I thought long and hard about the amount of money needed for food in 2014, but in the end decided to keep the budget at £200* a month (for now). It will be changing a little in the summer as we’re expecting B to come home after uni for a short while (long while?), but he’ll be paying board, so I’ll up the budget accordingly.
*I’ve spent an average of £217 a month this year, so £200 seems a good amount to aim for.
December Grocery Spending:
So far this month I’ve spent £106.19 – which includes my already ordered shopping for December 23rd. This leaves me with 93.81 for the next 17 days – totally doable even with 3 of us to feed (B is home next week).
Food cupboard + Freezer Inventory:
Here’s a list of the food we have in our pantry and freezer before today. I’ll be using this, and the food being delivered later, to make a menu plan for the rest of the month.
Have you set your grocery budget for 2014? Are you increasing it compared to this year? Or are you trying to lower it?
This morning I thought I’d show you my menu planning in action…sort of!
I started with a quick freezer inventory, added in planned events, and then worked out the meal plan.
- Pork Loin Chops & Veggies
- Salmon & Veggies
- Eggs & Bagels
- Beef Casserole & Veggies
- Chicken + Noodles
Things to note:
- I don’t have any pre-made meals in my freezer right now – this needs fixing!
- We have lots (and lots) of fresh fruit still available to eat with our meals
- I need to buy eggs from the farm shop as soon as!
- I’ve spent £111.29 on grocery this month and it’s only the 9th!
- But we’re eating a.lot healthier and I’m losing weight (not that this should be more expensive?!)
- I’m going to give our local farm shop another go this week.
Linking up with I’m an Organizing Junkie
What’s on your menu this week?
Our plan to get serious with our mortgage attack starts with our budget. We’re not looking to cut out everything – staying is our digital TV package (NFL is my husband’s love outside of me and the rest of the family lol), and travel. Also staying is the current round of house renovations as we really need to finish this house! However, there are a few changes we can start making over the next few months, which if accomplished, could lead to budget savings in 2014.
Five Financial Mini Goals:
1. Gas and electricity costs. You may remember this cost going up to a whopping £171 a month earlier in the year. We’re nearly back up to date with this account, and the power company estimate we will spend £1,200 on gas and electricity over the next 12 months – potential saving £71 a month.
2. Phone costs. My iPhone contract is due to end in December and I’m not interest in upgrading. I plan to go onto a SIM only deal – potential saving £18 a month.
3. Gift Spending. This is just my personal battle not to overspend at Christmas – potential saving £16 a month.
4. Personal Spending. Again this is just my personal battle. I have ‘Enough’ – potential saving £20 a month.
5. Grocery Spending. I left this one until last because it’s such a biggy for me. I know I can reduce our grocery costs even further. I’m lazy in the kitchen and still buy far too much processed rubbish. If I can really get to grips with this over the next few months, it’ll help our budget…..and my diet! German supermarkets and stockpiling are definitely the way to go – potential saving £50 a month.
So that’s it! For the next 4+ months I’ll be working on reducing these five areas of spending as well as trying to achieve our year end goals.
I did a little on this last November, and had planned on doing a follow up, but promptly forget……the reminder came when I was updating my
sadly neglected price book.
We eat the same meals all the time (and like it that way!), however if you’re trying to limit your spending, then it pays to work out the cost of every meal, and plan your menu around it.
For example, in our house chicken fajitas costs £6+ per meal, whereas Chili and Rice costs us £2.48….fajitas every week would bump our grocery spending, chili would not! I’ll add a disclaimer – I’m not the most frugal cook and this is all relative to the food you prefer and your own personal grocery budget!
Here’s another meal break down – I plan to do it for all the meals we eat over the next few weeks and then make some sort of master list.
Chili Chow Mein Noodles and Sausages…a strange combination that came about from having two leftover cooked sausages in the fridge. We liked it so much we now have sausages with noodles all the time
Cost to make:
- £2.50 Sausages (x6)
- £0.20 Noodles (AF)
- £0.56 1/2 packet frozen stir fry veg
- £0.25 1/4 packet frozen peppers (thanks CT Mom for that suggestion)
- £0.10 Soy Sauce
- £0.25 Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce
The meal would cost a little more (+13p), if I didn’t have the cheap noodles.
Okay onto our menu plan……….I’m off to London until Wednesday, so it’s a shortened week
- Wednesday: Veggie Burger with Fries and Salad
- Thursday: Baked Salmon and Veggies
- Friday: Quiche and Salad
- Saturday: Chicken Fajitas
- Sunday: Pasta Bolognese
That’s it for today! What”s on your menu this week?