Or rather, that’s what it feels like when feeding the family!
There are lots of things to consider when food shopping for my family. To start with, I have my step-sons over at the week-ends and sometimes at half-terms. Not all the kids like the same things so I therefore have to plan my meals in advance, taking into consideration that my step-sons may not like what’s for dinner when they come over.
‘Tough’! I hear you say. I know, I know but I want them to have a good, relaxed time when they’re here as opposed to thinking that they’ll have a terrible time. Besides, the conversation at the tables flows much more easily when everyone is enjoying their food so, what do I do to prepare for the week ahead?
Writing down upcoming meals
No brainer, really. It helps me to relax and not wonder what on earth I’m making that day or any other day, and it also avoids having four kids asking me what’s for dinner. I tend to write mine on my phone as it’s usually always on my hand and I can take it with me everywhere.
It’s sometimes not good enough to just go to my local supermarket because their prices tend to be over the top so trips to fruit so veg market stalls can sometimes give me more value for my money. Where possible, I also visit my local fish quay based in North Shields. Not only is the fish fresh and caught that day, you get a much better range than you would at the supermarket.
Buy reduced items
I try to do this whenever I visit the supermarket. if it’s not an item on my shopping list but it’s reduced and I know I’ll be making that dish in future, I buy it and freeze it. Better in my freezer than in a bin somewhere eh?
Buy in bulk
Yes, it’s annoying having to have such a big item in my kitchen cupboard but this saves me money, especially when it comes to rice and pasta. Places like Costco or again, my local cultural shop will sell things in bulk and besides, it’ll be something off my shopping list for a while after purchase.
Make things myself
I’ll hold my hands up and say that I do buy items in jars sometimes because it’s quicker but for the most part, I buy whatever I need for whatever dish I’m making and make the sauce/ pulses/rice myself as opposed to getting the jar all the time and besides, if I buy a four pack of tinned tomatoes, a pack of fresh tomatoes and use half of each for an Italian tomato based sauce, I’d still have leftovers for another meal.
The sauce pictured above is a Nando’s-style meat seasoning that’s great for barbecuing and grilling. Look out for a post on how to make the sauce itself.
What money-saving tips am I missing? Leave a comment below!