Well, it's nearing the end of the month and in my case this always means a sharp tightening of the belt and careful managing with what money I have left. As a consequence, this week's shop had to be small as I had just over £20 left to buy food for the week. Fortunately, through buying things on offer when I saw them, I have a freezer which is pretty well stocked with meat, fish, frozen vegetables and breakfast items (i.e. crumpets, potato cakes, etc.), a vegetable drawer with enough carrots, parsnips, courgette and onions to last and cupboards with quite a lot of tinned and dry foods to get us through the week.
I stocked up on cereals last week and need no household products or toiletries so all I do need are fruit, some vegetables and salad, yoghurts, ham, cheese, butter, orange juice and bread, which if I shop carefully, I should be able to get for the money I have left. Any extras and treats bar what we have already in the house, will have to wait until next month now.
It's a good excuse really to try to clear the fridge, freezer and cupboards of foods that have been lurking there for quite a while unused. For example, I have a trifle mix in the cupboard and fruit in the freezer, which has been sat there for over 3 months waiting for me to make the trifle, so this week I will be doing just that. I am rather relieved now that I did overspend on food at the beginning of this month, as it is helpful to still have some of the food in the house as the month comes to an end.
I have now done my weekly shop at Lidl and thankfully I did manage to get everything on my list for the sum of £22.22, which was a relief. We should eat as well as we do in any other week so none of us should suffer at all. I might just have to be a little more creative which is no bad thing.
I am aware that there are people in this country as well as in other parts of the world who aren't sure where their next meal is coming from, so I feel it is really important to appreciate what we have and not waste food. We try to use up all our shopping and not buy too much fresh food so that it doesn't go off in the fridge by the end of the week. In addition I try to make just enough of every meal to feed us all. Any leftovers are either given to the dog if they are suitable, put in the fridge or frozen for use another day. Any vegetables looking tired still get used, but are chopped up and put in a stew or casserole, as after 2-3 hours cooking you cannot possibly tell how fresh they were to start with anyway. Peelings are composted in the garden and any other cooked or non-compostable at home food waste is taken by the council weekly and turned into compost too, so we are quite fortunate in this regard.
As decided earlier in the month, we made a contribution to our local food bank this month and hope to continue doing so in the future. It didn't cost a huge amount of money, and it is surprising how large a box of food you can buy for £5 or so if you are careful and considered about it. Please note, I deliberately did not buy supermarket value items either, although there is absolutely nothing wrong with doing so. Our local food bank provide a list of the most useful types of items to buy and I just about stuck to it although a few items weren't on the list, so I hope they can by used. I hope the food I bought will be useful to someone out there who might be struggling to make ends meet.