So there I was, husband working away, watching re-runs of Frasier for the 100th time, feeling there must be more to life.
On reflection, I realised life was pretty good and what I actually wanted to do was watch something that wasn’t Frasier.
I lie. What I really wanted to do was watch more Frasier but I was starting to wonder if it was somehow bad for me, constantly wishing I had an amazing spotless apartment overlooking the Seatle skyline.
And a cute dog.
God. I love Frasier.
ENOUGH OF FRASIER.
So I did as much channel surfing as my crackly Freeview box allows and found myself on the good old BBC.
“How to Eat Well for Less” met my eyes. “Ha Ha”, I thought as I reasoned that this show promised the nirvana that I had been searching for: easily digestible TV that I could package in my mind as Research For Being an Uber Home Maker.
I am not an uber-home maker.
My home is a tip.
I was eating a bag of pretzels in lieu of cooking.
Still, I persevere and as such, I willingly took on the advice about eating cheaper baked beans, and not throwing perfectly edible food away, and buying some frozen veg and I thought “crikey, is that it?”. But I stuck with the programme because it was that or a re-run of New Tricks. I love New Tricks. Not as much as Frasier mind. And then I dozed off, and then we got to the end of the programme, just as they were announcing the savings.
And I have to say, it was all utterly amazing what this slim young couple with two tiny little children had achieved. They had cut their food shopping from £350 per month to £220 per month just by switching from fresh to frozen broccoli.
They were all delighted. As was I. I quite like frozen broccoli.
I did start to think that perhaps they were getting carried away as they started to plan their dream holiday with the gargantuan savings they had made, but who was I to rain on their economy ketchup? Huzzah for “How to Eat Well for Less”, my new favourite programme. Fact.
So there we were, all feeling very jolly. The family onscreen beaming, me wondering if you could buy frozen bags of pretzels. The presented delighted at the sort of family holiday the £5,000 he had saved them could buy.
My excitement continued to grow: Cheap baked beans = a trip to Disneyland. Count. Me. In. “Hang on, though”, I thought, “£130 per month savings does not equate to £5000 per year does it?”
No. No it does not.
I’d made a mistake. For in my dozey, pretzel induce fug, I’d missed the punch line. This slim couple, with their tiny children, and their reasonable sized portions of mediocre-looking meals were munching their way through £320 of food per week.
Per week people.
Fraiser doesn’t spend that on his household expenses and he is loaded. I should know.
My three boys are growing. In one sitting, my husband gets through the amount of pasta that the packet says will feed a whole family. I am quite fat in a jolly, bouncy, overeating kind of way, not a pallid, type 2 diabetes, fast food sort of way.
I feel I have failed the bank account if we spend more than £75 per week on food. £100 per week means we will eat well and also get quite tipsy.
How do I do it?
- Don’t throw edible food away
- Don’t by ready-made sauces
- Buy frozen fruit and veg
- Buy cheap cuts of meat
- Embrace the lentil. Or the pearl barley. Or porridge oats.
- Write a shopping list
- Stick to it.
- Don’t spend £350 a week on food ever.
- Don’t think you have something to teach the nation if you manage to shave £130 per week off your food bill and still manage to spend £220 per week on actual edible food.
- £220 per week.
Well check me.
I’m definitely in line to have my own TV programme very soon.
Actually, screw that. I’ve got things to do. Like watching Frasier.