The half term holidays are only just coming to an end but planning needs to start now! We do this every year as even before kids with Steff being a teacher and having the long holiday August is very expensive.
Even if you aren’t going on holiday during the 6 week holiday costs go up. Maybe kids burn more energy at home than at school but mine just eat their way through the day! If I give them a small packed lunch they go mad and claim they are still starving so food bills go through the roof.
So for the last half term of school we go on an economy drive. We cut right back on activities and only do anything that is free…this year we are lucky that we have the Merlin passes to keep us busy!
We also plan and budget food every week. Every bit we can save now is more for the holidays.
We have very busy working lives with the kids often needing to eat at different times to us and then both me and Steff working evenings or going to the gym means we struggle to eat together too.
This morning we sat down together and planned what evenings we would be in together. Then we looked at the kids activities and what evenings would need “quick meals” and then we planned how we could turn what the kids were having into something that worked for us too so we could maybe do a slow cooker meal and eat at different times or chicken but served with different sides.
I’m also on a mission these next 7 weeks to be super healthy as a final push for wearing a bikini in Greece so my meal planning needs to be healthy too. I’m thinking the best way is going to be portion control as I often eat as much as Steff when in fact I shouldn’t be. This should then make meals go further and help cut costs too. Win win!
I wanted a BBQ this afternoon as the weather is lovely but we have been away and eaten too much food and not the healthiest of food either. So even though it’s warn I’m doing a roast to make sure the kids get plenty of veg. Then I’ll make it for 10 people so we can have it reheated tomorrow too.
I’m also going to make a chilli this afternoon again double up so we have it in the freezer. We will have that on Tuesday night with jacket potatoes and the kids can have them with cheese and beans.
Wednesday I’m going to do chicken and veg (will see what’s on offer when I go to the shops) for the kids and for us Summer-in-winter chicken. It’s a great recipe I found off good food website that’s easy and low fat. I will make enough mash that evening to reheat the next day. I know mash isn’t hard to make but it’ll save me some time once we get back from all the kids activities on Thursday.
Thursday is pork chops with mash and veg for all of us. Steff has football so he can reheat his later.
Friday I’m going to do a roast chicken in the slow cooker and make some homemade chips and coleslaw.
As we get closer to pay day I’m sure we will be having a vegetarian week and eating more meals from the freezer but this week the cutting back is coming from planning!
I put the menu up on the wall and the kids love it. They then know what’s for dinner so can choose school lunch knowing what they are having at night. Once it’s up on the wall I’m not allowed to change my mind either else they shout at me. So it means I only do my one shop at the start of the week and no more popping to the shops. If I nip to the shops just once for milk I end up coming out £20 worse off so it needs to all be done in one shop.
Unfortunately I couldn’t get a Tesco online shop in for this morning so I now have to brace it and go to Asda and do a real life shop!!! Although it should be cheaper shipping in Asda so that helps.
Fingers crossed it goes to plan and we’ll see how much money we can save this week compared to normal.