality and almost give the impression of being gold and silver.

I also got some wool scarves $29 each these are chunky and can be used as a wrap as well.

1 set of SOLIDASTER curtains @ $89. You may recall these appearing in the what I did not buy at IKEA post. They were one of the first things I thought of when I knew I had birthday money, because I had made the mistake of washing the blockout curtains in the lounge room and the block out part stuck together, meaning I have sections where light comes streaming through as an unpleasant surprise.

Unfortunately one of the Aspergers sensory problems I suffer with is “sensory sensitivities” – everyone has slightly different sensitivities. Light around the periphery of my vision is a big one for me, and these holes in the blockout curtains are right in the wrong place for me. If the sun is shining, I find it difficult to focus on my laptop or the tv screen.

We had to hem these, and we also hemmed the ruined blockout curtains so they could replace the blockout curtain in the bedroom. Most of the stuck together parts are right on the sides of the curtains and with a little creative cutting and thought, the lounge room curtains may be able to be repurposed as we do not need length or the same kind of width in the bedroom.

The Solidaster have now been hung and I am delighted with them. They are incredibly gorgeous, photos do not do them proper justice at all.

The final item I purchased in June was a replacement rug for my recliner. The current rug was just not bringing enough warm this winter and while I will keep it and use it again in spring, I’m switching to a warmer rug for the rest of winter. It cost me $42.50 as I am a rewards member and I got a discount on top of the sale price.

There are two creatures in the house who are extremely pleased with this purchase. Grumpy sits on my legs as I type this, and I have put together a montage of her happiness. If we covered every surface in the house with these rugs, we would have to change her name to Happy.

But we already have a Happy, and despite not being a lap cat at all, she too enjoys this rug. My lap is now The Place To Be. With a cat on ones lap, this rug is almost too warm. I’ve had to take my indoor beanie off most nights since we got this rug.

The total money spent in June = 485.24.

The kitties might say, you could have bought us 10 fluffy rugs with that birthday money.

My question to you – does birthday money count as spending? I’m going with no myself, though I have counted June as a spend month because technically I did spend money on clothes and stuff for the house.

2018yobn, Things I Did Buy 2018

Year Of Buying Nothing Update #6

June was a spend month, but for the most part it was not technically my money that I was spending, so does it really count? I’m not sure. I will write a separate post on this as there were quite a few things. I received $500 in birthday money, and I spent $485.24 for the month. The spending had some very interesting mental side effects, but I think that might be best covered in the 6 month overview post which I am writing.

No Spend Days

This was yet another epic fail, and I tried really hard to make this a win this month! First of all, on day 1 of June I set out to cover as many spending things as I could. On a Friday which here means bad traffic and trouble finding a park where I want it. In that one day I managed nails, a haircut, a big pharmacy spend which was needed as we were running out of stuff we use, to take hot donuts to the other half at work as a surprise treat, and we did the grocery shop that night.

The next day we went to Shellharbour for a wander, and got a new sheet set, some bulk hair dye items which I needed and potatoes. Mostly we wandered and really enjoyed looking in the shops without *needing* to buy any of the things we saw. After 6 months we have separated wants from needs and we have begun to enjoy feeling the wants without any desire to actually spend money. In effect I exploded two spend days right at the start of the month without any intention to spend any more until the next grocery spending day.

Then chicken went on special, so I had to sacrifice a spend day to buy in bulk. On checking the letterbox around this time, I discovered that my rego had run out on the 31st of May as a surprise to myself.

This is actually happening to a lot of people now that they have taken the stickers away, because people do get some paperwork at least a month or even two months earlier and we put it aside to deal with when the time comes – and then we forget all about it, and there is no sticker on the car to remind you when it is due. There is now a reminder in my Google Calendar.

So I had to arrange the safety check, insurance, etc. This also cost me a spend day. And now we have used up our goal of 4 spend days and I still have grocery shopping to do, and I have this birthday money burning a hole in my pocket, and then The Other Half gets some unexpected days off.. so the train falls off the rails entirely.

11 days of spending out of 30. ;) This was very bad.

