To ask Please help me menu plan!(16 Posts)
Dear wise mnetters. I am a skint lone parent. I really want to cook cheap tasty nutritious food quickly for my kids (6yo and 2yo), preferably with less meat. Can anyone give me ideas for a week of plans??
I'd be so grateful, really desperate
Pasta with a tomato & veg sauce - I just chuck whatever I've got in but with onions, mushrooms & tinned tomatoes as a base: courgettes/sweetcorn/peppers/celery etc
Tuna pasta bake is a good one - my Mum used to crunch up crisps for the topping & melt cheese over the top.
Smoked sausage pasta - Mattesons smoked sausage in a sauce with tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, kidney beans with tagliatelle.
Shop in lidl. Make easy dishes that can be bulked up with lots of veg and potato/pasta.
Jacket potatoes with various fillings
Stir fry with veg & noodles
Homemade pizza with different toppings
I add lots of grated veg (carrots, courgettes etc) to anything made with mince to make it go further. I've also bought big bags of dried soya mince in tesco, and added several handfuls of that to mince dishes, they still taste meaty, but more portions.
Try BBC good foods, they have healthy sections, sections for 'kid friendly' meals, veggie meals and cheap meals. They are all fairy easy to do and don't need a shit ton of ingredients that you will never use again.
Pasta is my quick cheap (bulky - I have teens!) dinner. Lots of chopped veg, tin or 2 of tomatoes, some bacon if I'm feeling flash!
Or with mince I'd do bolognaise, chilli, lasagne, cottage pie.
They like my veggie lasagne too (which is good as I can't stand mince!).
Mexican - 1-2 chicken breasts, chopped peppers, onions, mushrooms, fajita spice mix (tesco own is 80p I think), tin of taco beans, tin of sweetcorn, tin of chopped toms, pack of tortilla wraps. Feeds 5 of us with enough left over for dh and I lunch the next day! You can add boiled rice to bulk it out too.
ooh and my mil 's chicken and broccoli bake - left over chicken (or stir fry some - not very much). put in a bowl with big scoop of mayo, 1 can condensed mushroom soup, and a lot (1 head) of cooked broccoli. Mix and top with mash (+/- cheese) then bake till top goes crispy. We eat this about once a week as sunday leftovers. Works well with gammon too!
Home made soup one day a week, cheap tasty and uses up all your left over vegetables. I used to call it World Poverty in Action Day!
Liver and onions with mash,
Sausage tomato and chickpea casserole.
Home made pizza, if you don't have time to make the base, use a bought base or naan bread.
Pasta carbonara, delicious and cheap.
Mince with dumplings, you can hide a lot of veg in a pot of mince, and use lentils to make it more economical.
Anything you'd make with mince like bolognese, chilli con carne, shepherd's pie or cottage pie can be bulked out with red lentils, so you can use less mince. Add in a stock cube and you should be fine. All of those will also take plenty of chopped onions, celery, mushrooms, green pepper, grated carrot etc.
Toad in the hole is good, because the batter is filling, and in our house is a bigger deal than the sausages.
Use a slow cooker if you have one, and ask for one for Christmas if not. I have a huge one that can prep enough for 3-4 meals, so I have leftovers we can eat later in the week or freeze.
Risotto is also brilliant. So long as you use a really tasty stock, it's a real treat, and one of my favourite comfort foods. Works well with so many things that you can usually do it with whatever us seasonal. Swede, for example, which is great with a bit of rosemary and garlic, and some chopped up bacon or some chopped nuts, is surprisingly good in risotto.
Oooh I love these threads!! What do you reckon your budget is?
Pack of peppers, cut into strips and fried with a sliced onion, half a tin of tomatoes, few dried herbs, garlic and paprika (optional) then crack eggs round the pan til cooked. Serve with cheap wholemeal Pitta breads....should be doable for £2.00 for all of you (less from Lidl/Aldi).
There's loads of ideas over on the money section by the way!
Here is an idea - feel free to ignore anything that isn't useful or your DC won't eat.
1/2 packet make Toad in the hole serve with peas & beans
1/2 packet sausage and veg casserole (e.g. carrots, potatoes, tinned tomatoes )
(put both in the oven at the same time and keep the casserole in the fridge when cooked)
1/2 packet - mince, lentil and veg pasta sauce
1/2 packet - mince, beans and veg mild chili
Fish fingers, peas and mash
1 chicken breast - home made chicken nuggets - (coat with flour egg and breadcrumbs and bake in oven 15- 20 mins) Home made potato wedges cooked at the same time.
1 chicken breast - chicken, veg and chickpea casserole or stew.
Eggs are good standby
Scrambled eggs on toast or omlettes are quick to do.
Tinned sardines and mackerel are good on toast
Monday - Toad in the hole
Tues - Spagetti bolognese
Wed - Sausage casserole
Thurs - Chicken nuggets
Friday - Chili with jackets or rice
Sat - Chicken casserole
Sunday - Fish fingers or omlettes
Roast chicken and vegetables on Sunday
bubble and squeak with a roast chicken sand which on Monday
Or chicken and veg soup and crusty bread
Cheese and vegetable pasta bake
Jacket potatoes, beans, and salad
Tuna and sweet corn pasta
Spanish omelette and salad
I buy a lot of frozen veg, I find there's less waste than with buying fresh. Some are nicer than others though.
Ooo thank you so much! Great ideas! I'm off to lidl feeling bit brighter
Great tip for veg to chop it quickly- if you have a food processor it will blitz veg to fine dice in seconds on the pulse setting (don't do it too long or it turns to mush!). Just peel and roughly chop, it can all go in together, so eg carrots, onions, garlic, celery, parsnips, celeriac all for the base for a stew or shepherds pie or spag Bol or whatever. You can do at least the same amount of veg to mince and not notice at all. Another great way to bulk out mince is to use lentils too, again you can't tell, makes it loads healthier and go much further. Hope that helps!
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