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This week I am sharing 5 thriftyish things I’ve done to save money. Here are some ideas to show that small changes really do make a big difference!
Our real focus at the moment is reducing the amount of money we spend on groceries, while still eating delicious meals. I shared a little more about that here. This can be tricky with four children who have very different food preferences! During the October half term, we were so busy that our grocery shop took a back seat and we stretched our normal weekly shop out to 10 days. By the end of the 10th day, we had run out of lots of basics and even ended up trying milk-free pancakes due to running out of milk! It made me think about extending our normal weekly shop to 10 days, with the theory that fewer shops a month might mean I save time, money and energy.
As I am writing this, we are on day 7 and it’s going well. I was mostly worried about fruit and vegetables, bread and milk. I will have to nip out to buy bread and some milk. The vegetables are doing absolutely fine as we tend to stick to longer lasting fresh vegetables and have lots of frozen vegetables in the freezer. Aside from the bananas which are starting to turn overripe, the fruit looks fine too!
A THRIFTYISH WEEK
Here are some of the thrifty and frugal things we have done this week.
HOMEMADE FAJITA SEASONING
Instead of buying a fajita kit, we decided to have a go at making our own fajita spices this week. It was delicious and definitely hit the right fajita notes, although it felt like something was missing. More research and experiment needed I think! We used frozen chicken breasts and cooked in the oven before slicing the cooked chicken and adding to the fajita spices and vegetables. Next time we will try defrosting the chicken first and cooking the chicken strips with spices for a deeper flavour.
We had two past-their-best bananas lurking on our fruit wall last week, and to avoid waste we quickly whipped up some banana bread. This had to be the most gorgeous banana bread we have ever made, and I think that baking it on low, for longer really helped. It didn’t last long. In fact, it was really lucky I managed to snap a photograph! My 3-year-old was jumping up and down in excitement at the side of me whilst I was taking this! She REALLY wanted a piece of banana bread!
A WALK IN THE WOODS
Our puppy Loki turned 13 weeks old last weekend, and now he has had all his jabs he is safe to join us on walks, this was his first family walk. He did amazing, we even let him off his lead and he really impressed us all! We met up with some friends and their children and dog and enjoyed a lovely few hours walking & chatting. It’s getting harder to find things to do that please all the children now they are getting older, but walks with their friends are a winner and they climb, play and chat all the way around. (And the adults got to chat too, winning!)
DATE NIGHT RAISUKAREE
Date nights are pretty rare (maybe once/twice a year), it’s usually down to logistics, expense & childcare. We have started making time to have our own stay-at-home date night, where we eat when the children are in bed & enjoy a film together afterwards. We made chicken raisukaree, my own copy of the Wagamama’s recipe (confession: I forgot to take a photograph, this photo is of the prawn raisukaree I made earlier this year when I was perfecting the recipe!)
Date night is a brilliant excuse to make something I know the children won’t eat! I estimate it cost us just over £5 to feed two, which is a lot more than what we usually spend on a meal for all 6 of us, but a huge saving on the £27 it would have cost us to eat at Wagamama’s. That’s before drinks. And dessert. I mean who can resist the white chocolate ginger cheesecake? I must find a recipe for that!
The photo really doesn’t do this justice, this is the BEST ever pizza dough recipe. The children chose cheese for their pizza but we decided on a fully-loaded topping. This was ham, mushroom and fresh pineapple. The mushrooms & ham needed using up, and the pineapple was on super six offer at Aldi.
AND THE NOT-SO-THRIFTY
Our eldest two children wanted to join football sessions until Christmas. This costs £42 for the sessions, and another £50 for new football boots, shinpads and socks! Luckily we already have some skins to keep them both warm from last year. Sadly I completely forgot to go through Topcashback which would have earned me 2% cashback at Sports Direct. This would have saved me £1 – it might seem like a small saving, but these small savings add up! They both loved the first football session, so I guess its worth it!