I’m going to be honest, five months in & I don’t know where we’d be without our meal plan & grocery haul guide. Well I do know, we’d still be knee deep in receipts from random trips to the shop & wasted money.
You might be thinking, “well that’s a bit dramatic!” I’m here to say, I think our meal plans has saved us! We were one of those households that would do a daily shop, we’d go to buy our meals for the evening on the very evening that we planned to cook something or if not it would be every few days & we’d probably go whilst we were hungry & spend around £15-£20 (maybe a bit less) which for two doesn’t seem a great deal but in my opinion it all adds up & it’s wasted food, I’m not afraid to admit we kind of ate because we had to, we didn’t really enjoy eating I don’t think, mostly because our circumstances were different & Mr Sage & I always ended up eating at different times.
Since those circumstances have changed, recently we decided to have a bit of a life over haul – start to get a bit more thrifty with our spending & start to get our finances on a better track. If you are interested in doing the same, I would suggest starting a meal plan & budget.
We set ours around a month as we both get paid a monthly wage & that worked best for us, but this can be done weekly.
We sat down & worked out all our incomings & out goings & how much realistically we could afford to spend on food each month, which left us down to a figure of £50 a week – £200 per month.
Our next step was to start planning ahead, which I have to say was a bit alien to us at first “what if I don’t fancy lasagne in two weeks time?” well, you just have to be strong with yourself & the bonus is you can always shuffle your plan around when you feel necessary, but the key is to have your core plan set in place & your budget there to stick to.
One thing that really has cemented this plan in place for us is a brand called Abel & Cole (this post isn’t sponsored by the way!) I did a tonne of research in to vegetable delivery boxes & I really liked Abel & Cole, for one, all there veg is organically grown, by lovely people all with fantastic stories, two, they all about minimising waste & helping the environment & lastly their boxes arrive 99.9% plastic free! I say 99.9% because I have received tomatoes in plastic, however I’m pretty sure they only use plastic when its absolutely necessary. Anyway if you want to find out more on Abel & Cole you can find them here.
We receive a weekly veg box, which we switch up depending on what meals I’ve pencilled in for that particular week, & that usually sees us through, we just then have the remainder of the budget to top up on anything extra that we might need, for example, flour for the bread maker or pasta. Anything that is left over from the weekly trip we put in the kitty to go towards a monthly treat!
I cannot stress enough how important taking a shopping list & calculator with you when you go to the supermarket!
This will seem a bit strange to begin with (particularly the calculator) especially if you’re not used to it, but I promise you it will be your saving grace.
Your list will only have your must have items on it – it’s a good idea to write your shopping list our as your planning your meals so you don’t add anything on that’s not 100% necessary later, your calculator will keep you on track with your spend.
This has really worked wonders for us & so far we have yet to go over budget, we’ve even managed to put some money away!
Other tips I can give you:
Pin lots of practical meal ideas on Pinterest, this will keep you inspired when you’re not sure what to cook!
Invest in at least one good cookbook, you’ll find that you’ll have to be a bit more creative in the kitchen now you’ve got limited funds shall we say, so having a good book on hand is very helpful
Don’t go shopping or write your plan when you’re hungry, this is when temptation creeps in to spend more on treats! by all means budget for a homemade treat, I like to make something sweet in bulk on a Sunday that is likely to see us through the week.
Avoid confectionary aisles in the supermarket, we used to spend so much time in the supermarket, just browsing down the aisles which I think was our major fail, whereas now we have our list & we whizz round & get out before we have time to look at anything else.
Welcome to my slice of internet pie!
I’m Kelly aka Mrs Vintage, this is the life & loves of a vintage wife.
I also own small business dandelionandbloom.com