Monday, 25 May 2015

Changing The Way I Shop To Manage The Budget

I have previously posted about  how I use a small white board on the fridge to not only plan our meals each week but also our shopping.

In the past I have always just added items to the list as they ran out, as they were required for meals or as desired by the two of us.  The problem with this strategy is that I end up replacing things that I do not use that often and may not use again for a while.  This has meant that there have been some weeks where we spent more than we needed to get through the week.

So I have come up with a new strategy.
I have divided the shopping list into two sections. 'This Week' for the items needed for this weeks meals and 'Future' which is a list of items to be purchased in the future, that have been used up or are close to needing replacing.
This means that each week when I go shopping I am only buying what is required for that week yet I am not loosing track of what needs replacing.
If I know that the weeks shopping list is small and will not exceed our $50 budget I can add a few extra items off the 'Future' list.  Otherwise they will get purchased when they are actually needed for the weeks meals.

This week for main meals we are having:
Thai Beef Salad - Nothing needed as I substituted some of the ingredients for  others.
Devilled Sausages, potatoes and Broccoli (nothing required)
Spinach and Salmon Flan (nothing required)
Lamb Neck Casserole with Polenta (nothing required)
Chicken and Olive Tagine (tomatoes needed)
Pasta (tomatoes and tomato paste required)

So the food items on this weeks list were: tomatoes, tomato paste, bread, carrots, milk, cream, 00 flour, apples, peanuts and bananas.  Total spend $39.86

There are plenty of breakfast items on hand including cereal, toast and eggs.  For lunches Hubby takes leftovers plus carrots, apples and nuts and because I work from home I can have leftovers, salad, eggs on toast or what ever I feel like.

Our pantry is already bursting at the seams well stocked so we are in a really good place to be cutting back quite significantly on our grocery spend and I am looking forward to sharing with you some of the frugal meals I will be making.

What are you having this week?


  1. I really like the way you do your menu/grocery shopping plan. I might just borrow that! Yesterday, I made up a large pot of minestrone with stock, passata I had to use up, fresh veggies and some broken up spaghetti. We had it for dinner last night with a bread roll. Tonight, I just baked some chicken legs with honey and tamari and we had some soup again with a chicken leg on the side. Extras chicken with a salad from the garden for lunches tomorrow. Tomorrow night, cheesy parcels with kale from our garden and the rest of the soup. I love this weather because I can stretch a pot of soup a long, long way!

  2. Hi Ellen Thanks for dropping by and sharing what you are eating. I love soup for the same reason. It can be a meal in itself or part of a meal. Cheesey parcels sound yummy. Feel free to take the shopping/menu plan and make it your own.

  3. I definitely shop based on recipes rather than random strolling which gets me into trouble financially AND nutritionally :). This week we've planned sweet potato corn cakes and a new recipe I found for slow cooker butter chicken. I had also made a vat of "smoky baked beans" from a new recipe which ended up being just awful so our compost pile gets a bit of a treat this week, grrrr.....

    1. Hi Aimee how annoying about the beans but I know that feeling. I once threw out a huge batch of lime picked that was sooo bitter it made me want to throw up. Sweet potato corn cakes is a new one for me and sounds very tasty.


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