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Monday, 7 December 2015

Prayer Journal

I was blessed to receive a rather lovely journal a few months ago. I was wondering what to do with it, then I had the inspiration to use it as a prayer journal. After all, I already had a providence journal, which is invaluable for reflecting on God's goodness, and protection.

I have included a few different sections, prayers for family and friends, general prayers, answers to prayer, poems of praise, and just general reflective poetry. So far it is proving a blessing, and also reminding me of important needs to pray for. So easy to be forgetful. A good idea to date each entry, too.

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

The Lord's Tender Care Toward us

Of late I have been aware of just how much God keeps us, and tailors the plan he has for us. When you find things tough it is good to look back and see just how the Lord provided over that time, whether it be finances, health, or just general struggles.Also, when we find things tough, to trust that God will always get us through it, and make a way. Not that the way will be easy, though! Think of Elijah, who just wanted to die. Despair had almost overtaken him.
I was reading today from Isaiah 40:11 "He shall fed his flock like a shepherd:he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young." Wow, thinking of this on terms with sheep, it goes to show how the care encompasses sheep.
Sheep need fresh green pastures in order to thrive, and water. We need God's Word, but obviously we also need physical food, too.
Sheep need access to vitamins and minerals, that they might not get from the pasture. We need to make sure we dig deeper into His Word, and prayer, or we will be spiritually deficient.
Sheep need some top ups sometimes of nuts, and sugar beet, especially around pregnancy. We are vulnerable in pregnancy, and as mothers, and the Lord gives us the sustaining strength we need, and leads our steps. We need to make sure we follow them, and seek His will, as trials are hard, but harder is a trial that is brought on by our own foolishness, or disobedience.

The Lord is a God who cares. I love the part where it says he carries the lambs to his bosom. Sometimes, we just need that extra help! Of course with sheep there are always those hardy ones who need hardly any help, but vulnerable ones, too who need hand rearing. We are all different, but we must prioritise hearing the 'Shepherd's voice' and not grumble when things get tough, but trust, as He knows best.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Home Education and Exams

Many assume that if you home educate, then your child will not be able to take exams. Not so, just it can be a little tricky logistically, but once those issues are overcome then it is fairly straightforward. I will endeavour to explain the steps below.
1) Decide which subjects your child wants to take.
I would say the most important are English, Maths, and the Sciences. (In doing this, it may be pertinent to ask, are these actually necessary? I will add that qualifications are not quite as important as most seem to think. Employers being primarily concerned with how you present yourself, teamwork, and interaction. None of these can be taught in the classroom!)
2) Choose an exam board:
Now, there are about three options as far as I know. Cambridge, edexcel, and AQA.
We opted for Cambridge I.G.C.S.E as it is more rigorous, and it offered alternatives to coursework. The subjects chosen were Maths, Chemistry, English Language, and Physics.
3) Thoroughly check the syllabus, but before buying any books check out the exam wiki Alternatively, check the exam board's list of accredited schools. (these will all be private schools) Don't be afraid to ring them, and ask to speak to the exam's officer.
4) Finalise the 'sitting' arrangements. Once you have found a school willing to take on external candidates, you will then obviously want to register for the exams. This is usually done in January for the Summer session, and in September for the Autumn session. (though some boards sit in January)
Schools differ here, and some will want you to have an identification card. We just had to attend a pre- interview where all that was covered.
Also, check your local home ed group. Some have private exam centres.

I hear you wondering how much this will cost. This will differ from school to school. Expect to pay around £100 per exam, and pay for an invigilator, too if needed.The C.I.E exams cost around £50 each for I.G.C.S.E. The extra cost is the school's administration fee. Sometimes the admin fee will be a one off per child. As for buying the books, check on Amazon. Often they have slightly outdated books for a fraction of the cost. Just make sure you know all the updates on the syllabus.

We didn't engage the use of tutors, as the expense would have been too much. Don't be afraid thinking you don't know enough to help your child. My subject is not Physics, but I was able to help my children in early home education develop the skills they needed to research, and do more self directed studies! Difficulties can often be overcome by google, or a friend in the know!

Remember, if you do take this route, that you will be representing the home ed community as a whole. It is important to be on time, courteous, and well turned out. The schools don't have to do this, and it sometimes can create a lot of extra work for them! I spoke to a teacher who had been overwhelmed with the numbers sitting externally, so much so that she had chosen to stop taking candidates altogether.

