At some stage between getting a tattoo and singing in a band to moving to Perth and experiencing a "city life", I began to value the Domestic Arts. When Grant and I began to live together, I fell into an instantly different lifestyle where I began to value the fact that I could provide him and his children with a home cooked meal each night of the week more than buying a new handbag. Over the past few years, it has evolved into something more and now I like knowing that somewhere along the way, I found the secret to cooking the perfect hard boiled egg and I know to put white vinegar through the rinse cycle of the towels. In our home, I have established a routine that includes my work as a photographer and the remainder is looking after my family and our home. One of my biggest responsibilities is managing our finances and one of the best ways to save is through having a plan of attack when it comes to grocery shopping. Seeing as there are many women that read my blog that are finding themselves in the new role of wife and possibly mother (as I did), I thought I would share a routine that I began years ago as a way to feed my family well and inadvertently was able to save money.
Plan ahead with seasonal meals Our shopping day is Thursday so I will sit down the night before with the weekly specials flyer online from the supermarket. Once I know what items are on special, I will then find recipes that use those cheaper, seasonal items. The iPad is my secret weapon being able to access magazines like Donna Hay and Everyday Food and as both of these magazines are very seasonal they fit my motives. I try to create some variety between meals and this week our dinners look like this:
Thursday: Grilled fish, chips and peas Friday: Homemade pizza (Fridays have been pizza night in our home for the past 5 years!) Saturday: Steak au poivre with roast potatoes Sunday: Braised pork shoulder with carrots and mash Monday: Quesadillas (using left over pork from Sunday) Tuesday: Leek and bacon carbonara Wednesday: Cauliflower cheese and sausages
Shop the specials I use a spreadsheet that is broken down into categories, ie, Deli, Meat, Vegetables in the order I go through the store and then write down the ingredients I need. I also make note of any specials such as 1/2 price or loyalty bonuses that might be worth purchasing. For example recently there was a special on tissues where you bought 2 and got a 3rd for free. I may not need 3 boxes of tissues right now but it is winter and I am sure they will be used in no time. I also wait for specials on those regular items that I will buy such as coffee, milo, dog biscuits, washing powder and dishwasher tablets. They pretty much come around each month and the savings are well worth waiting for.
Stick to your list and your budget I don't deviate from this list while actually shopping unless I see a fantastic saving that I missed and I always try to stick to a budget. I know a lot of people love the home delivery that many major supermarkets offer but I actually enjoy food grabbing the trolley and browsing through the supermarket. I'm usually in and out within an hour and try to shop during the day before school is out. It is best to shop without your kids or husband as in my experience, they tend to throw the things in the trolley that you don't need and blow out the budget. It is also great to have an incentive for all your hard work and something I've been doing recently if I stay under budget is buy myself flowers like the beautiful ones below filling my home with perfume.
Well there you have it! I hope this post has helped someone and I'd love to hear your ideas on how you've tackled your own role as a modern wife. Being a wife and mother is a hard job that often goes unnoticed (I know that no-one else cares that the fitted sheets are folded and not rolled) and I've been known to meltdown at times from feeling like the hired help. I definitely haven't got it all figured out but am making my way slowly to becoming the wife and mother that I want to be. Sometimes a sincere thank you for the meal is received or perhaps I am given a thoughtful gift of my favourite chocolate or a voucher for a massage is received that makes it all worthwhile.