Saturday, July 31, 2010

Jars and trying to get back on track with budget

I have been more than lax about budgeting properly for the last few months but have done it half-heartedly enough that it felt like I was doing something and so now feels totally unfair that I have just gotten paid and am stony broke already.  But that's life and I have no-one but myself to blame (although if my brother or my former lodger felt the need to start paying me back some of the money I have loaned them this year I might feel better).  This month is going to be tricky, I essentially need to not spend any more money now and realistically I have enough food to eat so the small amount of cash I actually have should be enough to get me through.  I have made a couple of commitments that I will need to take care of as well.  I ordered two kilos of raspberries for next Saturday to make jam with and am going to go ahead and buy them as they're doing me a favour by keeping them for me - that will be more or less all they have so they're doing me the favour and potentially annoying six or seven other customers by not having any so it seems fair enough to me.  I plan to head to the market from that side only and buy nothing else, tempting as it all is.  I really shouldn't have bought as much today as I did and spread the amount out over the month, making it far easier to process small batches of food anyway but I just have such a sense that I'm way behind.  There were plums today which is generally my cue to start in on the chutneys but I just have to wait.  Thank goodness they don't take credit cards at the market, that's becoming far too much of a habit again.

I've also told a friend who is leaving Germany that I will buy a picture from her. It's a beautiful picture and she was not looking for much for it and as she is giving me some curtains for nothing as well as already having given me a potato/onion storage yoke I don't want to pull out on her. If I had more money I would buy lots more from her as well - she has some lovely things. But I don't so I won't.

And I have invited that friend plus some other people for dinner this week so I have bought the bulk of what I'll need today but I will need to get one or two things fresh on the day as well.

I have made two ebay purchases this past week, two separate lots of jars.  Very good bargains but I know next week I'll wish I had the 40 euro back instead.  Still, in the long run I have saved myself a lot of money.

The first lot was 10 x 1 litre jars - the ones with the glass lids.  I got this for 13.11 and paid 6.90 shipping so 20.01 in total.  I did want to collect them in person but it turned out that she didn't live in the village she had given but 4 km outside it.  Might have been a nice walk there but the walk back with 10 big jars would have been difficult and it was already going to be two trains or a train and two buses to get to the village.  Those jars cost at least 4 euro each new so at least a 50% saving. 

The second lot cost me 20 euro and I was able to pick it up in person yesterday after work.

There are:
5 x 1 litre leifheit jars with two-part lids
6 x 0.75 litre leifheit jars with two-part lids
4 x 0.5 litre leifheit jars with two-part lids
2 x 0.25 litre leifheit jars with screwtop lids
6 x 450ml screwtop lid jars
7 x 340ml screwtop lid jars
13 x 240ml screwtop lid jars

The screwtop lid jars are selling for between 1.00 and 1.20 each this year while the leifheit jars are, I think, 2.95, 3.95 and 4.95 depending on size. I wouldn't re-use most of the lids that came with these, they have been well-used already and I'd rather not take the chance. But even buying new lids I will still have made a substantial saving. Now I need to forget that ebay exists for a little while.

Actually, I had a nice chat with the guy I picked those jars up from yesterday. He was selling them for his mum, who is now 80 and hasn't felt up to doing much jam-making the last few years. I nearly felt bad only giving him 20 euro but that is all he asked and nobody bid against me. I have offered to bring him back a few jars of jam for his mum later in the year though.

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