Everything seems to cost a little more each time I shop. I buy less and less in an attempt to keep grocery bills at about £30 (max) per week. The sudden drop in the price of butter in Aldi lulled me into a false sense of security … the weekly shopping bills of £22 are a thing of the not so distant past. Still we keep to the budget give or take a few pennies. The secret to making the pricer groceries last longer is portion size and how often you eat them… for example…
Meat. Its not necessary to eat a portion larger than a deck of cards or in fact necessary to eat meat EVERY day. Firstly, we don’t need nearly as much muscle repairing material today as we did in the 40’s, secondly, meat is harder to digest than cooked vegetables and doesn’t carry any of the essential vitamins and minerals the body needs.
Fruit. Why buy expensive fruit our of season… vegetables have far more of what you need than fruit… fruit just tastes better/ sweeter. During the winter, the only fruit we may see are a few apples, but we compensate for that with vegetables… cheaper and better for you!
Fats. Enough said… but when I say fats, I don’t mean the natural fats contained in your meats. I mean things like butter, margarine and lard. A little bit of grease in your mince won’t hurt you, your body actually needs fats to function, but be careful about anything processed… you can never be 100% sure what you’re really putting into your body. On that thought the same goes for processed and tinned foods. Just because the box of instant oats says nothing artificial, doesn’t mean its not loaded with salt, enhancers, stabilizers and preservatives!
Breakfasts will be either economical porridge (made with un-fidgeted-with regular oats.. bought in a HUGE 2kg bag in Tescos), toast or cereal (cornflakes or weetabix)
Lunches… Miss K and Master N will be eating cooked school dinners. Although not really as economical as packed lunches they enjoy a hot meal and I feel better knowing they’re well fed during the day. Little miss E comes home to an Oslo like meal usually buttered bread, some cheese, some milk and raw veggies (cucumber, carrot sticks etc). MrC is at work, so he eats as and when, usually a sandwich. Depending on what I’m doing (shopping, in town etc) I’ll either grab a sandwich or eat a large breakfast and wait until I get home again later in the afternoon.
Dinner: Cheese and Ham toasties – quick and easy on our busy shopping day
Afters: Apple crumble – also quick and easy… plus I seem to have a herd of cooking apples floating about
>>> Must remember to fish out all the material I have hiding in ‘the cupboard’ … need to get those elves busy making stockings and decorations <<<
Dinner: Pork and Apples (bought last week on special and frozen) + seasonal veg
Afters: MrC’s favourite Dark and sticky Ginger bread
>>> Getting up to mischief with tile grout and paint <<<
Dinner: Veggie Shepard’s pie – this isn’t just to cut costs (meats pricey) but is generally good for your overall health… to include a couple of veg only meals in the week.
Afters: Gingerbread biscuits
>>> Got a kinky idea for the kids advent calenders… home made of course, and on the cheap (and fun) <<<
Dinner: Fish and chips – very popular in 1940’s when available
Afters: Husarenkrapfen …. Butter biscuits to you and me
>>> Boxes for family gifts … got a neat little idea for family gifts that don’t involve spending a fortune on chocolate tines (which soon add up) <<<
Dinner: Sausage hot pot – We love some good old one pot cooking
Afters: Black forest strudel… quick simple and great with custard
Dinner: Minced beef with onion gravy and seasonal veg
Afters: 1 egg sponge with mock cream
Dinner: Mix and match Monday…. whatever is left over after a week of rationing… failing anything gloriously profound… we’ll have some bacon and egg tartlets!
Afters: Tea bread with jam…. yummm