WIAW…Counting the pennies!

Happy WIAW y’all! Can you believe that were are here again so soon- last week just flew by!  I hope you have all been practicing your best dance moves because its time to parrrrtyyyyyyy!

Peas and Crayons
So yesterday started off like most of my mornings these day with a humungous and heavenly green smoothie:

I just can’t get enough of the things at the moment.  This one was very simple containing, 1 head of romaine lettuce, spinach, 1 banana, hemp milk water, pea protein, xanthan gum and guar gum.  I topped it with some pink apple and cinnamon granola, goji berries, cacao nibs and lucuma powder as I forgot to put it in the smoothie…ooops!  It’s amazing that even the most simplest of green smoothies can still taste amazing-love them!

Lunch time crept up so fast yesterday.  For me is usually a good sign that I’m having a productive day.   It’s not like me to miss a meal so when I do it means that I’ve got my head down and totally absorbed in my work, which can never be a bad thing as I have a lot of it to get through!

A salad made using romaine lettuce, red pepper, carrots, cherry tomatoes ad smoked smoked mackerel.  The mackerel was a real treat for me as since giving up meat completely and just sticking to fish I haven’t actually brought any fish at all and only seem to eat it when I eat out occasionally.  I think it’s perhaps that I’m a little conscious these days about keeping my food costs down and in fairness I’m not desperately missing it.  It felt quite luxurious to have some at home for a change though…sad but true.

The salad dressing was a play on my Creamy Avocado Dressing, but I switched it up a bit by adding tahini and basil and more water to make it a little bit thinner (makes it go further)…yum!  I also ate some rice cakes topped with apricot kernel butter and a sliced apple, such a great flavour combination.

After last weeks disastrous Body Pump class I decided to make sure that I went snack crazy to keep those energy levels up:

It worked a treat and I felt strong throughout the entire class and enjoyed every minute of it.  My class mates are getting bored of the latest release at the moment so my instructor is changing things up by mixing in some older routines that I have never done before, making it all new and fresh for me :).  Hopefully the new release isn’t too far away for the rest of my class but I’m really having fun with the older stuff at the minute.

In attempt to tighten the purse strings I decided to make use of some of the grains and pulses in my cupboards and after class I made a awesome plate of steamed greens with a pilaf consisting of buckwheat, green lentils, carrots, tomatoes, courgettes and chopped dates.  I made a simple dressing using canola oil, lemon juice and red wine vinegar.  This tasted amazing especially after the addition of some falafel…perfect!

For dessert I had an attack of the munchies and ate a bowl of Alpro soya dark chocolate pudding with lots of Dorset Cereals strawberry and raspberry cereal and crunchy peanut butter. 

Oh, and a few apples and more cereal too! 🙂 

Since making my diet more simpler in reference to feeling overloaded and sugared out I’ve realised that I can go without so many things that I never thought I could before.  As a result I’m going to start making a real effort in cutting back my food expenditure and have been taking notes from Laura and her budget challenge.  Some ideas I have thought about so far to loosen those purse strings a little:

  • make use of all the dried pulses, beans and grains that I have stored away in the depths of my cupboards;
  • actually eat the food that I have made and stored away in my freezer;
  • do a few shops a week for fruit and veggies to ensure it stays fresh and saves me throwing anything away;
  • meal planning so I’m not buying unnecessary items whilst grocery shopping;
  • make more homemade goods like homemade nut/seed milk, hummus, baked goods, dried fruits in my dehydrator;
  • only buy health food if I really need it and will use it often and not just because it sounds interesting;
  • eat my leftovers the next day-saves time and money at the same time!

Fingers crossed it works!  I have a few more ideas up my sleeves but would love to hear all of yours.

What hints and tips do you have when you are trying to cut back your food budget?

What’s the best thing that you have eaten this WIAW?



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49 responses to “WIAW…Counting the pennies!

  1. Good idea doing the budget challenge. I wanted to tighten the belt a little more this week, but I kinda’ failed. There’s always next week!

  2. Lenna (veganlenna)

    I am so hearing you at keeping the food costs down 😦 But taking it as a challenge can be quite a fun 🙂 I am usually cooking a lot with grains and pulses and I always cook more, so I have prepared meals and it prevents me from buying random stuff or overpriced lunches – because there´s always that nicely stuffed lunch box in my bag 🙂
    Your meals look still awesome despite any budget issues 🙂 That salad look marvelous and I am all for buckwheat pilafs and falafels 🙂

  3. I can easily cut back on splurging on clothes and things, but food shopping is so hard to cut back on – I feel like I can’t compromise on it as much, plus like you I already don’t really buy meat and fish, and I don’t buy a lot of stuff that’s pre-prepared. I’m trying to be extra good about packing my lunches, and I’m going to buy a slow cooker and switch to dried beans and things rather than tins, I suppose it’s less wasteful too!

    I’m glad body pump went well for you this week! Love having a great one after a not so great one 🙂 have a lovely day!

  4. Saving money on food is sooo tough! I always try To buy Whatever produce is on sale, buy in bulk, and stock Pile nonperishables when on sale.

  5. kabochafashionista

    Ahh your eats look soo yummy sweetie! I especially love the falafels yum!! 🙂
    I would find it SO hard to cut down on food..it’s the one thing that I just can’t stop myself from buying when I see things, I just WANT them! I’m better at cutting down on clothes and other things that are just extras..I guess I live quite cheaply anyway – I get my fruit and veg from the market, I eat a lot of canned beans, lentils, bagged grains, I use my dehydrator constantly and I bake everything..
    I think my one problem is iHerb lol!!

