Im really scared of doing cardless spending. I like the idea of going for a coffee and deciding what you have, or even whether you go for one at all, based on the amount that is in your purse that you know you also need for other things - but what I dont like is the idea of having to pay for the big supermarket shop in cash. I generally have no idea whether my shop will cost me £30 or £200- I'm rarely shocked so long as its somewhere within this amount. So I don't really like the thought of having to stand rummaging in my purse to count up to £200 in fivers or to have to give the cashier back £170 worth of food if I've only actually come with £30 that day. However... I'm going to start by having a food plan...which in turn will mean my shopping list is slightly more predictable.
My food planning is made considerably easier by the fact that I hate cooking, I can only make about 10 meals anyway and to save money I normally cook enough when I make a meal so that we eat the leftovers the next night. This also helps when I'm working late or busy some nights. So I've actually just chosen (with the kids) 7 meals and if each of them last 2 night each then I've actually planned for 2 weeks at a time - fab!
So here it is...
2x Macaroni cheese with brocoli and cauliflower in (and bacon on a rich week) with some veg
2x Pasta and tomato sauce (with bacon when using up bacon on a rich week)
2x Spagetti Bolognaise
2x Chilli Con Carne and rice
2x Red pepper and cream cheese pastry thing with salad and potato wedges or jackets
2x Cottage Pie and veg
2x Chicken Pie with any combo of veg that needs using up (normally leek and mushroom)
So there we have it! Actually I havent even included lasagne, or any kind of stirfry or standard roast dinner - so they can be my standby interchangable options for days when we are SO BORED of eating the same thing!
So tonight... I made the red pepper thing and when it was ready cut it in half strait away to make sure there was just as much for tomorrow nights tea :) and even got uber organised and used up the excess pepper in my huge cook off...
I normally make up a big pan of pasta sauce - a basic and tasty tomato sauce that can be used for loads of meals inc. pasta based, pizza sauce for the kids lunches etc and a big tub sits in the fridge all week till its used up or we notice its gone moldy. So instead tonight I made it and portioned it out for freezer meals. This makes me happy cos I know there are now 6 nights where I can get tea out of the freezer and still feel content in being a homecooked mum - as I'll be serving up good healthy food I have put effort into - and not smiley faces and chicken nuggets! So using 2 onions, 2 cloves of garlic, 1 large organic passata, 4 tins of organic plum tomatoes, a bit of sugar and olive oil, bits of pepper and fresh tomato, bit of boulion, pepper, spicy herb and chilli mix, and 3 bay leaves (all comes to £3- when you stock up on tinned tomatoes when the good ones are half price) I made up a load of sauce... portioned enough for 2 meals into 2 tupperwears, labelled them for the freezer... then cooked some beef mince, added some mushrooms and half a yellow pepper that needed eating and then portioned out 2 tupperwears of bolognaise... added a bit more spice and a tin of kidney beans and the rest is enough for 2 chilli con carne teas. £6.50 for 6 family meals (without the rice, penne and spaghetti of course - which I always buy in jumbo catering size bags anyway!) Ahhhhh... pleased with myself.