It's been exactly 20 days since I wrote the last post on breakfasts.
I think I'm going to write the other 3 and schedule them to publish once every 4 - 5 days.
But before we continue, I must tell you that we've been Out of Control the last few months which has inched my final grocery average for the year May to April (that's just when I started properly tracking the grocery spend) up to R3 498,05.
(I went to check my spreadsheet)
Let's call it R3 500 and I'll also try to not twitch at the inexactness of that rounded up number :)
So since I'm "free", I've taken over grocery shopping for May. I'm aiming to keep the total in the R3000 - R3200 ballpark. I'll let you know how I do at the end of this month - I'll even put it on my goals list so I don't forget.
|D's lunch at Valley Bakery while on holiday - I never eat anything with mayonnaise when I'm out because 1) I'm a control freak and I like to only use max 1 teaspoon and 2) I really only like Crosse and Blackwell TANGY lite|
Proper snacks - the ones between meals - and nonsense (chips, chocolates, biscuits, sweets, etc.).
I'm all for the proper snacks but the nonsense is also Out of Control.
I actually went through each receipt and just for April, our nonsense snacks are 17% of our total spend. Even if we don't totally cut it out, we could definitely reduce that to around 5%.
|Total spend||3 728.12|
The kids have an option to eat lunch at school but since I'm a control freak about food, I've always opted to have them eat here so they can eat better (a lot more vegetables, etc.). I also learnt recently that they make them finish their food there.
I don't want to get into fights but for the most part, I don't force my kids to eat. I won't give them anything else but if they don't want to eat, that's fine with me. You see, I believe that in a world where obesity and other eating disorders are so rife, we create emotional eaters when we force our kids to eat and clear their plates.
I had to consciously work on stopping when I'm full for years........
- a fruit to start (I read somewhere that our bodies digest fruit better if it's eaten first. Also, who wants to have an apple after your lunch. Not me. They taste better first thing.)
- a brown bread sandwich with either ham/ cheese/ peanut butter/ egg/ cottage cheese (now and again they'll have leftovers)
- their choice of veggies - tomato/ cucumber/ carrots/ in winter I have soup available for their veg (I make our soups from scratch every weekend so every portion of my soup has at least 1 Weigh-Less portion of veg - 100 g - sometimes more)
The kids have a snack at around 4pm of another fruit and some plain yoghurt. Sometimes a small muffin (also baked by us so has no more than half a cup of sugar for the batch)/ half a hot cross bun and a small cup of rooibos tea, especially in winter.
Here is my tip for kids who eat well:
We only feed them at "specified" meals (unless they're sick and it all goes out the window anyway). Obviously if they tell us they're hungry or start being grumpy and I can see they're hungry, we will give them their snack a bit earlier. And mostly, non-carb snacks.
They are genuinely hungry at supper time so they mostly (98% of the time) polish off their food and if I want to introduce a new food, I'll "bribe" them for the first 3 times with something after. My bribes are a handful of raisins/ a "sweet yoghurt" to share, etc.
My kids aren't angels obviously because they're 4! We started to have a tantrum yesterday when I said to the waitress to please take back the sweets (with the bill). But I explained to the offender that they ALREADY weren't listening; we certainly weren't going to voluntarily make that worse by giving them sugar!
It helps because I don't like grazing either unless it's while I'm cooking supper and then I'll eat an apple or some carrots dipped in peanut butter (mmmm) so I like to think we mostly model good eating habits.
D takes 4 slices of bread, yoghurt and dry muesli to snack on at work. He never changes his routine and he really likes cottage cheese but then the variety would be savoury cottage cheese vs chives cottage cheese :)
When I worked at Secret Company, I had a ginormous lunch bag. I don't like to get hungry because I get grumpy and because I have low blood pressure, I sometimes start feeling really sick.
For my snacks, I always had two fruits (Granny Smith apple, orange/ soft citrus, pineapple, pear if in season, etc.) and two yoghurts. I'd eat the 175ml yoghurt with my breakfast and the 100 ml one at 3:30 ish. When I'm being good, some carrots to snack on too.
My lunch is almost always a wholewheat bread sandwich with ham/ tuna/ some good low-fat protein and tomato/ cucumber. My favourite lunch in winter is tomato soup and toast with chunky cottage cheese - YUM!
I don't like to eat a big meal at lunch because it weighs me down too much to concentrate properly in the afternoons. Of course it's probably best to have your main meal then but Secret Company used to pay me for my brain so I have to be alert :)
Something you may not know but probably suspect - I'm very fussy with sandwiches and don't eat anything that's been made more than like 10 minutes earlier :) Which means I take EVERYTHING with me (or keep in my desk knives, salt, pepper, plates) to make it fresh.
When I worked on that project in the call centre, I'd take pasta and a sauce about twice a week so that it cut down on my lunch (BILLABLE HOURS!!!) - heat for 1 minute, eat for 5 minutes. Done! The sauce was obviously made by me (see control freak above!) with lentils/ kidney beans and onion/ tomato. Proper W-L - so 1 portion low-fat protein and 2 portions veg.
I also like to use lunches now and again to meet with friends (Louisa and another L friend when I worked in the CBD) and then I'd obviously pay more for lunch.
This has been a very long post! Here's your gold medal :)
All that to say I think this is the most cost-effective but still healthy way for my family to eat.
What do you have for lunches?
Were there any surprising things in this post?