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March evening meal freezer challange - 31 nights, 31 meals all on a budget

(21 Posts)
stormforce10 Fri 01-Mar-13 15:58:15

Right February is over so here is a fresh thread for March.

For those who didn't see my February challenge you need to go through your cupboards and freezers and plan a meal for every night of the month and then set a budget for any extras you think you may need. This is only for evening meals you can spend as you need on lunch and breakfast.

No need to list them in the order you intend to eat them. Just give yourself a menu of 31 meals and pick what suits you each night. I've not yet done an audit but here are the first 10 meals

1 chicken thighs, cous cous and salad
2mini pizzas potato wedges and beans
3cheese and potato pi
4spanish omlette
5butternut squash soup
6 smoked salmon, creme fraiche and pasta
7 toad in the hole, cabbage and peas
8 chick pea curry and rice
9 cottage pie
10 baked potatoes, tuna and sweetcorn mayo

The other 21 will follow soon. We will start with meal 7 toad in the hole tonight.

In February I allowed myself a budget of £28 for extras. However we've used a lot of what I had in storage so this month I've decided to give myself £1.50 per night totalling £46.50 for the month

Good luck and enjoy your meals

wheredidiputit Fri 01-Mar-13 16:11:35

I've added mine.

1. Pasta bolgonaise
2. roast chicken, roast potatos,, broccoli and green beans
3. Lasagne & Salad
4. Chicken Pie & Veg
5. Salmon and Pasta
6. Roast Beef & Trimmings
7. chicken and veg stir fry with noodles
8. baked potatos + Filling of choice
9. roast lamb from freezer, boiled potatos, mixed veg and gravy
10. Chicken Jalfrezi & rice/Liver and Bacon
11. chilli con carne, rice , salad
12. Gammon, Egg and Chips
12. fish fingers chips and beans
13. pasta with meatballs in tomato sauce
13. chicken and veg soup with bread and cheese
14. sausage and mash, cabbage
15. shepherds pie, broccoli and carrots
16. Pork Chop & Veg
17. Roast Pork & trimmings
18. Sausage Toad in the hole, Veg and onion gravy
19. Beef stew and Mash
20. Oxtail Stew and Mash Veg
21. burgers, rolls and salad
22. meatloaf beans and mashed potatos
23. fish pie
24. French Onion Soup & Crusty Bread
25. Chicken Nuggets
26. Sweet & Sour chicken on rice
27.spanish omlette
28. meat and potato pie, beans
30. Baked Chicken Parmesan

I only need to buy the ingredients for meals 2,8,22,27 and 30. The rest I have my freezer. So should only need to buy fresh fruit and Veg although I tend to use mainly frozen veg for less waste and are cheaper then fresh and everyday basics. And thing for lunches (DH,me and DS as DD's have dinner at school) I make most of the cake and snack.

frazzled74 Fri 01-Mar-13 23:00:49

I may do this tomorrow, i know that i have a few things lurking in my freezer, plus did a weeks shop today. I have smoked salmon in the freezer from christmas, will it be ok still? I think it said use within a month of freezing?, I also have a morrisons indian for 2 that was frozen 2 months ago, it says use within 1 month of freezing, can i risk it?

AdoraBell Sat 02-Mar-13 00:30:55

I'm in

Haven't done a plan yet, but this evening we're just having nimbly bits as no-one is hungry so, cheese, bread, crackers and fruit.

Realistically I won't have a menu planned until about Tuesday, but I shall report what we eat in the meantimegrin

stormforce10 Sat 02-Mar-13 15:07:42

Right I've been through my cupboards and freezer and here is the list for the month. I'll mainly be spending my budget on veg, decent bread, salad, eggs tinned tomatoes and a tub of creme fraiche and maybe some cream for the the risotto

We'll have meal 22 tonight

1 chicken thighs, cous cous and salad
2 mini pizzas potato wedges and beans
3 cheese and potato pie
4s panish omlette
5 butternut squash soup
6 smoked salmon, creme fraiche and pasta
7 toad in the hole, cabbage and peas
8 chick pea curry and rice
9 cottage pie
10 baked potatoes, tuna and sweetcorn mayo
11 roast duck, roast potatoes and veg
12 duck and noodle stirfry
13 mixed bean soup
14 leek and potato soup
15 meatballs in spicy tomato sauce and pasta
16 chicken and veg stirfry
17 mini chicken satay sticks, cous cous and salad
18 fish pie
19 meatloaf beans and mash
20 lamb, leeks in cheese sauce, new potatoes and mixed veg
21 meatballs in herb sauce and rice
22 chilli con carne and rice
23 baked potatoes baked beans and cheese
24 hotdogs, rolls and salad
25 cheese omlettes, new potatoes and salad
26 vegeterian sausages, mash and peas
27 steak chips and peas
28 lentil soup
29 tuna risotto
30 lamb curry rice and salad
31 freezer surprise (also know as unidentified frozen object) with whatever seems appropriate!!