  6. I think you’ve probably seen most of my tips for money saving but something I’m definitely going to be experimenting with more of is sprouting my own seeds, making my own nut butters and bars and cooking beans from scratch!

  7. buttonss - Cherie

    I know what you mean! The weeks really do just fly by, its crazy!!!
    I have to say, your green smoothies always look insanely delicious!

  8. I am cutting back my budget this month as well. Purchasing a Juicer, Sunwarrior Protein, Chia Seeds, Maca Powder and a lot of stuff like that last month left my purse pretty empty. So I really try to keep it low this and the following month and not overdo it again.

    Your tips are great and I am going to keep them in mind. Another thing I try to do, is making snacks like healthy muffins, fruit bars, protein balls and so on, myself instead of buying those expensive thingies at the store.

  9. I know all this health food stuff is rather expensive lol! You did really well with all your meals and I’m glad you felt better during Body Pump! I def have to get some of that Dorset Cereal stuff – seen it on a few blogs and it looks fab 🙂 xx

  10. beautyinthebalance

    Your meals always look so tasty and healthy! Very inspiring!

  11. Jessica

    I used to be so bad at spending on food and took it upon myself to spend as little as possible and got myself into a bit of a mess. Now, I still feel a little stressed at the food bill sometimes but understand that I have to spend. I try to limit my spending on the expensive health foods to when they’re on offer and I try to ration them a little bit so that I don’t go through them so quickly. Other than that, I don’t buy out of season berries and veggies etc (apart from frozen) and buy things that are on offer. Sometimes this means having different breads or whatever but it saves. It is depressing at the moment though, every time you go shopping, things have gone up in price.

    I love falafel – those look really, really yummy!

  12. we cut a lot of organic things out of our grocery list to try and save money and like you said we are trying to use all the odds and ends cans and bulk items we already have before going out and trying something new. sometimes you just have to deal with simpler meals to save money.

  13. I soo needed to read this post right now… I need to budget better and keep my food costs down! I have been spending a bit “willy-nilly” lately and it needs to stop. Health foods are of course worth the cost… to a certain extent. Some is simply way too expensive, and yet sometimes it’s worth the extra money. AHh it’s hard to find the balance

  14. I *really* need to cut back on my food spending. Reading so many food blogs has made me think that luxury items are ‘essentials’ and all of those US goodies are so tempting. But completely unnecessary!

    Thanks so much for your tips 🙂

    I’ve enjoyed some rice cakes and Sunita tahini for lunch this WIAW: I hate Meridian tahini but love the Sunita brand because it’s sweeter, smoother and less bitter/grainy.


  15. Gah! I’m so horrible when it comes to budgeting my food expenses! I blame expensive tastes… or the fact that everything I love is so darned pricey lol. But I’ll definitely have to watch my spending, especially now that I’m moving out on my own. Eep. But those are definitely some great tips for saving money. I’m mostly trying to work on avoiding buying things that I’ll never really use… or that I’ll only use once or twice and run out of ideas. All of those fancy products sound interesting, but really… they’re mostly unnecessary.

    • I think everything is pricey, especially fruit and veggies and health food. The prices just seemed to have rocketed of late. I’m really bad for buying things that sound interesting and that really aren’t necessary too- good luck for the move today!!! 😀

  16. Oh my gosh! That alpro choc desert concoction looks fabulous!

  17. Great challenge- I like to eat stuff from the freezer to save money. Plus plan meals so that I do not end up popping to the shops for one thing, as I will easily spend ten pounds!

  18. Oh, I should really do a budget challenge too! I use so much money on food, it is insane! But I believe that as I get better at eating grains and beans ( SO cheap), and Ill have less overeatings on nutbutter, Ill use less money naturally 🙂
    Yummi eats as always Jemma!! As always 🙂
    Happy WIAW ❤

  19. I am so bad at budgeting, it’s actually funny. Luckily I live really close to the Trader Joes, so I can get my quality health foods for not so much money! Right now I’m working on preparing and using up 1 or 2 grains a week, and the same with proteins and dried goods. i’m trying to only buy more if I have run out, or am close to running out. Veggies, I’m buying 2 or 3 a week, and using them up before buying more. We’ll see how it goes!

  20. okay. When I come to the UK you simply HAVE to tell me where to shop because you always have the best things!! Like soya pudding is a must (love alpro!) and apricot kernal butter? Where on earth did you find that? I must have it!

    • Hehehe! I can’t wait to see what you make of the food in the UK. Holland and Barratt have all of the basics, but if you are in London then check out Whole foods on Kensington High Street. it’s not as good as the US for sure but for the UK it’s like heaven for us. That’s where I got the Apricot Kernel Butter from. You can pick up the Alpro puddings in any super market. 🙂

  21. Yum – I love falafel and they look so good!
    Most of my expediture goes on fruit and vegetables as they are the mainstay of my diet. I also spend on health food, but I have so much I should hopefully only have to buy essentials for a while. I think I could save by buying cheaper fruits – cheaper apples, pears, bananas, rather than going for the fancy stuff.

  22. If I want to save a few pennies I make sure to shop for my fruit and veg at the market and visit the bulk bins for oats, nuts, seeds and all that jazz!

  23. all your food looks incredible!
    hmm..best eat on wednesday (today) was a sweet potatoe smoothie 🙂

  24. yay another green smoothie addict! 🙂 I can’t seem to make it through the day without a morning green smoothie these days!

    When I’m trying to cut back on food money I buy things in bulk and freeze if I have to. Also dry beans instead of canned, and I make sure to visit Farmer’s Markets to score good deals! 🙂

  25. Pingback: Feeling thrifty « Celery and Cupcakes

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