Bargains, Family Life, Organising

Meal Planning

I know how boring am I?
The mum who is winging it and now you tell me she is meal planning!?
Yes …i do and the reason behind it, is to Save Money and Time!

Before we had kids i would shop in Asda or Tesco and spend a fortune, there was only us two and i would literally spend £70-£80 a week. Instead of being clever and saving our pennies for a brighter future we went out most weekends for food or drinks but we also went out to the supermarket ALOT and spent a stupid amount of money on food and toiletries for the house.
When we had CM it all changed, our budget became tight and we needed to save. I heard a big rave about Aldi saving people pennies and so i just felt the urge to start shopping there and we did save. We were cutting our food shopping down to £45-£50 a week for all 3 of us!

However between then and having the baby last year i became complacent with the budget and i found a new love for a shop to save pennies … home bargains!! However, lets face it I go in there for a £5 item and EVERY SINGLE TIME i come out spending £32-35 on….what??? you tell me!!
Our Aldi shop had also crept up to £60-80 a week, plus most weeks i pop into M&S for a few Gluten Free things for CM, which is usually £20 a week.
I knew with the baby coming we couldn’t afford spending over £140 a week and i started to change our ways in December.

A bit of my list in the app…

I started by doing a monthly shop of toiletries on our first shop of the month. I go to home bargains with a list of all the cleaning products and toiletries we need to last us a whole month.
I have a list saved on my phone (i use Colornote, as pictured on the left) and i check before i leave the house what we need and i work out how much we need.
I head to home bargains and I stick to the list! …I know right!!!
Then i head to Aldi and stick to the other list of baby items and that weeks food shop. What ever i spend in that first week on the monthly and first weeks shop i deduct from £400, what ever is left i divide by the weeks left in the month (usually 3) and that is our weekly budget for the upcoming weeks.

Generally i spend £140-190 on the first shop and then i am able to stick to the budget per week we have left. In order to stick to it i made a 4 week meal plan! 
This took around 2 months to get used to and now we are starting to see the pennies we are saving. I hope we can eventually save a lot of dollar as i’m desperate …..desperate to own our own house (yes we are the millennial’s that didn’t save when living with Mum, who now have to save every little penny, hence why we are the skint flints!)

Strangely to start my meal plan i looked at CM’s school meals, to make sure what ever he ate at school he did not eat at home on the same day.
I listed all the meals on a piece of paper by main ingredient e.g. Beef, Chicken, Fish and Veggie meals
Then i put 2 from Beef, Chicken and Fish and 1 from Veggie on to each week, then i put in some sandwich ideas for Daniel and snack ideas for CM. As he literally comes home every day after school “I’m hungry….what can i have for a snaaackkk?” (actually my husband does that to)

Got this handy little Meal Planner in Home Bargains to!

Each Saturday we have a home cooked take away – a Fake Away!
Its usually Pizza, Chinese, Indian, Mexican or Burgers. And the money we save on not buying it from a take out i put into our savings!! Kerchinngg!!

To prevent the “whats for teaaa!?!?” i get nagged about every day i bought a cute meal board from B&M Bargains and every Friday i write on the next weeks meals, this also helps me to prepare quickly rather than opening the fridge thinking “Urgh…what do i have to cook tonight!”

It’s so Cute!

We are still only a few months in so currently we are just seeing the benefits. Small steps to an end goal still feels satisfying!
Fingers firmly crossed this continues to work and we don’t get bored of being too efficient (as it could get tempting to think balls this i’m eating take out every week and sod the savings!!!!!)
This is a snippet of my “organised” life within the unorganised family i have

Let me know what saving ideas you have, meal planning tips or what any other tips you can give me….i’m desperado’s and can’t wait to hear!!!

Jay Xx

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