The Feb / March Spring Clean themed Tenner Week Challenge is over, so here’s a roundup and some of the latest lessons learned. If you want to catch up from Day 1, the schedule is here.
First of all, I should round up what happened here on the final day. The weather had drastically improved by Sunday so we decided to go out into central London and visit a free art exhibition at Somerset House. That was fun and we had a stroll around the area and had coffee afterwards too. We also went to Muji to have a look at some of their cleaning and storage products and picked up some bag clips, and bought milk on the way home so that I could make toad in the hole for dinner.
My share of the shopping came to £5.14, which brought the grand spending total for the week to just £6.49. Success! To be honest we could have done without the bag clips, but it made the organising and tidying easier in the kitchen so I don’t mind too much.
I also rounded the week off by cleaning the oven when we got home, and doing some clothes mending and alterations. It was a good feeling to get the house freshened up, and to get some decluttering out of the way. We also made about £35 profit from selling some old clothes on eBay, so the week ended pretty well.
This year’s lessons learned
Well, the main feature of the Spring Clean week was heavy snow all over the shop, let’s be honest. I’m not saying we were snowed in, but we were definitely in one of the areas where public transport failed catastrophically so we cancelled social events to avoid being stranded and stayed in a lot more than usual. That meant there was less temptation to spend as we were out of the pub and out of the shops.
Fortunately I was busy enough that online shopping didn’t catch my attention – although I noticed that a huge number of big retailers were trying to hook us all in with all kinds of offers and emails to make up with the lack of footfall.
It wasn’t strict self-imposed budgeting, but many pennies were saved so thanks, crappy weather. It made some of the spring cleaning easier too, simply being at home, but at the same time there wasn’t much opportunity for throwing open the windows, airing the house and so on.
Another thing that helped was trying to have as many no-spend days at possible at the start of the challenge. That meant there was some cash left for emergencies later, plus some wriggle room for a small treat.
Making a well planned out menu was also a key part of having a good week. There was little to no food waste, and we didn’t need to buy in too much extra to eat either. Once again, we ate better on an improvised budget menu than we might eat on an average week, and I’m not exactly sure how that happens each time but somehow it always does.
I’m tempted to do a micro-budget food week once a month to keep this going, as it seems to bring on a burst of creative cooking every time. Perhaps I just perform better under pressure, who knows?
Have you been trying to live on a budget recently too? Did the bad weather leave you spending less money or more?