We are a family of 5 plus an extra 4 dogs, we live on quite a tight budget and have to work out our weekly and monthly budget for bills and food shopping, then the amount we have left gets split in half. Half goes towards debts and the other half will go into our saving jar. The money in the jar goes toward either days out with the children or new items the children need like school shoes etc.
At the beginning of the month we will stock up the freezer on all the essential we will be needing, i’m not a great cook so I don’t tend to try new receipts, I stick to my go-to dinners that I know I can cook and my family like. We generally do all our other shopping on a Tuesday so I need to get all my planning done on a Monday.
To make sure we stay on budget I like to write out a meal plan every week. Meal planning is a must for our family, it help keep the peace with my children because they help pick their meals so they can not argue when it comes to dinner times. It also helps because I will go through the freezer the night before and pick out meals from what we already have so i’m not over spending on shopping.
I like to use the ‘Free meal planning’ printables that you can find on the internet. I am a great fan of pinterest, you can find so many lovely designs on there. This week I am using a lovely printout, this suits my family because there is enough space to write two meals in each day ( we eat at different times than the children) also there is space for a shopping list on the side.
This was a free printable that I downloaded from a site called ‘Neat house sweet home’ There is a lot of lovely free printables on this site, you can visit the page here
These are meals we have picked for the week and the shopping list I used.
We don’t tend to stick to just one shop, it depends on what type of items we need, sometimes we go to Asdas, Icelands, Aldis and Tescos. This week we went to Asdas because we needed dog food, we have to get two types of dog food now we have the pup and Asdas are reliable for their puppy food.
Below are the images of what we got on our shopping trip.
My children love eating fresh fruit and their favourites are bananas and melon so these two are pretty much always on our list. The children choose to have jacket potatos for dinner so we got them as well.
This week we decided to get round rolls instead of loafs of bread, having sandwiches all the time can get boring. I have a sweet tooth and love Asdas lemon cake. Kira is not a great eater in the morning so we get her these brioche rolls and she is quite happy to eat them for breakfast.
Callum loves these golden balls in the morning with milk and Ellas likes to eat them dry. We eat quite a lot of pasta so this is an essential item I always buy. My children are always hungry straight after school so we buy these snack bags as they are handy to put in out snack basket.
In this next picture we have all of our tins, condiments and the most essential of all COFFEE and SUGAR. My hubby and Ella enjoy having toast and marmalade as a morning snack so this can always be found in our cupboard.
Last of all these are the items we needed for the fridge, My children love having a yogurt or moose after dinner so we tend to stock them up quite frequently.
We buy dog food and washing powder in bulk so we tend to these every other week, so one week it will be dog food and the next week it will be washing powder, we do this as it fits in our budget. This week was dog food ( sorry no pictures for this) we brought 12 cans of puppy food and 24 cans for the bigger dogs and we got a large bag of mixer biscuits to go with that.
All of this came to £79.65 Usually our food shopping budget is £70 and we normally have a little left but because of the extra puppy food we went over this week.
I would love hear from you, Do you meal plan? Do you have a budget you like to stick to? Which shops do think have the best money saving deals?