This week was potentially the week it all went wrong. I was out on Friday and Saturday and epically hungover/sick (I still maintain it wasn’t all ’cause of drinking because others were sick too!) on Sunday all of which meant no food shopping was done.
I wasn’t capable of food on Sunday, dry toast was the order of the day so it wasn’t a problem. I was still being sick on Monday morning and it was time to call in the big guns, Lucozade for breakfast (the orange one is the only one I drink and only when I’m sick!).
That actually helped and by the end of the work day I was ready to think about food, but I still didn’t feel great so it was emergency shopping, I wanted to try and keep within budget but I was aware that being tired and doing the weekly shop in the Sainsburys local in Paddington train station was not ideal.
(I’m going to go on a massive diversion here to talk about this article in the Guardian on how to shop cheaply. The premise of this article is that you should shop little and often and it is so wrong and so middle-class, I could spit. If you are cash-strapped and especially if you have a full time job, shopping little and often is bad for your budget. Shopping cheaply works like this, look in your fridge/freezer/cupboards, make a menu plan, shop once a week for the things that you need to make the food in the plan. Don’t buy anything else. You know this right? You know that every decision you make uses up your stock of willpower and decision making brain cells and that if you have to go to a shop to buy food a couple of times a week you will end up with the wine and ice-cream and the stuff that’s good in the moment but bad for your health AND your budget in the longer term.)
Like I said, this week wasn’t ideal…so I sort of tore up the list and went for it…
Here’s what I bought…Cheese, carrots, three red onions, three red peppers, mushrooms, a pot of yoghurt, mint teabags, 4 chicken breast steaks (reduced!), a packet of tortillas and a small tin of pineapple.Total cost was £13.04 but £2.80 was for rubber gloves (which is another reason not to use these shops, the value ones from the same supermarket are 46p for 2 pairs) so the total spent on food was £10.24, that left me with £4.76 for any top ups, which lets face it I was going to need…
So what did I do? On Monday, I cooked all of the chicken to make chicken fajitas. I also cooked up some rice and mixed the leftover fajita meat with that, which I then packed up for lunches for the rest of the week. I decided to re-use last week’s carrot trick for the ‘salad’ part of lunch.
The tinned pineapple ended up as the fruit in my usual breakfast granola pot.
Which meant that by Monday night, I had sorted out food to take to work, so I only needed to worry about dinners. The week was not lost!
On Tuesday, I needed to go to the library and I wanted some guacamole for the corn and black bean tacos I was planning to cook (yeah, it’s sort of been tortilla central in my house this week). So I popped into Tesco and bought the tex-mex dips and my favourite brand of pasta was half price. As pasta had been on the torn up shopping list and I only had spelt spagetti, I bought linguine and tortiglioni. Finally, I bought mozzerella for FNP and some squash because water tasted funny!. I spent £4.61 and was done with 15p to spare.
Tuesday night dinner was the previously mentioned corn and black bean tacos.Wednesday night was free pizza. As I walked through the station, they were giving them away and that was perfect because I was still tired and feeling like I was coming down with cold. Thursday was stuffed pasta with vegetables. In this instance mushrooms, garlic, onion and peppers. Traditionally I have a problem with stuffed pasta, it comes in packets for two people and I think I’ll eat half and have the rest for leftovers. Hardly ever happens. I love pasta and I’m greedy, so chances are that if I cook all of the stuffed pasta, I will eat all of the stuffed pasta. On Thursday in a move mind-boggling in it’s simplicity, I only cooked half of the packet and put the rest back in the freezer. So there you go, living by myself for most of my adult life, I’ve finally mastered stuffed pasta portion control..go me!
Friday night was pizza with Kathy with was totally unplanned but lovely.Major points from this week, food prep is important as is shopping or I don’t eat enough vegetables and everything it a bit too bread heavy. Also never look a gift
horse pizza in the mouth!