Is My Resolve to Spend Less Weakening?

This week's grocery spend came in at £76.10. I'm pleased with this and the consistency I've achieved over the last few weeks but I still think I could do better. Several meals were from the freezer; meals cooked from scratch were lasagne, sausages and lentils and a yummy pasta dish. We also had cider baked apples which were wonderful. The leftovers topped our porridge the next day. How versatile is porridge. 

For the first time since I started A Year of Less Spending there have been a few temptations this week. 

Magazines have been beaming their glossy smiles at me from the supermarket shelves. One day I felt really tempted to buy a magazine and I would quite happily have bought any magazine, on any subject (well maybe not fishing). Just to buy something new and to add something to my day. But I didn't, and it's an achievement that I can walk away from a temptation that in the past I would have given in to. 

Anyway, I have far too much reading on the go at the moment and magazine reading often leaves me feeling empty. This week I've borrowed A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler from the library. I'm finding it captivating, real and a gentle form of escapism too. A good book is sustaining. The Leopard (my book club read) has been returned to the library after its Prince failed to captivate any of our group. I'm so glad I didn't buy it. Our next book is The Children Act by Ian McEwan and I've reserved it at the library already. I'm looking forward to reading it.

On Monday I went to town to buy acrylic paint for my son's self-portrait work (he's taking A Level Art and Design). Two shop window displays caught my eye – both charity shops. The small city I live in has a very high standard of charity shops which means I try and keep away from them unless I'm donating (always at the back entrance of course). 

One shop had a pair of tan brogues in its window, another had a Jack Monroe cookery book. Somehow, my blinkers were off and I veered towards each shop. Despite owning a lovely pair of black brogues and having the book out on loan from the library I was still tempted for a few minutes. Just a few minutes, mind you. Stoically, I walked away without entering either shop and continued to the little art shop to buy a tube of paint, slightly annoyed with my teetering feet. My size 6 feet. Would the brogues have been in my size? I'll never know. 

Treats this week were a family cinema visit to see Macbeth (Mum, Marcus and us two) and we dropped in on our local folk festival. Both Macbeth and the folk music were great experiences which, if I keep out of the charity shops, we can enjoy more of.

So, my motivation to spend less continues but my resolve is weakening. I knew A Year of Less Spending wasn't going to be easy.

How's your spending been this week?



  1. I'm finding my resolve to be very weak just lately but all is not lost! Two impulse sale purchases are being returned tomorrow - a per una dress down from 39.50 to 8.50 and a tunic jumper from monsoon - neither of these were needed and don't really fit my lifestyle now. The thing I really need is a professional hair cut. Not had one for almost a year and have now grown out layers so am ready for an easy low maintenance bob. It's very hard to resist things when it was the norm in the past! On the plus side I've sold some shoes and clothing on eBay this week so it's got me motivated to keep on sorting!

  2. I find it much easier to control expenditure when it's my money and not the banks. However I fully understand what you mean about the little treats, but they do add up and over the years boy have mine added up. Now I just say I have no intention of making anyone rich other than myself.

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  4. Claire I think your resolve has surely been tested - but you resisted the temptation and should be very pleased with that. Despite our best efforts to limit exposure to temptations they will always be there and this is when our self talk can help. You managed all these occurrences by doing that and so I say congratulations!

  5. Keep going, keep going! I've especially enjoyed the chalk board menu and links. Living in Finland, I don't run into too many British receipes and although you Britons aren't really that famous for your cuisine, I think you should! Especially the variety of soups is wonderful as well as the curries. I've picked up several soup receipes through your blog and I find that our taste is very similar :) Tasty and delicious home made food with a tight budget and fairly simple methods.

    Magazines are my weak spot as well and I do give in at times. At the same time I then read the whole magazine before buying a new one and try my best to circulate the read ones further to friends and family.

  6. You can download free magazines from your library and also via some free apps.

  7. You are doing well! Resisting temptation can be so difficult, at least, taking the time to resist it - sometimes I find something in my possession that I know I didn't really need (or even want), despite my best efforts. It's as if the brain switches on to lalalala until after I've paid (and Mrs LH - can you return sale items? We can't.)
    I used to be a terrible magazine junkie and loved my collections. Gradually I have got rid of most of them, even the most inspiring and beautiful ones, as they'd become a burden as the years wore on, and now I "only" get two subscriptions as e-magazines. After a year's subscription, I now usually realise they're not worth it and won't be keeping them on - especially since the realisation dawned on me that it's all about selling, marketing and pushing, quite apart from the advertising… duh. My reasons (excuses?!) for them are things like I can't get them where I live, they're very expensive in paper or it's good for my French, and so on.
    As for libraries, I only wish we had a normal English library, but we don't. So I do still buy books, however, more often than not, they are also electronic. It has to be something rare and/or secondhand for me to buy a physical book these days (Patrick Leigh Fermor's youth travels came into my possession!) and my collection has been more than halved, I'd say.
    I read The Spool of Blue Thread last spring. It took me ages to get into the story but eventually, I did really enjoy the family drama, as I like long sagas (Ken Follett's latest trilogy, for instance). This week I finished The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton - definitely different.

    1. Hi yes luckily! Both items were returned and refunded today. Purse strings firmly knotted now.

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  8. Well done! That is amazing. I started getting excited when I read about the shoes and book, you did fantastically to walk away.
    I really need to commit to a challenge like this. We are saving to pay off debt but I am still in a mindset where small things are ok to buy just not big purchases. I used to be so good. I must read more of you blog to get me back on track. I need to stay focused!

  9. It's that charity shops that dampen more resolve too. well done for staying firm! Sarah x

  10. It's true the lure of the charity shop is a difficult one! I'm just trying to buy essentials and I must go through my fridge and keep track of what's there before buying more...! x

  11. It sounds like despite temptation, you're doing great! It's easy to stay on track when you're not tempted in the first place, much more of an achievement when you are, so well done. Keep it going, and keep your eye on the long term benefits.
    I've been inspired by you and others to have a go at seriously reducing my wardrobe, which counter-intuitively is a bit like finding hidden treasures.

  12. Well done - you are an inspiration. I gave into temptation and bought a vegetarian magazine for Christmas ideas. I really regret it as it was a disappointment and full of adverts. You did the right thing! Books are better.

  13. Well done - you are an inspiration. I gave into temptation and bought a vegetarian magazine for Christmas ideas. I really regret it as it was a disappointment and full of adverts. You did the right thing! Books are better.

  14. I thoroughly enjoy following your journey and sharing your ideas for saving money.
    I have not felt the need to buy magazines at all as I love reading blogs so much, however I have been bought 4 as I recover from my op & have to agree that one in particular is advert after advert.
    Also I join in The Year In Books which keeps me reading, you basically share what you are reading on line and do a short review, it means I don't need to find a particular book.....I have enough on my shelf! :-)
    I think you have done amazingl! Xx


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