First things first if you want to (or need to) cut your food budget there are several things that you can do that will save you a small amount each week depending on what you shopping budget was to start with!
- Eat meat free one or two nights a week. Even if someone in your family feels that a meal isn't complete with out meat and two veg, if they know that the food budget needs to be cut they should understand. There are some meals that they might not even notice the lack of meat in listed below!
- Portion control. Think about how much you serve everyone at meal times, it might be too much. Try reducing everything slightly and this should help.
- Reduced produce. If you can buy the food at a reduced price then it will reflect in the budget!
- Plan your meals. If you know that Wednesday nights is always really busy then plan something that is quick and easy for dinner, or something that can be cooked in the slow cooker.
- Stop Eating out. Stop having takeaways or going to restaurants, if you do number 4, then you won't have to anyway.
- Take lunch to work, don't wait for the Sandwich van to come round. Take some with you and save a fortune!
- Save your leftovers. Buy some plastic pots (Tupperware!) and either freeze the leftover meal or save it for lunch the next day. If you do freeze the leftovers make sure you label the meal AND list it on a freezer inventory!
- Stretch your meals. Rubber chicken for example is a favourite in our house (although it was Rubber duck last week!) and it is so cheap!
- Make double and freeze it. Sometimes it is cheaper to make more than you need. No really. A good example of this is Curry. I like to buy premixed curry spices from eBay and then make a huge batch of curry which I then freeze in family sized portions.
- Shift down a brand. If you normally buy named brands then go down to Store brand, if you don't like something then don't buy it again. Just don't buy the cheapest of the cheap or value brands for some items unless you read the ingredients first!
Beans on toast (with an egg on top)
Cheesy Bean pie
Cheesy mash and beans
Cheesy pasta (have pasta add cheese)
Corned beef hash
Corned Beef Hotpot
Egg and Chips
Eggy Bready and beans
Fishfingers in tomato sauce
Home Made fish cakes
Home Made Pizza
Jacket Potato and a whole variety of toppings!
Liver and onions (although not for pregnant women)
Omlette (with or without additional items)
Pasta in Tomato sauce
Pasta with Bacon
Poor Mans Pasta (pasta with no additions other than butter)
Potato and Bacon Hotpot
Potato and Cheese Bake
Quiche or flans
Sausages and mash
Scrambled egg, beans and bacon
Spicy Wedges and coleslaw
Toad in the hole
Tuna and Pasta (with a little mayo)
Tuna rice salad
Veggie Stir Fry
Vegetable Rice Salad
I am thinking of doing a post next week about what to do with Leftovers, so let me know if you are interested!
And one last tried and tested idea, try to get invited to other peoples houses for dinner as often as possible!