Following yesterdays post, Mo asked how I managed to get the food shop down to an average of £30 per week for both Husband and I (see the comments section of yesterdays post – I had quite a burble about it). Other than the ways I listed I’m not exactly sure so I’ve decided to keep a food diary for a week or so to see exactly what we’re getting out of our food budget!
BREAKFAST: Bran flakes with semi-skimmed milk plus a few sultanas thrown in and a cuppa. I tend to buy a box of plain (supermarket own-brand) bran flakes and add my own sultanas as it is much cheaper than buying a packet with them already added.
PACKED LUNCH: Tuna sandwich, a banana, 3 apples and a nectarine (also someone donated a tub of jelly beans to the office so I had quite a few of those as well!). Tea, coffee and mineral water are provided free at work so I don’t need to take in or go out and buy any drinks during the day.
DINNER: Mackerell (out of the freezer – I bought this on offer for £2.50 in the supermarket last month), carrots, broccoli and small jacket potatoes with butter.
If we’re feeling munchy later on we might have a slice of toast or some melon. Or both!
I had bran flakes and sultanas for breakfast followed by several lattes as I needed to use up some milk. I wasn’t particularly hungry at lunchtime so I just had a roll with cheese, lettuce and mayo. Then I got on with my cooking for the day. Today I made 6 portions of chicken curry using the following from last night’s shop:
- 6 chicken breasts – £6.66
- 4 eating apples – 98p
- 2 onions – 25p
And also from the storecupboard: 2 chicken stock cubes, sultanas, cornflour, mango chutney, curry powder, sugar, salt and pepper. I don’t cost out things from the ‘storecupboard’ as I mark them as essentials I would have had anyway! This means that each portion of curry cost £1.31, which I think is pretty good for a meal containing meat. We will be having chicken curry for dinner tomorrow night – the other 4 portions are already in the freezer.
We are having a BBQ on the beach with some friends this evening. Yesterday I bought 12 pork & apple sausages (£5.18) and 12 white rolls (£1). I also had quite a few potatoes left over from last weeks shop so I made some potato salad using my ‘leftover’ spuds, some mayo, chives, salt and pepper. Next up I fried a few onions (using olive oil, a splash of balsamic vinegar and a pinch of brown sugar) and wrapped them in foil which can be thrown on the BBQ later to warm through. I bought the sausages out of my general spending fund and the rolls, onions and chives (68p) out of my food shopping budget. I split weekend food between the two funds because, if we weren’t eating at home with friends, we would probably be going out for a meal or drinks or the cinema or something that would be costing money. Hence the ‘spend’ is half out of necessity and half is social!
I love being by the sea in the summer. BBQs on the beach (weather permitting of course) is a great way to meet up with people without spending very much. Tonight will cost us a total of £7.23 plus whatever we need to spend on coals. A couple of our friends are providing drinks, some are bringing more food and another is bringing his fishing rod – keep your fingers crossed for freshly caught mackerell on the barbie! As I cleared out the cupboard under the stairs I knew exactly where to find our BBQ kit – decluttering is finally paying off. I have a large plastic bowl for the potato salad, 4 plastic plates and cups and sets of cutlery. I gave them all a good wash as they have been hybernating since last year. I don’t know where the day has gone today. I spent a couple of hours nattering to a friend on the phone (for free!) and then did a spot of cooking. How is it 4pm?! Hope you are all having a good weekend and plenty of sunshine 🙂
From the challenge-a-day list:
- Planning/Nifty Thrifty: preparing 4 meals for the freezer
- Making use of what I already have: getting out the BBQ and picnic set
Apricot and sultana flapjack
Today was cooking day. I like to do a big cook-up on a Saturday morning so I can relax for the rest of the weekend. I nipped out and did my food shopping this morning (and used my Boots voucher and dropped off a library book). At £23.67 it came to a bit more than I was expecting but I did buy quite a lot of meat in the butchers.
Back home at the range I whipped up some lasagne for lunch (with minced beef, 2 tins chopped tomatoes, a red pepper, a courgette and some fresh basil) with 4 extra portions to freeze and then made a massive pot of fruity chicken curry (Mum’s recipe). We’ll be having curry tomorrow night and have another 4 portions that can go in the freezer. As I made and froze Bangers and Mash and Beef Casserole last weekend I am building up quite a good stock of things for the rest of the month.
I always used to think that I hated cooking. What I have discovered over the past few months is that I hate cooking in the evening. I don’t know why. I find it stressful and annoying. When I started cooking on a Saturday morning I discovered that I was actually quite enjoying myself. Weird.
Anyway, cooking duties now done I am off to read a library find before our friends come over later on…
Categories: Frugal food