If you’ve followed our story from Dorothy’s birth to the trials and tribulations of being a new dad, it’s not all been amazing. We’ve had late nights, early mornings, bruises, A&E trips and that’s just me. However the biggest impact on our lives has been the financially.
With a third of Brits believing that it’s harder than is used to be to get a good deal when shopping around, EON partnered with Jasmine Birtles, TV presenter and financial expert, to put a Savvy Shopper challenge to the test.
We used to eat out nearly every other day but due to the drop in salary from moving roles to a lesser paying one with more flexibility, a massive drop in income from maternity pay but also SSP and now nothing from Mrs P. These tips couldn’t have come at a better time.
E.ON has recently launched their Cap and Track 1 Year tariff which tracks the average price of all energy tariffs on the market and guarantees to be below the market average. We’re hoping to save money and with that E.ON challenged us to see if we could live off £100 for a week. Hahaha was my initial thought. That’s less than £20 a day to feed a family of 4 three meals. It’s imperative that we’re frugal at the moment and really maximise the income that we have, while reducing our outgoings. But that isn’t easy when I work in multiple locations with no real routine or if I’m away for multiple days at a time.
So to see how much we were spending we had to monitor our normal weekly shop. Firstly looking at mine, here’s my spending on Food!
- Mon: Greggs breakfast – £2.50, Skipped Lunch, Home Dinner.
- Tue: Breakfast Wrap and coffee – £3.50, Subway for lunch £4.40, Home Dinner.
- Wed: Greggs breakfast – £2.50, Costa Coffee Lunch – £5.60, Home Dinner.
- Thurs: Dorset Cereals breakfast, coffee – £1.00, Tesco meal deal lunch – £3.50, Brocket Arms Pub – £24.50.
- Fri: Greggs breakfast – £2.50 Subway for lunch – £4.40, Home Dinner.
- Sat: No breakfast, courtyard for lunch – £25.00, frankie & benny’s – £42.00
- Sun: Egg muffins homemade, sandwiches from home, roast dinner from home.
- Amount spend on work convenience: £124.40 just for me!
- Household: Working day to day I’m nearly always asked to pick up things for dinner on the way back. These are normally to supplement some meat of some sort. We’ve estimated that spend to be £25 on bits, an average £12 per meal 6 times that week and about £10 on lunch items/milk etc.
My spending was mostly on eating out which would also explain my expanding waistline. I work through most of my lunchtime breaks so being able to quickly buy a Subway Salad or Chicken Selects meal is my way of compromising.
Total spend: £124.40 + £25 + £72 + £10 = £231.40
Week 2 began with £100 from EON to spend on our weekly budget. Out of the 5 key tips from Jasmine Birtles, buy in bulk was most definitely one for us. Sitting down and discussing our spends, homemade lunches, planning meals and buying for the week was our plans to beat the budget.
- Mon: Coffee – £1, lunch shop for three days £8, Beth’s birthday dinner (£35)
- Tue: Greggs Breakfast – £2.50, lunch made at work, home made dinner.
- Wed: Coffee – £1, lunch made at work home made dinner.
- Thurs: Coffee – £1, lunch shop for two days £4.25, home made dinner.
- Fri: Breakfast wrap and coffee – £3.50, lunch made at work, home made dinner.
- Sat: Egg cupcake breakfast, sandwich and home made dinner.
- Sun: Muesli, omelette and roast dinner.
- Amount spend on work convenience: £56.25
- Household: Planning in advance meant we could bulk buy mince, chicken, tinned veg and potatoes. This massively reduced our meals down to £6 per meal Mon – Sat, Roast Dinner at £12 and £20 on lunch items etc.
Total spend: £56.25 + £12 + £36 + £20 = £124.25
Before you say it, yes it was over the £100 but it was Beth’s birthday and we treated her to a meal out with our family friends.
When we’re out shopping we tend to shop around for deals and by shopping around for better deals, we can save on average £660 per year. It does come with it’s negatives and it’s normally from spending time in one shop then another and another. E.ON’s new Cap and Track 1 Year is like having a shopping assistant to always keep track of the market prices to keep it fair and stable.
It’s amazing how much we saved in a week and the tips really came in handy. The biggest tip I can offer to you is this. No matter how much you save or how little you spend, don’t go near the toy aisle or pet shop!