To need your help in how to food shop?(54 Posts)
I always used to shop for just the ingredients we needed when it was just me and DP, and carried this on when we had DD1. Now we have DD2 who has a big appetite, DD1 has started school and has friends round, I had flu and could not shop or cook planned meals for a week (DP works late shift). I had no emergency food apart from baked beans. A week of baked beans is not good. How do I shop so I have spare food in? So if DD has friends round I can always have something made for tea that's nice and healthy. And if DD2 wants yet another snack. Or I'm too ill to shop for a week. I worry about buying spare food and it not getting eaten and it going off. I hate waste and always meal plan tightly, but I think that has too change and I need help with this.....
I have to buy every few days in addition to my main shop. I add fishfingers and salad to most of my top up shops...in terms of offering little friends a healthy tea it's just not always feasible. Fish fingers are fine with salad and potato wedges.
I also freeze chicken pieces for a quick stir fry.
If you know you have time on a weekend then buy ingredients for a Mac & cheese/lasagne/shepherds pie etc. and then make it and freeze it. Perfect for emergency dinners or when friends come over unplanned.
I always make sure I have frozen veggies too.
Always have a few staples in tins or the freezer. Eg I always have oven chips, peas and fish fingers in the freezer. I always have tins of tuna and tomatoes, plus dry pasta. These don't go off so you won't waste them, but they are there in an emergency.
The Girl Called Jack cookbook has a lot of recipes that use tinned ingredients, if you want some ideas of what you can make with that sort of stuff. The ones I have made have mostly been tasty, though her macaroni cheese with tinned spinach wasn't very nice. The chickpea and tinned peaches curry is good, for example.
In an emergency I don't worry too much about nice and healthy, just that its filling.
YY to fish fingers, a pizza and a loaf of bread in the freezer at all times, a bag of potatoes in the veg rack, tins of soup and beans and a couple of batch cooked meals such as spag bol or chilli in the freezer too. Plus im always stocked up on plain rice and pasta
and supernoodles and there are always eggs and cheese in the fridge. I reckon we could last a few days on that if we needed to.
I meal plan but if for any reason I don't get to the shops in time or don't fancy that day's meal I can always rustle up Spanish omelette, Chinese style rice with chicken or salmon, stir fry (with egg for protein if you've nothing else in) & a chicken/prawn curry.
I would suggest getting for the freezer: salmon & chicken fillets, prawns, stir fry veg & peas then for the store cupboard a jar of pesto, rice & pasta plus a decent curry sauce (I like Lloyd grossman ones but each to their own ).
Forget nice and healthy for emergency meals for children. Instead go for quick and easy, pizza, fish fingers, pasta bake, cheese on toast, sandwiches.
Every time you shop buy one or two items for your store cupboard, such as pasta shapes, tins of tuna, jars of pasta sauce, tins of tomatoes, herbs.
My food cupboard staples include:
Spices and spice mix packets
Cereal bars (healthy ones not coco pops style)
Then I do a weekly shop on top of all this, so this is pretty much ALWAYS available, so there's always something to eat!
Agree with pp that your freezer is your friend. We always have fish fingers, oven chips, frozen peas in there. When I make something like spag Bol, chili, casseroles I make double quantity and freeze half for another day, very handy for days when you get in late as you can just zap it in the microwave and stick on some pasta or rice.
We also keep a small stock of store cupboard basics: pasta, rice, potatoes, onions, tinned tomatoes, sweet corn, soup, tuna. If we couldn't shop for a week the meals wouldn't exactly be gourmet but we'd survive.
We usually have at least the following
Pasta sauce / pesto
Long life milk
Tinned Tomatoes / Chickpeas / lentils
Like everyone else had mentioned, the freezer! In which I have always oven chips etc, and chicken breasts. Store cupboard staples like noodles, sauces etc will always make a stir fry.
