I posted my palengke list way back and I must say, a lot of things changed back then.
1. I do the pamamalengke every two weeks. With this, I spend one Sunday morning at home, and not in the market.
2. Since I’m doing it every two weeks, I have to carefully manage the viands I have to prepare. I must make sure that no vegetables get rotten. Every rotten vegetable is a waste of money.
3. I bring my own microwaveables. This way, I lessen our need for plastic, and the microwaveables go straight to the freezer, cutting my prep time from one hour and more to less than thirty minutes.
I get more time to spend on doing something else and Mother Earth gets to be relieved of the trash. (Win-win!) I would go to the market, tell the vendor how many kilos and what part I am buying, pay for it and leave it there. I do this to all the meat products I buy then handpick the vegetables. Once I’m done with the vegetables, my meat collection is already ready for pickup.
4. I have to change the whole budgeting schedule for the year. Instead of setting aside P2000 per payday, I set aside P2000 every 2 weeks. With the idea that I have two paydays that I have to set aside 2 budgets for pamamalengke, I know I should set a cushion for this.
5. I separate my wallet for the food budget. Every year, during Christmas, my suki stores give away wallets.
This is what I use for pamamalengke. It’s an added suki point when you see your suki as valuable partners in budgeting. My meat vendor partner sold me the meat with a 5 peso discount. ‘Prices already went up this week’, she said. ‘But I’m giving your goods at the price of what it was two weeks ago so it doesn’t ruin your budget’.
5. Our rice quality went down from Denorado at P60 per kilo to Sinandomeng at P45 per kilo and I sticked to it even after receiving an increase in the salary. It was a tough decision,though. I am a fan of great tasting rice. However, not because your spending power increases, your spending increases too. The money I save gets to be allocated towards other important things, like saving for my children’s education.
Without further ado, let me share not just my 2 week list, but my 4 week list:
Some Tips to Share:
1. Greens and vegetables at the onset of the week. Since vegetables rot faster than meat when inside a refrigerator, make sure to cook them first. For those vegetables that has a longer shelf time, save them for later use.
2. Serve pork, chicken, fish and vegetables alternately.
3. Don’t serve the same sauce color the day after each other. If you served Menudo today, don’t go for Chicken Afritada tomorrow. Go for Chicken curry or Chicken Pininyahan instead.
4. Unless Spaghetti. (Self Explanatory)
5. Have a separate wallet for the food budget. Bringing a wallet that has a lot in it gives you a disaster waiting to happen. By setting aside a certain amount of money and stickit with it, you will know by the end of the day if you have enough to cover for your bacon craving, or it can wait next time.
6. Stick to the meal plan. The meal plan I shared is basically our meal plan all year round. I just interchange one from the other. Every palengke time, I buy a kilo of Ground Meat. One week I cook Giniling out of it, the next time, I cook spaghetti. Experiments are welcome when there’s enough to experiment with!
I hope this helps! In case you encounter a problem trying to budget, send me a message via the comment box. And in case there’s something I could add, let me know too!