All of this has made me think about less in a different way.
Less tastes great because...
The less I have the more creative I can be. This certainly applies to choosing to spend less money on groceries. Using up the food items we have to create new recipes without going out and buying missing ingredients (which I increasingly refuse to do) leads to perfectly successful and indeed often memorable meals.
Less convenience food means tastier food. Home cooking is undeniably yummier than convenience food.
It's better value. I get more value as home cooking provides extra portions for leftovers or meals to freeze.
I'm becoming a better cook. Every time I cook from scratch I'm improving my skills.
Less grocery shopping lightens my load. I am confident now that I can visit a supermarket and leave with only a small amount of groceries that I actually need. I love using a basket instead of a trolley and I feel uncomfortable spending more than £50 in one shop. I know what's in my cupboards and know that they are pretty full most of the time so I try to limit new food coming into the house.
I appreciate food more. I really appreciate a simple meal and the value of each ingredient. Takeaways, meals out, or our friends or family cooking for us are now a real treat as we value the whole process of meal preparation more.
I'm learning that time spent in the kitchen is valuable. These days I value time spent in the kitchen. Our food budget may be lower but our enjoyment of cooking and eating has increased. I believe time spent planning, preparing, cooking and savouring food is a great use of time. The kitchen is the room where we interact most as a family.
There's less guilt. Being in control of our spending feels great. And less waste and negative impact on the environment is also a benefit.
Oh and the photo? Irresistibly easy tarka dhal and potato and spinach curry (tinned potatoes and frozen spinach) made from store cupboard ingredients this week when we found ourselves child free one evening this week. A curry feast on a budget. Yum.