Generally I'm in charge of the food shopping in our house as I tend to do most of the cooking. Steve is a great cook but I take take pleasure in cooking so generally I cook and Steve (bless his heart) washes up afterwards (and I really mean he needs blessing as I'm the type of person who uses loads of pans when cooking).
Anyway, a few weeks ago I was totally inspired by Ashley's great idea to shop your pantry which you can find here- link!This gives a far more comprehensive guide then mine (which is more a test drive of her idea). She also does a second update here- link! It's an organised and cost effective way to plan your meals based on what you already have at home.
The basic premise is that you list everything you have in your home and base meals around them, using up what you have and planning meals so there is as little wastage as possible. I love this concept as it's cost effective and saves time in the long run plus (excuse the pun) food wastage leaves a sour taste in my mouth!
This is how I did it:
1. List the items you already have in. I must admit I didn't list every last thing (e.g. mayo, different types of cheese etc) but instead will just add these to the chalk board when I run out and add them to the shopping list.
2. Create a grid for the days of the week. Plan meals to cover each day of the week, as I went I did a small tick next to each item I already had (on the original food stock list) so I knew it was being used, then added any ingredients I didn't have for that particular meal to the shopping list. There were some scribbles as I reconsidered the order depending on which fresh foods would go off first.
3.As Steve eats toast for breakfast every morning each week day, I have cereal at work and Ben has it at the childminders, I left gaps in weekday breakfast/ lunches and just added what I would need straight to the shopping list e.g. sandwich meats, fruit etc.
4. I picked three new recipes to try this week but I'll try them on Sunday and Friday so I'm not stressed about cooking them after a long day at work. I also planned to keep one freezer pizza (for those emergency nights when you're shattered).
5.I then went back to the shopping list and added other things such as cleaning products, bird seed, light bulbs etc.
There were a few bits and pieces left (such as 50 party size sausage rolls that were never used at a party) but I guess they'll have to wait for another day! Also, I didn't put it into sections in the supermarket (if I'm honest it's just because I forgot) but I'll just take a pen this week and cross them off.
The verdict so far:
I was quite surprised how short the shopping list was as I felt I had nothing in at home but when I reevaluated, it just wasn't things that went together. I'm hoping I should be able to buy the food for between £50-£60 but I'm not really sure. I didn't plan a strict budget this time and only planned for one week: it's my first week trying this and I'm a bit clueless about how much we normally spend and also I'm aware we run out of fresh food such as milk and fruit on a weekly basis so would need to restock. I'll report back on how I found this in a month or so when I have a chance to really get to grips with it.
Thanks Ashley from The Vanilla Tulip for such a great idea and happy Friday everybody!xxx