Good morning lovely people!
Today, fellow Kiwi Mumma – Jordan from With The Whittakers is joining Always Made With Love. Jordan is a stay at home Mum to two gorgeous kiddes, you so need to check them out on Instagram. She is sharing how she makes the $$$’s stretch even further and what better way to do that then with good old meal planning, she even has a free printable for you all.
Hello! I’m Jordan. Military wife, Mum to threenage boy Brooklyn and eatable 4 month old girl Marlo. I’m a chocolate lover (actually make that just ‘food’ in general) and IG addict. I recently started my blog With The Whittakers, to go along side my Instagram, which is an insight into our life and what we get up to on a daily basis. I love sharing new products I’ve found, recipes, DIY projects and rambles. So excited to be here guest blogging for Lydia!
There’s nothing worse than being a new Mum, stuck on the couch/in bed feeding majority of the day/night, scrolling through Instagram being coerced into buying cute new things for your delicious new baby… and being on a budget due to now being on one income. Sigh. Okay first world problem, there’s much worse things out there. But this is still pretty high up there…
I’ve been there, done that. Instagram wasn’t such a huge thing when Brooklyn was born, I spent most of my time on Facebook chatting to my Mummy friends. There was always someone awake, thankfully! But holy heck, this time – the amount of cuteness that graces my Instagram feed 24 hours a day, is incredible! Everything yells “BUY MEEEEE!”. Especially at 2am, and especially if you know your debit/credit card number off by heart. Oops.
This post is not about all the cute clothes I find on Instagram, but about one way my family saves money. It’s simple, we meal plan!
I’ll be honest right here though and tell you that I need to give credit to my husband on this one. He’s the ultimate grocery shopper and can add it all in his head as he walks around (closet nerd) and never goes over budget. Then there’s me who puts way too many ‘extra’ items (like chocolate and Pringles) in the trolley, and 9 times out of 10 – spends more than she was supposed to. I actually got banned from doing the groceries alone. My husband always has to come with me. I know, you’re all thinking ‘Jordan, you’re like the man of the relationship’, yuuuuup. Haha!
Anyway, enough about that. Back to the meal planning. The general gist of it is… we get paid fortnightly so we do a fortnightly meal plan and do a fortnightly grocery shop from that. We sit down together and fill out the meal plan which we leave stuck on the fridge, we fill in all 14 meals. We have our favourites which we use most fortnights (I’ll talk about those later) and then sit there trying to rack our brains to come up with the rest. Once those are sorted, we check the cupboards, fridge and freezer and write a list of what we need for each of the meals. We also add baking staples and things that Brooklyn and I eat for lunches. Then off to Pak n Save we trot with our list in hand, and this is the deal – BUY WHAT’S ON YOUR LIST! Don’t go too nuts buying extras to stock up. By all means get an extra can of something if it’s on sale. But don’t go buying lots random stuff like chocolate and Pringles. I know, a bit fresh of me giving out this advice. But hey, I’m learning.
How much do we spend? We are a family of 4. We currently have 2 in nappies (grumble grumble) and spend around $280 a fortnight, before Marlo was born it was under $250 (a lot less nappies and wipes back then!).
Top money saving meal/s: Our most recent favourite is buying 1 smoked chicken (around $10) and making it go across 4 meals. Yes, FOUR! That’s $2.50 worth of meat for ONE meal!! Meals we do with smoked chicken are things like risotto, pizza, pasta, pitas or wraps, pies. So we pick 4 of those and do them 4 nights in a row. There’s usually leftovers of things like risotto and pie too, so that’s one of us sorted for lunch the next day.
Pak n Save hack: I absolutely hate packing my own groceries. Like seriously HATE it. I would go out of my way to shop at Countdown over Pak n Save just so I didn’t have to do it. But reality is, shopping at Pak n Save saves us about $30 a shop, so I have to get over myself and go there. My life changing hack was buying 2 flexi tubs from The Warehouse ($7 each) and taking them in the car to do the groceries. Unpack all the groceries into the tubs in the boot, and then when you get home, all you have to do it take the tubs inside! I know, I’m a genius wink emoticon
So that’s one way we save money, so that I can buy more kids clothes. I kid, I kid…
If you want to get onto the meal planning bandwagon, you can download your own copy of the above plan **here** ; my lovely friend Erana from @thecultureofgrace has started using it (above), you can even steal some of her meal ideas, if you want 😉