Who wants to join my February challange - 28 nights, 28 meals, £28 ?

(76 Posts)
stormforce10 Thu 31-Jan-13 17:31:59

This is one for those food horders out there who like me have over stocked freezers and cupboards. The challange is to plan up 28 evening meals based on what's there and spend £28 or less on any extras you don't have in stock This is ONLY for evening meals so you can still spend on breakfast and lunch.

I will be posting my menu plan here later on.

stormforce10 Fri 01-Mar-13 16:03:55

I finished February at £4.73 under budget but technically still need to carry this challange on until 5th March. I am going to finish this thread here though and carry on everything on the March thread
Thank you to those who joined in or just posted hepful comments

stormforce10 Fri 01-Mar-13 15:59:47

With pleasure. Its started. Sorry I meant to do this last night but was really tired and fell fast asleep at 8pm blush

Bejeena Fri 01-Mar-13 09:43:43

Stormforce do you want to do the honours and start a new thread for clearing our freezers in March or shall I? I am away this weekend but hoping to get my list of meals together and started off for Monday.

Last night I was lazy and we just had omelette using up leftover veg.

I was going to set my total food budget for March at 100€ which I think should be realistic.

stormforce10 Wed 27-Feb-13 11:36:22

Am breastfeeding dd and he's struggling about and hit post before I'd finished rambling

meant to say all the aldi things I will use. The butternut squash will keep so will move that soup into March's meal plan and have leek and potato soup next Tuesday. Cabbage always keeps well and we needed it ayway to go with the sausage and mash on Thursday night and I can easily mealplan the rest of it into March. Carrots will go with roast lamb which I still have a couple of portions of in freezer. Avocado is not yet ripe but we like it in salad ditto tomatoes.

As for the cheese we'd run out so did need some as we use it in sandwiches, sauces, omlettes and on soup so it will certainly go.

Am starting to think about Marchs meal plans now though won't finish this challange until 5th March then will probably have a night off fish and chips and start another

stormforce10 Wed 27-Feb-13 11:28:06

I've recovered from yesterday now smile I went to Co-op and got some instant coffee this morning as its one of the few things I won't buy from aldi. They had dowe egberts which is my favourite at half price so got two jars so they should last for ages I hope. £8 but would have spent it any way so not stressed.

Meal 18 tonight - macaroni cheese and salad . should be easy as last time I made cheese sauce I did a double batch and froze half of it so its almost ready smile

I'm also soaking some soup broth mix as when I made the soup last night it was so easy just to use pre cooked and frozen beans that I thought I'd do some more batches today ready to use next month. Easiest soup ever - onion and garlic fried in oil, add the pre cooked beans, add a tin of tomatoes and half a can of water bring to boil and then simmer or 10-15 minutes while garlic bread heats in oven. Yummy

Bejeena Wed 27-Feb-13 11:01:24

I knwo the feeling on the old spending habits and can sometimes be a nightmare in Aldi as I think it is best to get this and that whilst I am there. The theory is good but sometimes I end up with stuff I need to use up.

Tonight is meal 8, scampi and chips.

Although I do still think I should maybe use up some mushrooms that I have in the fridge as I will be away this weekend and my husband won't think to cook anything with them.

stormforce10 Tue 26-Feb-13 14:15:59

Oh dear I think I was a bit profligate in aldi this morning. My old spending habits came back with a vengenance and I spent a whopping TEN POUNDS AND NINETY FIVE PENCE on evening meal ingredients. I got

big bag of potatoes, a butternut squash, onions, carrots, leeks, lettuce, celery, cababage, avocado, tomatoes and cheese. However I still have £4.73 of of my budget left (some of those things were already budgeted for in post above). I don't think I need any more evening meal food for the rest of the challenge so there is a chance I'll actally do it within budget and maybe even have some food left over for next month.

In fact I spent £30.86 in total but that included a big thing of cat food, loads of fruit, lots of fruit juice, yogurts, lemonade, meat for lunch sandwiches, pain au chocolat for me dd and various other bits. We seem to go through so much fruit its unbelievable but I'd rather dd had that than cakes and sweets all the time so let her have free access to the fruit bowl

Kale and chorizo stew sounds lovely. I wish I grew veg perhaps I should start.

stormforce10 Tue 26-Feb-13 14:00:08

Oh dear I think I was a bit profligate in aldi this morning. My old spending habits came back with a vengenance and I spent a whopping TEN POUNDS AND NINETY FIVE PENCE on evening meal ingredients. I got

big bag of potatoes, a butternut squash, onions, carrots, leeks, lettuce, celery, cababage, avocado, tomatoes and cheese. However I still have £4.73 of of my budget left (some of those things were already budgeted for in post above). I don't think I need any more evening meal food for the rest of the challenge so there is a chance I'll actally do it within budget and maybe even have some food left over for next month.