No Spend Goals For July

I think I am being unrealistic with these goals and that is why I am having trouble meeting them. This month I will need 3 days for grocery shopping, I’m going to budget two days for experience spending as we are going up to Sydney for an overnight, and I will budget two days for other things but hope not to use them. 7 days is the goal.

Grocery Spending

June grocery budget – $600

Coles – 26.70 (-10, was 36.70) + 86
Aldi – 212.06 (13.99 mens jeans 4 the other half work) +221.32
Bulk Veg – $20.70
Pasties – 32.00 (2.66 per pastie)
$598.78
$19.95/day

Just under budget. I did count the jeans as part of the spending because it was on the grocery docket but realistically I should take that off. The Other Half is not having a great time with jeans for work, several of his old reliable pairs have been thrown out after developing holes in places there should certainly not be holes.

Grocery Spending Goals For July

Grocery spend = $620
Bulk Items Budget = $100

June Thoughts

I’m actually going to post my overall thoughts on the past 6 months in another post. June was a tough month weather wise and I expect July to be even more so, it is time to hibernate and keep warm.

2018yobn

Year Of Buying Nothing Update #5

Another successful no-buy month. I was sure it would be a buy month as the weather turned very cold and I did not seem to have enough warm clothes but then I did a cupboard cleanout and found some extra things. I also found that my Ghanda round the house jumpers were nowhere near as “ratty” as I thought they were, and they really do not need replacing.

Keeping the tally – Our record thus far – January, February, April, May = nothing bought. March = something bought. One out of 5 = a buy month. Can I make it 1 out of 6? We will see.

No Spend Days

I have not been keeping a tally of meeting goals for no spend days and it occurs to me this is where my struggle is the hardest. I did not have a January goal. I have only met my goal in one month which was February. Though the April fail was due to an automatic payment and not something I could control – if we did not count that payment I did meet the goal that month.

For May my goal was four no spend days and I had 7 spend days. Epic fail, though one of those days I will not begrudge as it was an experience spend (May 10th for Gruen). The final spend there I got paid back for right away and it was an epic WIN actually – after 5 months of trying I finally managed to get my parents to buy new mobile phones.

We ran out of milk in our first fortnight this month, which caused an unexpected Aldi spend on the 17th. I have upped our milk buy for each fortnight. We are now up to 6 litres of milk each – mine is soy, the other half drinks A2. In the cooler months we like to have a cup of tea before bedtime and this is where the extra milk is going.

What the heck was I doing at Woolworths, I hear you ask. Didn’t I break up with them years ago? They had the Nivea oil I wanted for $7.50 instead of $16.45 I would pay at Coles, so I bought that and saved $8.95, and they stock another item I was sent in the next Black Box which I wanted to buy in other flavours. More about that when I review the box.

We bought some material to make up new door curtains from Spotlight, and have since blocked off the spare room door. We also got some weather strip at Bunnings (on The Other Half’s card so not seen here) to stop drafts from particular doors.

No Spend Goals For June

I would like to manage 5 spend days in June. I know I can do it! Now is the time to focus in on this goal because I have the grocery spending under control.

Grocery Spending

May grocery budget = $620

Coles – $88.70
Aldi – $468.71
Woolworths – $16.50
Bulk items $15.97
Total grocery spend – $589.88
Grocery cost of $19.02/day.

That is $30.12 under budget for the month. Potatoes were the bulk items.

Grocery Spending Goals For June

Grocery spend = $600
Bulk Items Budget = $120

I have set a bulk items budget for June. If Coles has the chicken mini roasts on special we plan to stock up. If they had them for $12 each, we might buy 8-10 of them and freeze them. This would save us $3 per roaster – if we bought 10 we would save $30 in total.

The truth I am beginning to see – bulk meat should probably have a separate budget because we do not eat all the meats in that same month. We have chicken still in the freezer from our bulk spends in January and February.

When we bulk buy chicken we prepare it in three different ways – breast steaks, breast pieces, and chicken kievs. If we are doing kievs, that time we might only prepare kievs and pieces. If we have enough kievs we might only prepare steaks and pieces. If we have enough kievs and steaks as we did the last purchase, we only made pieces.

At the end of our first 6 months I may be better able to estimate a good yearly bulk meat budget by looking at what we have spent so far and adding on an amount for the items we already had in the freezer. It might be better to track that separately from the grocery spend.

