Finding my way with budgeting – Menu 2

Hello hello!

So last week I was telling you how I am at risk to lose my job. I’m still in the dark just now. I’m in what they call the “consultation period”. It ends on Wednesday and I’m hoping that I will know where I’m at one way or the other by the end of next week. I really have it in my head that I’ll be let go and I’ve started making preparations for it. This could be a massive opportunity to have a proper change of lifestyle and for the best. If things were to go 100% my way, in a few months time, you would find me with a small B&B on the west coast and making indents towards starting a small food business with a view to sell through markets. That’s “if” all goes my way and all I can do is work towards it. Either way, I need to step up my savings majorly while I still have a job. So this month I’m setting my self a challenge.  Apart from rent and bills, my single biggest expense is food. I spend more money than I need to by far simply because I love cooking and eating and I’ve never really had a goal before. But it’s all changed now.

So my challenge is thus. my weekly food bill cannot be over €60. That’s for fruit, vegs, meat and general groceries. This may not seem very difficult for many of you but I’ve to start somewhere and work from there! I’ve no kids or dependent and I’ve been on a decent wage so I’ve self indulged far too much. But no more.

So I took my €60 yesterday and instead of hitting Fallon & Byrne or the Temple Bar markets which I dearly love, I hit Lidl instead. And boy, did I do well!!

For just under €51 I got: 2 large sweet potatoes (€1.75); 1 potted basil plant (€1.49); 1 bunch of spring onions (€0.79); a large bag of baby spinach leaves (€1.49); 1 box of mixed chillies (€1.29); 4 organic lemons (€1.29); a small bag of shallots (€0.79); 2 large fennel bulbs (€1.49); 1kg of clementines (€1.99);1 punnet of button mushrooms (€0.99); 1kg of carrots (€0.39); 2 bags of celery (€0.78); corn on the cob (€1.49); 1 cucumber (€0.79); feta cheese (€1.49); 1L of milk (€0.99); unsalted butter (€1.49); 1 bag of grated cheddar (€1.99); lardons (€1.99); mozarella (€0.59); salami (€1.89); 2 kg of sugar (€2.18); vegetable stock (€1.99); Herbes de Provences (€0.39); Pasta (€1.79); Oregano (€0.35); Parsley (€0.35); basil (€0.35); 6 large eggs (€1.19); 200 dark chocolate (€1.98); wheaten bread (€0.79); 1 fillet steak (€5.99); diced lamb (€4.49) and wipes for the bathroom (€0.99).

Prepping for the week:

I found myself cooking too much in the evenings last week and not having much time for anything else, or sitting for dinner way too late. So I thought I’d organise myself better this week!

From the above and left overs from last week’s shopping I will have lots to cook this week and will be eating like a queen. Yesterday I did the ratatouille ( and split it into 3 portions which I flat pressed and froze. I’ll be taking them into lunch during the week with either a portion of steamed jasmine rice or some boiled potatoes. Simple and healthy. I also soaked a bag of chick peas over night, cooked them and froze them in portions. Just now I’ve a big pot of lamb stew bubbling away on the stove ( and this will be portioned and frozen. There is also a left over portion of meaty parsnip soup for some cold evening ( So I think cooking will be kept to a minimum this week and I’ll start running again! Well that’s the plan anyway.

So here’s this week’s menu.



Ratatouille and some boiled potatoes.


Meaty parsnip soup



Lamb stew


Grilled corn on the cobs and side tomatoes and pepper salad.




Roasted carrots chips with mayonnaise (



Ratatouille and boiled potatoes


Cheesy spiced sweet potato mash with lardons.



Lamb stew.


Roasted carrots and fennel withg sweet chilli sauce dip.


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