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Is there a "FLY lady" for food? I need babysteps/ help/ tips...

(12 Posts)
malfoy Sun 14-Sep-08 20:52:45

Not sure I am posting in the right section but here goes:

CURRENT SITUATION
DH and I are overweighed (not horrendous but getting there). We are very disorganised generally but especially when it comes to eating. We do online shops but find we still do not have anything to eat. We waste a lot of food, ie stuff gets thrown out untouched and we never use leftovers. We rely heavily on buying stuff from the local supernarket or M&S ob our way home + we do a lot of take-aways.

DS/DD (4 & 2) eat in nursery during the week so their food is not a problem. At weekends we tend to eat out at lunchtimes and feed them "easy" food (ie sausages/ hoops/ fishfingers) in the evenings.

I work part-time. I have few cooking skills, ie I can follow a recipe but do not have the confidence to improvise/ throw things together.

WHAT I WANT
I would like to set a budget for food.
I want to stop wasting/ throwing out food.
I don't want to get to 5.30 in the evening and wander round the supermarket wondering what we can have as an alternative to pasta.
Ideally, at weekends, I would like us all to eat together.

PS: if expat is reading this, I would like her list of basics that she keeps in her store cupboard + a list of meal ides.

pinkspottywellies Sun 14-Sep-08 21:09:55

A meal plan for the week is a good idea. Write down what you will have for your evening meals, write a corresponding shopping list. Even if you're shopping twice a week while you get used to it, it's better than every night! Plan so that things that go off first (ie Best Before dates) are eaten earlier in the week.

And some meal ideas:

Sausage casserole (use a jar of sauce or I fry some onions, peppers, mushrooms and sausages and add a jar of passata and some paprika. Simmer for 20 mins) with rice, pasta or potato and some veg (frozen peas?).

Pasta Bake - throw in leftover veg from night before if you have any.

Spanish omlette/fritatta - my staple version is with courgettes

Salmon fillet, boiled potato, veg.

Chilli and rice/Spag Bol - (again use a jar if it's easier or make from scratch if you have the time or inclination)

Pork chops, mash and gravy.

If you do a roast chicken at the weekend it can last you half the week. There have been threads on here iif you do a search.

I never used to use leftovers but I started when dd was born and we got poor! I use up everything now. Come on MN just before dinner time and shout 'help!' tell us what you have in the fridge and someone will give you a recipe within 5 mins!

Hope that's a bit of help.

JackieNo Sun 14-Sep-08 21:12:08

Keep a list somewhere of all the possible meals you can make - I find it really helps when I'm coming up with a meal plan for the week. Otherwise I'll cook something, think 'Oh, that was lovely, must do that again', then instantly forget for weeks and weeks, and not do it again for ages.

lucysmam Sun 14-Sep-08 21:13:19

I found posting on here like babysteps for cooking! Have learned sooo much just asking random questions!

I'd start with a list of foods you actually enjoy or like eating together, make a shopping list from those meals, include any lunches or breakfasts on your list. Go to the supermarket ONCE a WEEK & STICK TO YOUR LIST.

Try to keep trips for bread/milk specifically for those things or do like I do & send other half so you don't buy random junk that's going to get forgotten about

JackieNo Sun 14-Sep-08 21:14:25

Oh, and keep your meal plan on the same sheet of paper as your shopping list, and include the date for each day, so you make sure you get stuff that will last long enough.

malfoy Sun 14-Sep-08 21:16:32

cool. thanks. I mau post some specific questions as I devise a plan. It has got to get better.

I forgot to include in my list of "wants" is to lose weight!!!

Majeika Sun 14-Sep-08 21:18:25

store cupboard

pasta
rice
couscous
red lentils
tin tuna
tinned cannellini beans
tinned chickpeas
tins tomatoes
tins baked beans
olive oil
vegetable oil
spices

Out of this you could make pasta with tomato sauce, tuna and bean stew served with rice or couscous, dhal, bean curry.

Have onions, carrots and celery in the fridge and a lentil soup is easy to make.

do the meal plan for the week and get DH to help.

Online shopping helps lots of people but I prefer to do my own shopping.

Shop at Lidl or Morrisons as it is much cheaper.

Shop with cash so you are not tempted to spend more.

This week we are eating

Chilli
Sausage and Mash
Lentil and Carrot Soup
Chicken and Creme Fraiche
Butternut Squash and Chorizo Risotto
Pasta with Bacon and chickpeas

malfoy Sun 14-Sep-08 21:22:39

that is exactly the sort of thing I need.

I don't want to get ambitious and think about freezing/ using my slow cooker.

I think I will start with the store cupboard/ menu plan idea.

Joolyjoolyjoo Sun 14-Sep-08 21:24:26

I second (third?) meal plan for the week. I have been doing this since having dd1, and find we rarely throw anything out- uneaten portions get frozen and recycled as lunches at a later date.

I used to buy the Good Food mag and others, and tear out the recipes I fancied, so I now have a big folder with recipes, and you can get them online too- you can just type in "chicken" and get a huge list of ideas. They also give you the preparation time, cooking time and calories per portion, which makes it even easier to plan- I go for quick recipes most days, and leave longer ones for days when I know I have more time.

I am a bit anal, so we have fish one day, chicken another, pork another, lamb, beef veggie, takeaway/ pizza and Sunday lunch (sometimes at dad's!)I also try to vary pasta/ rice/ couscous/ new potatoes/ mashed potatoes/ noodles. It takes a bit of planning, admittedly, but we usually have nice meals. I also go to the butchers and fishmongers- that way you can buy exactly the amount you need, not be forced to buy 2lbs of diced beef when you really need 1.5lbs. they also often cut it up the way you want, if you ask, saving more time!

Some of my simple standby's are:

Chicken breasts stuffed with philly, basil and tomatoes, wrapped in parma ham

Pork stroganoff and noodles

pan-fried salmon fillets with soy sauce and spring onions

Goulash/ Italian beef stew with pasta

Fish pie (I also do a cheats version if time is short!)

Once you get into it, it is actually quite liberating, cos you don't need to worry about what you are having and whether you have all the ingredients! Good luck

lucysmam Sun 14-Sep-08 21:26:19

If you're wanting to lose weight, maybe reduce portions a bit (unless you're like me & couldn't deal with a half full plate, has to be bursting at the seams wink )

or, maybe do something active as a family a couple of times a week or at weekends? take the kids swimming? or to the park? or just for a random wander around the block, my lo is fascinated just by a wander up the street n back to the house atm smile

malfoy Sun 14-Sep-08 21:27:05

thanks. actually using leftovers for my lunches is also a v good idea as I spend a fortune on sandwiches I don't even want.

lucysmam Sun 14-Sep-08 21:31:22

leftovers are fab! We've easily got 4 meals for me & oh left of the stew we had today n it only cost a couple of quid to make. It's in the freezer for footy nights when we eat at different times.

MN is fab for advice about these things! I'd never have cooked anything for us if I hadn't found it

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