Saturday, 7 February 2009

Another Working Mum Strategy

I've learned, in nearly five years of being a working mum, that you need strategies. You know: clean one room a week, buy clothes that don't need ironing, befriend your oven timer, etc.

Well, this year I'm trying a new strategy:

Normally I do the food shopping on a Saturday morning with daughter in tow (husband works on Saturday morning, goes to football in afternoon so I've no choice but to take her). At times this has been fine; when she was smaller she could go in the trolley, I knew where she was, she couldn't escape, she couldn't get in the way. Then, when she was too big for the trolley she helped me with the shopping, finding what I asked for and tipping it in. Last year she started to write her own list and look for her own items, eg Weetabix, bananas, etc.

However, towards the end of last year she became reluctant to go to Tesco. She whinged and whined. She wanted the toilet half way round. She complained she was tired three quarters of the way round. After getting home, she mithered for hot chocolate while I was unpacking. It became a nightmare!

Now, I usually have Tesco deliver in November and December when my life is so busy I don't have two hours to do the shopping. I can justify the £5 delivery charge as I am working well in excess of 60 hours a week at that time of year. Unfortunately, I can't really justify a weekly delivery charge of £5 just because daughter is a pain (can I?)


But ...........

(here's the new strategy) .......


maybe I can justify it once a fortnight!?

So this term I decided to try and do a fortnightly shop and have it delivered. I have planned our meals for a fortnight at a time. I can freeze bread and milk. I can make meals in advance when the food is delivered and freeze them for the following week. I can use frozen vegetables toward the end of the fortnight (some are better for you than fresh!). The only thing I need to buy within the fortnight is fresh fruit, which I can get from the corner shop that is open after 5pm.

So far, it's working like a breeze! Food arrives every other Friday evening by 7pm and is packed away while daughter is in bed. Saturday mornings have become much more relaxed. I can lie in, have breakfast in my PJs, spend time with daughter doing fun things!!!

And, there's an added bonus that I didn't anticipate:
I can take advantage of the BOGOFs whilst avoiding the impulse buys!

Result: less stress and food bill reduced by about 15%!

25 comments:

Studentmum said...

Unfortunately, I can't really justify a weekly delivery charge of £5 just because daughter is a pain (can I?)

In the words of Barack Obama 'yes [you] can.

But the once a fortnightly compromise sounds just as good.

Hope you order a bottle of wine to open after you've unpacked it all too!

rosiero said...

Good for you. Sounds like yo have it all under control now. I use Tesco online to get food delivered to my mother who is housebound and lives 60 miles away from me. in fact you have just given me an idea for a post.

A Woman Of No Importance said...

If you count up your petrol costs, and your actual time saved, I think the delivery charge can easily be justified...

There are just those ages with children when it is impossible to go shopping - My son is 17 tomorrow, and I stopped taking him when he no longer fit in the basket!

Maggie May said...

That is what I call super efficiency. Well done for being so organized.

Dusty Spider said...

That sounds like a winner to me! I might have a go at that myself. Flick xx

auntiegwen said...

You should be running the country ! and I feel like I work 60 hours every bloomin week xx

Moannie said...

Sorted! As the younger generation say these days.

Sometimes I remember, with nostalgia, how we used to shop before supermarkets. Locally of course, and every one knew my name. Butter was patted, cheesed sliced with a wire [just cheddar-no choice then] bacon was sliced on a shiny machine that slid back and force, spilling the rashers onto grease proof paper.Eggs almost warm from the hens were folded into a package of newspaper, buscuit weighed out from a box. It was time consuming but pleasant enough, chatting to well known faces. And our high street was booming, not the parade of boarded up windows looking like broken teeth in a dirty mouth. Progress I guess.

halfmarathongirl said...

Totally empathise with shopping traumas! In fact if for some reason I haven't done the shopping on a day off during the week (work part-time) and I have the two boys with me, I'll lift the 6 year old into the trolley seat - have no idea how he fits as he's tall for his age!! - so it's only the 8 year old who could escape if he wanted to.

Like the idea of delivered food but would have to defrost freezer to have any hope of fitting food in there!

Suburbia said...

