Tuesday, 3 March 2015

This budget just got real!

We've always had pretty low shopping budget when my mind has been on the pennies (and it often is).  When we decided to change our eating habits and 'eat clean' then I was intrigued as to how budget a lifestyle like this could be.

I'd originally considered a £60 per week budget.  In times gone by this would have been a luxurious amount after I'd stocked up on basic brand spaghetti and rice!  No more though.  I've spent the last month wondering if this will be enough and came to the conclusion that I think we could eat well but it would require some definite thought, planning and shopping around.  Wouldn't be easy though!


and here's the big spanner in the works.  My husband has just this past week had some bad news regarding his work.  He may not have a job soon and he's on reduced hours.  All of a sudden £60 a week feels way too much.

So for a little while at least I'm aiming to bring this down even further.  I'd love to keep to £40 a week for the foreseeable future and see how we're doing.

With this tight a budget I can see a couple of things happening:

  • definitely no organic or free range dairy and meat products.  I'd like to eventually get to a stage of having them, but for now, until I find my feet in this budget it may have to not be a part of our diet.
  • We'll only be able to build stores very slowly.  Unfortunately I don't have huge store cupboards full of ingredients since we have been travelling for six months and are just setting up a home again.
  • Some preservatives might creep in, for example in tinned tomatoes the non organic seem to have citric acid added (I have no idea if this is ok at the moment) and perhaps in some dried fruit. 
  • Variety might take a back seat.  

One good thing recently is that I've been stocking up very slowly with only 'clean' items.  So there's not a huge amount to use that isn't ideal.  We do have some white pasta around so until that's gone we'll just use half white half wholemeal.  It means there's no waste, but we're still on the right track.  While on a very tight budget wasting food seems daft.

My mum also gave me some huge bags of dried beans the other day too so although I wasn't planning to use dried beans I will be now!  

So today's adventures in clean eating went something like this:

Breakfast: Porridge and honey

Lunch: 2 bonfire eggs on toast with cherry tomatoes

Dinner:  Chilli with brown rice (made at same time as bolognese)

Snacks:  Banana, apple and some oatcakes

Thoughts: Again we're limited for the first couple of weeks in March since we're in the countryside with no big shops nearby.  I'm feeling like I could definitely do with some more veg or salad though so we're planning a big walk to the shops tomorrow and I'll see what I can get.  Hopefully some carrots and maybe spring greens?  

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