Saturday, 27 August 2016

It works!

Doing a food inventory and menu plan, that is.  A couple of months ago we had a big supermarket delivery of tins and packet stuff, so the larder cupboards are still pretty full (extras we keep in large plastic lidded boxes in the outhouse, erm, utility room).  3 or 4 weeks ago we got a bulk meat order from our local butcher, hence the nearly full freezers, so we really are well stocked up.  So why I let things slide and fell back into the nasty habit of shopping without a list and just buying things willy-nilly, I don't know, there's no excuse except sheer laziness.

Having done the inventory, I sat down and started on a menu plan.  Well, in no time at all I'd come up with 3 weeks' worth of main meals - three weeks!  And that's just using what we have already, with no extra shopping needed.  I could actually have done another couple of weeks (I will do when we're nearing the end of the 3 weeks) as there are several packs of beef mince, chicken thighs, pork steaks and bacon in the freezer.  Lunches are usually cheese, hard boiled eggs or tinned fish with salad, breakfast I rarely eat except maybe some yogurt and berries (our own, out of the freezer) occasionally, OH usually has toast.  We have enough tea and coffee, bought on special offer when I did the big supermarket delivery shop, to last for several months yet.

So for the next 3 or 4 weeks, all I will need to buy will be some dairy stuff, salad leaves (we have plenty of our own tomatoes, cucumber and radishes), and some bananas and pears for OH.  Oh, and bread for husband....I don't make my own anymore since my bread machine packed up, my hands and wrists just aren't strong enough for kneading nowadays.  I did consider buying a new (or second hand) one, but have decided not to as I have a bit of an addiction to homemade bread and eat too much of it!  Supermarket bought bread just doesn't tempt me anymore, thankfully. 

I know some people set a shopping budget....I've never actually done that, I generally have a rough idea of how much I'd like to spend on the weekly shop, although often go over that, and do have a set budget for the bulk meat orders we get.  But now I'm seriously thinking of working out a set shopping budget, probably a monthly figure, taking into account the amount of veg/soft fruit we grow and thus don't need to buy.  However, I do like to take advantage of special offers on dry goods/toiletries etc. that we normally use, and stock up when they're on a really good deal, so maybe I need to set aside an amount for that too.

So that's a plan to work on.  I do want to rein in our spending, as OH will be retiring altogether (he currently works 3 days a week) within the next couple of years, and we need to be ready well in advance for living on a much reduced income.


  1. We don't use a shopping budget, like you state, we like to catch all the special offers on things we regularly use, we are firm and don't get tempted with other stuff at great prices. It works well for us.

  2. I set a rough budget for each week, its worked for me, have halved my food bill, and when I dont have 2 teenager boys i anticipate halving if again!

  3. I have a rolling budget, what I do not spend this week rolls over to the next and so on. That way if I spot a bargain I buy it. I almost always shop with a cash purse, it helps to focus the mind when I hand over real live money.

  4. I am doing inventory's at the moment, its surprising what you come across, I dont have a shopping budget but I know my shopping is below £20 a month, I work with cash and that is how much I have in my purse each month and the change all gets thrown into pots, I suppose I should empty the pots that have been accumulating change for ever :-)


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