How to spend less – part 1

I tried to think of a witty name for this blog post but nada came to mind so here it is the first in a series of posts about how I’m going to spend less on everything. This is not a New Years resolution, it started a month or so back with trying to meal plan and the idea is evolving each day.

Today we did the weekly food shop and it came to £95.33, for some of you this may seem to be not too high and for others it will seem extortionate. I think that I didn’t actually overindulge but I wasn’t exactly careful. Far too much money is slipping out of my bank and into Asda, Sainsburys or Tesco and I am still wasting too much food.

Time to change. Drastically ( for me anyway).
I went into my kitchen and did a job I’ve been dreading for weeks – I sorted my cupboards. Forgive me for sounding obsessive here but I wrote down every item in my cupboard and the amount of said item. For example:

2 tins of coconut milk
4 tins of chopped tomatoes
1 pack of arborio rice
3 packs of dried spaghetti

And so on.

Then I did the fridge.. Then the freezer. Sad? Maybe.. Necessary? Totally.

I found items I’d forgotten, items almost or already past their sell by date and well just a lot of STUFF.

An apt notebook ?

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Whilst having a difficult evening with Izzy ( 4 nappy explosions in 30 mins? ) I sat down, worked my way through my many lists and meal planned using only items I already had – for the next 20 days! That’s right I have enough food in my house for the next 20 days between my cupboards, fridge and freezer.

Sooo instead of doing my weekly shop next weekend and spending another £90 I am setting myself a challenge of spending just £20 per week on essential fresh goods ( milk etc) and not doing another large shop for 3 weeks.

Ill give you a quick idea of some of the meals we have in store for us over the next few weeks:

* Thai green curry
* Lasagne
* Vegetable Balti
* Butterbean crisp
* Beef stew with dumplings
* Jerk chicken with coconut rice
* Spaghetti and meatballs
* Sweet potato risotto

Sounds good to me. I’ve broken each meal down to each ingredient and made sure I have it at home so overspending on the weekly budget should not happen.

Reading this back I sound a little obsessive but I want spare money to be used for family fun or meals out to somewhere special.. Or bills on occasion and not on food being thrown in my bin 2 weeks after purchase. As Christmas is now more or less over my weekly meal planner will be back on the weekend and I’d love it if some of you joined in.

There are lots of areas in my spending that I need to start to gain control so any help or tips you may have I would appreciate. We all waste money and I don’t imagine I will stop completely but if I save an extra £20 a week then that’s a day/night out!

Budget friendly recipes will follow over the next few days.

Hope you have all enjoyed the festivities and thank you for reading this year. It’s been fun.

Happy new year 😉

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2 thoughts on “How to spend less – part 1

    • It’s a recipe I started using when we tried to go veggie for a little while:

      Butter bean crisp:

      You will need:

      1 small saucepan & 1 baking dish or a cazuela to use both on hob and in grill.
      ​​2 x 400g cans butter beans , drained and rinsed
      ​​100g light soft cheese (garlic and herb one if possible, if not add garlic&herbs of choice)
      ​​2 tbsp snipped chives
      ​​4 tbsp breadcrumbs
      ​​1 tsp olive oil

      Heat the butter beans in a small pan for 3-4 mins. Remove a quarter of them to a bowl and mash with a fork until smooth and creamy. Stir back into the rest of the beans in the pan with the soft cheese and chives, then heat for a few mins more until warmed through.
      Transfer to a small baking dish and sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Drizzle over oil and flash under a hot grill for 1-2 mins until the crumbs are crunchy and golden.

      It’s simple and tasty.xx

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