The GFC, in all its glory, has coincided for me with a move to a simpler life on the south coast of NSW. Not only does this bring forth previously suppressed desires to grow my own vegies (still in the planning stages) but it also brings a dearth of home delivery options. From a funky inner-west bastion of Thai, Vietnamese, Greek, Lebanese, Italian et al cheap eateries, I have been reduced to multinational pizza joints, multinational fast food joints, fish and chips, a whole lot of Chinese restaurants (sweet and sour anyone? and one lone Indian (pretty good, since you asked).
So I've hit the kitchen. Now if I want a night off from cooking for the family, I need to have planned (48 hours in advance) leftovers. Tasty leftovers. Leftovers that people will actually eat without turning their noses up and feigning sudden illness.
It's not easy. My new BFFs are recipe mags like Super Food Ideas and Good Taste, and you know what - they're great! Easy, tasty meals that don't require a list of gourmet ingredients as long as my arm. I'm in love. But not as much as I love taste.com.au, the online archive of these two mags and three more besides.
We're saving heaps of money, too. I fed four of us for $107 last week. Breakfast, lunch and dinner. I know that there are people who can do it for less (possibly the same people who save their soap scraps to make new bars), but it used to cost me closer to $200 and we'd have takeaway two nights a week on top of that.
Need help with your budget? I reckon you could do worse than starting with a shopping list. Plan your meals like Nanna used to. Turns out that old-fashioned is the way forward.