Monday, 3 June 2019

cracking down on the monthly food bill

hey all, today's post is one of complete honesty and openness, and i'm even quite ashamed to admit what i'm going to tell you today. so here it is, let's cut to the chase, we spent on average this year £164 a week (a WEEK!!!) on food. that is a LOT. that's about 2-3 times as much as the average in this country. it actually makes me feel physically sick that i've been so wasteful.

firstly, i need to tell you why this has happened, and then secondly, i'll go into what i'm going to do about it.

why have we spent so much?

i think there's two main reasons for the excessive spend on food. firstly, i eat when i'm emotional and it's been an emotional year. secondly, i've been giving "special" foods to my son instead of making one large family meal (which has in turn lead to some fussy eating habits that i'm now going to need to spend some serious time and energy on undoing).

also, perhaps a side note, we've been shopping mostly at Sainsbury's which is not very cheap it would seem. but i like the fact that they deliver.

what are we going to do to lower the monthly food bill?

it's funny, it's most definitely not the first time i've got into a spending craze when it comes to groceries. back in 2013 i took part in the Big Budget Food Challenge, and then in 2018 i made a whole video about my family meal planning tips. i guess i need to take a page out of my own book and re-align myself with my values. i love to meal plan! why haven't i been doing it? i think because i just fell out of the habit for too long when we moved house, and it has taken a while for me to realise it would be good to get back into it!

and quite frankly, i think i need to simplify the meal planning system once more, taking a leaf from all the latest podcast episodes from Thriving in Motherhood. perhaps we need to say Tuesday is simply 'soup' night, etc, and then the whole procedure of planning is easier...

so maybe i'll try this to start and see where we go from there:

breakfasts - i know it's indulgent to have different breakfasts, but it's my favourite meal of the day! and without a happy start, i don't seem to keep going as happily:
  • monday - pancakes/waffles
  • tuesday - smoothie & toast
  • wednesday - porridge
  • thursday - bircher muesli
  • friday - fruit salad
  • saturday - breakfast cookies & smoothie
  • sunday - egg & soldiers

lunches - i now make packed lunches three times a week for my son, so this needs to be factored in to the budget:
  • monday - omelette
  • tuesday - lentil "sausage" roll (batch cooked and frozen)
  • wednesday - sandwiches
  • thursday - avocado toast
  • friday - tortellini/pasta
  • sunday - sunday roast or slow cooked meal

  • monday - soup night
  • tuesday - pasta 
  • wednesday - bean/lentil chilli
  • thursday - potatoes
  • friday - fish
  • sunday - leftovers

gosh, that feels SO good to have written that down! in addition to this, once i have successfully worked out that this format works well, i will also add in 2 or 3 homebaked/home-prepped treats, like muffins or bliss balls. but, i don't want to get too ahead of myself here.

i'm going to keep a record of all my food spending this month, and try to shop at Lidl instead when I can, as well as use up more of my tinned/packaged foods/frozen foods. i'm excited to see how much we can save, as well as how much healthier my son will chose to eat!

thanks for reading today! and pretty please let me know your favourite low budget family recipes in the comments below x