Week 1 $50 challenge

Have you joined me in the $50 eat from within your home challenge? If so how did you do?

Well, to be completely honest I failed. Not by a huge amount but I spent $74.79 ok I know I can’t even stick to my own challenge!! I did feel guilty about this but I decided to focus on the fact that I only spent $74.79 instead of the usual $150-200 we might spend in a week so that’s a win.

I have to say I’ve never really budgeted what we spent on food which is why we have a pantry full of yummy food which all needs eating rather than being horded. So this week has taught me to think about what we are able to eat, from the what is within the house, rather than just what we feel like for dinner.

So what did we eat? I didn’t write to all down so I’ll do better this coming week. Some of the meals we ate were chachouka, lentil spaghetti bolognese, smoothies, yoghurthomemade bread,sushi, chilli con carne in burritos, banana bread. We’ve eaten really well and have all been very satisfied.

So far I have enjoyed the challenge and this week I will make sure that I stick to my budget. Though with the week resetting today I have plenty of food in the cupboards and fridge after last week so we won’t be going to the supermarket soon. Maybe only (and not look at the rest of the specials on at the supermarket as that is how I got caught out last week) to get some milk powder as we’re almost out.jerf_pantry_chellenge

So how did we manage to cut our grocery bill in half in this week’s challenge?

  • We JERFed (Just Eat Real Food) it. We just bought raw ingredients and cooked with them.
  • We ate leftovers several nights rather than just dinner then lunch (which is what we normally do. I love leftovers they are like eating free food!). We then ate them again for tea another night when we would normally freeze the meals for later. We would change the meal up a bit ie add eggs.
  • We ate fresh fruit and vegetables from the garden, we were also gifted some beautiful courgettes and spring onions from a friend’s garden.
  • Bought vegetables and free range eggs from the local morning market.
  • We focused on what could we make with what we had rather than what do we feel like for dinner and have to buy ingredients to make that meal.
  • We cooked up dried beans we had in the back of the cupboard that I grew last year.
  • When we ran out of cheese we did without (we made a cheese sauce out of nutritional yeast, cashews and a head of broccoli).
  • We didn’t replace items that we ran out of instead I added them to a restock shopping list and moved onto other items in the pantry that we have bought and forgotten about. Which of course is the whole point of this challenge; to use up before buying new.
  • We didn’t eat out at all. Didn’t go out for any coffees. This week I’ve organised a friend to come to my place for a catch up rather than going out for dinner. I’ll make a yummy raw cake.

So do I feel deprived? Do I feel like I’m cramping my style? Do I feel like this is all just too hard?

No, actually I feel rather proud (though wish I haven’t over spent but on wards and upwards and most of the extra food I bought will feed us this week), I feel full of good wholesome food, I’m enjoying the new variety of food in our diet and am enjoying thinking of yummy different meals to make.

If you’ve joined me I’d love to hear how you’re going. I’d love to hear your tips for saving money and how you make your meals go further. Or do you feel like join in now? It’s never too late come join the fun.

eco_living_nz

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