It’s Jo here, hi!
So recently I posted on social media an image of my food receipts for the week. You can see that I spent $216.06 grocery shopping. Most of this is either organic or pesticide free and I only buy good quality meat. This shop also includes $12 of coconut water (impulse buy), 2 x bulk flours and fresh dog food.
Well, the post went a little crazy. Loads of people were asking how I make this work and there’s no way they could spend as little as (nearly) $200 for ten days worth of meals!
When starting to live additive-free we find that one of the biggest fears you have is money. “Is living additive-free more expensive?”, it’d be one of the most popular questions we get, and with good reason. This was a big fear I had when starting to live additive-free too. We had to be frugal with money at that stage of our life as we lived off one wage thanks to me being on maternity leave.
So how do spend so little for a family of four + one large dog that eats wholefoods too?…
I meal plan. I know exactly what I’m cooking during the week. I know exactly what’s going into everyone’s lunches (child & adult) and what we’re having for breakfast. I, most of the time, do this while laying in bed on a Saturday morning and it takes me about 10 minutes.
You see, we have this awesome program and it’s called Meals Made Easy. It’s designed to help busy people like you (and me), cook nutritious food that’s quick, simple, tasty and best of all … additive-free!
You can access eight-weeks worth of dinner and snack ideas so while laying in bed on a Saturday morning, I open up my phone and print out my shopping lists per recipe.
I then decide what I’ll cook for the week and only buy those ingredients, for those recipes.
I decided these would last us 10 days (I don’t normally double meals like this, but this week is crazy busy so I need to be smart with my time): –
- Meat pie (doubled)
- Tuna bake (doubled)
- Zucchini slice (doubled)
- Chicken and bean tacos (doubled)
- One night of leftovers (like fried rice or omelette)
I then decided what I wanted to make for lunches:
- Pizza scrolls
Breakfast ideas we usually go with are:
- Gluten-free Weetbix
- Eggs on toast
So, because I already have a well-stocked pantry, this was my shopping list:
How much did all that cost?
We already had milk in the fridge, we don’t really eat much bread (although we do have a loaf of sourdough in the freezer) so I doubt we’ll need to go back to the shops again this week! #winning
I’ve got enough food to feed us for 10 days including breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks.
So, I reckon it’s a very realistic shop for this family of four.
We had a crazy weekend just like most other families out there. We don’t have any special powers to create more time which is why staying organised is the key. But to give you guys an idea, this is what my weekend looked like (no, I don’t spend hours in the kitchen, it has to be as quick as possible for me too!):
Normally Shane does swimming lessons and I do the dance + grocery run, but not this weekend as Shane was out wood chopping with Dad.
9:45am – leave home
10:30am – swimming lessons
12.00pm – dance lessons
While my daughter dances, Jacob and I went to the farmer’s market and bought all our fruit and vegetables.
After doing this, we had a little time left over so went to the park for 15 minutes so that Jacob could have a play and run out some of that ever-abundant energy he has.
1.45pm – we stopped at Kmart because we had to get two gifts for two birthday parties we have on tomorrow (did I say we’re busy too?). We then went to the butcher and Coles, gosh I love that they’re all in the same complex!
3:30pm – we’re finally home! Phew!
(notice how I still haven’t been in the kitchen?)
Let’s get cooking (at 4pm in the day!)
Into the slow cooker pot goes a double meat pie filling after doing 10 minutes of prep work. I then pop this in the fridge ready to cook in the slow cooker tomorrow.
On the stove top went some leftover apples and some frozen cherries. I popped these on slow to defrost and cook.
I then whipped up a double zucchini slice (kinda looked more like a quiche), in the oven it goes.
By now the fruit was done. I pitted the cherries and pureed them in the Thermomix. I then added in a big scoop of natural yoghurt and froze these in our ice-cream moulds. You can get your own moulds >>> here.
For dinner we had chicken and bean tacos. I doubled this and froze half of the meat mixture for later on in the week.
After dinner I had some energy (don’t ask me how!) so I made a double batch of biscuits. Took me all of 15 minutes and they were in the oven. We halved the dough mixture and turned some into jam drops, and the rest Eva popped some Hokey Pokey bits on the top.
Sunday morning I got up around 8.00am. I popped on the slow cooker to cook the meat pie filling and then made two lots of dough.
One lot I turned into pizza scrolls and the other I made into bread. I don’t normally make my own bread but I thought ‘why not!’
Shane did the first party at 10:30am so I went shopping and got myself some nice new clothes (on my own! #bliss).
We then tag-teamed for the second party and I got home around 3.00pm.
I turned the meat pie filling off to cool down, did some work on the computer for an hour, then came back to make the pastry where I cooked two pies with the filling.
I’ll whip the tuna bake and fish’n’chips up on the day.
Lunches are easy! They are always additive-free due to always having something in the freezer I can pull out (thanks to being prepared because of Meals Made Easy).
Life can be hectic, believe us, we get it!
But with a small amount of preparation and taking our help to keep you organised, it’s not as hard, or expensive as you think.