I have a problem, We go food shopping every Thursday but my biggest problem is going shopping on empty stomach so the usual drill is that our trolley ends up being full of junk that we don’t usually end up eating so for the past week I have been attempting to shop on a budget, which usually goes well until we reach the isle with the Krispy Kremes and then we are in danger zone so I wanted to get it into my head how important it is to work on a budget and meal plan for a family of five (plus cat)

Deals deals deals! one of the best things to stick to a budget is sometimes buy bulk and look for the best deals that you can find in the shops, shopping around and doing some research is also a must when it comes to saving the pennies at the checkout, be of course aware of sneaky supermarket tactics for getting you to part with your money, items at the checkout themselves and even putting ‘deals’ at the end of the rows are a way of tricking you into buying more than you need, always look in the right sections for the best deals.

We do this a lot, now that I have organised the cupboards a bit more, its helped make sure we don’t over buy in the baked beans, the day before food shop look around the house to see what items you need and what things you don’t, check dates on things and note down anything that will be going empty soon.

Same as above, writing down what you need, keeping and sticking to a list is a great way of preventing over spending, going off the top of your head will only end up causing silly purchases, make sure that you take note of what you have eaten during the previous week and do not deviate.

Better said than done, the other week when we went to Home Bargains I found the handiest item in my kitchen, a meal planner, I update it weekly of whats going to be cooked that week, lazy food for days when we are going out (food shop night is pizza night got an example) mark what has been the favorite of that week so you know what can be repeated and reordered and the children love running into the kitchen to see whats on the menu for the week coming.

A big must! Husband and I went shopping one Sunday afternoon, we had planned to get something fun for dinner, rarely happens but we also went when hungry.. which means our trolley was full of junk food and gross things that we wouldn’t normally buy, it was fun but we overspent and didn’t plan at all and it only ended up being a bit wasted because we let our stomachs do the shopping, make sure you have something light before you go so you wont be tempted by the nice smells from the hot food counter or the bakery!

I asked some other lovely bloggers what they’re top tips are for working with a budget while food planning and here is what they said.

Make lists of meals each day! And before you go shopping, check what you already have, so you don’t buy what you don’t need! – Becca from My Girls and Me

Plan out exactly what you are going to have to eat for the week, make a shopping list of those items and then order online so you are not tempted by non essentials instore – Mandi from Big Family Organised Chaos

 Find out when the supermarkets reduce their ‘nearing sell by date’ items. Try and buy items that you can freeze for future meals while they are reduced. – Nikki from Family Travel with Ellie

Bulk batch cook meals into portions and label well, a “ready meal” ready to go and fit in with the meal plan – Emma from Ready Freddie Go

Don’t restrict yourself to shopping in the supermarkets. Poundshops and bargain shops such as b&m/home bargains sell food/toiletries often at a fraction of the price the supermarkets charge, meaning you can save so much money and stick to your budget. – Beth from Twinderelmo

We make a list of meals for the week and often bulk meal prep on Sundays. It saves us time and money, that way when we are having a lazy/ or busy day we have meals prepared in the freezer. – Karina from Mums The Nerd

I plan ahead so leftovers can be used the next day for lunch/dinner; as pie, soup, with baked potato or with salad.  – Amy from Eps and Amy

What are your tip tips on meal planning with a budget?

Until next time..

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Its a dangerous thing, waking up around midnight to go make a bottle for a baby who cannot feed themselves they all care about the bottle.. or the boob and all you want to do is go back to sleep but the one thing I end up doing is getting my phone out and opening up ebay…

Mine was always Next, Shortly after Robin was born, expecting a bigger baby I had no newborn clothes.. or that was my excuse anyway, she was born tiny and needed a LOT of newborn clothes rather than what I got which was 0-3 month sizes, so the week after we got home from the hospital, around 1 am during a nighttime bottle I sat on Next and used up all my old gift cards from Christmas getting her a lovely little selection of clothes..

But the midnight shopping didn’t stop at clothes, I got some fake flowers, countless blankets, Pink Lining bags, mug… you name it, I was on ebay at silly o’clock while feeding a newborn and ended up buying things in the haze of those first few mad weeks of new baby

And it got me wondering, is this a thing? or am I the only one who would sit up with a phone next to a feeding baby (Dont judge!) and it turns out im not..

Siobhan from The Baby Boat Diaries saysMy most recent buys have been a memory stick (because my phone is full of photos and the memory keeps getting full meaning my apps can’t update) and The Boss Baby on DVD for my 2 year old as it is her new favourite film and makes a welcome change to Despicable Me 1,2 &3 

Zoe from Lycra Widow saysI have a collection of about 20 dresses. All Reiss, Hobbs, LK Bennet, etc. Pretty much all of them were purchased on eBay when half asleep with a maximum bid limit. I would only remember them when my phone would ping to say I’d won an item! I do love and wear them all though! 

Danielle from Tiny Tripping says –  Omg. So much nonsense. I’ve basically spent a lot of money on questionable ASOS clothing in the wee hours. My face is my “Saved by the Bell” swimming costume which looks like the 80s was sick on it. I’m feeding now and tabbing between Facebook and ASOS as I type.

Lianne from Ankle Biters Adventures says – I love mugs and during the night feeds I would go on ebay and search for vintage ones I now have 3 crates of mugs in the loft ! Yes I didn’t sleep for 2 years.

Emma from Emma Reed says –  I did this week but it was actually quite sensible. I bought the pram clips because I keep seeing everyone with them and thought they would be handy but I did have to add a cup holder because these sleepless nights are killing me and I need tea with me all the time!! 

