no more mrs. poor guy // meal planning on a budget. {+ the best homemade cleaning spray recipe}

December 26, 2013

We are expecting a lot from 2014. It is the year that we plan to finally knock off the lingering baby debt. I have no idea if everyone gets it, but we have not been able to start a family without accumulating some financial stress. Returning to work part time next year will help but we also have some savvy plans up our sleeve to pay off our debt and in fact start a little nest egg.

Stage One // Slashing our Groceries.

One of the best ways to cut your spending is to be smart. To plan and be careful. With an added bonus of less stress on our precious earth. No waste, not as much packaging, careful consumption.

I have played with a lot of ways to plan meals and cut down of food spending. Here is what I will be using this next year to help manage food affairs.

1 // Take stock. So often we have mass amounts of food in our pantry/ fridge/ freezer. Look through each and make a list of what you have. This is a great example. Then use it. Plan your meals to use as many items up as you can. This will cut your weekly spending significantly until you whittle away the items in there taking space and costing money. This is the list I will be using once my pantry is empty. A minimalist pantry sounds perfect for being healthy, cost effective and earth kind. The basics covered without all the excess.
2 // Find a good meal planning template. These are my favourites. I print 4 of them at a time and have them pinned to the side of the fridge. They are quick to complete and include a categorised shopping list.

our favourite spray bottle for make your own sprays found here (not sponsored!)

3 // Make your own. Don't waste money on items like cleaning products, washing detergent, sweets and treats. It takes a few minutes to make your own. Mr. google can help find some great DIY cleaning recipes, muesli bar recipes, even DIY baby wipes. Becoming more self sufficient is a great feeling. It boosts self esteem and your pocket.

\\  Homemade all purpose spray cleaner recipe //

1/4 c. white vinegar
1 tbsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla essence {or mandarin, lime, lavender, tea tree etc. essential oils {wish drops}}
Warm water to fill the bottle.

Place the baking soda & essence/oil in the bottle. Add a cup of water and shake. Add the vinegar and let it fizz. Add the rest of the water. Swish the bottle around. Happy spray on counters, doors, sinks, toilets, spills, anywhere you want so fresh and squeaky clean.

4 // Buy local/ Grow your own. Where we live we are blessed with an abundance of local food makers. Gourmet producers. Creative artisans. We can buy organic camembert and home grown garlic in the same market place every Saturday morning. Making careful choices I can cut my produce spending by at least half every week and bring my family fresh and local foods. We also have a humble veggie patch and 6 chickens which provide abundance of greens, tomatoes and fresh eggs amongst other seasonal goodies. We have friends who share their lemons, limes, passionfruits, avocados. We would never go hungry if we just looked around our own community to survive.

5 // Stick to the plan. So often we get stuck in the busy-ness of life and feel so rushed that takeaway or an "easy" supermarket dinner seems the answer. Plan a few nights on your weekly plan to be simple meals that take little energy and can leave leftovers for lunch the next day. 

This week I have set a $20 challenge. We are allowed to buy milk, bread, and fruit. That's it. Stage one of moving ahead. The excess of Christmas should carry us through without a worry!

Do you have any tricks to help pinch pennies in the grocery department? Favourite sites?

Do share below!
♡ ashley


  1. Great tips thank you! Raising children has certainly eaten into our savings!!

    1. indeed, they are the most expensive project we have taken on! x

  2. Great post Ashley! We find buying bulk flour and baking bread seems to help cut our grocery costs. We also made our own yogurt for a while, must start doing that again! :)

    1. Hi Paula! Where do you buy bulk down here? Do you order online?
      I started making coconut yogurt a little while ago. The girls love it and we use it with curry and other savoury dishes as well. Bread is my next mission! x

  3. We are in the same boat. We found that our grocery bill came down $100 by shopping at aldi. We also go local on veegie and butcher and the herb and veggie garden is to be reinstated. I like your idea of taking stock and the reminder to make your own. Note to self!

  4. Today, people are in tight budget to save more money in the future. Meal planning is one of the best ways to save money without sacrificing any health benefits. Me as a mom of two children and a housewife to my beloved husband, I practice a typical meal planning to save more money. This is one of the basics I need to learn since only one of us is working for the family. Aside from my own way of meal planning, I also rely on to learn more ways in meal planning. I'll tell you, it's really effective.



Piper + Poppies © All rights reserved · Theme by Blog Milk · Blogger