It is always difficult when both parents work, and your teenage kids can’t chip in to help you both because they don’t cook. After watching Eat Well for Less, it inspired me to write this blog post, because part of what they covered in the program are some of the cooking and shopping challenges that my own clients face.
You’d be amazed at just how much money you could shave off your shopping bill by making some changes to your daily routine, especially now with Covid and people being furloughed.
It’s always very tempting to go to your local store, or even your local petrol station to grab something for your evening meal, because you might prefer to do a small, easy and quick grocery shop.
Shopping this way may be quick and easy, but it can be far more costly and limit your food choices.
Another way to get organised and stop popping to the store to spend more money, is to do one big shop once a week. I quite like doing one big meat, fish or household shop once a month, then buy veggies and fruit once a week, this works well for me and my family and also saves us money.
You can also save money by not buyng brand names, there are other products that you might buy such as cereals, sliced bread, or other which are supermarket brands instead which are just as good.
Finally, shopping lists are useful to have and take with you as they help you organise your shopping and buy food that you’re going to make throughout the week, I know when I get organised it takes a lot of stress off me and the husband.
Get Everyone Involved (if they are old enough)
Another stress relief is getting the kids involved in the kitchen to help cook, peel or do whatever is needed. Sometimes they grumble, but once they get their hands dirty they get into kitchen mode. It gives the kids some responsibility, they feel great about cooking and looking after you for a change and they get to eat the lovely food they’ve made, putting them in the mood to take on another challenge in the kitchen.
In the TV example I saw, one of the teenage girls replaced her chocolate wheat biscuit cereal with normal wheat biscuits and added chocolate drops to the cereal. This helped save money and lowered the amount of sugar she was consuming. Buying fresh seasonal fruit in your local street market can also work out saving you money.
The more we practice cooking and making meals, the quicker and easier it becomes.
Limit Eating Out
If you like eating out once a week, like on a Friday night, it might be a good idea to do this every other week instead. Encourage the kids to cook for you on that Friday night your staying home.
Other tips include:
- Establish a routine. Once you’ve gotten into a new routine, and have the week’s recipes sorted out, print them out with your shopping lists and have a family group meeting about who’s cooking what, or get them to pick a recipe to make.
- Mind the easy take-outs. Look at how often you might buy a coffee on your way to work with a breakfast croissant, you’ll be surprised at how much money you could save per month.
- Lunch anyone? If you’re buying lunch everyday, consider taking packed lunches at least three days a week, you can find really easy recipes to make which won’t take long, or cost a lot, for example, rice noodles, while they are soaking in hot water for 10 minutes, you could get started on shredding cooked chicken breast, peas, carrots or anything you’d like to add into your packed lunch. You can make a great fresh sauce to add into it, by using olive oil, two or three tablespoons of soy sauce, add some grated fresh lime and shake it all up to mix into the packed lunch your taking with you.
If you need any food plans with shopping lists, you can take advantage of the service I provide. If you’d like to know more please use my free 15 minute telephone consultation.