Friday 4 January 2013

The £2 House Keeping Challenge

The picture has nothing whatsoever to do with the post, but Blogger in it's infinite wisdom will not let upload any pictures from my computer it would for some reason let me upload one I had recently used by pressing the 'From this Blog' option, but only the last few photos I used were available, and I guess you really don't want to see any more pictures of cheese (even though a surprisingly high percentage of you do like the smelly Stilton)!!
What I was going to talk about today were some of the finer points of the £2 Housekeeping Challenge, I have had a number of emails asking how I am going to be able to manage to feed two working adults for a year on £480, the contents of my Sealed Pot opened on 3rd December. 
We sat down and discussed this and how it would work when we opened the pot and found out how much we had managed to save, we were very pleasantly surprised at the amount expecting to have even less and the Challenge possibly only being able to last a couple of months.  But with this amount it gives us an average of £9.23 a week for 52 weeks, if we can manage to spend NO money at all for January which has five weeks this average then goes up to £10.21 per week for the rest of the year, so you see the longer we can keep our spending as low as possible while we still have supplies in the cupboards and freezers the longer the money should last.
Someone asked what is and isn't included in the 'Housekeeping money'.
 Not included are dog and cat food, as this is picked up when we visit the farm supplies shop when buying the chicken food and therefore gets paid for by our company, the pets are classed as working animals (guards, ratters and mousers to protect the chickens) so this is perfectly legal.  Vets bills are also picked up by the company.  The only other real exception to the Housekeeping that is actually a foodstuff is our milk bill.  We have a milkman and through him have either four or six pints per week of organic milk delivered, we believe strongly in supporting local tradespeople and something as important as a milk round which is needed for the elderly in the area must in our opinion be supported.  This is paid by a monthly debit straight from my M&S credit card (which means I acquire points).  As this is only usually around the £10 mark per month we decided to exclude it from the Housekeeping Challenge, I guess at a pinch we could have pulled it in as this would be £120 a year, but for ease of managing the actual cash we decided to leave it as it was.
Included in the Challenge is everything else that we need to buy from shops to keep us well and healthy this coming year.  So this would be groceries, long life food stuffs, fruit and vegetables while we have little growing here, toiletries, washing and cleaning products (I am going to have a try at making my own when our supplies of bought in detergent runs out).
We have good supplies to start us off, with the freezers still being full after Christmas, the food cupboards looking very healthy and my stash of bought ahead foods virtually untouched.  We have enough bread flour and yeast for example to last us the whole year, so even if we bought nothing else, with this, the eggs laid by the chickens and the milk off the milkman we would never starve. 
I intend from next week to go back to writing out my weekly menu (this has slipped dreadfully over the Christmas break), planning ahead and making best use of all the things we have.  I have the shopping list on the fridge that will only have real necessities written on it, and if and when I do venture to the shops I will go out with blinkers on to stop me being tempted by 'bargains' and special offers.
If you have any more questions please leave a comments and I'll try and answer them in the next post.
Sue xx


  1. This is interesting - thanks. I attended the tag end of a workshop about how to make clothes washing powder from wood ash. This seems an absolutely super solution for us but I didn't get to the whole workshop and I haven't yet found any helpful websites - they are all about making lye soap which is much more complicated than the French recipe I half-heard. I'll keep you posted! Best of luck with your challenge.

  2. Hi Sue,

    Low/No spending in January will certainly help preserve those £2 coins and boost your weekly budget.

    And guaranteed milk is a blessing. I'm thinking about buying organic milk from now on.

    I am so inspired by your challenge. We are spending £20 per week. But we also have a stockpiling budget which is a blessing, as we've spent from there already-on 45 bread mix from approved foods-too good a deal to miss it seemed. Also we've picked up some cheap Quorn sausages from the supermarket.

    Keep up the brilliant posts! And think of all the money you'll be saving for your goal! It's all about keeping your eyes on the prize!

    Sft x

  3. Wow, that's some challenge, but it sounds as though you've got everything covered. I think it helps when the two of you are pulling together in the same direction, it would be much harder if one of you wasn't as committed. Good luck with it, I'm sure you'll do it.

  4. That's such a challenge, but you seem so organised I'm sure it'll work :) please keep us posted on it!

  5. I can't wait to follow this challenge. Other bloggers are having issues with blogger too right now and photos so hopefully it will pass

  6. This is a great challenge. We don't do weekly shopping just because of the distance we live from most things. We've set a monthly plan for 2013 and we'll see how it goes. Our plan doesn't really involve a dollar amount as much as it does just faithfully incorporating what we have on hand in before we add more. We're thinking that any money saved will go into an account for our grain purchases and things like that for 2014.

  7. This really is a great challenge and I am interested to see how you get on! We were lucky to receive a $200 voucher from work as a bonus so I've put that to good use to start stockpiling for this year. I have recorded what I've purchased and when so that I can see how long this all lasts. Pantry looks great! Any money that I save each fortnight from our grocery money will be redirected to our sealed pot (or put towards other stockpiling when the voucher runs out!). Good luck with your challenge!
    Judy xx

  8. Good luck! I can't wait to watch your progress with this goal!

    PS. I think blogger will work in Chrome :)

  9. I'm looking forward to seeing how you do on this challenge. As our weekly food bill is about £100 (less in the summer when we have stuff growing), but I hope you won't be too sick of eggs by the end of the year!


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