In fact I spent £30.86 in total but that included a big thing of cat food, loads of fruit, lots of fruit juice, yogurts, lemonade, meat for lunch sandwiches, pain au chocolat for me dd and various other bits. We seem to go through so much fruit its unbelievable but I'd rather dd had that than cakes and sweets all the time so let her have free access to the fruit bowl

Kale and chorizo stew sounds lovely. I wish I grew veg perhaps I should start.

Bejeena Tue 26-Feb-13 10:58:07

I think tonight will be an easy one, the kale and chorizo stew probably, can't remember which meal number that is....

Bejeena Tue 26-Feb-13 10:57:26

Yes I have made my freezer list, but not planned all the meals based on the list yet though. My freezer/cupboards are also a lot emptier and it feels pretty darn good. I too still have lots of meat as well.

The Easter holidays work well for me as we will be away back to the UK and I always stock up on my joints of meat back there as it is so much cheaper. This is why I tend to have this problem. So my aim is to have it as empty as possible for Easter to be able to stock up on the meats again and then once allotment starts producing I can freeze all my veg up too.

Ruprekt Mon 25-Feb-13 23:55:29

marking my place

stormforce10 Mon 25-Feb-13 21:59:46

Bejeena did you make your freezer list? I'm leaving mine until next Monday. I think its going to be a much shorter list than I had at the start of this month. T he cupboard looks emptier, the freezer drawers are no longer jammed full but there is still meat to be had and I can forsee a few vegeterian meals in March too. I wasn't going to do the full month but on reflection I might give it a go. Its complicated by a visit from my mum who irritatingly always tries to take over my kitchen and meal planning (but wants me to pay) and the fact the Easter holidays start towards the end of the month. Its still worth a try though

stormforce10 Mon 25-Feb-13 21:50:12

Finally we had meal 10 ham and cheese omlettes which has been planned and shifted many times and very nice they were too.

I thought I'd post my evening meal shopping so far sorry for the rubbish formatting.

cherry tomatos0.7527.25
tinned tomatos0.4526.8
big bag potatoes1.9924.81
eggs1.123.71
Pasta 2 bags0.9822.73
cucumbers x 21.1821.55
lettuce0.8920.66
milk for pancakes0.2520.41
box 15 eggs2.1518.26
cibattabread 0.6917.57
ham1.7515.82
bag potatoes1.9913.83
butternut squash1.512.33
onions0.711.63
garlic bread0.411.23

I've actually not yet brought the last three items on the list but I've budgetted for them anyway as I know I need them. As you can see I've got 11.23 left and 8 meals still to go. I'll do the shopping tomorrow and probably buy those and various salad bits. I didnt make asda today so will go to aldi after the school run. I've just looked and their super six includes cabbage, carrots, celery and little gem lettuces for 49p a pack so may well get those

Tomorrow I think we're going to have mixed bean soup and garlic bread (meal 25). I don't know why I bother posting lists days in advance. the beauty of this challenge is I have most of the ingredients in stock so I can have what I like from the list

Bejeena Sun 24-Feb-13 21:13:12

Ok so my update

On Wednesday I improvised a bit and had a meal out of the freezer but not on the list, pasta with tomato sauce. Thursday was fish pie, meal 20. Friday was meal 11, nigella meatballs (also have 4 portions in freezer ready to take to lunches to work), today was roast pork, tomorrow will be bubble and squeek. I haven't planned from Tuesday onwards yet.

I have saved my receipts so can also give all our household spend for this month.

I made a list of everything I have left in my freezer today and after this week I will make a new meal plan bringing me hopefully all the way up to end of march/Easter as I said I want to be able to defrost my chest freezer by then to allow for this years garden produce when it starts coming up.

stormforce10 Sun 24-Feb-13 20:53:57

Chicken curry last night and lamb burgers and salad tonight. dd has asked for omlettes tomorrow night which is fine the mini pizzas will just have to wait until another time

stormforce10 Sat 23-Feb-13 11:30:48

ohhelpohnoitsa I'm blushing now blush

Good thing I got the ham. DP decided he wanted some with his baked potatoes last night. I've decided to swap today and tomorrows meals round as I really feel like eating curry today.