To conclude,some people get into a worry about home education. They think their child won't sit exams, and won't get to Uni. However, consistently this has been proved wrong. I know many home educated who have done exams, and gone onto Uni. I will also say qualifications count for little in the real job's market, as my eldest has been finding out. We all know the names of those people who made it to the top with little, or no qualifications. In short, employers want people who can work on their own initiative, can engage with all age groups, are positive, and always ready to learn new things. None of that can be taught in the classroom. This is where home education can have the upper hand. Our children haven't become dependent on being spoonfed, and are instead able to research and study for themselves. Skills which are an imperative in University, and the working would.

Thursday, 8 October 2015



Heady scents, evocative smells. The last tastes of Summer.
Smoke wisping, and creating signatures.
The forever wet blades of velvet green grass, enveloping sandalled feet with wet kisses.
The taste of pears in the air. Ripe juicy apples hang in clusters, just begging to be tasted.

Woody scents throng through the air, invading every air space.
The faint hum of winged machines above, drowning the sound of the distant traffic.
Ducks peal out their laughter, breaking the silence. They cast ripples through the sun dappled lake.

A squirrel scrambles, hesitating upon a branch, thoughtfully listening. Its bushy tail waving vigorously.
Footsteps on the bridge, the trees entice with their vibrancy, begging to be noticed.
Children's laughter, eager conversations, a dog bark.
A reminder of carefree days set back in time. Created perfectly by God.

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Back to School?

Being as so many others are writing about their homeschooling, it prompted me. After all this is a homeschooling blog, right? Well, our whole life is incorporated, which is why I often write about those random things .
We have had a so so summer, with plenty of trips out, and lovely holiday in glorious weather. Due to the dismal weather of late, though we have been doing our book work. No new school year, just generally carrying on where we had left off. I don't think it is necessary to change a grade every September, but that is the beauty of homeschooling.
Mara, who is nearly five is starting more formal work, and loving it. Angela is seven, and also loving carrying on where she left off. The middle girls think I am a slave driver, but hey no, you cant please everyone! The older children are studying for exams, so have been studying all summer, anyway.
This week has been a bit of a fog for me, as I have been battling a UTI. Trying not to have to use antibiotics, and to be honest at times I felt really really bad, and struggled a lot. Despite that we have been able to continue. I think due to the fact that we do a lot of work in evenings, and we are really flexible. Plus I have been house bound, and no extra activities this week.
Why do we do the book work in the evening? Well, because we love to do other things in the day, and be able to go out and do other things, such as a trip to the park, shopping, visiting Granny, friends, or whatever. Often it is where a lot of the ' real ' learning takes place.
So, I guess every homeschooling is different. That is the real beauty. It is individualistic, and tailored to each family. Not horridly uniformity, where there is no wiggle room and the national curriculum is law.
Here is a lovely rainbow that came to our garden. In the midst of feeling unwell, and enjoying a family BBQ. A double rainbow reminding me of God's promise.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015


Lat week we went into the Derbyshire Peaks to pick Bilberries. I had spotted them while we were walking last November. Of course the berries only come out for July/August time, but I knew just what I was looking for. Three key things, purple heather, some greenery, and the small bushes where the bilberries grow close to the ground. Of course the North Yorkshire moors is full of this, but filled with bracken, probably due to over grazing. If sheep are left to graze at the wrong times they can completely devour the green plants which are so important.

The picture above shows my son picking them. Look closely at the type of bush they grow on. Our older children seemed to find the best ones straight away, and found that they were more in abundance where there was less sunlight, and more shade.

Of course they make a really nice dessert, however there are some extremely beneficial health qualities to these small berries. Very similar to the blueberry, but smaller, and a more distinct taste. These berries are excellent for circulation, and in particular varicose veins, and piles. The key is only a tiny sprinkling of sugar, and then cover with a sponge or crumble. I use less sugar, and brown, and I also blend wholemeal flour in. Also excellent for in your porridge. Much healthier than the anaemic packets that you microwave!

Look at pic below, and you will see the heather here. This is the sort of thing to look for. There were zillions of bees, a good sign, and they were obviously attracted by all the gorgeous heather!

