I had an admin day yesterday. I spent the morning doing a full freezer, fridge and larder inventory and after a quick read through and calculation, was pleased to find I have the makings of around 25 meals, including half a dozen home cooked ready meals. I then wrote menu plans for lunches and dinners for the rest of this month, using up what we've got in freezer and larder, followed by a shopping list. I'm going to try only going shopping once this month (today), but with possibly a top up shop for eggs and fresh veggies in a couple of weeks......going shopping less often certainly means spending less.
I then did a revised budget, which I try to do every 3 months, checking the bank accounts and listing every outgoing and all our incomings (husband's State pension and 3 smallish private pensions, and my one slightly bigger private pension). Husband's private pensions in his own account all go towards car expenses, his State pension and my private pension are for housekeeping and general expenses in our main bank account. I have one main savings account for our van site fees, with a standing order set up from our main account to go monthly into that savings account, another account for shopping, which I transfer a monthly amount into, and a 3rd account which is my 'rainy day' savings account. This account I transfer random amounts into, using the 'rounding down' method - as an example, if I had, say, £289.75 in my main account, I would round it down to £280.00 and move the remaining £9.75 to the rainy day account. I try to do this a couple of times a week, so there's usually something like £10 or £15 going into that account every week. It soon adds up.
So now I've got a monthly menu plan in place, and our finances are all up to date and ticking over quite nicely, that's eased my mind.
Shopping today and, as mentioned the other day, I'm intending to do a shop for the whole of this month - luckily I have plenty of space in the freezer, having eaten mostly homemade frozen ready meals whilst we were in the caravan, and eaten out of the freezer since we've been home. So I'll be able to freeze a month's worth of milk, etc, and have a batch cooking day to make and freeze lots more ready meals. We're going to start making bread again rather than buying it, I have plenty of flour and yeast, having stocked up on that a couple of weeks ago.
Everything feels pretty much under control right now, and that's a feeling I haven't had for a few months.