Veronica from My Parenting Journey says – I did! I used to day dream about achieving my before-having-a-baby-figure and got obsessed with workout stuff. So far, I haven’t used any of them.

Kelly-Anne from Mimi Rose and Me says – Thinking way back to the baby feeding days and I made some crazy purchases in the late night feeds. One of the most bizarre ones was a “must have” net to cover our daughter Moses basket with, something that I never actually used. A dream book (like I was going to get sleep), Charlotte Crosby DVD – did it once and it nearly killed me!

So as you can see, its not just me who sits and buys when they probably shouldn’t, but lets face it, having a package turn up at the door a few days later is always a joy when you are sleep deprived and in need of some self care.

Until next time

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On Friday 17th November Mr S and I went shopping, such great exciting news I know, we do this once a year for the ‘big Christmas shop’ and we get to spend some time together with one of the children.

First stop was of course Starbucks, the intention was to sit down and brainstorm ideas on what we had planned to get K and A, but Mr S was complaining about being tired and hungry..

He didn’t want any of my cinnamon swirl and to be honest it wasn’t that great, it had raisins inside the cinnamony bit and the fussy eater that I am only nibbled on it, even the icing wasn’t good.

R had a babychino, which is basically frothy milk and some shortbreads and loved every second of it!

Wilkinson’s was our first stop, and after having a browse around we came to the conclusion that there wasn’t much there for stocking fillers, our plan was to get smaller items such as books and toys while up town and do the bigger items online using Amazon.

Mr S left to find himself some hot food in the form of a hotdog from one of the stands in the main center.

I however managed to grab myself some sparkly goodies for some future flat lay projects I’ve got cooking up! Who can resist cheap and pretty deco!

After Wilkinson’s our next port of call was the many pound land style shops in our town, last year we found so much great things to keep them entertained in the morning of Christmas Day, this year however, not much, and it was a actually a little disheartening but we did find a few bits.

Next stop was Asda, Asda never fails with good seasonal bits, we found some books and also grabbed the children some pjs for Christmas Eve, I will need to buy R’s from Next as I couldn’t find anything in store for her.

Our final stop was Witherspoon’s for some lunch, at this point Mr S said he started to feel really rubbish and blamed it on the chicken but I’m convinced it was just the hotdog he got earlier, we both had chicken burgers (mine was fried in buttermilk) and R had macaroni cheese full of veggies, she only ate the peas haha!

She also loved this smoothy that she got with her meal, she actually figured out straws too which surprised me, I remember K and A having a bit of trouble with straws, but this went down well.

After that we went to go get a taxi back home and prepare for the school run, Mr S went to bed for a bit so me and R played a little before heading out to collect K and A from school.

Despite the lack of small stocking fillers it wasn’t a bad day, it was nice to get out with Mr S and spend time together as he’s often working hard either at work or on his website.

Once he children got home we sat down to watch Monsters University and ended the day with pizza.

Now it’s time to do the big toys!! How is it almost December already?

Until next time

Mummy Cat

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Online Shopping –

I will hold my hands up and say I am an online shopping addict! I guess if it means not needing to go into town, it makes me happy, plus when all the goodies arrive.. its.. its well like Christmas!

I wouldn’t say its a problem, I know when to stop and tend to only get something that I had planned to get for a while, my biggest shops have always been Next.. (apart from that time I accidentally brought two missoni bugaboo blankets…)

One of the blessings I find from doing most of my shopping online is that I don’t have to deal with people, I don’t need to go into town and worry about the looks I sometimes feel like I am getting PLUS I shop, when I do into town, I have a pram and sometimes I limit myself of what I need to grab because of the space under the pram, under baskets are not kind!

I used to run a series on my blog about eBay bargains and I am super tempted at bringing that back but expanding to not just eBay!

but then again… eBay is my favorite online store!

Whats yours? do you love a good bargain or are you a sucker for the finer things in life?

Until next time

Mummy Cat

x

 

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At the weekend we all went shopping, exciting I know! It was the mad rush shop to get all the bits needed for back to school, which really wont be long at all, Our first stop was Clarks, I usually don’t like buying shoes from Clarks purely because its so expensive, but my mum insisted we go and get them all proper shoes..

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Up first was K, he recently got some trainers so we knew sort of what size feet he was, but he was properly measured at 13 H, he has always had really wide feet so I wasn’t that surprised at the size, K’s main problem is that he walks in his toes, we don’t know why he does it but he does, After being told off by a nurse, he is now reminded not to do it… every minute haha.

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The last time A had a feet measured she was was a size 10, I honestly didn’t expect her feet to grow so much in the year but she is now a size 11 H! another pair of hobbit feet!

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And finally R, who not only is the smallest of the lot of us, also has the smallest feet, still wide, but she has gone from 2 1/2 G to 4 G, so it does seem like shes on the way to getting equally large hobbit feet too..

The lady who did the measuring seemed so nervous, I guess when you have done nothing but measured smelly children all day, you would be sort of nervous, Plus mum and I noticed that when they called the next ticket number out, many had just left!

People.. honestly…

But onto the shoes, as my children have wide feet, there wasn’t much choice, but the only styles I wanted was Velcro and not glossy.

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and here they are, I hated all the styles that she picked out for R, I wanted something she couldn’t take off but all the ones I tried on her were so loose that they slipped off, so we decided to just go to Next (haha I know) and found a nice pair there.

We ended up having a nice day, had some unhealthy food in McDonalds, well R didn’t, and finished off the kids uniform shop!

Almost ready for BACK TO SCHOOL!!

Until next time

Mummy Cat

x

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