Bejeena Mon 04-Mar-13 09:11:44

Hi all!

Right bit late starting as was away over the weekend.

I have done my freezer inventory, just need to make my meal list up now. I will hopefully do this tonight but will make a start during the day based on what I can remember from list.

I have told my husband he can cook tonight since I only had 4 hours sleep last night due to his snoring. Am thinking toad in the hole, Stormface have nicked your idea and we have got some nice sausages in the freezer.

Will post more later.

Not set a budget yet am thinking the 50€ I did last month again as I was under that. Woo Hoo

stormforce10 Tue 05-Mar-13 10:37:49

Sorry I've been remiss. Here is my update.

We had chilli con carne on the 2nd, spanish omlette on the 3rd and chick pea curry last night. I've frozen extra portions of the chilli and the curry for another day.

I've spent a little bit of my budget

£1 on 3 cans of tomatoes
37p on a reduced pre prepared bag of sweet ptoatoes and butternut squash which I plan to use tonight for butternut squash (and now sweet potato) soup tonight meal 5.

Tomorrow I think we'll have fish pie

AdoraBell Tue 05-Mar-13 12:31:28

My feeble efforts so far

Friday, steak with pots and salad
Sat. defrosted a large piece of fish that I hadn't had time to cut and freeze in portions, so Sat. was fish, rice and veg
Sunday, fish, salad and pots
Monday, pasta with ham and toms

tomorrow the packed lunch thing starts again so I'm defrosting beef today to do spag bol for DD2 and a small pizza for DD1.

I will get a plan for the month sorted soon, honest. I'm also trying to run my store cupboards down as if by some miracle we actually sell the house we'll move countries. I think I'm just finding the whole thing a bit daunting because I don't feel comfortable running cupboard supplies down.

Bejeena Wed 06-Mar-13 14:45:59

Ok so here is my list.

We have had meals 7 and 20 already, last night and the night before.

Tonight is meal 28.

I only have 28 meals as have allowed for fact that we are off on 28th and will have extras. But is better to have a plan.

1 Mexican Turkey Lasagne
2 Lentil Daal
3 Gamon steaks, chips and peas
4 Bangers and mash
5 Scampi and chips
6 Lamb and courgette pasta bake
7 Toad in the hole
8 Tandoori chicken
9 Fish pie
10 Beef, chickpea & butternut curry
11 Homemade pizzas
12 spaghetti bolognaise
13roast lamb
14lamb leftover rice dish
16Gammon joint, mash & veg?
17Roast pork
18Spanish chicken or chicken chasseur or similar
19Lamb steaks & cous cous
20Macaroni cheese
21Mussel risotto
22Scallop tagliatelle
23spinach & sweet potato stew
24Pork curry
25Veg soup followed by apple crumble
26Fishfingers & chips
27Lentil chilli
28Pasta & tomato sauce

stormforce10 Wed 06-Mar-13 16:04:37

mmm I want mussel risotto and scallop tagiatelle now Bejeena. Your freezer is an endless source of surprises smile

Was having fish pie tonight but trying to decide if I can be bother with effort of cooking it. DS has chicken pox and I had almost no sleep last night as he was miserable poor baby. We may just take a gamble on freezer surprise instead smile

Bejeena Wed 06-Mar-13 16:14:28

Both the mussels and scallops we bought when it was special gourmet week at Lidl, as always bought with good intentions but I never cooked them until now!

The freezer is slowly starting to diminish now though, I think after March I'll struggle to get many meals together.

Then you see I'll go to UK for Easter and stock up on things that I either can't get here or are too expensive here. Then come April the circle will start again.

But I am hoping to train myself out of my old shopping habits so we can keep the chest freezer for it's real purpose - to freeze our allotment veg so we can supply ourselves fully over winter.

stormforce10 Wed 06-Mar-13 16:45:21

Right the freezer surprise is in the microwave defrosting. Wish me luck, I have no idea at all what it is. Just hoping it will go with something that doe snot require much cooking

stormforce10 Wed 06-Mar-13 20:24:30

It turned out to be a big portion of roast chicken!! I added a jar of thai green curry sauce and a chopped onion and microwaved a packet of rice and we had a very lazy very lovely dinner smile

I spent some money when I did the weekly shop yesterday. I'll update the budget tomorrow

AdoraBell Thu 07-Mar-13 17:59:19

Took Protien Surpirse out of the freezer last night, turns out it's left over BBQ'd chicken so I'll do rice and veg/salad with itgrin

stormforce10 Thu 07-Mar-13 21:43:12

We had the fish and leek pie tonight it was lovely. For anyone looking for a really easy recipie I did this. Fried fish and leeks in a little bit of oil, added a sachet of parsley sauce and half a pint of milk stirred it all up and put in oven dish and topped with mash and cheese. Very simple, no messing about and everyone finished their plates and asked for more even DP who claimed not to like fish pie! Had hoped to freeze leftovers for another day but there were't any!