May Thoughts


Lurker Cat lurks in the background

We did some bulk buying this month – I bought 2kg of mushrooms on special which put 7 packets in the freezer, we bought two smoked hams from Aldi and sliced them up and froze 8 packets. The small hams you can get from there are incredibly tasty if you have a way of slicing them and they are great value at $12.99 a kilo. We have a meat slicer.

2018yobn

The Grocery Spending Spreadsheet

This is month 5 of The Year Of Buying Nothing. Inspired by An Exacting Life, I’ve now been tracking our grocery spending via spreadsheet for four months. It is past time to give you an update. I wrote about it initially here.

Line Items

Each item we purchase gets a line. Aldi gives each of their items a 4-6 digit number which appears on the receipt, that makes life SO easy for us. We’ve had to make up our own numbers for the Coles items. After 4 months of shopping, I can now say how many lines we buy from each of these stores. It is far less than I imagined it would be, especially from Coles.

It is important to note that this number is constantly changing – each shop may add up to 10 new items at Aldi or 3-4 at Coles. Also we keep note of identical items and the price we paid for those. When an item is the same brand just a different size, that gets a new line, eg Manning Valley eggs account for 3 Coles line items because they are available in 3 different sizes (600g, 700g, 800g) at 3 different prices.

Line Items Coles = 55

Of the 55 items we buy from Coles, 9 of these are non-food eg patty pans, deodorant when it was on super special, or baking paper in a size we cannot buy at Aldi.

I can now state that 16 of the items are “junk” foods. When I say that I specifically mean highly processed bad foods that we really should not eat like “twisties” and “french fries”. Some of those are items I personally do not eat, like Cinnamon Doughnuts. The Other Half likes those, it is his fortnightly treat, some of them go to work with him the days after we shop which gives me a couple of days to bake his cinnamon muffins or his from-scratch low sodium biscuits.

2 of the line items from Coles are potatoes when they were cheaper at Coles. 4 of the line items from Coles are tea or coffee related. 2 of the line items are chicken treats – yoghurt and mealworms. 3 of the line items are Manning Valley eggs.

Line Items Aldi = 143

Of the 143 items, 18 are non food eg deodorant, shampoo, toilet roll, tissues, even reed diffusers. Aldi make a fantastic reed diffuser FYI – we love the coconut and mango one, it smells amazing.

Only 14 of the 143 items are things I would consider to be “junk” foods.

32 of the line items are fresh fruits and vegetables.

18 items are dairy eg cheese, butter, cream. 8 of the items are meat/chicken/fish.

How Does It Work?

Each week before we shop, I create the new pages for that shopping trip. Each shop at each store gets a page in the spreadsheet.

It is fairly simple – you have to copy the blank spreadsheet page and give it a new name. But I have from time to time messed it up and left it on move instead of copy. Lesson has been learned, I am very strict about selecting copy now!

Once we have done the shopping, I sit down with the receipt and enter in all the item numbers first, when I hit enter it pulls the description from the lookup sheet then goes to the next line so I can put in the next item number.

Once all the items have been entered, I move across and add in the prices, then the quantities. Most of the time the quantity will be 1, but in cases where it is $ per kg, I enter the amount purchased and the spreadsheet does the maths for me.

When I’m done listing the items we purchased, I add in the CC surcharge in and make sure the total amount matches the receipt. I have the Coles Mastercard and thus anything I spend earns me flybuys points. It does add up over the course of the year, so that is the main card I use now.

The Coles spreadsheet is slightly different – as I do not get charged a surcharge for credit card there, we have added a field where I can minus the $10 flybuys discount we use from time to time. This will allow me to track when we do this and how much it saves us over the course of the year.

How Does This Spreadsheet Help Me?

I am more familiar with the pricing of items overall thanks to this spreadsheet. That is mainly because I am the one entering all the data. We were out at dinner recently and someone was talking about an item and I was able to name what we last paid for it off the top of my head.

