As the first post in the A to Z challenge, addressing the letter A gave me a plethora of options.
I wondered about Accounting (of the home variety of course)
I pondered the options of Acquiring (bags of fruit from neighbors and friends gardens, foraging etc)
I thought of looking at specific ingredients Acorn Squash, Avocado, Aubergine.
For a while I lost myself in Aspirations. Yes I would love to be writing this from a rural haven surrounded by chickens and home grown vegetables using no plastics leaving nothing but footprints along my path, being self sufficient non consuming and content.
Alas this is not the case, the reality is that I am sitting in our rented two bedroom Victorian flat having just got back from one of my two jobs, my husband has just opened the fridge and prepared a light brunch of entirely purchased items. We are consumers. Still we are content.
So to those who have not visited the Frugal Veggie before, welcome!
And to the fist part of the A post
The Frugal Veggie came to being in an attempt to capture our journey as consumers who are trying not to be governed by the pound in our pockets. Frugal to some seems a dirty word, along side thrifty or penny pinching the concept goes against the screaming advertisements of our consumer world to buy more, spend more to go large.
For some time I lived as a single parent on a very low income, as a family we struggled. As a parent I scrimped, went without and tried to do my best. Looking back to times when you have chosen between buying fresh vegetables or 9p noodles (there is no choice). When you have fed your child then waited till he was asleep to drink black tea so there is milk for his breakfast eating dry bread as there is nothing else to sustain you till the next paycheck hits the bank. We survived, my son grew he is now a man I am so proud of him. That was 10 years ago but I am aware these struggles are real for parents across the UK today perhaps more than ever.
In many ways I see myself as being in a privileged position now, my husband and I have two incomes.
We have DISPOSABLE income!
I do not like that phrase.
So shortly after our wedding in January we sat together as husband and wife and spoke about the budget (very rock and roll I know).
He listened as I explained my feelings on how wasteful we were being.
We spoke about the things we could do to reduce our spending, our consuming.
We spoke about reducing the price of our food budget without restricting the quality of the food we eat.
As a lover of cooking and lists, planning and recording our journey was the inspiration for starting this little blog.
A is also for Accountability…..
Before beginning our frugal journey I would have said that we were not particularly wasteful. Just a month in and seeing the difference in what we spend and what we used to throw away I feel like we should do so much better.
Accountability in our frugal lives is achieved in a few ways
Receipts – I keep them for a month, then tally up the spends so I am aware of what has been spent and where. This also helps me to see the savings from one shop to another
Planing– We write meal plans and stick to them! This ensures that we are not overbuying
But most of all accountability for our spending and consuming comes from our discussions as a couple. Our household is run on cash so we do see the difference if one or other has been wasteful with the budget.
As we draw to the close of my first A to Z post I hope you have enjoyed my rambles. Apologies for rushing the post (you might have guessed I procrastinated so much that it was written last minute) I give you my word that along the way this April I will be posting much more on the Frugal Veggie, recipes, tips and lists all that have helped me as I have learned about being more accountable when it comes to the food budget and the quality of food that is shared in my home.