Nella Martin

an appointment with a nurse in practice

Category: Shopping

Budgets and Calories

While George Osborne has been preparing and delivering his fifth budget, I decided that it was a good time to do my own. I find budgets are comparable to diets, except it’s the other way round. Too little in V too much out with money. Too much in V too little out with calories. Both things make for disastrous consequences.
The theory is nice and easy in my head, in fact both things more or less match, my daily calorie total and my monthly pounds to spend total are pretty much the same. I need to keep them both to around 1500 and then everything balances out beautifully. Except I don’t seem to be very good at counting. Children and all their various needs devour the pounds, whilst I try very hard to not devour too many calories. I can keep both things on track for a while but then life happens to divert my mind from my counting and it all goes horribly wrong. I stand on the scales and I’ve gained three pounds, I check my bank statement and it’s lost £300 😦
Mostly this month but especially yesterday and today I have counted everything out beautifully. I have numbers jotted down on the corner of the tissue box, in my diary, on page margins. I have £50 to spend on shopping (I’ve already shopped this week to the sum of £70) and £40 on petrol until next Wednesday, when I should be paid again. Everything else is accounted for and I’m hoping to finish the month in the black and with no extra lbs or kilos on me. 🙂
I’m at work, three consecutive patients have failed to turn up for their appointments.


Shopping and Loyalty Schemes.

I loath supermarket loyalty points schemes. They make me feel trapped, obliged, hoodwinked even. Some send out vouchers for extra points if you buy certain products. Husband has always collected them, he would  leave them out for me. I would then have to try to remember to pick them up and take them with me, remember what they were for, remember to get them out of my pocket and give them in at the checkout, Invariable every single one would be invalid for some reason, “Not that one love, it’s for the bigger size”, or “you need to get three of these” or “it is only if you spend over £10 on oranges.”

Husband would also count up his points gleefully each month and see how many miles he could fly with them. He still sometimes mentions with disbelief about the years I shopped at JS without bothering to get a Nectar card. He has several loyalty cards in his wallet. I, however, usually go about my day without a purse or wallet, preferring to just have my debit card in a pocket somewhere about my person, hence I would find myself at a supermarket without the necessary card.

“Keep your receipt love and you can put your points on at the customer service desk next time” the checkout person would say to me. I’d feel a sense of fleeting alarm that I must try not to lose this receipt and I must remember to bring it back next time and I must come to this chain of supermarket and not forget and go to another instead. Moments later the receipt would be forgotten, languishing on my car floor or in the car door, maybe in my pocket to be washed with my jeans or screwed up forgotten at the bottom of the carrier bag. It’s the same with the little piece of paper/coupon they give you now if you could have shopped for 67p cheaper elsewhere. For all of 5 seconds I think “I must keep that safe” then it’s forgotten, most probably it has a fate similar to that of the receipts, but the truth is, that I don’t really know what happens to them!

I’ve now rebelled defiantly against points and prizes giving supermarkets. I prefer to shop at Aldi or Asda, neither has a loyalty card scheme and this suits me very happily. I save money as It does work out cheaper. Same for Morrisons. I decided to go to Morrisons today, normally schemeless but to my horror,  the lady gave me a coupon/leaflet thing. I have to shop three times to get £10 off my shopping bill or 10p off a litre of fuel or maybe both. I looked at the coupon in disbelief and went through all my usual anxieties. I’ve just tried to find it, but I can’t, it’s gone, somewhere… .. I’m NOT going back there.