I can spot mistakes easily and go back for a refund, as I did in month three – “Aldi had weighed our one lot of sweet potatoes twice, and charged us twice for them. We only bought one lot of sweet potatoes. I am not normally someone who asks for a refund but it was nearly $10, so I took the receipt in and explained what happened. They gave me a refund.”

That event taught me to stand in a particular spot and watch as we check out, so I can spot any mis-keys and prevent us buying 2.5kg of red capsicum when I purposely chose green because it was cheaper, or accidental double ups like above.

We are far more conscious about how much we buy and how much we use. We have a good idea of the base number of items we need each fortnight so that we do not run out of essentials like milk or toilet paper.

There is less food wastage than ever before in our kitchen. Part of that is due to freezing more items – in particular mushrooms.

We are better able to purchase items on special and bulk process and freeze them. Last fortnight I bought 2kg of mushrooms on special at $3.99, part cooked them and froze 7 packets, which will give me 7 weeks of pizza mushrooms. If they are on special again in the meantime, I will buy more and process them. In the meantime I can enjoy not having to buy them for $4.99.

This spreadsheet has been extremely useful for us and I cannot imagine we would stop doing this.

What Next?

The Spreadsheet Maestro has already begun creating useful ways to look at the data we are collecting. At the end of the year we will have a lot of data to play with and it will be interesting to see exactly where our grocery shopping dollar goes.

Aldi keep adding more products to their range meaning we have less to buy at Coles – just recently they added lactose free yoghurt. It would be fantastic to be able to do all our shopping in one place, however I think the reality will always be as it is now, most of the shop at Aldi with just a few items from Coles.

If you would like a copy of the spreadsheet with all the Aldi line items let me know in the comments and I will email it to you. I will take out all the Coles data and also all our shops.

2018yobn, spreadsheets

Things I Did Not Buy April

In April I did not buy an item of food. At Christmas we had family and friends over, and one of them brought a double cream Brie by Castello. I’d not eaten any cheese at all in over 6 months but planned to cheese board it up on Christmas Day, so I had heaps of cheese already available.

The brie went into the fridge where it stayed until mid-February, when we had family and friends around again and I thought I would use up the left over cheese. And wow. WOW. That cheese was amazing, probably the best cheese I have ever eaten in my lifetime.

So at our second April shop, I thought maybe I would buy one of these. I went to pick it up from the fridge but was stopped by the price – it was $7.40 at the time. Err, no thanks, that will blow our budget and it is a tiny amount of cheese for that price. I gave the cheaper Aldi version ($4.99 for 200g) a try at our first May shop. I think it tastes just as good.

The one reason I was going to break my self enforced cheese abstinence was that I had some Beerenberg quince paste to go along with it. I am only a recent soft cheese and quince paste convert and I think it is lucky that I have given up cheese for the most part, with only an occasional cheese eating, otherwise I would like this for a snack every day. I’d like to do a brie & quince paste chicken kiev sometime. Maybe with the strawberry and champagne paste pot.

If this were not cold shoulder I might have been tempted, just look at that gorgeous print! They are lovely and long, too. Why, designers, WHY?

Last winter I got very cold due to my thyroid issues. I mostly survived thanks to hoodies, beanies, gloves, scarves and these Ghanda crew neck long sleeve fleece jumpers. I had one in this same shade of pink and one in blue for around the house wear, and they are looking pretty ratty. I am thinking about replacing them but I might have to go in store and see if they have anything different this year. Sometimes they do not put everything on the website.

OMG TVSN WTFBBQ!!!!Q!QQ!! This is the worst thing you have ever done to me. Long sleeve tops that have some sparkle, length and a decent neck line? If this was not The Year Of Buying Nothing, I would have been tempted to purchase this top in all four colours.

And I would purchase this top in both colours. While I am not a big fan of the V-neck, I do love a stripe, plus it has sequins. If you have been looking for this kind of top maybe you can head over and grab it if they have it in your size.

2018yobn, Things I Did Not Buy, TVSN

Year Of Buying Nothing Update #4

Nothing was required, so nothing was purchased. YAY. Our record thus far – January, February, April = nothing bought. March = something bought. One out of 4 is not bad, especially when you consider I didn’t go crazy and shop up a storm in the Nay month, I just bought those few things we needed at IKEA then went right back to no-buying.

