Whadya say crispo? - Crunch

7 May 2008

Skips, those wonderful savory snacks that taste like prawn and melt on your tongue. Who would have thought that years afterwards I'd be thinking of them in connection with the endless news of our impending financial demise. If you cant remember the advert then you probably just think I’m being weird but one of the main characters shouts 'Crunch!' and I cant help but recall that when I’m watching yet another news reel about how we are all going to be down to 1 bar on the gas fire this winter...


So the purpose of this blog is meant to be to tell of how the credit crunch has affected me personally. Well without wanting to bore anyone, me is a woman in her late twenties, married, working in the City, with baby number one due later this year.


I’m not affected by the 10p tax cuts, but I also won’t be taking out membership of the Chelsea Harbour club at any time in the near future. So I would say I’m what the media term one of the middle classes.


I have certainly noticed shrinkage in my disposable funds on a monthly basis. I think the two main ones that have affected me are:


Petrol rises – I now will not buy petrol without first checking Petrolprices.com to check I am getting the best price in my area.  On a trip away this bank holiday I paid 108.9 at Morrisons both in London and Taunton, but whilst driving around Devon saw prices up towards 115p, which horrified me.  So strategic petrol buying has been something I’ve taken advantage of.


Food Prices – I do two main shops a month, and stock up at the markets or corner shop in between.  My food budget is £200 a month for the main shops, and that feeds two of us (plus bump and a small cat)  I have been shopping at Sainsburys for years now and always felt that the Nectar points made it all worthwhile. However over the last few months I was constantly over spending whilst my basket of goods was not changing.  I decided to try out Asda last time and instead of spending £100 per shop only spent £85, and I still bought Organic meat and vegetables. Some of their deals were fab like 3 loafs of Hovis bread for £2.50. So I will be defecting to Asda on a regular basis I think.


Just in terms of general things I’m doing to try and save a few bob:


-         I have cut out my daily coffee and am transferring £2 a day into my Cash ISA if I manage not to succumb that day. It’s going pretty well so far.

-         I’m bringing packed lunch every day and trying to ensure that Cost Centre 2 (husband) does the same.

-         I cut coupons like mad and use them no matter how long the queue is.

-         I have loyalty cards for everywhere and make sure I try and think of what points I have available for peoples presents.  For example I recently attended a baby shower and was able to buy two gifts from Boots for £10 worth of points.

-         I read the news online each day and only buy a paper at the weekend as a treat; previously I was buying magazines all the time, very naughty habit.

-         I am now trying to pay for as much as I can in cash each month as I really think it stops you buying things a lot of the time. If I don’t have the cash in my pocket then I don’t buy it.

And that’s me folks!