Saturday, 25 July 2015

A Large Family and Whooping Cough

As there seems to be so much whooping cough going around D,I thought I would post, in the event it might help, as when ours had it I had little info at all. Also, no internet!
When I was seven months pregnant with our eight child all of the children and I came down with it. It had started in our eldest, who was developing a very bad cough after what seemed to have been a rather dragged out cold. When she lost consciousness briefly after coughing, and complaining she couldn't breathe we became quite concerned. It was my mum who first suggested whooping cough. It starts after a two week incubation and the only symptoms for first couple weeks are like a cold. Runny nose, etc, and general malaise. After the second week a cough had appeared, which got gradually worse. I found it would make them sick afterwards, and was particularly bad in the night, so it helps to elevate their bed.
We tried incubation, but a week later it clearly hadn't worked. Apparently this is one of the most contagious illnesses. We found cold air, and exertion outside exasperated the coughing, so had to watch them. At night the nightmare began. I slept with hosanna, who was then around sixteen months, and Tim slept in with all six of the other children. It was important not to leave them alone in the coughing fits. As Hosanna was so young I covered the bed with terrynappies to absorb any vomit as she would often miss the bowl. I can remember being too weak myself, and never able to get out of bed before 4 pm the next day. When the midwife was finally able to call, she found us all in bed!. Exhaustion was an understatement, and don't know what I would have done without my husband helping. It was two months to three months before we were really over the worst, and we still had coughs for six months. We had antibiotics for the last few, the Dr finally convinced after hearing Eli coughing, there was that distinctive whoop after it. The antibiotics helped them get over it, and after a five day course they were no longer contagious.

Now, you may say why didn't we vaccinate, however we caught off those who had been vaccinated, and reflection made me still realise we were right not to. Esp as the vaccine is not always that effective.
What advice? Well, record the cough, because the doctors are useless, and often have no experience of it. Make sure they have a really nutritious diet. No junk. Don't be selfish and infect others. We told our midwife, and she didn't visit. New babies up to a year are very vulnerable. Also don't expect vaccinations to protect. I was vaccinated. I still had it bad, and my stomach felt like it was bursting. Also, if we had known what it was earlier, it would have enabled the treatment quicker. Click on link to view a youtube video of the children's cough.

Sunday, 19 July 2015

The New Normal

There was a time when gluttony was actually mentioned as a sin. May seem like hundreds of years ago, now though.
There was a time in school when we weren't allowed to swear, in fact the cane was even in force. Today, you hear even teachers swear.
There was a time when at the mention of God's name in blasphemy there would be gasps of shock. In fact the BBC edited it out of their broadcasts.
There was a time when the churches at large all condemned adultery, and fornication Now, living together is accepted by most, and even many churches.
It seems each time we have breached a new moral code,we have just waxed worse and worse.
The result? Well, a totally mixed up society, and full of even more problems than ever. Never has it been more relevant to discuss what is going on with our children. To teach them what the Bible says. Now, there are many who teach that our good morality, or our philanthropical acts will get us into heaven. However, this is bad news, as it isn't true, and shows a proud face to God. A face that says, I don't need any help thank you, I can manage quite well. We can see clearly that the way we are behaving is creating more and more problems. The bible talks about people in the last days being proud, boasters, and haters of God. Fornications, theft, murders and witchcraft will increase. Sad thing is, this is true, and even sadder that people are embracing it as their ' brave new world.,'
The real answer is look to Christ. The good we do is just filthy. Only he can save us, and it isn't anything good that we have done saves us.we need to teach our children to not follow the multitude to do evil, but look to Christ and live.

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

A Providence Journal

Having recently read Flavel's book on providence it has inspired me to start a providence journal. Basically a record of all those occasions where The Lord has definitely had a hand in events.
I have started from some of my earliest memories, of course ones that influenced me before conversion even. Will take me a while, as it seems there are a lot more than I thought, when it comes to putting pen to paper.
I guess one of my favourites from the early years was the time we only had potatoes for dinner. Just as I was set about cooking them, our neighbour knocked on the door offering chicken legs. She was returning the kindness she said, as her husband had so enjoyed the cockles we had given the previous week,fresh from the sea.It is proving very interesting and encouraging, as it causes me to sit and reflect, which is always a good thing, and actually a very uplifting encouragement. Something to share with our children, too. Memories, precious providential memories to pass on.

