Today I went to the shop for bread and milk. I told myself I was just going to walk out with bread and milk. Nothing extra. Not a thing.
But then the bakery had run out of multigrain bread and I don't like supermarket bread so I grabbed crumpets. And then as I walked to the milk I passed the fruit and saw a guava so grabbed that too. On the way to the checkout I passed maltesers on sale and my chocolate stash has diminished a bit lately so I grabbed a pack of them as well.
I walked out of the shop cursing myself for lack of will power. Seriously, I do this every time I go shopping. I know I am terrible at this so when I do a normal sized shop I tell myself, just one thing extra and 99% of the time I fail.
Of course, as I write this post, I have just finished my guava and am enjoying a little bag of maltesers so they haven't gone to waste so that's good. On the other hand, MR has won a trip to Europe for us because his business has well and truly met and surpassed their sales targets and reached the level needed to qualify for the trip. It's all expenses paid (apart from shopping) from what I understand although I haven't really got any information yet so it all seems a bit surreal and unlikely. But if MR is correct and we are going to Europe (health and doctors permitting in my case) then I need to save some spending money!! The trip is ten days and it falls during the school holidays which is perfect. I will probably also try to get another week of leave without pay or something, providing we can add on to the trip and visit an adjacent country (so no extra flights) or stay in Germany or The Netherlands (the planned countries for the trip) and do more exploring, all of which will require extra money for accommodation, food and sight seeing (and more shopping!).
My budget is a little bit strapped for spontaneous European holidays however as we've just bought a car and it is using way more petrol than my previous one, something I didn't factor into the planning stage of car buying budget analysis. But, I do have an extremely big shopping budget, $250 a fortnight for two people, one of which isn't there much. I've been told this is a bit extravagant but I really like my fruit and pastries. And I am a bit of a food waster as well. So the challenge is on. Stick to the shopping list (with one extra treat), use what I've got in the fridge and start using up stuff out of my overflowing pantry filled with things I might maybe one day need. I'm going to put my $250 in a separate coin purse and whatever is left at the end of each fortnight goes to the holiday fund.
Wish me luck! And please, send me any tips you have for cutting your food bill and any things-you have-in-the-pantry recipes. I started it off last night with my favourite pumpkin soup recipe made with two small $1 roadside veggie stand butternut pumpkins plus a punnet of slightly squishy cherry tomatoes, half a red capsicum which I roasted first and three sticks of celery all thrown in so as not to waste them. Yum! 6 serves for $2 for the pumpkins, another $2something for sour cream (which I also used in fajitas on Friday) homemade chicken stock which cost nothing and old veggies from the fridge.
Walking past those pastries at the bakery is going to be tough though...