Gosh you sound so organised. Puts me to shame!

Coding Mamma (Tasha) said...

Sounds very smart indeed. We are thinking about doing a monthly internet shop of non-perishables to save money (multi-pack dog food instead of two cans a day from the local Co-op, for example). Luckily we work from home, so can take advantage of the free delivery slots.

I would love to hear more of your strategies. I am so disorganised when it comes to household stuff (what little organisational skills I have are entirely taken up with work).

Expat mum said...

I've been doing on-line and delivery shopping for about 15 years now. I am one of the VIP customers apparently, although I'm not sure what that means. I have no problem in justfying the $5 fee because shopping is a pain at the best of times, but with children it's just another form of torture. And definitely stops the impulse buying.

Mummy Cow said...

Well done you! I had my shopping delivered for the first time this week, because I've slipped a disc. It arrived when it was supposed to, the lovely chap carried it into my kitchen, everything was present and correct and, like you, I'd spent less, even with the delivery charge. I usually shop while my daughter is at her Stagecoach class, rushing around like a mad thing. I don't think I'll be doing that again! Once a fortnight sounds like a great idea.
I love your blog - it inspires me and comforts me. Thank you!

Mean Mom said...

I would say that you could justify the expense of a weekly delivery. You work, full time, run a household and look after your daughter. Perhaps you also do more than your fair share of jobs in the house. Obviously, I may be wrong with the last assumption, but I know that it works out that way for a lot of women. You deserve your lie in on a Saturday and it's worth £5.

Don't think of it as just a delivery charge. You're also paying someone to traipse round the supermarket, push the heavy trolley, dodge the other customers, wait at the checkout and pack. You're getting a bargain! If you can manage with a fortnightly delivery, you're quids in! Then, there's the petrol, as already mentioned, plus wear and tear.

When I worked and all my lads were at home, I also had a Tesco delivery once a fortnight, mostly. It was such a relief, partly because I'd got to the point where it was a struggle to push the trolley. The lads never stopped eating, plus I had cat food for 3 cats and I'm petite!

Iota said...

Very organised. I agree with Studentmum. 5 pounds is a small price to pay for not going shopping with a small child!

Polly said...

Oh how fabulous, I wish I had access to home delivery. I guess that is the perils of country living. But Im all for doing anything that makes life easier - and creates a little more down time.

Hullaballoo said...

Great strategy, I think I will do that too. I hate food shopping. I have trained the kids to come with me and now they are old enough to help properly, it is a little easier.

But a delivery every fortnight? That's very civilised.

cheshire wife said...

You sound very organised. It is tempting but I like to see what I am buying.

Nunhead Mum of One said...

Good plan.....although don't do what I did when I tried shopping on-line. In a fit of "ooh, this is so easy and stress free" I got carried away and, instead of ordering just one bottle of Tooth-Kind Ribena, I developed a stutter in my index finger and ordered eleven. I kid you not. Fortunately, I donated the whole lot to the nursery summer fayre.

Tawny said...

Brilliant strategy. One of the bonuses of living with my parents is i don't have to do shopping!

the mother of this lot said...

Hmm...I'm wondering...if I had Tesco deliver while the kids are at school, then the food might actually make it to the kitchen.

And that's got to be worth a fiver of anybody's money. don't you think?

The Dotterel said...

And depending how far away the supermarket is, you can deduct the fuel costs of your weekly visits too, making the whole the more economical all the time.

gigi said...

I've no way of know what home delivery would be like but sounds wonderful to me. We really are worlds apart. Have a great week.

family affairs said...

That is a very good idea - all about stress avoidance Lx

Catharine Withenay said...

Since not having a car we have had food delivered for the last 18 months. Works like a dream - most of the time (and £5 is much cheaper than running a car solely for the purpose of going to the supermarket!)

Firstly, no impulse buys.
Secondly, can do the shop at a time that suits me (i.e. 11pm or so when kids finally asleep)
Thirdly, I've whittled it down now to one shop a month, with local shopping for milk and fresh food.

All results in less stress and probably a cheaper food bill than a weekly shop would bring!

Hope the scheme works well for you!

Reluctant Housewife said...

That's great! Good for you.