Friday, 26 June 2015

The Great Outdoors, and Health Benefits too

I think we spend far more time outdoors as home educators than we might usually. Sometimes the children like to take their lessons outside, too. However, I am talking more of the wider environment out there, such as woods, seashores, moors, etc. It is a great education for the children to be out in the environment, enjoying God's creation. In fact, I can often meditate on God when out walking in the country. It seems to lend itself to that. No car sounds, just wind rustles, and wildlife. Oh, not to mention wide open skies. Ever lay on your back as a child, and watch the clouds move? I still do!

Of course there is another major advantage to being out in woods and such, and that is the bacteria that we are exposed to. You see the adverts that tout ALL bacteria as being bad, so we need to nuke them? Not so, in fact we have become so hygiene conscious we are inviting problems to our children's health. Just look at the prevalence of asthma, and exzema. If anything, they should have been worse in the past, they are not, and research has shown children are not introduced to enough beneficial bacteria. So, what better way, than to get out there and let them explore and get their hands dirty! Ours love the woods, beaches, and moors. All the beneficial bacteria is helping build their immune systems the right way.Did you know that God has created bacteria to do amazing things? They can break down plastics, and certain pathogens, and pollutants. Plus a certain bacteria was found in the sea that was able to generate electricity, which may help in the future in sewage treatment plants.There is a reason for absolutely everything.

Thursday, 18 June 2015


There is nothing like Cornwall, when the sun is shining, so we were doubly blessed when we recently went on holiday, as the weather was clear, and sunny.

We also had a lovely holiday house to stay in. (Beats camping, and cheaper!)

Cornish ice creams!

Don't forget Poldark! It really brought it to life.

Not to forget swimming. Excellent surf weather!

Plus exploring miles and miles of walks. We even saw a snake, but it was too quick for camera. I may have caught the tail end of it.

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Spicy Butternut soup

Made this up messing around today. Princess Cherry wasn't keen on me doing Tuscan bean, so I decided to pull out all the best ideas I have about butternut, and I must say the results were superb.
Really economical too.

1 carton single cream (optional)


I almost made a mistake and put ambrosia custard in! I was looking for cream. You can if you like it creamy add a pot of single cream to this.

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Is Birth Control Biblical?

I have seen a few articles 'floating around' now. Some seem to assume that planning a family according to our own 'wisdom' is right and proper, and somehow implying that by having many children, this will stop us from being fruitful in ministry for God. Also, we should only have as many children as we can handle.
All seem to be agreed on abortifacient birth control being wrong, as it kills new life. However, we seem to have developed a very liberal approach to other birth control methods. Yes, nowhere does the bible condemn these birthcontrol as they weren't even invented then! This is a 'grey' area and not easy to navigate. However, The Book of Genesis references withdrawal, or coitus interruptus, as a method of contraception when Onan "spills his seed" (ejaculates) on the ground so as to not father a child with his deceased brother's wife Tamar.'' And Onan knew that the seed should not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in unto his brother's wife, that he spilled it on the ground, lest that he should give seed to his brother.'' Gen 38:9 Maybe the extreme end, but a lesson, nevertheless.
The idea of birthcontrol was widely condemned within the Christian community until round about the 1930's. Ironically, with the introduction of mass birth control came mass abortion on demand, which the Bible clearly says is murder.
Here are some quotes from Margaret Sanger, to illustrate my point that birth control was intended to be destructive;
"Birth control appeals to the advanced radical because it is calculated to undermine the authority of the Christian churches. I look forward to seeing humanity free some day of the tyranny of Christianity no less than Capitalism."

"Birth Control which has been criticized as negative and destructive, is really the greatest and most truly eugenic method, and its adoption as part of the program of Eugenics would immediately give a concrete and realistic power to that science... as the most constructive and necessary of the means to racial health."

"The most merciful thing a large family can do to one of its infant members is to kill it."

Why such a push for birth control for all? Well, in the UK it was worries about so called 'over population'. The UN now says that access to birthcontrol is a human right, and that aid can be withdrawn from countries denying this!

