So we are almost half a month into the new year and big changes are afoot already. Spadger is totally fed up with his job to the point where he won't be in it for much longer. At the very least he will be demoted. In today's financial climate what could possibly make someone want to leave a fairly stable, relatively well paid job? Dissatisfaction is the simple answer. I am not exactly thrilled with my job but I've had worse so can manage for the moment. So with a very real possibility of a drop in income we need to reassess our current budget. Now when we first got together I pretty much supported us and we managed on very little money. Over the years we have gotten better off and, while we have never lived to excess, we have been able to live better and more to our principles. We are now faced with the challenge of staying with those principles without feeling like we are going without.
Enter the might entity that is menu planning. It is a concept I have come across many times in my ready of many frugal and green blogs. The general idea is to have a rotating menu set over several weeks. You can then bulk buy things and also grab stuff while it is on offer knowing that it will get used. Importantly you must remember to include all meals in this, not just the main one of the day. The rotating part is to stop you getting bored by having the same meals every week. By planning in this way we should be able to cut down what we spend on groceries by buying in bulk/seasonally, reduce the amount of packaging things have, reduce waste when we don't eat all of those impulse buys (come on who hasn't found stuff in the bottom of the fridge or the back of the cupboard that they've forgotten about because it doesn't get eaten regularly?) and hopefully eat healthier too.
My plan is to get everyone in the house to write a list of their favourite meals. I can then use this as a basis for my list. I also want to look at ways to alter these meals as well. For example replacing the meat with pulses etc. Spadgersdottier has recently decided to have another go at vegetarianism so I need a repertoire of veggie meals anyhoo. I have been vegetarian in the past but I really had no idea how to cook at the time so from a health perspective it was a disaster. I like the idea of incorporating more veggie meals into my diet again. By making our diet more vegetarian as well it means we can get even better meat because we will be buying less for more money. Both me and Spadger would prefer it if our carnivorous sides were fed with animals that actual saw sunshine!
The first thing I am going to do is sort out our freezer again. I started keeping a record of what was in it at the end of last year but it sort of petered out and once again I have no idea what is in there apart from a ton of pumpkin! I think February is when all this will start as we need to get our lists together and look at where we are gong to buy things from to get the best deals . Not to mention storage of goods too!
Is it wrong that I'm quite excited about this idea?