I've spent £6.26 of my budget on:

3 cans tinned tomatos1
Cucumber x 2 1.68
lettuce 0.89
stew pack (parsnips, carrots, onions, swede) 1.39
garlic bread0.34
kidney beans0.21
cherry tomatoes0.75

I shouldn't need to buy any more ingredients for a few days now

Meal 26 tomorrow - vegeterian sausages mash and peas.

stormforce10 Thu 07-Mar-13 21:46:57

damn make that £6.63 of my budget forgot to include 37p for packet of butternut sqash and sweet potato

stormforce10 Sat 09-Mar-13 20:39:15

We had meal 17 mini chicken satay sticks, cous cous and salad. Yummy.

I've spent rather more of my budget than I meant to at this stage in the month BUT in my defence I went to Sainsburys last night and got lots of stuff on yellow stickers. As a result I'm going to make celery soup instead of lentil soup. I'll also substitute one of the pasta meals with pasta, broccoli and cauliflower bake. Next month will see liver bacon and gravy and some good sausage meals.

I have spent £12.30 of my budget now which is a lot mroe than I meant to by this stage of the month. Last night I got

2 packs taste the difference sausages2.98
2 packs celery0.58
2 x cauliflower and broccoli 0.58
bread rolls (for hot dogs) 0.3
2 packs liver0.98

Have to be sensible now if I'm going to stay on budget

stormforce10 Mon 11-Mar-13 16:18:26

Meal 15 which is meatballs, pasta and spicy tomato sauce has been deferred until April and replaced with broccoli, cauliflower and pasta cheese for tonight.

Yesterday we had baked potatoes with tuna and sweetcorn mayo and salad as only wanted a light meal since dp took us out for mothers day as a surprise

stormforce10 Tue 12-Mar-13 10:07:39

Cheese and veg pasta thingy was lovely. I made enough to freeze for another meal and also made double portion of cheese sauce so there's a bag of that in the freezer waiting for me to need it.

I have taken leek and potato soup off the menu (saves buying leeks!) and replaced it with celery soup for tonight.

I did my weekly shop in Aldi today(just under £32) . I'll go through the till receipt and work out which bits were for evening meal later. Most of the shop was fruit and vag and lunch stuff (eg ham, cheese biscuits, bread) and also a birthday present for one of dd's friends.

Bejeena Tue 12-Mar-13 14:05:25

Ok sorry for a bit of an absence been busy at work and sometimes to blooming shattered at home. I have changed the list a bit. Both hubby and I are finding the list very useful though, we share it in our google drive and he always looks in to see what he fancies/feels like cooking if it is his turn.

Tonight will be a lazy Nr. 26 I think and am going to get husband to do it again (although he did do Nr. 23 last night as well but that was just taking it out of freezer and defrosting it)

Tonight I will also strip the rest of the leg of lamb we had on Sunday and boil the bone up for stock for tomorrow night which will be meal 14., lamb stew!

1 Mexican Turkey Lasagne
2 Lentil Daal
3 Gamon steaks, chips and peas
4 Bangers and mash
5 Scampi and chips
6 Lamb and courgette pasta bake
7 Toad in the hole
8 Tandoori chicken
9 Fish pie
10 Beef, chickpea & butternut curry
11 Homemade pizzas
12 spaghetti bolognaise
13 roast lamb
14 lamb stew
15 Quiche
16 Gammon joint, mash & veg?
17 Roast pork
18 Spanish chicken or chicken chasseur or similar
19 Lamb steaks & cous cous
20 Macaroni cheese
21 Mussel risotto
22 Scallop tagliatelle
23 spinach & sweet potato stew
24 Pork curry
25 Veg soup followed by apple crumble
26 Fishfingers & chips
27 Lentil chilli
28 Pasta & tomato sauce

Just done one brief 30€ shop in Aldi last week so far, need to check the receipt as to how much was for dinner stuff. I need to pop in tonight and get pearl barley for the stew and also a bit of fruit.

Hope everyone else is doing well. Hubby is impressed he can see the bottom of the freezer.

Bejeena Mon 25-Mar-13 10:26:49

Not long until the end of the month now! I defrosted my chest freezer yesterday yipee and hopefully the freezer hord will stop now. It is nice and empty ready for this years allotment harvest to keep us going through winter.

I need to update my list.

Tonight will be 21, risotto I think!

How is everyone else doing?

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