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Frugal meal planning!

(57 Posts)
frugalfuzzpig Thu 02-Jan-14 22:14:30

Hope nobody minds, but as a lot of the other savings/debt destroying/frugal threads have a lot about cutting food budgets it might be useful to have a separate dedicated chat thread to share ideas?

frugalfuzzpig Thu 02-Jan-14 22:21:14

We are trying to cut our food budget and am determined to have a much better idea of meals when I do the shopping (online at tesco - only option for me currently) instead of clicking on any old thing that takes my fancy!

Mainly am hoping to specifically plan in leftovers rather than just leaving them to fester in the fridge! But what can I do other than stir fry?!

Beamur Thu 02-Jan-14 22:24:21

More veggie meals - meat is expensive.
Cheaper cuts of meat slow cooked is good too. Casseroles, stews, curries.
Leftovers can also make good pie fillings.

FunkyBoldRibena Thu 02-Jan-14 22:28:32

What you can do is to add more tomatoes or lentils or chick peas, to bulk the meal out and have half one night and half the next. So curry and rice on Monday, with curry and wedges with salad on Tuesday. I used to make a huge tomato based sauce, full of onions, peppers, and whatever veg I had and it could be used one day for pasta, one it could be added to onions to make a curry and another, chilli.

And make sure you are buying veg, fruit and staples, rather than ready meals.

Lesshastemorespeed Thu 02-Jan-14 22:31:25

Can I join in?

I'm trying to meal plan using the Save with Jamie cookbook (got for xmas). Have planned a week of meals and my online shop cost approx 50 pound less than usual though the challenge will be not buying anything else this week.

made my own pizzas tonight from scratch using some left over pasta sauce and some of the Christmas cheese mountain. Also made potato wedges with the 5k bag of spuds ordered in error for xmas day.

watching closely for further ideas as I have a bag of sprouts to use up amongst other things.

BoffinMum Thu 02-Jan-14 22:33:03

Lesshaste, I am not entirely convinced Jamie's meals are as economical as the title suggests, but they do actually look tasty.

frugalfuzzpig Thu 02-Jan-14 22:38:21

I did like sprouts cut up with lardons and chestnut, something like that anyway.

Lesshastemorespeed Thu 02-Jan-14 22:39:00

Totally agree Boffin, but I think I can 'modify' the recipes enough to make them more purse-friendly. I'm quite liking this book though after the disaster that was 30 minute meals grin

SoonToBeSix Thu 02-Jan-14 22:39:16

Marking place could use some tips

Lesshastemorespeed Thu 02-Jan-14 22:40:41

Could do sprouts and bacon lardons. what would you have with that?

frugalfuzzpig Thu 02-Jan-14 22:43:31

YY to the less meat thing - I need to plan more interesting veggie meals.

Also when we do use meat we are moving towards getting a whole chicken and roasting it and then using the meat for several meals, that kind of thing.

Really recommend chorizo for a very meaty flavour - you really don't need much.

I also want to increase my egg repertoire! The only interesting things I can do are:

Make a tomatoey vegetable sauce (can put chorizo in too), make spaces in the pan with a spoon/ladle, crack an egg into each space and cover pan til the eggs are set

Line each space in a muffin tin with ham, then a layer each of fresh tomato and cheese, then crack an egg into each one and bake.

Cocolepew Thu 02-Jan-14 22:44:19

If you go to the supermarket atm they still have some Christmas joints for sale. I got a smoked gammon in Adsa for £11 down from £20. I used an electric knife to cut itinto four bits. I roasted a piece the other night and there was enough for 4 of us and a good bit left over. The leftovers went into lentil soup the next night .

Lardons, or bacon pieces from Iceland and pasta with a sauce and grated cheese.

JingleJemJem Thu 02-Jan-14 22:48:02

Have just done a freezer audit - my life is that exciting - and am now armed with my list of what meat I have in there ready to find recipes. By using up the freezer stuff I reckon I can manage without buying any meat in January.

I also have a Christmas cheese mountain so am going to make a vat of macaroni cheese and freeze it in batches.

frugalfuzzpig Thu 02-Jan-14 22:51:23

I'm not usually one for using recipe books but I've requested SWJ from the library to have a nose at it.

My DCs can be a bit fussy sometimes and I am so bored with the usual dinners being repeated endlessly. My main aim I think is to add some more standby easy family meals to my fairly basic repertoire. I struggle physically with food prep (disability) so need them to be low maintenance!

Tomorrow we've got stir fry to use up some of today's roast pork (had a big family gathering this evening) - got some bean sprouts so DD will be happy. Value rice is great.

Might do a decent pasta thing on Saturday with some leftover chicken (we wouldn't normally have two roast meats on the go though)

Mum2Fergus Thu 02-Jan-14 23:06:54

Ooh love these types of threads smile I'm in, using up fridge/freezer/cupboard contents til around Tue then will have to shop...but between one thing and another I have spent £0 of this weeks food budget! Made carrot, lentil and coriander soup today for lunch, then did a bubble n squeak type thing with last of sprouts and some mash and had that with leftover ham...chilli from freezer for Fri dinner smile

RevoltInParadise Thu 02-Jan-14 23:12:24

Ooh marking place for tomorrow. I have just done my main shopping for the month, for just under £90. But we will top up on bread, fruit and milk each week. But that's all the main meals, breakfasts, packed lunches and snacks. Also that uses up leftovers in the freezer. I trawled the web for meal ideas! I will post meal plans tomorrow if anyone is interested when I am downstairs where my paperwork is as I am currently mn'ing in bed!

crypes Thu 02-Jan-14 23:13:11

We do roast chicken one night and next night pasta with leftover roast and covered with condensed chicken soup and sweet corn and left over veg, it's better than it sounds and we pack it out with leftover veg and makes heaps .

Cherry34 Thu 02-Jan-14 23:15:46

I am in!

festivefrolics Thu 02-Jan-14 23:15:57

The most popular cottage pie I ever made (for a large group) was when I realised I had half the meat I needed & cooked up a huge mug of dried red lentils in water seperately & added it to the mix. Using pulses to halve your meat costs is the easiest & tastiest way of doing it. My DH & carnivore best mate preferred it, & that is saying something. They never even noticed the lentils. Since then any dish that needs meat I do half quantities & substitute the rest with pulses.

Cherry34 Thu 02-Jan-14 23:18:04

Op, if you are ordering from Tescos their budget recipes are good!

500internalerror Thu 02-Jan-14 23:24:18

Im going to keep an eye on this thread - need to save money, but I'm Also stuck in a rut of the same few frugal meals! Pasta, baked potato, noodles, bread & cheese!

Notfastmainlyfurious Thu 02-Jan-14 23:28:09

I really want to get into this this year, made a half hearted go last year which failed due to fussy dh so will watch this thread with interest. We never have leftovers though.

SpangleMaker Thu 02-Jan-14 23:59:54

Ooh I really need this thread, I am working up to doing a monthly meal plan and could do with some inspiration.

Quiche is a good cheap but filling meal and can be a good way of using up odd bits of veg or cooked meat. When I'm feeling organised I cook 2 or 3 and freeze to use on those can't be arsed nights.

BoffinMum Fri 03-Jan-14 09:04:24

I've got some menu plans on the blog, by the way. The first week's worth is here. If you search you'll find linked shopping lists too.

A week's dinners for the home

OodlesofOods Fri 03-Jan-14 09:09:55

I'm stuck in a rut too.
Made a veg crumble last night for today.
Leftover passata from tea (home made pizzas) , half a left over onion, carrots, parsnip, spud, swede. Going to add the crumble before reheating.

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