This blog has been the kick up the backside I needed to alter the way I live. I didn't intend it to be like that, it sort of just happened. I have always cooked and been careful with money but feel now this has stepped up a whole new level. As well as wanting to reduce my debts, I am cooking everything from scratch (just the name of them famous golden arches makes me feel a little bit sick in my mouth) and I love passing this knowledge and enthusiasm onto my husband and children. Although, it has taken a few weeks to sink in. After reading Frugal Queen's blog about how much she spent on takeaways I realised this was another area where money was being spent needlessly.
I decided to use my poor unsuspecting family as guinea pigs for an experiment to show how much money can be wasted on takeaway food. The first week I banned all takeaway, but going cold turkey only made them crave it more the second week. So I then decided to let them have a takeaway whenever they wanted whilst also offering the option to cook something. They chose takeaway. Thursday had become takeaway night simply because it is payday. Friday because it is the end of the working week. Saturday lunch because I work and nobody could be bothered cooking anything, and Saturday night because they didn't have time to wait for something to be cooked. This was all well and good...until the Monday. A whopping £54 had been spent on junk which left almost nothing for the rest of the week. When asked why there was nothing (i.e. treats) in the cupboards this was the reason why. It is paying off as I have noticed a significant turnaround this week - they have not even mentioned eating out at all and have started to show an interest in what dish I am going to serve up next. I made them homemade fish, chips and mushy peas courtesy of a recipe from Frugal Queen (again) http://frugalincornwall.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/fish-and-chips-twice.html and even Mini A cleared her plate.
I've also been making sure everyone takes packed lunches to work and school. The butternut squash soup that I batch made on Sunday has been used for eldest one to take to work a couple of times. The rest of us have taken sandwiches or barm cakes which I purchase on a daily basis from Heron Foods as it's only round the corner from where I work. I often read on other blogs about doing the weekly shop or ordering in bulk but I like to shop daily as it works best for me, I work in a small town, walk to and from work so only buy items I need for the day as I have to carry them home. Also I have access to the 'short-dated' box, this week I have picked up- eggs=30p, single cream =5p and barm cakes= 10p all because the use by date was in a couple of days time. This little lot would be well gone by then. I avoid supermarkets at all costs and use Heron, my local butchers, delicatessen and market for all my food needs.
I've still a long way to go (if I want to look half as glamorous as the lady in the picture) as I am spending a large amount in the kitchen at night, not leaving much time for anything else, so need to get more organised there. But knowing my family are being fed properly and I'm saving a packet in the meantime only has to be a positive thing, hasn't it?