My task last week was to go to the butchers and you would not believe how ridiculously nervous I was about going in! I think this is all because no one likes to appear the fool or not to know something and I really had no idea what I was asking for. Chicken –yes but do you ask for a weight? How many people it needs to feed? I was too embarrassed to admit I didn’t know so just confidently asked for ‘a large chicken please!’ The butcher wandered off to the back and then came back with a ‘large chicken’ and after weighing it said it was just over 5lbs and he looked at me for some sort of acknowledgment that that was okay. I paused and said ‘great!’ (In a rather too cheerful tone). The large chicken and I went home in the car and it sat in the fridge until the Sunday…
When I got it out of the fridge I followed my recipe and soon lovely smells were wafting through the cottage. A mixture of garlic and chicken and the boys all started fussing about ‘when is lunch going to be?’ Hubbie carved and we noticed that there was still quite a lot of meat left after we had had our fill. We cleared up he stripped the chicken off ready for me to make the curry in the morning. There was the most enormous amount of meat in the bowl and we were really pleased. I made the curry but forgot you couldn’t re-freeze meat that had been cooked twice so I had another meal left over that really went to waste as the boys aren’t yet into cold curry even if it is cheerfully called ‘coronation chicken’. This was thrown away and I was a bit disappointed but I am learning and know not to do this again.
What have I learned this week? That £13 is a lot to pay for a chicken but if it does 3 meals for 5 people then I can’t really complain. Sometimes the initial expense is worth it because it lasts longer; cheap alternatives are sometime, not always though, a false economy. I’ve learned that butchers don’t pump their meat full of water so the meat you see is really just that –meat. I don’t feel hoodwinked as I feel that I’ve paid for a chicken that hasn’t been mucked about with and I like that. I’ve also learned that buying food everyday/every 2 days means I don’t have a fridge full of food that when plans change I’m left with leftover food at the end of the week. By buying every other day I could just what we needed and adapt more easily when plans changed and I saved money.
Did I achieve my objective of having a bit of money left over for the little essentials for the boys? Yes. There’s £40 to go in the pot and I truly believe this is because we really kept a tight rein on our finances. Hen needed new socks and these were bought out of the left over money which is what I used to do so I’m smiling. What am I going to do with the left over £30ish? I’m going to save £10 per week for Christmas so I’m not facing a heavy food bill like we did this year. 10 people for 6 days (with 7 people either side for a couple of days) to feed 3 meals a day plus Christmas treats is a lot to pay for and I think this will help next year if we have that many again.
What’s next weeks’ challenge?
To investigate more interesting teas as after planning meals for 2 weeks now, I’m really very boring!