How to not spend all your money on food*

How to not spend all your money on food
york minster through blossom

Oh let’s be honest, if we’re not eating our money, we’re drinking or wearing it, right? Please tell me it’s not just me! The more I preach about experiences over material things, the more I seem to spend on food and drink - when what I want to do with my cash is put it towards doing fun stuff (like going back to my beaut home town of York, pictured above).  

I’ve got to the point where my lifestyle quite frankly isn’t sustainable if I want to save any of my hard earned dollar so I’ve teamed up with Satsuma Loans to make me re-think my attitude towards my budget with a week-long challenge.

My worst habit is food on the go and I can hold my hands up and say that in recent weeks, my standards have been slipping. In fact I’m probably solely responsible for a new hole in the ozone layer with the amount of packaging that’s come wrapped around the convenience food I’ve consumed. Oops. But y’know, the staff at my local Co-op near work are probably seeing an all time high in profits so swings and roundabouts. I desperately need to be more budget and environment friendly (disclaimer, I do recycle at least!) and here are the changes I’ll be making.

1. Eating breakfast at home. I’ve slipped into the habits of grabbing fruit and a yoghurt on my way into work (£3.50 a time, kerching) rather than eating at home. Whilst on the surface that sounds healthy, it’s actually a bit of a sugar spike until 10am and then I’m hungry again by half 11. By eating a healthy breakfast at home I end up being far fuller for longer and it’s higher protein too.

2. Bringing lunch to work. Umm yep that’s another £5 a day on lunch on the go! By bringing in food I’ve prepped myself, firstly I know what’s in it and secondly I can bulk-buy ingredients at the start of the week. Whilst I do end up spending a fair bit on lunch foods anyway even when I make it myself (salads might sound cheap but I like to be a little fancy so I don’t get bored), at least this is a healthy option that doesn’t involve a whole load of packaging.

3. Actually eating at home. LOL shocker. I go out to eat or pick up food on the way home from work far too frequently and I’m getting to the point where I’ve forgotten what it’s like to go home and cook tea.

My meal plan

Planning my meals means that I know that at least three times a day I’m eating something nutritionally balanced which means I can feel a little less guilty if I have a treat. Disclaimer, this might look healthy af but I can assure you that some chocolate will be sneaking it’s way in!

Scrambled eggs, baked beans, mushrooms and broccoli. Yep, broccoli for breakfast. This is purely a health thing for me as it’s a great way to get more greens in when on a weekday, breakfast is fuel and something I do on autopilot rather than food I eat to enjoy! Broccoli on weekends... it’s a no from me. Eggs and beans are high protein so keep me going and mushrooms just taste nice.

Salad, followed by fruit. My salads include spinach, tomatoes, cucumber, peppers in three colours, avocado, sweetcorn, kiwi fruit, grapes, cheese, chicken or ham and if I’m feeling fancy, potato salad or coleslaw. Again, it’s a whole load of veg but the meat keeps me full for the afternoon and it’s hard to get bored when it’s perfect summery food.

Veg sticks with hummus. I freaking LOVE hummus, in particular peri peri or red pepper. I’ll have this with carrot/pepper/cucumber sticks and it means that a pot can last a few days and I have something to snack on mid-afternoon at work – this is mainly to stop me ending the day absolutely starving and picking up convenience food for tea.

There are a few budget evening meals that I love, but pesto pasta with veg (and/or garlic bread), chilli, fajitas and Cajun chicken are my absolute faves for quick and easy dinners. I hate cooking with an absolute passion so everything I make takes under 15 minutes, and these are all easy options which I can cook from scratch in that time. Pesto pasta or pasta with a stir in sauce are my go-to options when I come in after one too many drinks at the pub too and voila I’ve just saved £15 from not having a Dominos (answers on a postcard as to why my drunk self thinks she ballin’ and can throw money at pizza).

So that’s my plan to save some cash and get a little healthier in the process – what are your tips? Let me know in the comments!

*This post is sponsored by Satsuma Loans but all thoughts, opinions and love of hummus are my own.

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