Food and Budget: 09/01 to 15/01/2016

I was so fed up this week, I’d thrown a ton of food and other stuff away, I’d felt like I’d been in kitchen all week, cleaning it and I knew there was more to go. I did have a rough  meal plan and I was determined that I wasn’t going to let the week send me off into wild spending, the whole point of this budget limit is to prove that it’s doable even when I’m stressing out about critters invading the kitchen.

One of the other joys of this week was my phone decided to randomly crash, so I had a paper list, here it is

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I needed to make some granola (to replace the stuff I’d thrown away) and planned on slow cooker chicken and peppers for Saturday night, a soba noodle salad for lunches and needed to get ingredients for that. However, I had a genius moment and forgot to take the chicken out of the freezer, I also hadn’t planned on buying fruit and wanted some.   So I had a quick change of plan. I abandoned the idea of making granola and bought a packet of Dorset Cereals granola instead, 4 chicken legs were half price so I got those and I bought a pineapple and a pomegranate again. They didn’t have any parsley but they did have coriander and it was on special offer so that did just fine! The total was £14.96. Close but still within budget…DSCF5119DSCF5118For a number of reasons, mainly to do with forgetting to switch the slow cooker on, we didn’t eat the chicken and peppers on Saturday night, we ate pasta and butter and cheese!

I find weekdays are easier if I have the same thing for breakfast and lunches. I prepped those meals on Sunday afternoon. Breakfasts were pomegranate arils, yogurt and granola. I chopped up the pineapple and potted it up as a snack. For lunches I had the soba noodle salad and roast vegetables (a squash that’s been hanging around since October, tomatoes, peppers and onions)DSCF5134The chicken and peppers I ate with rice on Sunday and Tuesday night. The rest went in the freezer.DSCF5131I really want to make a dent in some of food in the freezer and so had soup from the freezer on Monday and Wednesday night, with extra vegetables and seeds. (the colour of it is not great but it tastes good!)DSCF5139Tuna burgers also from the freezer with chopped up carrots was Thursday’s dinner.

And on Friday I made a new to me pizza base because it didn’t require sugar, which I didn’t have. This one is a keeper, it’s quick, simple and tastes really good. If you don’t make your own or are having problems with yours, try this one, just use plain flour instead of strong bread flour.

So what did I learn this week? In my professional life, I’m a huge advocate for having and understanding a process for regular jobs, that way it’s easier to deviate from plan and work around if you have too. The key is understanding the steps before you have to jettison them. This was the key takeaway from last week, having a plan in plan made it easier to tap into what I needed (fruit) and easier to adapt when I realised that I’d forgotten to defrost the chicken because I had a good idea of what I was going to eat and how much it cost. If I had just turned up to the supermarket without a list or a plan in the completely grumpy and stressed out mood I was rocking on Saturday morning…well there’s no way I’ve have stuck to the £15 budget and that would have put me at a disadvantage for the rest of the month.

The other lesson from last week is that a little bit of food prep goes a long way. That couple of hours on Sunday, got me ahead of the game, knowing that food was sorted made my week easier because it was one less decision to think about each day.

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About nicdempsey

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