Advanced search

Budget meal planning

(25 Posts)
AllRoadsLeadBackToRadley Sun 08-Apr-18 17:26:02

Is there already a thread on this subject?

So...I totally messed up my finances last week. It left us with very little for food, and we had to live on what was in the freezer and cupboards.

It was a MASSIVE wake up call! I'm now ashamed that we get through £3-400 a month on shopping!

A complete overhall is needed.

Can anyone inspire me with meal plans, etc?

There is:

DH (active job. Eats lunch at work- access to a microwave, hates lentils 😂)

Me (dairy/egg intolerant, will eat the occasional bit of meat)

DS6 (Eats anything, eats lunch at school)

DD11 (Eats anything, packed lunch taken to school)

One puppy
Three cats

-Monday through Thursday, the kids eat a light dinner before they're picked up at 6pm, so just a snack needed on these days.

How much can I realistically get our shopping budget down to, without going stupid?

Cleaning/household wise, we are still using up toiletries from Christmas, so won't be buying bath stuff for a while. We use Method cleaning stuff/washing detergent.

Bit of a long winded thread, sorry!

OP’s posts: |
AllRoadsLeadBackToRadley Sun 08-Apr-18 17:27:30

Oh- should have added...

-Two upright freezers
-Quite a bit of cupboard space
-Acess to Aldi and Tesco, and a farm store juwt down the road.

OP’s posts: |
calzone Sun 08-Apr-18 17:29:12

Jacket potato cheese and beans is a perfectly acceptable meal which ticks most boxes.

We love soup so try and have that once a week with homemade bread.

Roast chicken with all the trimmings one night.

Leftover chicken into a spicy chicken rice.

Another night is vegetarian with chipotle chickpeas and couscous.

AllRoadsLeadBackToRadley Sun 08-Apr-18 17:31:27

I'm actually thinking of boiling the bones leftover from the chicken later to make stock. I only have dried herbs- whill that do it?

OP’s posts: |
AtleastitsnotMonday Sun 08-Apr-18 20:09:48

Does your dh eat other pulses and beans? I make a big veggie chilli with peppers, mushrooms, onions, chickpeas, haricot and chilli beans with chopped tomatoes, garlic an chillies. It’s cheap, quick, freezes well and can changed by altering sides, rice, on jacket potatoes, in wraps or tacos, on nachos, or as quasidillas.

cuckoowith2 Sun 08-Apr-18 20:23:28

Following! Desperate for some budget meal ideas! 😬

calzone Sun 08-Apr-18 20:28:55

Add red lentils to all dishes as it doubles the amount.

I bet your dh wouldn’t even notice.

AllRoadsLeadBackToRadley Sun 08-Apr-18 20:34:07

Yup- he will eat anything except for lentils! And in the cupboard we have:

-Green Lentils
-Split Moong Beans
-Kidney Beans

These are all dried. And a fuckload of food bags which I bought by accident instead of Dogpoo bags!

I think a bean batch-cook is in my future!

What I'd also like to do is to save the saved cash up (why does that sentence look so odd?) and put it towards a big store cupboard shop in about 6 weeks.

What do you all have in your store cupboards?

OP’s posts: |
OhHolyJesus Sun 08-Apr-18 20:38:47

I have found slow cooker meals do save us £.
Roast a chicken then chuck the bones and a leek/onion and a carrot or whatever you have in the slow cooker with any left over meat juices and cover with water. Leave overnight on low. I use the stocks as ice cubes in soups, sauces and gravy.
Use the left over meat to make a pie or risotto or chicken wraps for lunch or on a pizza base.
We can often stretch a roast chicken to at least three meals. The cat also gets to benefit!

AllRoadsLeadBackToRadley Sun 08-Apr-18 20:40:24

I'll be picking up a slow cooker next week- mine is buried somewhere!

OP’s posts: |
OhHolyJesus Sun 08-Apr-18 20:41:30

You could download the Tasty app and just type in the ingredient you want to use up and see what recipes suggestions it has.
I also like ocado for their recipes and the ease of then shopping for those ingredients online.
I bet from what you have and the experimenting you will come up with some new favourites by accident x

AllRoadsLeadBackToRadley Sun 08-Apr-18 20:44:27

In my stock pot atm I have the chicken carcass, onion, dried tarragon and parsley. Will the resulting stock be ok for risotto do you think?

OP’s posts: |
AllRoadsLeadBackToRadley Sun 08-Apr-18 20:49:22

And the leftover meat has been saved as well. There's about the equivalent of two thirds of a chicken breast there- plenry for risotto with some veg!

I have risotto rice in, but I'm going to attempt to makw it with bog standard value rice, just to see if there's much difference.

Anyone fancy reading a list of what I have in, and giving me ideas for the week? I can shop again on Friday if needs be, but I'd rather wait until maybe Sunday.

