DJ raised the issue the other day when we were tucking into lunch outside in the sunshine. He pointed out that we’ve been eating a lot of home grown food recently – cucumbers, salads, peas, broccoli and potatoes from the garden – and that it has probably made a difference to our food bill. Certainly, we haven’t had to buy as much fresh veg from the supermarket over the past few weeks as we might in the winter months. We’ve been doing our best to anticipate what might be ready to eat in the garden, or otherwise, and planning ahead to ensure we use it all up. For example, we’ve been swamped with eggs over the past week as on top of the produce courtesy of our own hens, Molly and Lexi, we’ve also been looking after four hens which belong to our neighbour while she’s on holiday. An average of five eggs a day (somebody next door isn’t laying at the moment but I’m not sure who) isn’t easy to cope with! But on Sunday DJ used up a good few by making a broccoli, bacon and pea quiche, which was delicious.
However, in the summer heat we’ll no doubt be using more water than we do in the winter months, especially as we have lots of tomatoes in grow bags, although we’re making good use of our water butts too. Hopefully we won’t be spending as much on our gas and electricity bills as we would do in the winter because the weather is so warm and it gets darker later. But then again, it’s tempting to reach for the electric fan when it gets too hot indoors.
The garden is such a pleasant place to be that we’re less likely to need to sit indoors with the lights on watching TV or going out in search of entertainment. In fact, the thought of going anywhere or doing much at all in this heat is pretty unappealing. That should also mean that we’re less likely to want to hit the high street and spend up a storm – just think how uncomfortable it will be trying on clothes in a hot, sticky changing room. Just as bad weather can have an adverse effect on sales at the retailers, so can very hot weather, although, that said, I am struggling to find enough lightweight summer clothes to wear.
But, then again, the summer isn’t without its expenses. Many people will still be going on some sort of holiday this year, even if it’s a short break in the UK or a so-called ‘staycation’ which can easily involve spending just as much entertaining yourself at home as you might do on a week abroad somewhere. If you have kids, you’ll be paying for activities to keep them busy during the forthcoming school holidays or paying for childcare while you work.
Then there’s the outlay on sun cream which, if you’re pale-skinned like me, can lead to spending up to £8 or £10 a bottle on the stuff. And while we might not buy as much on food as we do in the winter because the hot weather may take the edge off our appetite, we’ll be tempted to splash out on ice creams and cold drinks to cool us down.
What are your seasonal spending patterns? Do you think you spend less money in the summer than the winter, or with the summer holidays does it work out much the same? Leave a message and let me know.
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