Meal Planning for Beginners

So far I think I’ve only really shared all the creative, textile stuff that I do with my time, and while that is kind of my focus, sharing life is also important.

In the last three years my life has been constantly moving and with all the change, there has also been a lot of learning. To give you a brief overview, my husband and I both, graduated University, got engaged, got jobs, got married, moved house, and I recently changed jobs and we will be moving again close to Christmas. It’s been exciting and challenging and we have loved every second, but it hasn’t been without it’s pitfalls.

Right now, the biggest pitfall has been budgeting. By changing jobs we also halved our income and while we can still survive, we needed to really think carefully about our spending. I was in a bad habit of buying shoes and clothes I really didn’t need, (I have a LOT of shoes, and lets be fair, I can’t wear more than one pair at a time). Spending cut number 1. We also had a lot of takeaways, partially to do with my job, we were both so tired that cooking was sometimes a nuisance, but with the change I have more time and energy to make delicious and interesting food for us to enjoy, not just eat. So we have decided on an amount to spend on take away each month and we stick to it. Luckily we can get a meal for two for around £5 from our local chip shop. Spending cut number 2. And finally we sat down and went through our monthly spending and stopped some of the subscriptions we didn’t need or use. We also compared costs for things we did use and with some we changed companies where we were able to get more for our money. Spending cut number 3.

One thing we made a decision about, was using a food company that delivered the perfect about of interesting and delicious food for a weeks worth of dinners. While the food was fantastic, and I loved not having to go out and search for the ingredients and finding the perfect recipe, it was an expense we needed to cut. So instead of being lazy and having someone else prep our dinners, I spend a good few hours, trawling every cook book in my cupboard for recipes that we either already liked, or took a fancy to. I used post-it notes to mark the recipes so they were easy to find and began prepping for our first week of food.

That meant working out the correct quantities for two people, listing all the ingredients I didn’t have and compiling a shopping list with the correct amounts. i.e. 1 onion can be used for two recipes, so you’ve guessed it, I only needed to buy 1 onion.

Now while this sounds like a lot of work, I actually really enjoyed it. I love planning and I love food and cooking and generally looking after the house, so this has turned into something I really enjoy doing. Don’t get me wrong, it takes a while, but i’s worth it.

I hope that this short blog, has gone in some way to helping you know a little more about me, but also giving you a bit of inspiration. Those recipe books often go to waste. Why not try a different recipe this weekend. I’m having Chicken Chilli Men from my Wagamamas cook book.

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