In these recessionary times it’s a good idea to look at personal spending. And the best way to control it is simply to write everything down. Here’s my total spend for yesterday:

Breakfast from Pret…… £3.77
Lunch at Sushi takeout…£10.95
Chinese for dinner…….£11.80
Bottle of wine……….. £5.99
Total ——————-£32.51

Now, that’s a stunning amount to spend on a day’s food, especially when much of it was not food but fodder. And if I hadn’t noted it down, I’d barely have noticed how many tenners are going down the pan. Admittedly, that’s an unusual day – an empty fridge meant the local Chinese was the easiest option when I got home at 9pm – but even so, it’s not rare to spend £20 a day on complete non-essentials, and that’s £400 a month.

What throws this into sharp relief is that June included a few real moneysaving activities. One Sunday I bought a 1kg beef joint, spent a pleasant few hours roasting it with trimmings, and it resulted in 2 dinners, 3 lunches, and a snack of leftovers added to some noodles, all for around £10.

Today for lunch, I’m going to buy a bread roll and some fresh beef from Sainsbury’s and hand-assemble a sandwich for £2. And for dinner some last-day reduced price veg tossed with pasta, around £1 the lot.

After I finish this bacon bap from the coffee shop below the office.

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