Some time ago I started a post (which I didn't publish) with the title Dashing Daddy Eco Warrior and the Frugal Mummy. It was a bit of a joke, at my husband's expense, as he'd been at the Earth Summit Conference in London for a few days. He would return home in the evenings to find the house at sub-tropical temperatures, visibly annoyed, turning the temperature down, mumbling, sometimes not mumbling, that things were going to change around here and why didn't we put a jumper on and wear slippers around the house. I got it, I really did, it's just that I don't like being cold and jumpers sometimes aren't comfortable (who am I trying to kid?!). It did get me thinking more than usual though... I want to stop this wasteful way of life that we lead and the ever increasing feeling that immediate gratification is normal. It's not normal!
This is the sort of thing I want to stop...
I'm cold - Turn the heating up.
I want chocolate - Immediately go to cupboard and choose from various bars from Green & Black's to Cadbury's.
I want fresh raspberries, even though they're not in season - Go to Waitrose and buy some. Actually I'm not too bad with this as I'm aware of eating seasonally but I do still do it sometimes!
You get where I'm going with this...
I was an avid list maker. A bit OCD at list making truth be told and I had to go cold turkey on that one. But planning is what I've had a lot of time to do over the last few weeks and for a little while (probably a month) we're going to trial a new housekeeping system to see if...
1. We can get organised in the pantry, fridge and freezer and stop being so wasteful.
2. We can meal plan and stick to it, to help keep us on track.
3. I can stop going to Waitrose and over filling the trolley with things which we dont always use.
4. I can make do with a once a month home delivery from a supermarket.
5. and this is the big one - I really want to see if we can reduce our 'keeping house' budget. Actually, let me re-phrase that - introduce a budget, as until now there hasn't been one. I want to see if I can feed all of us for £70.00 a week. That's all meals - breakfast, lunch, packed lunch and dinner. To some people that may seem like a lot of money, to others it will seem like peanuts. Based on looking through old receipts, I'm shocked to see that we often spend at least double that a week.
EDIT: I just checked the currency converter to work out how much it equates to in other countries, for our average weekly spend. So for £140.00 it's approx - US$275.00, CAN$284.00, AUS$314.00 and Euros 188.00 AND WE WANT TO SPEND HALF THAT. How does that fare with you?
Until we try it I might be being totally unrealistic but it's worth a shot. So, I'm not saying this will be easy, I'm not saying that I'll be able to stick to it but I want to atleast try and I know that if I've written it here it will motivate me to do it. All this and still keep up with our Kitchen Travels, which I'm thinking Thailand next.... AND EAT ORGANIC and LOCAL where possible - I sure know how to challenge myself.
To help with the planning I'm going to start with the veg box delivery. This weekend I will look on-line to see what's going to be delivered the following week and then meal plan. Making a shopping list of all the other ingredients needed. Trying where possible to avoid the need to visit a supermarket. Now the start is easy as the cupboards are full - they need to be re-organised but they're full! Wait until there's no chipotle paste, Lingham's chilli sauce, or my cheating ingredients or worse still, no chocolate! EDIT: Now starting to worry, panic, get heart palpitations!