If you’re reading this then it means, like me, you’ve survived JanuWORRY! Fortunately we didn’t have to live on cabbage and pap, but it definitely wasn’t December ( I like how these words have now become adjectives!) In hopes to get completely out of the trenches and into a more money-smart lifestyle, I have partnered with Liberty Life to share some of my tips for making tasty lunches on a tight budget.
First I want to share two things which helped, before getting to the actual lunches:
We budgeted for our food! For the first time…in years. We now know what we spend on groceries per week! I actually still can’t believe it! I must say, I was quite irritable, in the shops, when my husband wanted to count everything ( he even added the wrap that I bought to eat whilst shopping) as part of the budget! After a while though, I realised that the budget was enough and it even left a bit of room for a few treats.
I think the fact that I knew I was just shopping for the week actually helped with my anxiety around having to stick to a budger. It meant, that if I wasn’t happy with my purchases this week then I could do better the next week (or even pop into the shops for one or two things).
It also forced me to think in terms of weeks – when it came to things like coffee outings, my Uber trips etc. I don’t know, maybe this is just my problem, but there is something so deceptive about a whole monthly shop. You think you will make it, you believe everything will last long enough, you even believe the Woolies desserts you buy in week one and two won’t really affect things, but they do!
FIVE PRINCIPLES I USED:
NO FOOD GETS THROWN AWAY
Leftover suppers are packed for lunch. Things like leftover chicken are made into chicken mayo sandwiches. If it was pasta we will just pack it as is, and maybe make a salad on the side (or pack a fruit) Just make sure you have disposable cutlery when doing this otherwise they get thrown into the school bin or get lost.
RETHINKING THE TRADITIONAL SCHOOL LUNCH
If my child can eat stew and rice for supper, they can eat it for school. My kids prefer their food at room temperature so we just warm it up and the morning and they enjoy it at school.
LOOK OUT FOR FOOD SPECIALS ONLINE
Go onto the sites online. All the big grocery stores have their specials online. You can do this the day before you shop. For example, I bought the Nutriday 3 pack which is currently going for about R35 this month at our local Pick n Pay. I will be buying this every week.
DIY AS FAR AS POSSIBLE
We always pack our own cooldrink that we mix (Oros goes a long way) but I always try to have the Ceres box juice available in case we run out of Oros – on a day I can’t go to the shops.
USE YOUR LOYALTY AND REWARD CARDS
I was never serious about this until this past January! I use the Woolies one, the Vitality one, and the smart shopper. What I like about the Vitality one is that it encourages me to shop for more healthy food (I have chickpeas in my cupboard!).
Pinterest is your best friend! There are so many tips for making tasty lunches on a tight budget! If you have three ingredients, Pinterest can help you make three different meals from that! I love it. If you have leftover cabbage, you can make a cabbage sandwich!
Now that I’ve mastered the food bill, I need to master entertainment, savings, and clothing. I have thought of getting a personal advisor but I think I’m scared of being judged! I also keep thinking maybe we’ll have one when we’re rich but can we get rich without financial counsel??? I don’t know. How do you save on costs in the home?
I’d love to hear from you!