OP’s posts: |
AllRoadsLeadBackToRadley Sun 08-Apr-18 20:50:53

App downloading now...

OP’s posts: |
holycityzoo Sun 08-Apr-18 20:53:50

You make a chicken fried rice with bog standard rice. But not risotto. That definitely needs risotto rice.

AllRoadsLeadBackToRadley Sun 08-Apr-18 20:55:37

Risotto rice it is then. Thank you.

OP’s posts: |
7Days Sun 08-Apr-18 20:57:05

It might be good for risotto and you coukd use it in a noodle dish.
A packet of noodles.
Frozen peas and sweet corn/ last handful of salad leaves/ a grated or even capitalised carrot.
The shreds of yesterday's chicken or whatever.
The dust and broken bits from an old packet of peanuts.
Boil it for 5 mins.
Soy sauce / chillis/ spoon of thai curry paste = deliciously authentic 😉 quick easy Asian noodle soup.

SluttyButty Sun 08-Apr-18 20:57:36

Have you got a pressure cooker? Moong beans cooked in there and a spicyish tomato sauce added with rice is a very satisfying meal.

AllRoadsLeadBackToRadley Sun 08-Apr-18 20:58:23

No pressure cooker, but a fuckload of massive pots. 😂

OP’s posts: |
7Days Sun 08-Apr-18 20:58:23

Err a spiralised carrot....

princesspeppax Sun 08-Apr-18 20:59:33

I batch cook and use meal planning i found this saved us a small fortune weekly, also if you are on facebook there is a few groups i have found very good for meal ideas and budgeting

Mixingitall Sun 08-Apr-18 21:23:09

Here’s my list of budget meals:

Vegetable chilli with black beans and kidney beans- add carrot, onion, red pepper and fresh tomatoes.

With chill left overs add wraps and sprinkle with cheese for burritos.

Pasta pesto with roasted red onions and peppers stirred through, if budget/ taste allows add frozen king prawns and chilli flakes.

Make pizza with the leftover roasted vegetables on wraps and use pesto and torso sauce to make the tomato base, add cheese and whatever you like.

Spinach and chickpea curry, with onion and fresh tomatoes.

Fish pie with frozen fish pie mix (Waitrose one is the nicest) just make the cheese sauce and mash- great for batch cooking.

Risotto with broccoli, spinach and cashew nuts stirred through, any leftover chicken.

Roasted Butternut squash, chickpea and kale tagine with red onion and cumin served with rice.

Mince for Spaghetti Bolognese and Shepherds pie.

Roast chicken with salad and rice.


Toad in the hole with vegetables.
Cheese on toast.
Some of the above dishes.

Plus breakfast cereal, eggs, salad stuff, fruit and vegetables.

I can do all of the above between Lidl and Waitrose for £60. Not eating meat everyday isn’t for everyone but really saves money.

Good luck!

AllRoadsLeadBackToRadley Sun 08-Apr-18 21:37:01

Mixing I agree! I eat very little meat myself.

OP’s posts: |
AtleastitsnotMonday Sun 08-Apr-18 22:21:46

Look at jack Monroe’s recipes her carrot, cumin and kidney bean burgers are lovely
Tuna pasta bake is really cheap to make.
I also use frozen cod fillets, top with Parmesan and breadcrumbs.

AllRoadsLeadBackToRadley Mon 09-Apr-18 10:31:22

There's some bloody good stuff on the JM website!

I've found three (!!!) random jars of jam in my fridge to use up, so I'll be making jam tarts today.

I'm also going to attempt homemade cornmeal wraps. I've had cornmeal going to waste since thanksgiving!

I've promised myself that I'll deep clean my fridge on Wednesday (I have a VERY fucked up idea of fun!😂), so working on emptying that too. Any ideas what to do with a four ransom parsnips I just found in the salad drawer?

A virtual basket on the tesco app, full of store cupboard essentials. £160!!! But that does include eleventy million cans of beans, etc. And, <hangs head in shame> we spent over half that last month on takeouts/crap from the local store because none of us CBA to cook. I've just shredded every one of the takeout menus! Dramatic I know- but needed to be done! Ninety fucking quid! And yet I pay the car tax by monthly DD! I could have paid it off if I wasn't so lazy!

So- plan going forward...

Today: make wraps, jam tarts, and compile a list of recipes.

Tomorrow: complete inventory of cupboards, and actually organize them so that the baking soda doesn't drop on my head when I open one!

Wednesday: clean fridge. Batch cook a few meals to see us over the next few days.

Ironically, I'm a very competent cook! (If you ignore the garlic thread I started yesterday!) I really have no excuse!

OP’s posts: |

Join the discussion

Registering is free, quick, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Get started »