Living on a budget isn’t necessarily a bad thing as you learn to make do, stretch the basics and become inventive with ways to serve them.
Fat lot of good is a load of money in the bank when you can’t buy readymade meals from the freezer (if you can get in the shop), have takeouts every day (if they’re still open) or go out to restaurants (fat chance now) to dine with your friends.
Who’s to say you haven’t followed the trend to stock up with toilet rolls, toiletries and other products which you can’t eat, and because you’re not eating, you’d probably be constipated anyway. Time for the rich and lazy in the kitchen to join the real world.
As kids, we never went hungry. There was always a hot meal every day, a cooked breakfast on Saturday (we’d have a lazy tea of crusty bread and cold meats or winkles or sprats in the winter) and a Sunday roast. Mum baked her own cakes and pies, and I learned from her how to make a roast chicken do three meals.
I appreciate the difficulties in feeding a family, especially those with faddy eaters, but hey, the flip side of all this may be a cure for all that, eat what there is or go hungry kinda thing, and think of the knock on effect on the obesity issue in our kids when they can’t get the chocolate, crisps or snacks they’re used to. Well, somebody had to say it.
I had £8 a week to feed a family of four and two dogs at one stage. Admittedly shortages weren’t as they are now and I could ferret around in the bottom of the freezer for split bags of veg at a discounted price or take advantage of meat stuff being sold off cheap. It was great what I could do with a tin of spam (needs must, don’t knock it), or instant mash and a tin of tuna fish. I admit it did help working for a vending machine company and I could bring home food returned from sites as it was still good or suitable for an evening meal with beans, bread and butter, and a pile of chips .
But I digress. That was then, this is now.
This week, we have eaten very well, my SW food diary proves it, and we have used:
8 pints of milk (2 x 2.2 litre bottles)
1 stewpack of carrots, small swede, tiny parsnip, small onion
1 loaf of bread
2 baguette rolls (to dunk in our stew)
1 box of crackers
6 fresh tomatoes
a dozen eggs (7 of those for Maggie’s breakfast)
1 tin tuna fish
1 tin baked beans
2 jacket potatoes
400 g cheese
1 kg grapes (2 x 500g punnets)
1 tin kidney beans
3 packets biscuits
1 chicken breast
200g minced beef
1 portion breaded cod
2 servings mixed veg
We have started new boxes of cereal for me and porridge for Hubby
plus the special ingredients for my cheesecake of double cream, soft cheese, 250g margarine and digestives
We have made each tea bag do 2 cups, don’t have butter or spread on our bread though Hubby likes his peanut butter, jam or marmalade, jars of which are open but nowhere near empty.
So when we can next do some sensible shopping, we will hopefully be able to get
fresh veg, including that suitable for another three day stew
and if we can
anything in a tin
Oh and maybe a four pack of toilet rolls as we’re getting a little low even though we’ve cut back on our square usage ‘per go’.
Not much to ask is it?
Well done, Di. You know how to conserve and survive. My mom taught me and my sisters too.
We do what we can, and this is actually something I do best, that and managing money. OK, it might get boring after a while, but then I can sweet and sour something instead of curry it!!
No, you’ve obviously planned well and ‘for the rainy day’ as it were. I am guilty of being a lazy cook, especially since hubby died. I eat out more often than not, fast food and junk food have been my go tos. In the past two years I’ve begun to cook more, because I really enjoy cooking, but what I feared has come true. I never eat all I make. I’ve tried freezing the left overs and all that happens is that they get shoved to the back of the freezer and I discover them, freezer burned and nasty 6-12 months later. I am struggling to learn to cook for one, when there used to be two of us, one of them with a huge appetite who readily gobbled any left overs. For that reason alone I miss hubby a lot. He wouldn’t have done well in this current situation though, so I’m glad he was spared. Keep sharing your diary of good habits! I find them most illuminating! 😀
I used to cook for a family of 5, sometime 6 and 2 dogs, so you can imagine the problems I had adjusting to just the two of us! I finally got it under control (sort of) after about four years, and learned a valuable lesson having put Hubby in hospital with my cooking! He couldn’t handle a healthy diet, so I had to ween him off chips and burgers gradually!!!
It is difficult cooking for one. we buy our meat and then divide it up into meal size packages to freeze. Our neighbour is the same as you, finding it hard to cook for one so freezes her leftovers and then not fancy them or finds them at a very later date.
Will keep going with my budget posts and recipes. My pasta bake is for 1, and you can use tomatoes, tuna, chicken etc. Any help? 🙂
I was raised to be frugal. It was a big plus in our early married years as we were able to really save money on food since I had learned to “stretch” a meal into 2 or even 3. My husband will eat almost anything but draws the line at macaroni and cheese. Anytime I need to cook for one, I can have mac and cheese to my heart’s content!
Hubby loves my macaroni cheese and I prefer tomato pasta so have that instead. We’ve always had to count the pennies having been caught in negative equity when we bought our first house and lost thousands. We got caught again in 2014 and lost fifty thousand on our home, £30K of which were improvements, We’ll never be rich, but we don’t owe a penny to anyone and intend to keep it that way.
Oh and I had posted for Wednesday my take on being frugal with leftovers!!
If I do a roast meal (not a joint, we;re more likely to have chops) I cook extra veg and we have bubble and squeak with beans the following day.
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