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I love food! This last week or so I’ve been super hungry all the time. Not quite figured out why but some how I’ve managed to not putting on any weight so yay! Perhaps I’m finally having a growth spurt but 20 years too late. Whatever it is (no I’m not pregnant), it means I’ve been thinking a lot about food this week. On top of that, it is the husband’s birthday so I’ve been trying to arrange lots of delicious meals for him. Hence, this week’s theme is going to be “Frugal Food”, and here are all my ideas for frugal living when it comes to your meals:
Every week I publish my meal plans and discuss my choices. I’ve been meal planning for about 9.5 months now and it has saved us a fortune. We used to spend £120-140 A WEEK! This is a ridiculous amount and we have now halved this yet we still eat as well if not better than we did. Meal planning allows you the space to be creative with your meals whilst picking the best value items and reducing food waste.
If you want to get started with meal planning then I recommend looking at my post “Meal Planning: Top Tips.”
I use my Tesco Clubcard nearly as much as I use my credit and debit cards. This is a) because I don’t buy a lot of stuff and b) because I love loyalty cards. If a shop has a loyalty card system then sign up to it. Many supermarkets do and they can give you many off items as well as points to spend on other things. My feeling is that if you don’t have a loyalty card then you agreeing to pay more for stuff. I’m not prepared to be that person!
You can get some absolute bargains by shopping yellow labels. However, you can get ripped off too. If you want to save money on your shopping then looking for reduced items with short dates is a great way to do it. But these are my rules:
Every week to two weeks I will buy a whole chicken. We will have a roast dinner from this, followed by chicken sandwiches for lunch the next day and possibly some sort of chicken fried rice/paella/risotto for dinner. I will also make stock from the bones and use this in a soup rather stock cubes. What I am trying to illustrate here is that one item can go a long way. It doesn’t have to be chicken. Leftover vegetables can be made into soups, broths and stocks. Do some research and see what you can do with your leftovers. See how many meals you can make from one item.
In season vegetables are cheap. I bought a kilo of carrots today for 40p. I’m going to roast them to have with our roast chicken tonight. And there will be enough left to make soup next week and bulk up our salads. We put as much veg into our meals as we can. The aim of this is not only to keep us healthy but so that we aren’t spending too much on the more expensive elements of our meals, such as meat and cheese. If you need to make a dish go round another person, buy more veg not more meat.
You’ve heard from me but I’d love to take further inspiration from you. Let me know what you’ve been up to. Or, like me, you can link up with Cass, Emma and Becky in this week’s ‘Five Frugal things I’ve done this week’ linky.
Disclaimer: Remember the information you read here does not represent advice. Any ideas or suggestions are just that and may not work for you. Read the full disclaimer here.
Looking After Your Pennies is an eco-friendly personal finance blog written and managed by Charlotte Jessop.
I write on a variety of topics including frugal lifestyle, eco-friendly living, money making ideas and generally how to make your money go further.