I need today to be a NSD so in aid of that I've not got dressed yet smile

As for March, my plan is to carry this challenge on until the 5th March then review the contents of freezer and cupboards. I am likely to do a 14 meal £14 effort in March but it depends what I find when I make my list. There are a few things that I had that I've not included in the plan for these 28 days including.... a big piece of duck which I got yellow stickered at the start of January and a packet of meat balls. Hopefully the duck should do for a roast, a stir fry and a soup. However I am sure I'll need to do a proper shop at some point in March

Ohhelpohnoitsa Fri 22-Feb-13 20:15:29

stormforce that is fabulous! You have become quite a hero - overheard people at softplay discussing this thread!! well done to you & good luck for March. I started Miserly March planning thread - do join us and bring your experience over!

stormforce10 Fri 22-Feb-13 17:35:13

hello back from our break. We spent a bit on meals out but nothing more than I'd budgeted for. As we've been away 5 nights I will be carrying on the challenge until 5th March.

We had meal 1 last night- pasta bolognaise and tonight we're having meal 24 - baked potato, baked beans and cheese.

I did a shop yesterday for various bits and spent some more of the budget on eggs, ham and a cucumber. I have £16.12 left to last 12 meals including tonights.

Ohhelpohoitsa I have spent £247.91 so far this month which includes a couple of lunches out with dd, a £18 taxi fare and £40 to cancel my insurance (still better of by a couple of hundred a year though). Obviously does not include usual bills and housing costs which I can't really avoid

Of that £73.25 in total was on groceries including cleang stuff, nappies and having 7 people to lunch today

Here is my meal plan until next Friday. I think the only things we need are tomatoes and bread rolls. I may swop the order round a bit as well

Saturdaylamb burgers rolls and salad
Sundaychicken curry rice naan salad
Mondaymini pizzas potato wedges and beans
Tuesdaychicken risotto
Wednesdaymeat loaf mash and mixed veg
Thursdaymacaroni cheese
Fridaysausage and mash, onions, peas, gravy

Not sure what I'll be doing for the rest of March though sa I've set myself a savings target of £200 a month I'm sure I'll be doing something.

I've just transfererred this months £200 smile

Ohhelpohnoitsa Thu 21-Feb-13 13:15:17

op, can you give us an idea of what you spent for the month including breakfasts & staples. Tell me to get lost if you think I am being nosey, but I have found this thread so inspiring, want to be amazed some more!

Bejeena Tue 19-Feb-13 10:08:18

I will be doing it again in March right up until Easter. In an ideal world I want to be able to defrost by chest freezer on Sunday 24th March so I need to get cracking.

Menu plan for this week to follow. I think tonight will be lentil and beef curry, meal 24.

AdoraBell Tue 19-Feb-13 02:46:01

I was planning on joining in but knowing we had a holiday booked I'd left it until our return, when OH went shopping while I had a lie in. Of course he didn't check before, either with me or in the cupboards, freezer etc. He meant well though, bless his little cotton socks. If you do this again in March Storm I'll give it a go.

lizardqueenie Mon 18-Feb-13 16:13:01

Marking place- fabulous thread for people like me (like you) who have a cupboard & freezer full of stuff that I should really be using up but no idea what to do with the odds & sods- some great food ideas here. Thank youthanks

Bejeena Mon 18-Feb-13 10:22:22

Hope you have enjoyed/are enjoying your few days off stormforce

Stuck to the plan over the weekend, made the quiche on Friday night and our pizzas on Saturday. Last night we had one pizza leftover so had that and tonight we will be having leftover quiche.

Tomorrow I might do the lentil curry/daal depending on energy levels although now I am 14 weeks am starting to feel better, although I still have to sleep a lot :-( I'll try and do a rough plan sometime today or tomorrow.

We haven't got long left now!

Ohhelpohnoitsa Sat 16-Feb-13 22:10:12

yes me too - good thread. I meal plan for a week beforw doing the shopping list - but this has inspired me. I am going to do a 31 day list for March!! I intend to get invited by kind parents once a week and may wangle a meal at dmil's once too - that's 5 meals sorted already!

stormforce10 Thu 14-Feb-13 20:19:01

Hello nice to know other people are reading. bloodymary my little girl is 7 too, I think she's the reason I can't stop buying as she slings stuff in the basket as we go rund the shop!! peachactivaminge try using some of it up. The trouble with a totally full freezer is you can't buy any of those lovely reduced bargains that come up in the supermarket from time to time and sling them in the freezer so you're stuck buying full price. Its worth a try, I am amazed how little I'm spending over all so far this month. Obviously the usual direct debits have gone out but my controllable spending has been very low and we've all been eating really well.

We've just had lamb, leeks in cheese sauce, mashed potato and green beans. I've frozen half the cheese sauce for macaroni cheese later on and did double mash as we'll be having shepherds pie tomorrow night.

I'll be having a few days off after that as we're off to London then from there will go to stay with DPs mum so 4 days of ignoring my budget coming up (even though I'll do the meals at the start of March instead so not getting away with it still going to do 28 meals)

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