So many Christians seem to believe that birth control is a blessing, however, when you think about the people pushing it, and the results now. Think of the increase in fornication, and so called 'safe sex'. Children as young as 11 are being fooled into risky sexual liasons, damaging them both physically, and mentally. Remember the main reason for birth control being that ''the earth cannot sustain so many'' As Christians God has promised to provide for food, shelter, and clothing, and it doesn't come with an 'unless you are irresponsible enough to have 20 children' warning!! Jesus had many in his family, maybe as many as 10. It was always a blessing to have a large family, so it is a positive thing, not something to be ashamed of. It nowhere ever in the Bible states lots of children as a negative. It is not presumptuous to not use birth control, it is normal, and natural. The Puritans would excommunicate people for the use of preventing birth. I think that is a bit extreme, but it shows how they valued life.

When we get married, it is not something to be taken lightly, something to be prayerful, and sincere over. Too often our fleshly side can dictate what we think is right, and sensible. How little faith we have! I sometimes forget the Lord can work miracles, and often look for an earthly, and wordly response to a problem, whatever area of our lives it is in! I too have to keep reminding myself, ''don't rationalise, but allow the Lord to lead, and don't try to be the pilot.''

No, it isn't easy raising ten children, but I can tell you this, the blessings have far outweighed any difficulties, or discomforts I might have had! I have been able to handle far more than I ever dreamed possible in the Lord's strength. Don't be afraid to go against the flow. I am not condemning anyone, rather encouraging them to grasp hold of what the Lord is saying to them and their family. Embrace children in a positive sense. That includes those who are negative to other people's children. Children are a blessing, the future church. They are to be celebrated, not seen as a burden. Stop looking for criticisms. We have such a low view of the family and children in these days.

Of course, secularists would love to destroy the family. Already we are seeing that in the way that the laws are going. The devil comes to steal and destroy. Don't be part of that!

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

The Glory of God

Sunday's sermon was about the God's glory, and how we see it in nature. It got me thinking again, as I love to be out and about in the countryside, and just sit, listen, or stand back, and watch.
God gives us evidence of His existence, and the fact that He is our creator, and creator of the universe.
Romans 1:20 ''For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:''
Here are some pictures I have taken;

How can anyone say there is no God, or God is not good? These pictures just spoke for themselves!

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Sugar, what does the Bible say?

Since I started my weight losing a couple years ago, ''sugar free'' diets seem to be everywhere. I have always advocated for eating less sugar, and a major reason why I make a lot of my own cakes, and desserts. I always use at least a third less sugar, and no one is any wiser.
Ironically, some of these sugar free diets actually use substitutes such as honey, maple syrup, and the like. Yet, they are all sugar. Then there are the diets which use sweeteners, and again too little is known about the total effect on the body. It somehow seems unnatural to eat something with zero calories, and no nutrient value, and makes me wonder what on earth is our purpose for eating? I shall look at this now from a Biblical point of view.
So, suddenly sugar/honey whatever form of it is evil, and to be avoided at all costs, yet inM the Bible honey is mentioned positively. I found hundreds of Bible verses, and the interesting fact I gleaned from reading them, is they also mentioned cheese from cows, and milk, and wheat in a positive light. Another group of foods so recently demonised. Yes, there are some genuinely allergic who should avoid, but cutting out these things from the diet seems rash. Interestingly dairy fats have recently been shown to protect the body, and the heart, but in MODERATE amounts, which leads me on to the next thing.

Some say it is the food companies making us fat. No, it isn't! Yes, they are very clever at adding sugar to just about every food available, including savoury meals. (A major reason for cooking our own from scratch!) It is our lack of control leading us to be fat. I put on weight because I simply ate too much, and probably too much of the wrong things. No one seems to preach about gluttony any more from the pulpit, it is a no go zone, yet it exists, everywhere. Basically eating way more than we need to eat on a daily basis. The Bible commands us to be moderate, and self controlled, also remembering that our body is a temple of the holy spirit. (1cor 6:19 )

Back on to the positive verses in the Bible, here are just a fraction;

''And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey; unto the place of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites.'' EX 3:8

''And the house of Israel called the name thereof Manna: and it was like coriander seed, white; and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey.''EX16:31

''And that ye may prolong your days in the land, which the LORD sware unto your fathers to give unto them and to their seed, a land that floweth with milk and honey.''DEUT 11:9

''My son, eat thou honey, because it is good; and the honeycomb, which is sweet to thy taste:''PROV 23:13

Last, but not least, this is really interesting;
''Hast thou found honey? eat so much as is sufficient for thee, lest thou be filled therewith, and vomit it.'' prov 25:16
So, enjoy, but don't over eat of it! Matthew Henry says this; ''It is not forbidden fruit to thee, as it was to Jonathan;eat as much is sufficient and no more. We must use all pleasures as we do honey, with a chack upon our appetite. The pleasures of sense lost their sweetness by the excessive use of them and become nauseous, as honey which turns sour in the stomach.''

