If you had asked me a year ago if I would ever write a blog post I would have chuckled and rolled my eyes. “Who wants to listen to me prattle on about what I did this weekend”? “I have friends for that”.
In reality, the truth is, a year ago I didn’t have anything to say. Not something I thought anyone would take 5 minutes out of their busy day to engage with anyway.
But now…… 12 months on…..I do……I hope 🙂
So what changed?
9 months and 1 day ago we were plodding on. Me, the husband and the boy. Recently moved out of London to a leafy commuter town with family around the corner. Working hard and enjoying the fruits of our labour. We felt blessed although as the saying goes “you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone”, so I’m sure we took it for granted.
9 months ago….. that was smashed apart by the cruelty and greed of others. One of those, “you think it doesn’t happen to you” moments but it did.
That’s a story for another day but pretty much overnight everything we had worked for was under threat. The numbers on the spreadsheet didn’t balance, our household income had halved and we needed to seriously tighten our belts any way we could.
When I sat back and looked at our shopping bill it was an obvious place to start. A family of 3 we were easily spending £150 a week on a grocery shop plus another £100 on grab and go lunches and take away coffees. This actually makes me wince to think about it now as it’s a bad week if I’ve hit 3 figures.
The big challenge for me was how we were going to continue to eat well. There was definitely a fair bit of food waste in that number but essentially we spent a lot of money on whole foods and fresh produce. I knew we wouldn’t starve but I really didn’t want our situation to result in us eating processed foods full of salt and things I can’t pronounce.
An avid lover of cake, wine and chocolate (in any order) my approach to food has always been “everything in moderation” but my body has repeatedly told me that whole foods are what makes it feel nourished and energised. This seemed so important given the impact circumstances had on both our physical and mental health.
Eating well in this country can be expensive if you don’t know where to look and how to cook. I firmly believe we should be doing more to educate people and make good food more accessible and affordable. Our beloved NHS spends billions every year treating diseases and ailments that are caused or exasperated by what we eat and our weight. As an avid foodie I have had to re-educate myself, so it’s ludicrous to think everyone should just be able to do it.
So 9 months ago I ended my love affair with the high streets poshest supermarket and started a new love affair (my husband might say obsession) with a weekly quest to eat well on a budget of £25 per head (The UK average/the price of a family take away).
Having learned a lot along the way I figured I can’t be the only person to have faced this dilemma so here I am, to share what I know* and learn a little more from you.
My food plans, shopping lists, recipes and money saving tips will all be posted here.
My little corner of the internet isn’t here to make you feel bad about falling into a Big Mac meal on a hangover (we’ve all been there) just help you add some balance whatever your budget.
So come back soon.
Until next time.
The Shoestring Foodie
*A word on that…
I want to be quite clear that in this realm I am a total amateur enthusiast. I’m an accountant with a degree in retail so maybe that qualifies me to talk about shopping and finances but that’s about it.
What I am not:
- A preacher: Educator maybe. Converter of the masses. Definitely not.
- A nutritionist or PT.
- I have no culinary training and my knife skills are testament that I am no chef.
- I am not paleo/vegan/vegetarian/flexataraian/Keto or fasting and have no opinion on which of these is best.
- I haven’t done a scientific experiment. My evidence base is myself and how my body reacts to food and lifestyle.
- I believe that common sense says we are designed to eat food that looks a bit like it did in its natural state…..most of the time.
- I’m busy, I’m human. I fall. I fail. I am not perfect. But that’s ok.
- Because I also believe life is for living and living includes cake, wine and chocolate (in any order)……did I say that twice?