Supermarket Spend – Then and Now

Money was tight after my husband left, back in February 2019. And money continued to be tight until I got a job and got a lodger.

This year, things have been a bit easier – plus, with the whole coronavirus thing, there simply haven’t been as many opportunities for spending!!

So, I thought now would be a good time to compare and contrast – the 6 months from March to August 2019 with the 6 months March to August 2020.

I keep track of all of my spending – but the supermarket spend is the bit that I have the most control over. I shop at Aldi mostly, with an occasional foray into Asda for the things that Aldi simply doesn’t sell.

So, from March to August 2019 I spent £390.92 at the supermarket (that’s near enough £15 a week). That included food, obviously, but also toiletries, cleaning materials, and anything else that found its way into the trolley.

In March to August 2020 that had increased to £629.26 (£24 a week). Again, it includes food but also toiletries, cleaning materials, and anything else I’ve bought at the supermarket.

I’ve spent 60% more this year than I did last year!!

I’m happy that I can afford it (that’s the point of a spending diary, after all!!) – but what have I bought that I wasn’t buying before??

In fact, the first thing to mention is what I’ve NOT been buying – and that’s meals out, coffees, and takeaways!!

For obvious reasons.

In 2019, even though I was on a tight budget, I spent £85.75 on meals out, coffees, and takeaways over that six month period. This year, despite things being a bit easier financially, I’ve only spent £35.46. Thanks Covid.

What else has caused my spending to increase? Well, again due to Covid, I’ve felt the need for more treats. The fancy biscuits, wine, sweets for work, more wine, the odd bag of crisps. Hence having to take my Corona Curves under control!

I stopped doing ‘Rubber Chicken’ – it served its purpose, and over the winter I’ll likely start having a roast chicken again sometimes, but I guess I just got bored with it. A change is as good as a rest, and I felt I needed to give it a rest.

My larder is better stocked now. When I was counting every penny, I was using up the stocks that I had in the kitchen. Now, I’m starting to build them back up again – when I look in the cupboards there’s a choice of pasta, there’s brown rice and risotto rice, there are herbs and spices, there are tins of this and that, there’s more than one variety of biscuit. It’s a good feeling. So – that’s food that’s been bought but not yet used, and it’s included in my 2020 figure.

And of course, the supermarket shop includes cleaning materials, and I’ve been buying more of that than I maybe would have under normal circumstances. Bleach, hand soap, hand sanitizer, paper towels, disinfectant spray. It all adds up.

In a sense, I’m back to ‘normal’ – before my husband left, when I was shopping for two, I used to reckon on spending about £50 a week at the supermarket. So it makes sense that shopping for one, my spend should be about half that. With an average of £24, that’s pretty much where I’m at.

That’s good.

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