When there's meat on offer, say 3 for £10, buy the three packs if you can. A bag or two of frozen veg if you have room. Plenty of pasta and pasta sauces, tins of soup and beans, chickpeas, kidney beans etc. Fish fingers, veggie burgers, and oven chips etc. That way you need too you can rustle up something that's not actually too bad - spag bol, pasta with veg, falafel, fish fingers and beans, that sort of thing.
Frozen Jacket Potatoes have been a revolution in the sizzles house.
Cost £1 for four spuds. Microwave in 6mins. Really tasty. They are pre cooked. Amazing.
We are presuming you have a freezer ?
If so, there's your answer.
Other than that, I'd always have pasta / rice in. Would always have a block of cheese in the fridge, and some eggs in the cupboard. You only then need something like a couple of jars of pasta sauce / tins of tuna / tins of "on toast" things - whichever your family like / soup maybe. I'm not saying you need them all, but it depends on what your family like.
Thanks everyone for the quick replies, so basically I need to think of a few emergency meals that I can have in the freezer or cupboard. So I am thinking;
Fish fingers, chips and peas
Pasta with sauce and garlic bread
Beans on toast
Anything else that would be nice?
For desert I was thinking:
Anything else that will keep well and school friends would like?
I just need some snacks now for my ever hungry toddler, any ideas of things that will keep well? The fruit bowl is often empty after 4 days and I don't like to shop more than once a week as I don't have time.
I do plan a weeks worth of fruit but the toddler eats it all after 3 or 4 days as she is always hungry and then there isn't anything left for puddings or snacks!
For snacks, rice cakes, oat cakes etc with stuff to put on top like humours and cream cheese. Also you can stew fruit or buy tinned fruit (in juice, not syrup) - I slow cook four cooking apples with raisin and cinnamon and a drop of water. More proteiny snacks could be something like cubes of cheese or a cold hard boiled egg.
I don't do puddings, so I can't help on those I'm afraid.
desserts - I always keep a few sachets of angel delight in the cupboard. All kids seem to like this as a dessert.
Fruit's always a pain - we have this is we're really busy at work and don't manage to get to the shop for the week. Sometimes I just bite the bullet and pay the silly prices for bananas at the shops near me at work.
Will she eat cucumber as a snack? That seems to last better. Ours like frozen berries, she eats them frozen like little tiny ice lollies, and tinned fruit (in fruit juice), as well as dried fruit like dates and apricots.
Have you tried dried or tinned fruit? There is usually a bit more sugar, but they last ages so perfect for an emergency situation. Either than or frozen berries, apple sauce or something that you can make into crumble with some shop-bought topping mix.
I find this difficult too, it can often be feast or famine in this house!
I do make sure we always have things like tinned fruit (only in juice, not syrup) and frozen veg is great.
I have a disability so am often struggling to cook. I'm trying to bulk cook when I can so I have freezer bags full of bolognese sauce etc.
Rice boiled with frozen peas/sweetcorn/green beans & a frozen salmon fillet add some soy at the end and you've got a 10 minute reasonably healthy meal.
Yes I totally agree with it's either feast or famine! Due to needing to stick to a budget I strategically menu plan all breakfast lunches dinners and snacks and then the dc eat it all and there is nothing less! Say I had planned an apple each for snack but they are both hungry and eat 2 apples, that's one day snack short now! The oldest doesn't like tin fruit but I will try frozen, I will also stock pile raisons I think!
This week they have ate all the ham and cheese due to little friends over at the weekend, now we have no sandwich fillings left. Any ideas for emergency sandwich fillings or lunches? I could nip to the local shop but their prices are over double the supermarket. There is no way I'm paying £4 for cheese instead of £1.79 and for a smaller block!
I always have peanut butter or jam in for emergency sandwiches. DCs actually keep saying they prefer this to the "real" lunches but I they wouldn't have it every day, just when DP has used an entire box of ham in two sarnies (not exaggerating).
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