No Spend Days April

My goal this month was 13 days in a row no spend goal – if not for the TVSN final payment falling on the wrong day I would have achieved 15 days in between spends.

The last entry includes a gift voucher I bought for Mum for Mothers Day, so she can try having her nails done.

No Spend Goals For May

Next month I will try something a bit different – a maximum of one spend day each week. Now that the TVSN payment is completed, I should have absolute control over this. There are 5 weeks in May and I would like to limit my spend days to 4 in total if possible.

I am concerned that I might not have enough warm clothes for winter and may need to make either May or June Nay months instead of Yay months on the no-buy challenge. I did a wardrobe re-organise and washed everything that hasn’t been worn during summer and spring, so we will see how that goes.

Grocery Spending April

Grocery Budget for April = $600

Coles month – $158.35
Aldi month – $425.54
Bulk Chicken $37.85
Total grocery spend – $621.74
Grocery cost of $20.72/day.

We went 21.74 over budget this month thanks to a dishwasher tablet special @37 cents a tablet, we bought 4 bags so hopefully we will not need those again for a while – and bulk chicken on special ($6.99/kg).

Coles tried to tempt us into spending $80 a week for 4 weeks to earn $50 in flybys points. We could not even spend $80 in the first week, even after buying two quite expensive chicken roasts @ $15 each, now on special for $12 of course – which we tried the first fortnight and decided we loved enough to put a couple in the freezer.. they are almost like the Lenards mini roasts we used to buy. The stuffing is delicious, I highly recommend. :)

There was simply not enough of the things we buy on special to add up to $80. We have stocked up on most of our regular buys in past months.

Three of the items I had planned to buy at Coles that week I found at Aldi for a lot less $$. The most notable item being chai spice latte powder. I had planned to buy the Arkadia version at Coles which was on special for $5.20 and found a seemingly identical item at Aldi for $4.49 – they have matcha and turmeric latte powder available there too.

I wanted this to add chai flavour to my lattes and protein shakes. The first ingredient is sugar, and they suggest you use four heaped teaspoons which would be a LOT of sugar. I find one normal teaspoon is usually enough and I replace one of my sugar teaspoons in afternoon coffee with this. What I love most is the star anise flavour in this powder, it is gorgeous and not always present in Chai tea. The powder is great sprinkled on top of milk foam, too.

Grocery Spending Goals For May

We last bought potatoes in bulk on the 15th of March and we are still eating those same potatoes. I’ll make it through this week but we will probably have to buy some on our next shop. I may suggest we head up to Shellharbour and do another bulk buy though there is a big airshow on at Albion Park this weekend which will make getting around a bit troublesome.

We may up the vegetable buying this month as it is time for making winter soups, and I need to get some Vili’s pasties from the bulk shop. We just did a bulk chicken buy of 5kg and that made us 5 x2 packs of Chicken Kiev for the freezer, as well as 4 lots of chicken pieces.

I cooked 68 sausage rolls in one bulk cook, 66 of which went into the freezer. Yes we only ate two! I made “Meat Thing” which is essentially my sausage roll mixture (beef mince, carrot, brussel sprouts, leek, egg, cheese, whizz in the food processor, make into sausage rolls) put into muffin tins without pastry for dinner.

May has 31 days so the grocery budget is $620.

April Thoughts

Happy moments, the Brussels are back at last! I knew they would be appearing soon so I had added them to this months shopping list.

In April we had an incident with the best before date on some thickened cream ending one week into our fortnight, when the thing I had planned to cook with it was in the second week. So now I will write the date of our next shop on each shopping list and we will aim to get milk, cream, and other short life products to expire on/after that date.

2018yobn

Ikea Non Buys

LOOK the deities are trying to show me the way to IKEA. Sorry deities, I am 100% aware of where IKEA is thanks! ;)

And Now Snoskred Presents – Things I Did Not Buy From IKEA In March. Written towards the end of April, because time completely got away from me recently. Actually I have a stack of posts in part-finished format and I will need to focus in on that in May.

