This week has felt easier. It's beginning to feel more normal to be spending quite a long time planning my menu and shopping. I'm falling into the habit of planning next week's menu and shopping list well in advance. I'm also giving myself plenty of time to check the fridge, freezer and cupboards. I think I'm getting a bit quicker at the whole process. I hope so, I've got many more weeks to go during A Year of Less Spending. Here's what happened in week 5.
Grocery shopping: £75.41 (budget £92 per week/£400 per month for three to four of us which includes food, household items and toiletries). My lowest week so far probably because some of the meals were from the freezer.
Spending diary: There's only been one no spend day but the other days were very low. My only extraordinary spend was £10 spent on plants and bulbs for a tub (picture below). It's very purple and very cheery at the front of our house.
Motivation: I'm finding I'm enjoying searching for new recipes. Spending less on groceries is motivating me to be more adventurous with our meals. I've borrowed Jack Monroe's A Year in 120 Recipes from the library and I'm looking forward to testing some of her dishes.
Clothes shopping: I've tidied my wardrobe and edited out a few pieces. I wished I'd done it weeks ago as having space around my clothes looks good and makes me feel better. No new clothes needed * breathes deeply*
Treats: The autumn planter was a treat but I kept the cost as low as I could. As you can see from the menu last night we were treated to a meal out with family. However, Tuesday is the start of my spending week so that's technically week 6's spending. My menu runs Thursday to Wednesday just to add to the confusion. I should, I suppose, try to synchronise my spending week with my menu.
Temptations: I was tempted to visit a hairdressers but I decided to have a go myself and just trimmed my fringe. My last salon visit was in August so I can hopefully last longer without a professional cut. In 2015 I've spent £88 so far on my hair (three visits in February, May and August). This is much lower than in other years due to the fact that I'm cutting my own hair in between salon visits and no longer colouring my hair.
Menu: We've eaten well this week but maybe having roast beef and then steak wasn't the healthiest option. I tried Rachel Khoo's harissa minestrone soup for the first time which was as warming as I'd imagined. It made six generous portions (two are in the freezer). I also varied our usual shepherd's pie recipe by substituting half of the lamb with red lentils (as seen on BBC One's Eat Well For Less). This also tasted good. The beef was a brisket cut and cost just under £7. It gave us enough for second helpings (youngest son) and we also had it as leftovers on Monday instead of our staple feel good Monday meal (egg 'n' chips). I also made Eton mess trifles with frozen berries, cream, meringues, strawberry jam and custard. I've got a mess of meringue nests in my cupboard and I'm trying to whittle them down. Four gone this week, six to go.
I'll leave you with my week 5 photos. How's your spending and motivation going?