With Steven starting a new job this year, combined with lockdown, I don’t know what day of the week it is sometimes. Every day is organised and planned but I still couldn’t tell you the date or the day without looking some weeks! This Monday was a Bank Holiday and Steven would normally be at home, however the new job doesn’t work like that so he took the Friday off with me and then was at work Monday. Needless to say, with me having time off and Ste not being here, I still didn’t know what day it was! So when I started with a migraine on Monday which lasted all night through to Tuesday morning, it has taken me until today to come round and feel somewhat normal again. I think today has been Wednesday, right? We have other things going on with family and health which I won’t go in to here, so it’s already been a right old week.
I did manage to go shopping Monday (maybe that’s why I got a migraine!) and got our first supermarket shop in 4 weeks, so that’s all put away and the menu plan for the week is finally done too. Better late than never. It’s all a bit backside first right now, I mean when isn’t it? Mostly menu plans “should” be done by looking at what you have in and making meals from there. Well we have started a different challenge which left me doing things in a round about way this time.
The challenge is not to go back to the supermarket for 6 weeks! As you may know, we have a monthly grocery budget of £300. This is regardless of whether it is a 4 or 5 week month. An average of £75 a week. Now for us, that’s actually way more than we should be spending right now. Bearing in mind we grow a lot of our own things, so we should see this reduce over the next few months as the garden starts to pay for itself.
We’ve also had another curve ball thrown in that we are taking a hit on our income as a result of the virus. Presently this should be for 4 months, June 1st until the end of September, so it is massively important that we keep our outgoings down.
Having said that we do still have milk delivered and buy a top up veg box weekly. We will continue to support these local businesses unless something drastically changes, or when we start growing everything we need. We’re not there yet but are working on it.
So straight in to it. Every week I am making bread, treats, soups, scones, pies and quiches/fritatas. These are for lunches, main meals, snacks and the freezer. 9 times out of 10 the pies are using left overs as I don’t tend to make pie fillings specifically for pies for us (though I do sell some which I made specifically for customers), with the exception of corned beef and potato. I also hardboil any eggs which are not sold or for incubating. At the moment this is quail only as ALL of the hens eggs are selling, much to my disappointment 😉 sometimes I find a cracked one which I get to use! The quiches and fritatas are using whatever we have in abundance such as the kale and asparagus. Scones vary from week to week and bread is something we no longer consider a throw away item as we may have done in the past. It’s amazing how making your own makes you value everything so much more.
I spent £147.62 on Monday and our next veg box is coming on Saturday which will be £11. I’ll let you know once the milk man invoices us as we changed the order this week.
I planned on making bone broth/stock once every 6 weeks when I planned the challenge, however when I made some in my 6 litre slow cooker, it only yielded 2 litres. Now I used 3 carcasses, so I am wondering if it’ll be quite concentrated and maybe I can eek 500ml out to 750 for example. I can just season more if needed.
A few other points to note – I’ll be making ALL of our own bread products, we have NO pork left in the freezer and have made the decision to not buy any joints or chops, only sausages and bacon, until we have our own later this year or early next year. We have joints of beef which we will dice and mince once we run out of those. WE have also ran out of whole chickens. Again, we will not be buying chicken, we will wait until our meat birds are ready in around 8 weeks or so! We do however have the luxury of thigh/drumstick, carcass and wings of one bird a week. As you will know if you read our blog, my parents buy an organic whole bird each week as it’s not much difference in cost for 2 breasts which is what they started to get (from the farm shop). They take the breasts and give us the rest which they don’t like. So the only chicken we will have during this challenge is that.
It’s really exciting, I think setting challenges keeps you focused and energised. Well it does for us at least! I did a bit of a YouTube video on it which would be great if you could watch and subscribe to. Eventually we hope the channel will be enjoyed by many, you have to start somewhere right?
Stay safe everyone.