Overall, what I did not buy was a lot less stuff than I thought. We definitely need new black out curtains for our bedroom and my lounge room. These SOLIDASTER are beautiful. The black part feels like a flocked velvet. #tobuy2019 :)

We already have two MATLUST chopping boards so I resisted buying another one or several. These are great for pizza night, they do not curl up with the extra heat.

The MOLGAN is very handy for night time. We have a version of this in our ensuite and I would like to add in a couple more to other parts of the house, maybe the hallway and the other toilet.

I could have bought all the candles but I restrained myself and did not buy a single one. These NJUTNING were a bit up money but they did smell fantastic. The website says – A spicy scent of bergamot and tea with warm milk. When the candle has burnt itself out the cup can be used as a tealight holder. – I have never had any success turning one of these cups into a candle holder. There must be a way to do it, if I ever buy one of these I will google that. :)

You can see what we did buy here – I am happy to report that after several bulk cooks, these KONCIS were exactly what we needed and they dishwash beautifully.

2018yobn, IKEA, Things I Did Not Buy

Things I Did Not Buy March

Those candle holders outlined in pink are just perfect for my candle shelf, but #yobn too bad so sad. I am a *bit* sad about this one though, because I think they would reflect the candle light beautifully and also allow me to put a couple of candles up higher. They are at Haven & Space in Berry and the deal with that place is a little bit like Costco – if you don’t buy it when you see it chances are you won’t see it again.

Maybe I will add this to my List Of Things To Look For in 2019 which will be very easy, just look back through all these posts and see what I did not buy. And speaking of things I want to add to my List Of Things To Buy In 2019.. I would like to get a decent ring.

I have several rings which no longer fit me. One of which is mystic topaz that I bought in Hawaii and I am thinking now maybe I will get that put into a new setting of some kind. More than likely silver because I prefer that.

It might be time to take my stuff in and get a price on having this done, because jewellery sitting unworn is a bit of a waste, and it is technically not *buying* something. I’m probably going to visit a local jeweller to do this and will likely buy a ring locally in 2019 but I do like some of the rings available on TVSN, mostly the NY Gems and Dallas Prince stuff.

I have been eyeing this ring for about 6 months now. But I have no idea what ring size I am. Interestingly I asked them to send me a ring sizer back when I ordered my Pilates machine, and it has never arrived. I wonder if this is fate, or perhaps #yobn special powers.

This top is totally my thing, except for the neckline.

This is the kind of thing I went looking for in the latter half of 2017 and did not find, so I ended up with these tops from Factorie.

TVSN had themselves a little Easter Saturday sale, and HOOLEY DOOLEY I would so have bought a couple of things, if not for #yobn magically selling out my sizes. My Boo Radley dress I did not buy in January at $59.95 was now $34.95, but totally sold out in my size.

And this cute little dress which I totally would have bought in black was only available in grey in my size and I did not love the grey one. You can see why – look how all the details pop on the black one and kinda vanish on the grey. I have seen a lot of their garments locally and have always been impressed with the quality even if the item was not my style.

These would have been a great addition to my winter wardrobe and at those prices I would not have minded breaking my #yobn pledge – when we are talking about saving over $100 and it is a designer one loves and enjoys, it becomes a bargain and we have a rule about that in this house, too.

This post became too long to add in the IKEA stuff so that will be a post on its own! ;)

2018yobn, Things I Did Not Buy

Year Of Buying Nothing Update #3

March was the first month where something was purchased. Yes, it was a need, not a want. Even so.. in keeping with the spirit of the challenge, this is our first nay month.

No Spend Days

While I do want less spend days, I do not want to let them stop us from having experiences. As The Other Half was on holidays for the first two weeks of March, the spend days were more often than usual this month. My goal for a 13 day stretch of no spending was a bit unrealistic given the situation.

A Note About Fuel

That is the first time you will have seen fuel on our spend lists this year, and I want to point out that was not fuel for my car. The Other Half buys his own fuel and it does not appear on our spend lists because I have zero control over when he chooses or needs to do that. On this occasion I bought his fuel. The no-spend challenge is 100% mine and I am only counting buying decisions I make, or money that comes out of *my* accounts.