So, I guess that pretty much sums it up. All foods in moderation can be good. We should be trying to avoid the processed foods that are packed with flavour enhancers, sugars, and chemicals. Yet, surprise, surprise, there are so many processed 'no sugar' products on the market! All of them touted healthy. Same with low fat, or no fat. I was horrified recently, when accidentally purchasing fat free yoghurts, only to find 9 teaspoons of sugar in it!! Healthy? It seems the low fat add more sugar, and the no sugar just sub chemicals would could be potentially dangerous. If honey was good enough to be mentioned a s a blessing so many hundreds of times in the Bible it is good enough for me!

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Easter Weekend Fun

We have been doing some games together, and today we did a treasure hunt. Simple idea, 12 clues were written on post it notes, and posted around the garden. The children had to write down the first letter of each answer, and re-arrange the letters to form a hiding place.

As usual, Izzy got to the treasure first!

Of course Easter isn't Easter without home made hot cross buns!

1 1/2 TSP YEAST.
Of course, last, but should be first, Grace!!
Amazing Grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now am found was blind but now I see!

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Making Life Simpler-Meal planning

I have said it before, and I will say it again, as it is astounding the number of people who do not plan their meals.
Having a large family makes everything that little bit more challenging, and meals are no exception. Soooo, if you really want to make life easier, plan.
I didn't always plan, and that meant that it was a struggle sometimes when having to prepare dinner, and procrastinating about what to cook. This takes away valuable time, especially if you are anything like me. I will outline what has helped me over the years:
1) Plan meals a week, or a month ahead-
Now I like variety, so I make sure we don't have the same meals every week. I like to ensure we have 4 red meat meals, at least one non meat meal, fish, then chicken once a fortnight. Here is my plan for march:
sunday 1st-Beef casserole
Monday 2nd-Pasta bake (with salmon)
Tues 3rd-Chicken
Weds 4th- Chicken stew
Thurs 5th- Takeaway
Fri 6th- Bolognaise
Sat 7th- Fish battered with oven chips
Sun 8th- Roast lamb
Mon 9th- lentil soup and garlic bread (home made)
Tues 10th- meat loaf
Weds 11th- Egg, chips, and beans
Thurs 12th- Beef curry and rice
Fri 13th- Mexican tortillas
Sat 14th- Fish in butter sauce with potatoes
Sun 15th- Beef casserole
Mon 16th- Beef sausages and mash
Tues 17th- Roast chicken
Weds 18th-Chicken stew
Thurs 19th-Beef pie, and mash
Fri 20th- Home made pizza
Sat 21st-Shepherd's pie
Sun 22nd-Roast lamb
Mon 23rd- Quiche with savoury rice.
Tues 24th-Lasagne
Weds 25th- Lentil soup, and garlic bread. (Home made)
Thurs 26th Beef stir fry with noodles
Fri 27th- Fish pie (home made)
Sat 28th- Beef ghoulash
Sun 29th- Beef casserole
Mon 30th- Wild salmon and rice
Tues 31st- Beef curry

Once I have my basic plan, I then know what I have to buy. However, I leave flexibility to plan for offers, and I check the offers online. January was good for stocking up on good quality mince, February had a lot of fish offers. This month it is flours. Once you have your menu plan, you can form a shopping list. I rarely waste any food, as I make sure I plan well, and what we know we can't use we freeze. Also buy frozen veg/fruit for cooking, and it won't be wasted.
Milk can be a tricky one, however, I calculate we use 8 pints a day, so I times that by the number of days till my next shop. I then add an extra 4-6 pints in just in case!
When I didn't plan, I remember having spaghetti bolognaise twice in one week, without even realising! Needless to say we have it once every 3 weeks, now.
A very helpful tip, I have found, is to make sure you have a few emergency quick meals, so you can prepare very quickly. As life doesn't always go to plan! I find bolognaise is a very easy meal to whip up quick, no peeling, just make sure you have the cook from frozen mince. I always buy the leanest, as it is lower in fat, tastier, and contains more protein. Please feel free to leave any comments, tips, ideas you have found helpful.