Can you meal plan your way to financial freedom?

As I’m sure is the same for you, we are always busy with something or other.  For us, if we are not dashing around to school, work or days out with the kids, we are firmly planted on the smallholding (pun intended) raising our livestock and growing our own food.  Oh not to mention doing everything else that us humans do, cooking, cleaning, washing, shopping for said cooking…..this is making me tired just typing!  

In my years of experience, one thing I have learnt for us to be successful is that life needs organising. By successful I don’t mean anything other than the smooth running of this place, food on the table and a comfortable home with happy and healthy inhabitants.  Being organised doesn’t mean take the fun out of things or running an inflexible military operation.  It does mean we have to be organised or things slip and don’t get done, which can have negative outcomes.  Not having matching socks doesn’t matter as much as having no food prepped/available for the evening meal, which may lead to eating out ruining our budget etc etc.  Forgetting to feed the animals is not acceptable where as forgetting to write ‘butter’ on the shopping list is.  You see where I’m coming from?

As we move in to 2021 we will be making our usual plans and dreams for the coming year, one of which is already decided upon.  That leads me to this new blog.  Meal planning our way to financial freedom.  Crazy woman?  Bear with me.

The dream for Steven and I is to be able to make an income from our smallholding, enough to support us so we don’t have to work for big cat/other companies forever. We DO want to work, but for ourselves. If you know us from our smallholding blog, you’ll know we aren’t work shy.  

Why do we have to work?  To bring in an income.  Why?  We have chosen a lifestyle choice which includes having a mortgage.  To pay the mortgage we need to work and continue to earn at least one of our wages just to settle the bills every month.  So why doesn’t one of us quit and the other just work?  Well then what would we do if hard times hit? We would have no plan b.  Right now, we have a plan b, one of us goes down, the other steps up and we adapt.

So the short version is we are doing numerous things to lower outgoings and save money to overpay the mortgage.

Maybe you can relate this, maybe it’s not a mortgage for you, maybe you want to save money for one reason or another, or you simply need to meet your current mortgage or rent demands.  One thing is for sure, times are really hard for many right now, during the 2020 pandemic.

In the 4 years or so we have lived here, one thing we have managed to do, which is helping us save towards overpaying the mortgage, is reduce our grocery budget significantly.  From around Β£600 a month (I’m aware this is spending stupid money from not being organised, buying on a whim and eating out!) to what is a reasonable Β£300 a month.  The only way I have found to do this is planning.  Meal planning, freezer planning and planning your grocery shop.  Meal planning can be reverse planning, which I’ll talk about in another post or standard planning (ie planning ahead).  Without sitting down and planning my family’s meals out, I wouldn’t be able to have a grocery budget of Β£300. 

I refer to this sitting down time as one of my “Kitchen Tasks”, a phrase you will hear me use often.  This blog isn’t about paying the mortgage off, it’s about what we are doing with the grocery and grocery related bills to reduce them and to use those savings to over pay on the mortgage. Other people will want to reduce their grocery budget for another reason or maybe you don’t want to reduce your budget, maybe you struggle with meal ideas and would like to start meal planning. 

Thinking of ideas to cook each day or for the freezer can be overwhelming. I hope my blog can help.  What you can expect in the coming posts is to join me around our Farmhouse Kitchen Table and I’ll share how I manage all of these activities and my other Kitchen Tasks!  Including weekly meal plans, shopping lists, grocery hauls and related budgets.  Get insight in to our lives and follow our journey to financial freedom with regular updates on everything.  I hope you find some useful or inspiring information here and even if not, I’d love for your support as we take on this next chapter in our lives. We have a dedicated Facebook Group if you would like to be a part of that community, I’d love to see you there.

Transparent, real life going on here!  Now, final comment for today, remember I said I live on a smallholding (homestead)?  My Aga is my favourite part of the kitchen and in the spirit of the transparency I mentioned, here’s me working around a poorly duck at my Aga.

Isn’t she beautiful πŸ™‚

If you got this far, thank you for reading!! I really appreciate it!

Please leave me a comment below or on social media if you’re new here (everyone is, it’s a new blog!) as I would love to get to know you.  

Bye for now, Tracy x

10 thoughts on “Can you meal plan your way to financial freedom?

  1. boveybelle

    Great idea to reduced food expenditure. Whilst I always cook from scratch and we don’t buy takeaways or eat out, I have NO excuse to have “forgotten” food in the cupboard or freezers. I look forward to some inspiration on your new blog.

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    1. Tracy Chadfield Post author

      I find things sneak up on me and before I know it, I’ve done something like allow food past it’s best, got to 7pm with no food prepped etc, so I have to plan and organise or I fall foul of myself! Thank you

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    1. Tracy Chadfield Post author

      Thank you Lesley πŸ™‚ it’s a balance of keeping enough to see us through something like a pandemic πŸ˜‰ and making sure we use what we have….aren’t we all balancing all of the time it feels πŸ™‚

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  2. Stephen Wild

    Well done, I wish all works out and I’m quite envious of you.I’m a great believer in what your doing and wish everyone would at least try to cook homemade money saving food. You don’t need a great deal of space to grow your own and once you do a bit your hooked. Nothing better that home grown, no food miles etc etc

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    1. Tracy Chadfield Post author

      Hi – thank you for popping over! I appreciate the support. Very much finding my feet at the moment but I am really enjoying it. Learning from everyone all of the time is great!

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  3. Bethany

    This is fab and the meal planning/prepping/budgeting is something that I’ve been thinking of trying to do these last few weeks to streamline our family life and cut down bills. Can’t wait for the next posts 😊

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