Musings & Contemplations

End of the month…

My recipes from the weekend – the spinach and potato pie and the stuffed courgette were both in need of a bit of tweeking so this week I’ll be cooking them again! That’s the thing about cooking though it’s about experimenting and improving and tasting untill you get a perfect dish!

This week I also have something else on my mind – it’s nearly pay day and money is wearnig thin!! This last week or so of the month for me is always the hardest and I put on my serious budgeting head! If you’ve been batch cooking then more likely than not you now have a weeks worth of meals in the freezer which can be taken out to supply you with a free week of food! If not then it’s often a case of sticking your head to the back of the cupboard to see what can be used! Living on a budget is acheivable but the challenge really is being healthy on a budget:

Here’s some advice on how to continue the health kick with out spending the pennies:

Write a Shopping List: This is my main change I made when we started saving our money and being healthy. I used to buy things I fancied as I was walking around and more often than not it ended up being unhealthy and food was wasted. It’s cheaper to buy the loose vegetables so if your making a list then look at the recipes for the week and buy exactly what you need; i.e. 1 carrot, 2 onions, 1 leek, 3 parsnips etc. There will be no waste and you’ve saved a lot of money!

Plan ahead: Plan your meals for the week and think about what days you will be home late (and would be tempted by a takeaway) or what days you have plans with friends and work around it in advance. Sometimes last minute arrangements come up and you can’t stick to the planned meal but there’s nothing to say you can’t jiggle the days around. Something quick and easy like a stir fry can be great to make before a night out with your friends and on evenings with nothing planned you can afford to spend a little longer preparing a nice meal. This will mean no “I’ll just grab something when I’m out” which will more than likely be expensive pub grub!

Use your Sundays wisely: If you have a day free at the weekend then spend an hour or so making a homemade soup or a batch of Bolognese etc and put it in the freezer. Then on those days where you have a suprise late meeting and can’t make the meal you’d wanted (or your just really tired) you won’t be calling for a takeaway or stopping at the shops to spend £15 on one evening meal, you will have a nutritious meal defrosted in minutes!

Make your lunch: I know quite a few people who leave for an early commute to work and never know their schedules in advance etc so I can imagine it’s quite hard to plan your lunch and popping to the shop when you can is a logical conclusion. I’m not sure there is a fool proof way to avoid this but at the beginning of the week why not make a big batch of pasta and then each evening put some in a small tub and pop it in your handbag! It will save you money even if you still buy some little extras.
For those who work in an office everyday like me theres no excuse! Make yourself a nice salad or have some left overs the next day! It can potentially save you money and calories!

Or you can do the old favourite which I have done many times – Jacket potato week!! A bowl of potatoes from the market and a load of beans! Perfect!

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