Now I have had lots of great days this month with my family etc but there is something so satisfying about pay day when I get to budget for the coming month, pay some extra off my large mortgage (very embarrassed at the size. Maybe i'll learn to share the amount one day. Until then i'm still in denial!) and just generally get 'my house in order' for the next 4 - 5 weeks.
Things I did yesterday;
- Checked the cupboards, freezer etc and the Lidl's leaftlet. I tend to meal plan around what is on offer at the various supermarkets and have been finding more and more thebulk of my shopping is being done at Lidl with smaller shops at Tesco and Morrisons. I am a total supermarket tart and actually enjoy the whole 'shopping around' thing. I am aiming for no more than £250.00 grocery spend this month. I have reduced this from over £500.00 a month back around Spring time.
- I moved money around via on line banking, i.e. topped up the various on-line saving's accounts I have for things like annual insurance's, car running costs, holiday fund etc.
- Paid my credit card bill in full. I have a Tesco Clubcard credit card which we use for most of our shopping and petrol to take advantage of the points. However I always pay it off in full each month.
- Wrote out our weekly meal plan. I usually do this with the kids as they like to be involved and I think it is a good way of making them think about the food they like and about budgeting in general. I often take them shopping with me and talk about comparing things and the difference in price.
FRIDAY - Home made pizza. Usually served with raw carrot and cucumber sticks.
SATURDAY - Turkey Curry with home made flat breads.
SUNDAY - Lemon roast chicken with cabbage & roasted carrots and rice.
MONDAY - Pasta with pesto. (If I have enough basil leaves on the plant, I often make my own pesto but the best 'fresh' alternative is Tesco 'Finest' fresh pesto. I'll team this with any 'value' pasta I can get for 18p a bag and combine with any stir fry veg and perhaps bacon, smoked sausage etc. The kids love it and it's a fairly cheap meal for 5). This is one of my 'stand by' meals for nights the kids are off at clubs etc after school and it's chaos. You can have it on the table in under 15 mins and it's filling & nutritious if you use plenty veg.
TUESDAY - Fish cakes, made with tinned salmon. I usually team them with Cauliflower cheese or peas & carrots.
WEDNESDAY - Beef and Ale stew. I will shop around for the cheapest stewing steak and bottle of the cheapest dark ale to use. Team it with buttery mashed potato and any veg.
THURSDAY - Bacon & pea risotto.
Of course I don't always stick to the meal plan rigidly, I may swop nights around if we don't fancy a particular dish on a given night but I have found meal planning to be a huge saver in the cash dept and we are not eating lesser quality food although we are saving money every month.