Sunday, 17 August 2008

Making dinner time easier

Hi everyone. Today we had a leisurely stroll to the local market - very little spend. All I got was an old fashioned bottle for £1.00, an original HP Sauce glass one, which I thought would look nicer than my current fairy liquid bottle! I saw on a programme where someone used an empty bottle instead of their boring washing up plastic one and thought it was a fab idea.

We then wandered along to TK Maxx and found a 350 count pima cotton fitted sheet in a mocha colour for £9.99 which I thought was great - it has a luxurious feel to it. We also got a fan-style metal steamer for £2.99 to place on top of pans. We used to have a dual layer bamboo one, but in our old flat it went musty due to humidity. Plus it took up loads of space so this metal one takes up far less (it's an expandable one) and can also go in the dishwasher.

For the remainder, I shopped for bits and pieces. I try to plan ahead 2 weeks worth of dinners, so we both know what's for dinner each night and you don't have that feeling of it being a hassle... it's not only worked well in terms of reducing hassle, it saves cash and time too. I print out some A4 calendar sheets for an entire month and *try* to fill it out as much as I can with ideas (downloadable from here). I then use one of the Nobo drywipe boards, and a drywipe pen to write out 2 weeks of food from the A4 paper sheet.

Of course we change things around but at least it removes the headache each night of thinking about it. It means either of us can get home and start dinner, because it's planned out and all the ingredients have been bought. Having the month view also helps buy food in advance if we see any deals like 2 for 1, or BOGOF (Buy One Get One Free). My husband is happy to menu plan and to be honest comes up with more creative things than I do, so that's a definate plus to make sure we're eating varied meals. Before I go shopping I check the drywipe board and look for any underlined items, as that means we don't have the item at home. I then write up the shopping list and only buy what we need, which means spending less and throwing away less.

Friends have commented on it, and I think maybe they think it's a tad OTT, but it works and ensures we waste less and only buy what we need. On average, saves us £60 a month compared to when we did not use it. So, who cares what anyone thinks, for £720 a year extra in savings!

Here is a meal planner link - I will add more as I find interesting links:

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