The end of the STOP-tober challenge from Elaine at Mortgage Free In Three and I there's good news and bad news.
Good news: I spent 600nis (over 100GBP) less on food and household goods than I've been spending for the last few months. On the other hand, we were away for a week eating out of my mother's fridge so it should have been less anyway. I also lost the plot a little bit on our return and with the general frenzy of catching up and getting back into the daily routines.
Bad news: I Spent 300nis more on travel because we had to get to and from the airport with lugguage, and this month was 300nis more expensive as my building dues went out as they do quarterly. So that's my 600nis accounted for.
Good news: I kept incidental spending to under the 1000nis (about 178GBP) I'd budgeted - 954nis to be exact.
Bad news: I haven't accounted for the travel insurance, 172nis that will be added to my health care bill next month or the emergency mobile phone usage in London, 231nis, that will also be billed next month. That's 406nis (73GBP) extra already going out next month.
Good news: I lost 3kg (6 1/2 lbs) in weight by eating from the store cupboard rather than processed or ready-made food. The challenge of making the food I had in the house last longer and stretch to more meals also helped with this.
Bad news: I've not internalized the basic lessons of store cupboard economics yet. Today I did a big shop (with a delivery) to stock up for November during which I intend to continue and improve on STOP-tober. I bought all the basics but also found lots of crackers, biscuits, and chocolates (for gifts of course) on special offers at very good prices. It would have been cheaper to use my basics to make a cake and a batch of biscuits once a week to last for the duration. It's a learning curve.
This afternoon we were invited to friends for lunch on Shabbat. I asked what I can contribute to the meal and my host said, "dessert, something for the kids." My first thought was that as I don't bake so I'll have to go back to the shops and buy a cake. I didn't even consider that I have flour, sugar, eggs and butter in the house with which to shop for a cake out of my own pantry (it'd have to be a lemon cake as I've no other flavours in the house except coffee - not good for kids). I also have oats which could go to make biscuits, pasta for a lokshen kugel (noodle pudding), bread and butter for one of those puddings, and apples for an apple pie or apple crumble. Why did I even consider going back to buy a cake?
Verdict: I didn't save any money this month but it could have been much worse. In a month with a week's holiday I managed not to spend any more than usual and lose 3kg in weight. I'll definitely be continuing in November and let you know how we do next month. Big thank you to Elaine Colliar for setting the challenge and being my mentor (even if she didn't know that she was mentoring me via her blog).