Wednesday 1 June 2022

Home Economics: May Report

The apple tree in May

There's an Anglo-Catholic song that Benedict Ambrose used to sing with his pals in days of yore about "Mary's month of May." May, in my Scottish experience, is usually a lovely month, heralding the true end of winter with a flourish of white and pink blossoms. It is a good time to take a short holiday by the Scottish seaside--well, it's the earliest one can have a reasonable hope of basking in the sun. 

With seaside holidays--with any holidays really--comes a loosening of the grip on the purse strings, and our food spending reached heights not seen since last May. There was also a massive outgoings in the form of pre-paid tuition, room and board for my month's sabbatical in Poland. (Did I mention this? In short, I am going east to work on my fluency issues.) I have bought a flight there, but not back because B.A. has to arrange his own travel dates with work and ... the spending never ends. 

Okay, so let us look at the food spending for May so I can feel appropriately ashamed and at the same time re-live the delicious experiences. 

May 2022: Groceries: £300.42; RBCT (Restaurants, Bars, Cafes, Takeaway): £303.26. Total: £603.68

This was quite a contrast to April and, especially, March. However, we spent even more in May 2021. 

April 2022: Groceries £372.23; RBCT: £74.10. Total: £446.33

March 2022: Groceries £277.72; RBCT: £115.24. Total £392.96

But see 2021:

May 2021: Groceries: £350.34; RCBT £344.45. Total £694.79

This month groceries cost only 42p over what I thought we would spend on them, but our RBCT bills were twice as much. That said, almost everything we ate in that category was intentional and delicious.

1. Sunday cappuccino and cake in Stockbridge

2. Costa coffee (emergency)

3. Seaside town bakery buns

4. Seaside town fish and chips

5. Seaside town bakery buns

6. Seaside snazzy Italian restaurant for wedding anniversary supper

7. Sunday seaside hipster cappuccino and then bakery buns 

8. Seaside bakery buns (We were having these buns for breakfast, by the way.)

9. Seaside ice-cream cones

10. Gin-and-tonics before the Edinburgh Order of Malta Ball 

11. Flapjack at Costa (another emergency)

12. Thai restaurant during my Victoria Day weekend in England

13. Tea and traybake served as B.A.'s consolation in my absence.

14. Turkish restaurant during my Victoria Day weekend in England

15. Beer with pals in his favourite pub was B.A.'s next consolation.

16. Two hot chocolates were consumed after Ascension Day Mass at Edinburgh's R.C. Cathedral

17. One cardamon bun and cappuccino at Swedish bakery chain when early for an appointment. 

This last cost £6.40 ($10.21 Canadian, $8.07 US), which should serve as a warning to visitors from across the pond that eating out in the UK (but especially London and Edinburgh) is expensive. But that said, the food is delicious when you know where to go.  

I look forward to the August Report, as it will be amusing to see how much B.A. spends on food when I am abroad gobbling Polish university meals.  


  1. I am sorry to say that here in the US -- and in the midwest no less -- $8 is not an unusual price for a cappuccino and a cardamon bun. Any kind of espresso-based drink is usually $2.50 - $4 (for a size small) and a muffin/cinnamon bun type thing would probably also be $2.50-$4ish.

    1. Ah! Thank you for that correction. I will not bewail my lot as much. Mrs McL

  2. It's the same here: a medium iced-latte will cost about $6.50 (and that went up over a dollar in the last year).
    Thank you for making these monthly posts. I think in a previous one you said you had basically been winging your budget before. The posts definitely inspired me to get a handle on my own budget (although I have resorted to an app to keep track of everything). My stress and anxiety are way down and now I know where my money is going!