Due to our upcoming trip this summer to Canada and wanting to pay more money towards our mortgage, I am doing more over time at work and tightening our belts when it comes to spending. I’ve always liked a good bargain and I have always been someone who loves to cook, especially for the family and I have been following a few websites such as “Feed your Family for around £20“, which is absolutely ace, whilst coming up with even more ways to save money when it comes to our food. I have also seen us throw out less and less and that also means spending less on fresh fruit and veg, instead using it for sauces etc. If you look at the pic below, you can see the counter full of food that was purchased, and a bit of the shopping list I used.
Today was pay day and I decided to do an overhaul of everything and that’s when I came up with a whole months worth of healthy meal planning which you can see below. I went to the shop and spent £64.00 and it is going to do us for the whole month food wise because I simply sat down and worked it out. It’s not difficult and took me a little over 20 mins, shopping took about 20 mins too and batch cooking for some meals took about an hour.
I don’t know why people don’t do more of this, especially those who have to live on smaller budgets because it really is much healthier and less expensive. I know that time is a factor but after the kids go to bed you can plan your menu and then pop off to the shops the following day or night. Also, cooking can be done at night or when the kids are at school/napping and its really that easy.
I used our local Aldi store and didn’t have to venture to the usual supermarkets to purchase items, but was able to get all that I needed because I am quite familiar with what they stock and based our ideas around that. I haven’t had to pick up anything at all this month and as we are into week 3 of my personal challenge, with plenty of meals still to be made. I realise that I was spending far too much before and now £15 can feed us for a week without going hungry where as before I would go into the supermarket and spend that on one meal alone.
Here is what we got and some of the meals that I prepared, saving us over £200 this month alone.
Although it may seem like its easier and cheap to use jars for sauces, I really do shy away now from buying them and now make things such as naan bread as you can see above and pasta sauces. its a great way to use up and not waste. If you feel that your fruit could go to waste, put it in the freezer or make a loaf of banana bread. Veg makes great soup and sauces but can be used in loads of different soups and you can freeze things too.
I also buy less breast meat and more thighs when it comes to chicken and I bought two packs with 6 chicken thighs in each which meant cooking them all at once, cooling and then freezing. They were handy for curries as well as fajitas , soups and risotto.
So what do you think, could you meal plan and save more each month? Or do you do this already and get it even cheaper? I’d love to know your recipes.