Save on on of your most regular bill – food

Subtitled: Saving for a whole year off – income cut, not lifestyle cut

The balances for our Year Off are growing nicely. It's safe to say we don't miss the 20%, though I would love to smash the mortgage. But I don't want the next four years to be one of self-denial and austerity.

Everything has an opportunity cost. You buy something; you can't buy something else. After all, you can only spend each dollar once. 

So why are we not missing that 20%? We're making cuts on things that we don't notice. The added bonus is the cuts help the environment too.

Tip 2: buy fewer groceries

Look I hate to harp, but for most households groceries is the area where not only a lot of money is spent, but where there can be cuts made. You can't do a lot with your mortgages or rent. 

Do you know that Australian (and British and American) households toss plenty of good food? Or food that should have been eaten but was left to rot. 

So stop buying things just because you always have. Stop buying things because you can't think what you want to cook. Stop buying extra of things because you want to feel like you are providing for your family. 

Do the menu plan!!! Even if you plan to cook something that isn't on special or is a little pricey, at least if you shop to the amounts needed and you cook it and you eat it, it's better than buying and tossing food. 

We're not perfect. Well, I am. But Mr S always buys too much. We argue over it. We toss too much when Mr S goes shopping. Mr S always buys and cooks for an army. So we end up with far too much. He forgets that often it is only the two of us at home for dinner now. 

OK, I'm not perfect in this area either. I often plan to cook pumpkin soup for work. And the pumpkin goes off. I plan to cook red cabbage the way my mother does. And the red cabbage goes off. 

I never get around to the red cabbage because it isn't really by recipe and it has to be cooked slowly. I never get around to the soup because the soup is not for the right now but for work the next day and after work who feels like cooking dinner and something else for later?

But I've made sure I'm nearly perfect in this area. 

The up-shot? We have cut our grocery bills without it making an impact on the variety and quality of dinners we eat. 

What's coming up for dinner in the next fortnight?

  • Potato, cauliflower and red lentil curry served with coriander and yoghurt.
  • Steak, chips and veggies.
  • Chicken pie.
  • Lamb Rohan josh with rice, yoghurt and coriander.
  • Curried vegetables and prawns. 2X
  • Bangers and mash.
  • Beef and Guinness stew. 2X
  • Fish and chips.
  • Beef and chickpea curry. 2X
  • A roast.
  • Minestrone soup.

Yes, lots of curries. We like them in winter. So warming. The ones with 2X after them are double meals. So we have extra nights without cooking. Leftovers won't be tossed out. They do lunch for me and breakfast and snacks for The Dreamer. (He prefers dinner-type foods for breakfast.)

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15 thoughts on “Save on on of your most regular bill – food

  1. Since Christmas I have been menu planning again and I agree it definitely costs less money to do this. I also only buy our staple goods where possible when on offer and as these tend to come around every so often I try to buy enough to cover the period when they are back to full price. I can almost predict now when my local supermarket will have our brand of butter on offer!

  2. Definitely on board with meal planning. We only do a week at a time now, but it still helps. Virtually no waste. It took a while to stop replacing items in the pantry whenever they were used (just for the sake of having them there), and to get used to the look of the fridge not always being full!

  3. You are playing my song here! Recipe (rough is fine) for potato, lentil and cauliflower curry? I have all of those things right now. And I love lentil curries:) And of course you are perfect:)

    • I made the yummiest cauliflower, potato and red lentil curry. It was so creamy. Just from the lentils. But blow me down. I can’t find the one I used. So sad. Even Mr S is disappointed. He really liked it. I’ll try another and if it is worthy, I will share. My minestrone will be shared this week.

  4. So this is one area I feel somewhat neurotic about – i get all tangled up by should I go to social events, or batch cook for the week. For those who aren’t following closely, I’ve been eating ‘freezer meals’ (Lean Cuisine et al) since the break up. Or eating out. So to get over that, and cook at home (and not perfect, but made at home such as risotto or beans with rice and cheese and stuffs). But I do one meal on a Sunday arvo/evening that will be big filling lunches, so much so I don’t often need dinner (the work out is intense too). Then my friend tells me risotto isn’t great for weight loss – shut yo face gal, it’s better than my freezer meal addiction, and small wins. It fills me up It’s made at home. It has two vege in it, and onion (so that’s three, but onion’s in everything!). Anyhow, this means I buy and cook in one go, and there’s not extras. I am again lucky to be back in Redfern, and ridiculously close to IGA, fruit shop and a few other useful places. I can be uber lazy and get a meal when I get home with so little effort – and I don’t actually ‘top up’ shop at all. And I still buy some freezer meals… cause some are yum. And let good not be the enemy of perfect

    • So eating out for social reasons is good. I say go for it. But eating out on own because too lazy to cook. No. stop that.

      Onion definitely counts as veggie. Whether it’s in everything is irrelevant.

      Freezer meals. Blurgh. You could cook up some more different dinners and freeze them in your own individual servings?!? Maybe? I think your risotto is a good thing. Except I don’t like risotto. Soggy rice porridge.

      • I love gluggy rice. And I run out of containers (darned flat mate – he uses a heap). I figure with time, i could get more prepped and have more stocked in the freezer. Goals… future goals.

        Hmm, I don’t eat out alone much. Tsk to your stop that…! smacks your arm.

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