Last night on A Current Affair they had a woman on who worked quietly for a year by herself with the aim in mind of shopping at one store (Aldi Supermarket) and feeding her family of 5. She didn't let on to anyone really what she was doing, all she did was plan, shop, cook for the week all the time while staying in the same supermaket. I'm a sucker for these motivational stories along with of course it makes a lot of sense to save money and shop once a week.
When I was single and paid monthly I would do a big shop once a month (staples, canned food etc. and meat) and then weekly just buy milk, bread and fruit and veggies. I saved time and money and I enjoyed cooking even after a long day from work. I remember my budget was $70 per week and that was enough even including meat. Boy how times have changed. Regardless of price increases I now have 2 more mouths to feed and of course $70 is sometimes what I spend at the fruit and veggie shop alone. I paid $2.70 for my one banana for morning tea the other day but I don't mind because I tell myself I would pay $2.70 for the Turkish Delight in a heart beat that wouldn't nearly be as healthy. Very enjoyable but not as healthy so I just suck it up and help the banana growers.
Back to my story about the lady and the cookbook. After a year she approached Ali to tell them what she had been doing and asked whether they would be interested in doing the cookbook and that was a big YES and now the book is at Ali for sale at $9.99. Planning your meals for the week, shopping once a week definately helps anyone to stick to the grocery budget. I never go into buy just 3 things, I end up coming out with $50 at least. One specific time I had to get 3 things and I was talking myself into seeing if I could just go into Woollies and buy the 3 things I needed and not look at any other specials that would encourage me to buy more. I was saying it over and over in my head because this is actually a difficult thing to do and I did come out with 5 things but figured that was okay but I know 3 things can cost $50 once you get into the store.
I went to Aldi today and got the cookbook and I would like to try out some of her recipes and savings. We all do get stuck on brands, packaging and the comfort of our regular brands but it's definitely worth a try. How does your weekly meal planning/budgeting food go - does it do your head in.
There is also the $21 week challenge (a book has been written about this). For one week (and one week only) try shopping with $21. What this means is you get into your freezer/your pantry and use up all those meats, cans of food and anything else you have which is "stock" in your pantry. The $21 is for bread/milk,fruit & veg. The idea is you do it once in a while to save yourself $200. After all when we do go grocery shopping I can assure you your freezer has stuff in it and also your pantry has stuff in it. What about pancakes or picklets for weekend breakfast or afternoon tea. Scones, anzac biscuits these homemade things taste better than store bought stuff and most of the ingredients are in your freezer. What are your thoughts on all of this. I do know when my friends and I have our meal plan ready for the week, things go smoothly and everything feels organized.