Summer spending patterns

How much do you spend in the summer compared to the winter? This is a question that’s been on my mind this week as DJ and I go through our summer finances.

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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3 Responses to Summer spending patterns

  1. Christine says:

    This summer expense is swings and roundabouts – end of June is the time that a lot of major seed firms have their clearing out of left over seeds before they start stocking for next year. Also gardeners associations which are associated with local allotments may well have a clearing out of left over seeds (you may be able to join your local one for a small fee even if you don\’t run an allotment and buy slightly more cheaply but then again there may be less variety). If the packets have a year of life available then it\’s worth buying up most of what you want for next year now at half price or better than half price. I hate to tell you that you\’ve just missed the best of the special offers on vegetables at two major suppliers. I keep mine in the warmest part of the fridge and they\’ll be fine for next year. I reckon I\’ve halved my vegetable seed bill same as I did last year. But it\’s a summer bill that has to be budgeted for – takes away one bill from the after Christmas/January sales time.

  2. Bill says:

    Hi there!I was a tinking, mebbe I should fill me tyres with diesel, as the price appears to skyrocket every winter. Wish I had a deepfreeze, I would certainly be out there picking my own, mostly on the graveyard shift, much quieter, as also cheaper. Fish is also good for the deep freeze, & the price always increases in winter. Raw meat is not so good, too much loss of wieght/dehydration during defrosting. It needs to be cooked, possibly steamed in the microwave, cooled, & vaccy-packed before freezing. Rabbit, hare, rooks, pigeons, poultry, squirrels, snails & other small game are extremely useful for this, as they can easily be packed in individual portions for ease of defrosting, & consumption.All of the above meat & game can be consumed cold, or it can easilly be reheated by microwave, in the vaccy pack, & served with a minimum of fresh veg stock. Also, most fish can be consumed raw, or poached in the vaccy pack, by microwave, again served with a minimum hot, fresh veg stock. Both deep freeze, as also microwave are extreme fuel/energy efficient.Children can easilly be involved in picking, preparing, cooking, packing & freezing all fresh fruit & veg from an early age, to prevent any phobia setting in. Older children can be involved in meat & small game, the younger the better. This way they not only learn respect for the end product, thereby minimising waste thereof, but they also learn respect for the live creatures, minimising cruelty, as also maximising health & safety. They also learn that actions have consequences, & to take responsibility for their own actions. Obviously, there must be some form of peacework payment/reward in place, & this must always be correctly honoured. Any failure to do so can be extremely counter productive. We must always remember that Rug-Rats can be extreme deceptive, as also devious, & equally cruel/malicious.

  3. Paul says:

    If you are really serious about saving money then can I suggest you take a look at this website http://www.money-saving-superstore.com it is packed with a whole range of ways to save money.Whether it is summer holidays, travel,financial worries or virtually anything else you can think of

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