Monthly food shop and budgeting

I’ve decided that going to do food shopping twice a month is one time too many! One unfathomable thing for me in a month is people enjoying going to the shops. Even worse are the people who don’t enjoy going to the shops but still go food shopping two or three times a week. I just don’t get it.

We used to go shopping once a week and get everything in that we needed. In the past few months I’ve been able to cut that down to once every two weeks that we have to go. For this month I’ve decided that just once is going to be enough!

When I talk to my friends and colleagues most of them feel the same about my shopping habits as I do about theirs- our worlds do not collide and we can’t picture the way the other person shops. A lot of people ask me how I can just go to the shop fortnightly and I ask them how they have the time to go multiple times a week 😂. Even with the limited amount of time I spend on food shopping it’s still too much for me, I have a lot of other things that I could be doing during that precious food run. It’s the time of the year where we get our meat shop delivered so I figured this would be a good month to layout and make a plan of attack for a whole month of shopping. (A small side note is that I will go to our local shop for bread and milk in between our big shop, it doesn’t have a long enough shelf life for me to store it. I do freeze bread but with everything else in I can only fit one loaf in!)

Now I’m not going to lie, it did take a bit of prep to shop for the full month but I don’t mind doing it cause it involves lists. I do love a list ❤️ I did a comprehensive inventory of my freezer and store cupboards including spices and things to see what I was missing. I then did a monthly meal plan. It won’t work out exactly like it does on paper but my meal plans mean I know what I can make and then that can be slotted in with my enthusiasm level on any given day. Then it’s just like playing a match up game, based on what I want to eat- what do I actually need to buy in. Then how many packets of it do I need to cover all the times we’ll have that meal. Voila my shopping list and meal plan are all complete in one!

I’ve put a list below to give an idea of meals. Whenever I talk food with people they assume that if I’m feeding us cheap I’m feeding us rubbish or the same meal every single night. That’s not the case, I just use my slow cooker to full avail. It also helps that I just makes sauces and things from scratch- I don’t need to worry about whether I have a particular sauce in, I just use some of my stores.

The only other thing to mention is I’m veggie so anything listed that’s a meat content will have the equivalent veggie substitute cooked.

For breakfast we eat the same things consistently:

Honey loops
Hipster Pot (overnight oats)
Chucky eggs and toast
Banana and toast
Bacon, scrambled eggs and toast

For snacks we’re cutting down cause we’re both chubby so our only snacks are fruit and nuts just now. We’re trying to not buy crisps and chocolate and biscuits.

For lunches I’ve planned in:

Brie and apple salad
Mugshots
Beef, broccoli and rice
Cajun chicken pasta
Pasta pesto
Cheese tomatoes
Brie and bacon paninis
Pot Noodle
Super noodles
Spaghetti and cheese
Chilli and rice
Honey and soy sauce chicken and rice
Egg and potato salad
Chilli baked potato
Cheese and beans baked potato
Egg mayo sandwich
Egg muffin cases with veg

For dinners I’ve planned:

Cauliflower, chicken and lentil curry
Burgers
Slow cooker sausages and spaghetti
Sausage, chips and beans
Spaghetti carbonara
Slow cooked meatballs and spaghetti
Chilli and rice
Chicken Tikka and rice
Fish and chips
Spaghetti bolognese
Red Thai curry and rice
Honey and mustard pork medallions with potatoes and veg
Macaroni cheese
Chicken stir fry
Pasta, sauce and garlic bread
Beef stir fry
Salt and chilli chicken and rice
Bacon wrapped chicken and chip
Diet Coke chicken and noodles
Chicken madras and rice
Chicken fajitas
Homemade chicken Kiev, chips and sweet corn

If anyone has other recipe suggestions I am always on the lookout. I have now done my big shop- it cost £80 and I’m going to keep a record of how this 4 week shop actually works out. Based on my current calculations we’re living in the lap of luxury and going to be spending £3.70 a day to feed both of us for breakfast, lunch and dinners.

 

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Debt update- March

Another month has flown by and it’s payday again (yay!). This meant we had our final budget meeting of the month last night. We learned a couple of lessons from the month as there were some unexpected monies that we had to pay out and silly things we hadn’t considered.

The first of which was because our hoover packed in. Not ideal when you’re decorating and have an extremely fluffy dog who sheds everywhere! So we had to buy a new one. Now we do put aside money for the house each month as we’re still in the middle of decorating it. However we have that currently earmarked for finishing the downstairs. So we decided to use our ‘spare’ council tax money for the month instead and buy a new hoover. This took away some of the over-payment we’d been intending to make to the debt.

The second lesson we learned (which realistically we should have thought off before) is to take into account the number of weeks in a month. As husband gets paid on the last day of the month, it does make a difference to our monthly budgeting. March was a 5 week month for us and this means that we should have increased our food and petrol allowance. We didn’t so that of course meant we overspent. It was a good lesson to learn and will help us going forward.

We’ve also spent a bit of time organising all our paperwork that just seems to pile up… I was horrified to realise that off the 5K a year we pay to our mortgage, only 1.5K off that actually gets removed from the capital amount. That’s a depressingly small amount! We’ve discussed it and the aim is for us to be debt free by the time we’re both 30 and mortgage free by the time we’re 40. That means that we need to make a massive change or we’ll never achieve it. So… In order to do that and also to help with the debt we’ve cancelled our last sharesave. That gave us a couple of grand back in cash to pay to debt and also frees up £110 per month. That £110 is now going to be an overpayment to the mortgage each month. That’ll start from the beginning of April. One of the reasons for that is we’ll have a lower LTV ratio when it comes time to re-mortgage next year at the end of our fixed rate term. In order to achieve being mortgage free by 40 we will need to start paying 1K a month to our mortgage so we are even more desperate to get rid of this debt so we can do that!

Ok now debt figures… We started the month at £9918, our standard payment of £300 has come off so now to figure out the over-payment! It turns out that we were slightly over enthusiastic last month when it came to paying extra money, we actually put our holiday money to the debt as we’d forgotten it was holiday money… Nevermind! It does mean that we can’t pay as much as we’d thought we could this month though. Our extra payment this month will be £1600. This will take us to £8018. We’ve also managed to sell my old car and I have a couple of makeup jobs which will bring in an extra £400 that can go straight to debt. Also in April my pay rise starts so we will have another £100 per month that can again go to debt each month.

The last thing we have in favour of our debt is that 1K of it isn’t actually our debt. When we were consolidating our debt into a loan we included £1500 to give to one of our friends. (There was a very good reason for doing it). This is paid off at £50 per month and will continue to be. So if we don’t include it then we are down to £6618 that we have left to pay. That works out at just £735 per month for the rest of this year and we’d be done! It is an amazing thought that we could finally be rid of this by 2018. I am desperate for it to become a reality…

Love, Kimmy x