08 January 2018

What We Spent, What We Didn't Spend and What We Saved Week 1

A new series for 2018, as so many of you are curious about what we spend (or don't!).

This is what we spent:

Groceries - $56.54 - $16.54 over this fortnight's budget as I bought reduced meat for the freezer
Petrol - $60
Chemist - $5.49

This is what we didn't spend (and what was moved into savings/slush fund/holiday fund):

Petrol: Shopped around (locally) for the cheapest petrol.  Woolworths was 5c/litre cheaper than Shell/Coles, saved $3. This, along with the unspent petrol money, has gone straight to the holiday petrol jar. Just so you aren't confused, I budget $80 a week for petrol. I rarely use that much (very rarely), so when I fill up I shift what's left from the petrol budget for that week to the holiday petrol account. It builds up very quickly, meaning we can travel without worrying about any additional costs for fuel.

Garden: Bought liquid seaweed concentrate from Aldi 2 x 2litre bottles @$9.99. Saved $24.64 over buying 4 litres from Bunnings. I do have worm tea and bokashi tea on the go as well, and these are cost free to make, but not always ready when I need to feed the garden.

Parking: Mum is in hospital, so I've been parking a couple of streets over and walking to visit. Saved $60 over paying$4/hour for parking at the hospital for the time I've been there this week. I also had a couple of very quick visits, under 15 minutes, so I did take advantage of the closer parking - under 15 minutes is free.

Lunches: Packed Wayne's lunch and snacks every day this week. He's been taking a MOO latte every morning in his keep cup. Saved $21.35 on lattes ($24, the cost of five large lattes, less  $2.65, the cost of five MOO lattes).

I ate leftovers, sandwiches and salads for my lunch this week.

Cooking: Made gnocchi instead of buying it. Saved $4 over buying 500g of fresh gnocchi.
Made all our meals from scratch, using pantry, fridge and freezer ingredients.
MOO Pizza - My boys LOVE pizza so every Thursday is MOO pizza night. They make their own, and clean up so it's a very easy dinner for me. I don't eat pizza (well not very often anyway) so on pizza night I have a freezer meal. Last Thursday two pizzas were made, for a total cost of $5.80. To have two large pizzas delivered would cost $26 (according to the Pizza Hut website - 2 large super supreme @$13 each). Saving: $21.20 - and they're much nicer pizzas.

Chemist: Used my discount card to buy prescriptions, saving 15% or $12.80. I've left this in the chemist account, so it doesn't show in the savings total.

Doctor: Asked him to bulk bill pathology. No idea how much this saved but at least $80.

Craft: Used my stash of fabric to make some presents for the gift box. Scraps of fabric and lace I've had for ages became pretty gifts that sell for $7.95 each at a local chemist. I've made six, so a saving of $47.70. I've moved that from the gift budget to the holiday account.

Total spent this week: $122.03
Total not spent this week (and moved to savings): $281.59

Remember, money isn't saved until it is safely in the bank. Until then it is just not spent - hence my "what we didn't spend" list and making sure I move money from the relevant categories into our savings accounts.


  1. Rebecca FinlaysonMonday, January 08, 2018

    I love this post Cath!
    Looking forward to this new series.

    1. Hope it's not too boring Rebecca, I don't really spend a lot of money on things - most of our budget goes on utilities, rates, insurance - all the dull and boring things we need but that aren't any fun :)

  2. Thank you very much for the post. It's very timely as we need to try to budget again on new wages and with new costs. I would love to know what things you find are critical to remember in a budget.

    Thanks again,


    1. Hi Allie,

      I include absolutely everything in our budget, right down to hair cuts, club dues, hobbies, garden supplies. If you're just trying to get a new budget up and running track your spending for a month. It's a bit of a pain to remember to jot down everything you spend - it's the little things that'll get you - but it will give you a really good idea of where your money is going and what you need to include in the spending plan/budget. If you have children at school don't forget things like camp, sports events, excursions, music fees, tuckshop if you let them have it (for our kids Grandma and Granny went halves each term so they could have one lunch order a week - the kids loved it, Granny and Grandma loved giving them a treat and I loved a day off lunches and not having to find the money in our budget).

      The most important things are the things you can't do without:
      Food - this is flexible though
      Utilities - Gas, Electricty, Water
      Phone/Internet - again flexible, look at cheaper plans/dropping landline etc.
      Car registration & insurance
      Rates if you own your home
      Home & Contents insurance - again shop around for better deals
      School/Childcare fees
      Medical - pharmacy, doctor etc.

      Then add in the optional expenses:
      club dues
      household items
      eating out
      Netflix/Pay TV
      etc.etc. etc.

  3. Hi Cath, thank you for the new series, look forward to reading all. Jill

  4. Hi Cath,

    Love this post, thank you for sharing, looking forward to your next exciting week.


  5. Thanks Cath I am just a new member so looking forward to implementing a lot of your ideas, especially as my husband has semi retired this year and is only working casually a couple of times a week and I am about to go on 1/2 pay long service leave for most of the year. This means income will be drastically cut but the bonus is I will have more time to invest in money saving ways ie cooking shopping gardening etc.

  6. Hi I am eagerly waiting to hear about your big planned holiday this year, to hear about how you do it as a 'cheapskate' perhaps it could be a topic for a future blog. regards

    1. We will be away for at least six weeks, possibly eight (we have a couple of weeks leave spare if we need/want it). All our trips/holidays are saved for, I have a category in our spending plan especially for them and add to it regularly so they are completely paid for before we leave home. I also have a separate holiday emergency fund with just a little money in it, enough to cover accommodation and fares home if needed in a hurry. In line with our philosophy and lifestyle, we don't use credit for our trips/holidays - we just enjoy them.


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