Today we went to the shops for the first time this year, and in this budget period. It was difficult! Being honest here, friends! I overspent the £20 I had planned to budget for the week.....
To be a little fairer on myself, I did buy some things which will not all get eaten this week. I bought a lot of fruit and veg [green beans, and frozen green beans, grapes, carrots, mangetout, broccoli, and clementines], some dairy products [cheese and Frubes], bread, ham, beef mince, and some reduced-price crisps. That all came to £30.97.
We did, however, buy 4 packs of Frubes at £1 each, with 9 in each packet. The YFG freezes these and then has them in her lunchbox several times a week. The four boxes represent about 7 weeks of school, and will actually last longer as she probably wouldn't have one every day. Because we freeze them, we can keep them long past the date on the pack.
The crisps are also destined for the YFG's lunchboxes over a period of time. They are big bags, and were reduced from over a £1 to 30p each - I think one would last her quite a few days, and she can close the big bag up with a klippit. Once they are gone, though, they probably won't be replaced as I don't often buy crisps.
It would be possible to consider that green beans and mangetout are expensive veg to be buying at this time of year, and that we perhaps would do better to eat cheaper veg. I completely agree, but when the EFG is struggling with her weight loss plan, and those are the veg she prefers, I feel that it is better to have her eat the veg she likes than none at all. She will also eat broccoli, cabbage, carrots, etc but life gets very boring if that is all you eat! I bought frozen beans as well as fresh, so that we can try those and see if they are OK; I suspect that they will be fine and we will just buy those in future.
I definitely didn't buy any cake of any kind! The YFG did ask for a doughnut [the joys of shopping with children along!] but I said, "No." She accepted that, and didn't whinge. I hope she was remembering that there are Tunnocks teacakes, lemon cakes and chocolate cakes in the cupboard from the last Rosspa order, as well as a tin of Rose's chocolates left from Christmas, and the Christmas cake too. We are not short of sweet things. I also have plenty of margerine, flour, sugar and eggs in the house, so I could soon make some when we feel a need.
The YFG found a Betty Crocker shakeable just-add-water pancake mix in the shop, selling for £1 which makes just 6 pancakes. That resonated with her as one of our friends said only yesterday that she couldn't make pancakes. The YFG read the ingredients list on the back and wasn't that impressed. She can make her own - it only interested her because she wondered how people live without being able to make their own pancakes as they are one of her treats.
I am going to have to get back into the groove of breadmaking again this year. I have the breadmakers, the slicing machine, the freezer to store the bread, and even the flour and yeast. No excuses, really. I spent over £3 today on three loaves of bread - and they were in the reduced section! That is an area in which I can definitely make a difference. I hope that I can find a good recipe to use this year - I think that there was one at The Quince Tree so I will see if it is still there.
The beef mince found its way into an Enchilada packet mix which was lurking in the cupboard. This was shared between the three of them for a Friday night treat, although I quickly and surreptitiously put the spare portion into a plastic tub and it is heading for the freezer - no one needed another helping, and it will be there for another Friday night treat for someone. I think portion control is going to be important in the challenges this year, and it is something I will be working on in other areas as well as the kitchen....
That was my first day. Not too bad, overall, as although I overspent, it is not beyond redeeming, and I think that I reminded myself of some valuable ideas, as well as picking up some from other places. A learning curve indeed.
And tonight? I am going to spend the next 45 minutes or so constructing my spreadsheets for this year's record keeping - what fun! I want to be ready for Monday and my financial record keeping day.