I have not put fuel into my Polo yet this year. You might think I am not using it, but you’d be wrong. It is not driving very far when it does go driving, but it does get out and about and racks up 30kms or so each week. My car is incredibly fuel efficient. I will get at least 600kms out of each tank of fuel and if you do the maths, 30×13 = 390. I estimate I will need to fill it up around week 20 (15th of May) of this year unless I suddenly up my mileage.

The other Polo does a lot more driving but even so, putting fuel into that car is quite rare. If you are interested I will go through The Other Half’s account and give you a chart of his fuel fillups. I am going to ask him to track his fuel from now on but it will not be seen in the no-spend spreadsheet.

A Note About Large Numbers Seen Above

We did our regular eye tests at Specsavers this month, and both of us needed new prescriptions, thus new glasses. I got one pair as my change was not hugely significant and all my old glasses and sunglasses will still work, The Other Half got two new pairs of reading glasses.

There is a large number for Bulk Nutrients in the final week of March – I bought 15kg of protein. I’m going to talk more about that in a separate post next Wednesday.

No Spend Goals For April

This month I should have no trouble at all meeting my March 13 day no spend goal.

Grocery Spending

We absolutely smashed our grocery goal this month. We were nearly $60 under budget. $20 of that is me taking $10 off our Coles shop twice, but I think a fairly good portion of our saving is because we’ve stocked up big when things we regularly use are on special and we’re not having to buy as much stuff when we shop.

We also bought fruit and veg in bulk including 15kg of potatoes while on our way back from the food festival. I made a huge pot of soup the following weekend and we have plenty of leftovers from that. On colder days I have the soup with protein added.

We bought a big 5kg bag of Laucke wholemeal bread machine mix this month – it was on special for $13.10 and we will not need to buy bread mix again for quite a while. The Other Half is the one who eats bread for the most part but I will usually have one slice when we make an occasional loaf.

Coles March – $105.75
Aldi March – $434.28
Bulk Fruit & Veg $19.47
Total grocery spend – $559.50
Grocery cost of $18.04/day.

Grocery Spending Goals For April

For the rest of this challenge I will be trying to get that daily number down, but it might creep back up a little bit when I do some new maths.

I’ve noticed we are getting low on dishwasher tablets, so that is on my keep an eye out for a good special list. April has 30 days, so I am setting the budget at $600 this month. If the special on dishwasher tablets is good enough, I may blow the budget, just so we don’t have to buy them again for a while. This will be the first time we have had to buy them in 2018, and I had not bought them for a long time in 2017 because the special was so great we stocked up HUGE.

Shopping Incidents

There were a couple of “incidents” this month with grocery shopping.

We’d very carefully planned out our Coles shop and everything went perfectly. We spent $84 at the checkout and if I spent $80, I earned another $10 off my shop. Right before I went to pay, the checkout asked me if I want to take $10 off my shop – and not realising this would mean my total became $74 instead of $84, I stupidly chose yes.

I was so mad at myself, then I became mad at Coles and felt a bit like I’d been scammed. I think $10 off should be a form of payment almost like a gift card, not a reduction in your overall spend.

In the meantime, unknown to myself, Aldi had weighed our one lot of sweet potatoes twice, and charged us twice for them. We only bought one lot of sweet potatoes. I am not normally someone who asks for a refund but it was nearly $10, so I took the receipt in and explained what happened. They gave me a refund.

This has happened occasionally since we began our receipt spreadsheets but usually they have selected the wrong item eg once they chose red onions instead of green capsicum, and I nearly went mad trying to work out where these onions we supposedly bought had gone, then asked the other half if he remembered putting them away. He did not, and checked the receipt again, we eventually worked out what happened.

So before we leave the store in future I will be checking the receipt. Plus I will keep a closer eye on the screen as the checking out happens. Usually I am so busy watching The Other Half fill the trolley with scanned items that I forget to look at the screen.

I have to tell you, The Other Half at the checkout is quite a sight to see and I was not sure how I would be able to look away from it. :) But on our second shop this month, I stood behind the trolley and set my eyes firmly on the checkout LCD readout, and before we left the store I double checked the receipt to make sure the items were correctly scanned.

March Thoughts

Overall March felt a bit like a fail. But it really was not. The grocery spend was the lowest it has ever been. I did some big batch cooking to bring it down even more.

2018yobn