This morning I was sitting with Hubby in a VAT (Sales Tax) For Small Business Owners workshop. I know, you're thinking "My God, so that's how the other half live!" What can I say, mine is a glamourous life. As lunch time and the end of the class approached, I slipped a note to my husband asking him out for lunch. Here's how it went:
Me: "How about we go out for a cheap lunch after this?"
Him: "For us, there's no such thing as a cheap lunch."
Me:" Yo! Sushi" (a chain of conveyor belt sushi places)
Him: "No! Money"
As funny as I thought that was, I also knew that it was true. We came home and I cooked (a tasty) lunch on the cheap and started thinking again about our food budget.
Like millions of other women around the globe, I am responsible for keeping the family fed well, and the grocery bill as low as possible. The cost of most foods have gone up over the past couple of years, while incomes have tended to go down and packages have got smaller (sneaky f@&*ers)
I thought it might be fun to have an exchange of money-saving ideas here. I have listed a few of the things I do regularly that really help me and I'd r
Here are my top tips for trimming the food bill:
1) PLAN AHEAD.
Make a menu every week and then use this to make you shopping list. It sounds more tedious than it is I promise. The tim
2) BE PREPARED TO RE-PLAN.
Don't be afraid to go off-plan though. If you get to the grocery store or farmers' market and discover that they have a special on lamb chops when you have pork chops on the menu, if it will save you money, swap! Sometimes Buy-One-Get One offers can be useful
Building relationships with local producers
4) BUY WHOLE.
Every bit of processing a piece of food goes through before it gets to you costs money. Buying carrots that have already been peeled and cut, as opposed to whole and loose cost so much more than they should. Buying a chicken whole and jointing it yourself will save you so much money and once you have the knack will only take a few minutes. The left over bones can be used to make stock, which can be used to make soups, risottos and s
This can be a treasure trove of healthy bulk and flavour. Dried beans and pulses are a brilliant, super inexpensive way to include huge amounts of protein and fibre to a meal. Keeping a well-stocked store cupboard means that you can turn a few fresh ingredients into a hearty, nourishing supper without spending more than a pound or two per head.
6) COOK IN BULK.
7) THROW AWAY AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE.
This might seem extreme or miserly, but things like carrot peelings, celery tops and bottoms, mushroom stems etc are brilliant for stocks. Odd bits of veg can be used up in soups, risotto or fried rice dishes like this one. These are
Seems impossible to think about at this time of the year, when the weather is so miserable, but even if you don't have much of a (or any) garden, you can grow tons of stuff in containers. Potatoes, carrots, salad leaves and herbs grow brilliantly in bags and pots, while tomatoes and chillies can be bought in their own pre-fertilized bags. If you DO have a garden and room for a compost bin, any scraps of veg and egg shells you have, along with fallen leaves and grass clippings make the most incredible free compost. In the peak of summer, with just a few square metres of dirt, you might find that you're hardly buying any veggies at all.
9) STAY AWAY FROM PROCESSED FOOD
A £1 family-sized lasagne is £1 for a reason and it's not because the manufacturer is feeling generous. In fact, 'manufacturer' isn't really a word we should want associated with our food.
If you make it from scratch, you can control what goes into your food (and what doesn't!) and again, not pay for processes you can easily do at home and additives you don't want.