The Year of Less - Less Food Haha....who am I kidding!!
At the end of yesterdays post I put the words .... I have a confession to make and I shall have to stand up and admit it, well I have to ..... there's evidence I have the pictures :-)
This is not one of the pictures, this is my shopping from Monday after I had completed my budget for April on the £2 House Keeping Challenge page, don't worry I went back and confessed all, and worked out the new figures, it makes for a depressing read ...... or does it.
It would seem I've issued myself with a REAL challenge!
My confession is that although the budget has been tight, somehow with using the housekeeping budget, the coupons and recommendation fees etc I have once again built up the supplies in the freezer to epic proportions (well epic to me).
The £2 House Keeping tin at the start of April ......
... and then again this morning.
I now have £106 to last me the rest of the year.
That is a weekly budget of £3.21.
So I decided as soon as I got home that I better get cracking and make the very best of everything I had just bought. It all has to last me as long as possible.
I had done pretty well with my shop, it came to £35.81 which was a bit shocking as I went out for 10 bottles of Sparkling Water which would have set me back £1.70, but hey ho, it's done now. (I did get the bottles by the way although they are not in that top picture, I always drop them straight into the utility room on my way in there's a lot of weight in a bag containing that many bottles of water).
As soon as I had unpacked and photographed the shopping (this is getting very habit forming) I set to to divide the bargains into freezable portions. I had managed to get quite a few yellow stickered items including free range chicken pieces, salmon, cream, mini quiches and two packs of ten good quality sausages reduced from £4.50 a pack to just £2.50 (Lovely Hubbys favourites) so it was a good shop, just one I was not expecting to make.
The sausages were all snipped apart and put onto trays for open freezing (I also kept the trays they came on, brilliant little trays for open freezing small amounts in the future and totally free).
The chicken portions, thighs, breasts and legs, were all individually wrapped.
The bread was opened and the slices loosened so they can be removed one slice at a time for toast etc, and then refastened.
The bagels (reduced to £1 on offer) were all sliced in half so that we can take out exactly the number of slices we want at a time and pop them straight into the toaster on it's frozen bread setting, so much better than trying to slice through a frozen bagel and potentially losing a finger!!
It was when I came to put it all in the freezer that I realised just HOW MUCH FOOD WE HAD!
I was shocked, I suppose I should also be pleased with myself in that I have managed to build up these supplies whilst shopping on such a tight budget, but still!!
It's the actually going to the supermarket that tempts me into spending more than I should, so I need to stop going. I read a brilliant quote yesterday on a Blog that I have just read from start right up to date over the last couple of days, read it for yourself it's called One Pound Per Day. If you click on the 'Table of Contents' heading you can go right back to the beginning of his challenge, it makes for inspiring reading. He's currently doing the Live Below the Line challenge, which is how I found him, his original challenge was done last year for himself. Anyway his quote was ...
‘The main product that supermarkets sell you is not food. It’s convenience.’
This is so true.
Shopping for ready made items whether it be whole ready meals, bread, yogurt or even sausages is food bought in convenient form, just ready for us to cook, and it made me think even more of all the foods I have in stock and that I was still buying, even though it was much more occasionally. Why for instance had I bought bread, I have enough flour and yeast in stock to make enough loaves for the entire year. Yes it is my favourite bread and is sliced, but surely I can experiment and add seeds and things to my loaves and fish out my electric slicer and slice up a loaf to pop in the freezer in just the same way and for much less money.
And that was it, my inspiration for the next few months. If I am able to I want to pull this paltry weekly average of just £3.21 up by NOT buying any foods for as long as possible. I have even cancelled the milk from the milk man, we have some in the freezer that will last us for about two weeks or so and then it will come out of my normal shopping money, it's so much cheaper at the supermarket, unfortunately.
The New Rules of the Challenge
To use up as much food from our stock as possible before buying anything else.
Not to shop (even visit the shops) unless absolutely necessary.
Everything is to come out of the budget except pet foods.
Photograph the freezers and cupboards regularly and post photos on specific Blog page.
(I'm not sure whether this should be weekly or monthly what do you think?)
Make another stocktake list of all the foods in the freezers and keep it updated this time.
To menu plan where possible.
To look to myself for inspiration.
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I did start to photograph the foods in stock yesterday ......
..... and confused poor Suky completely. A Pug looks confused/worried/puzzled etc so easily!
You can almost read her mind "What is Mum up to now!!"
I will finish off today photographing every bit of food in the house and then the Challenge starts in earnest. Just how much of that £106 will I have left by the end of this month?