At the dinner table last night, conversation turned (inevitably at the start of a new year) to money. We were discussing the pros and cons of owning an old house; after some very heavy rain and the discovery of some broken tiles, there are some
unforeseen unwanted repairs we might need to have done sooner rather than later.
Then we ended up discussing how much I spend on the groceries each week. I was feeling rather proud after a cheap (around $50 less than normal) shop on Sunday, and Tall was interested to know where that extra money would normally be spent.
I’ve never been very good at budgeting when it comes to meal planning and grocery shopping. I tend to peruse my recipe books and decide on the recipes I want to make, write my shopping list accordingly, and toddle off to the supermarket to get everything we need. However, this method has a tendency to backfire, when I decide I want something out-of-season, and end up paying through the nose for it. Like eggplants, which I crave during winter when they cost ridiculous amounts.
Tall wasn’t suggesting that I should be spending less all the time (we eat well – very well – and it’s important to us that we have varied, healthy, tasty meals which will offer our boys the chance to try different flavours), but he decided to throw down a bit of a challenge. A challenge we shall call “Cheap-As Tuesday”.
The premise? Create a meal for four (me, Tall, Tiny, and leftovers) for under $10 every Tuesday. Of course, I accepted immediately (our relationship began with a challenge involving a whole pineapple…but that’s a story for another day), and I’m quite looking forward to it.
It helped that this Tuesday, I’d already planned on a cheap-ish meal, but I’ve already got my thinking cap on for next week. I wish I’d kept the receipt from the groceries so I could work out exactly how much tonight’s meal will cost, but I’m pretty sure it’ll be around that magic $10 mark.
On the menu this week:
~ barbecued honey-soy pork ribs with coleslaw and new potatoes
~ Cheap-As Tuesday: barbecued sausages with salad, sweetcorn and new potatoes*
~ grilled chicken teriyaki with rice and stir-fried vegetables
~ portobella mushroom quesadillas*
~ proscuitto and rocket pizza*
~ slow-barbecued lamb with salads
* with the potential for leftovers for Tall’s lunches, saving even more dosh.
Are you good at sticking to a food budget? Do you have any suggestions for a Cheap-As Tuesday meal I can try?