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Need help to complie menu plan on a budget - dh redundant on Friday

(12 Posts)
popsycal Wed 28-Oct-09 19:34:22

Help appreciated

Have menu planned in the past but not recently.

We need to feed afamily of 5 (me, dh, ds1 (7) and non- meate eater ut will eat fish, ds2 (4) and ds3 (13 months). ds2 currently has school dinners (unsure whether they will be free once dh leaves work) and I work 2 days a week so need lunchesw for work.

All help greatly appreciated.

We also have very little time after school run to do 'proper' cooking - wish we had.

Any tips, etc, greatly appreicated

popsycal Wed 28-Oct-09 19:35:13

meant to add that ds1 has packed lunch otherwise he would eat nothing at all

StirlingNeedsAHoliday Wed 28-Oct-09 21:14:50

Have you had a look at the Meal Planner on MN - Just click the button at the top of this page smile

murderonthemidnightexpress Wed 28-Oct-09 21:23:47

My DP is working away from home at the moment, and I'm trying to do stuff in advance and on the cheap at the moment. I buy a few bags of tomatoes and roast them all for an hour or so, fry up a few onions, grated courgettes and carrots, blitz the tomatoes and mix it all together and that give some about 4 meals for me and the DCs - one veggie pasta (with some cream cheese mixed in), one large pizza (add cheese and sweetcorn/whatever - I make my own bases too - basic bread recipe), one bolognese sauce (fry off mince and add the sauce, 1 soup perhaps (add stock and throw in a handful of lentils, then blitz it all once it's cooked.

Soups generally are cheap, and easy to do in bulk too so you can freeze at least one more meal. Pumpkins cheap at the moment and make v tasty soup.

I would also suggest online shopping - the temptation to buy extras is reduced and it'll save you precious time.

popsycal Sat 31-Oct-09 15:13:30

bumpity bump
still try ing to think o more stuff

am tempted to buyt a slow cooker which would make lie easier as 4pm til 6pm is hideoius in our house

JANEITEPatrickNormanMcHennesy Sat 31-Oct-09 15:38:38

Deffo red lentils - a huge bag is really cheap and you can use them to make a pasta sauce, a chilli, a soup, a stew etc. You can even make shepherd's pie or lasagne with them, although personally I prefer puy lentils for that.

Root vege is v cheap at the moment too. Again, you can use them to make soup or you can roast a big panful or make a hotpot.

Baked potatoes with soup or veggie chilli are cheap and filling.

moondog Sat 31-Oct-09 18:20:04

Omelettes-frittata with spinach and cheese or peppers and ham.Good cold.
Baked potatoes with tinned sardines and green bean and tomato salad
Buy a sack of rice from an Asian shop. Huge saving.
Do been and veggie stews-add snippets of bacon or salami for flavour.Less exotic, Mattesons do a pork sausage which is very good (over 90% pork)
But half a pig or a lamb (I pay about £30 for half a lamb)
Corned beef hash is good and tasty
Nothing wrong with a weekday tea of soup and toast and boiled eggs
Eat porridge for breakfast-it is warming, filling, good for you and the cheapest thing going.

I think packed lunches add to the stress of a busy life and pander to kids' fussiness. School meals keep people in jobs and make use of local suppliers.I coudl never be arsed doing a box every day for my kids. For me,I just do a snadwich and some fruit.

moondog Sat 31-Oct-09 18:21:18

Go to Lidl or Aldo or Netto for jams, cleaning products and yoghurts.
Smoked mackerel makes a great meal too.

popsycal Sun 01-Nov-09 10:20:10

some good ideas - thanks

we use aldi and lidl already

i love corned beef hash and chorizo so that is a good way of doing this

considering investing in a slow cooker as tea times are fraught here and it woud also mean I could use cheaper meat

ds1 also eats very little meat....

popsycal Sun 01-Nov-09 10:21:14

ds2 has school dinners
ds1 eats bugger all at dinners so is currently on lunches - but if we qualify for free dinners, then he will be having them

DrZeus Sun 01-Nov-09 10:31:20

Alternative to slow cooker - get a pressure cooker. I swear by mine! You can do a casserole in about 30 mins, use a cheaper cut of beef and it will tenderise it lovely. We do a big casserole and then freeze it to have during the week. Do roast chicken, then make soup with the carcass. Use the left over chicken in salad, stir-fry, curry. Agree with the red lentils - do a fab veg curry/soup. Jacket spuds are also a good standby. Beans on toast or omelettes are quick and easy too.


stressedHEmum Sun 01-Nov-09 15:17:51

dried beans are a really good source of cheap protein and a 500gm bag will feed at least 6 people depending on what you do with them.

Green lentils are good for substituting for mince, they hold their shape and texture a lot better than red ones and don't go mushy.

Split peas make good soup and dahl and are totally cheap.

Potatoes can make a complete meal if you make patatas bravas(espec. if you add some sliced chorizo.) cheese and potato pie or potato bake and you can use left over mash to make potato cakes or bubble and squeak.

Spanish ommelette; you can make this for dinner and eat left over slices cold for lunch.

Buy a chicken, cook it and divide the meat into 3 lots to use for 3 meals like risotto, chicken and veg pie, curry, chicken pasta bake. Make stock from the carcass and make soup with onions, carrots, leeks and barley or rice.

Root veg casseroles with a handful of barley added for protein or 100gms of dried kidney beans, soaked and cooked for protein.

Rice based meals like cheese and tomato rice, rice and beans, lentil and rice tacos, mixed veg savoury rice are all quick easy and cheap.

Pasta with things like a tin of condensed mushroom soup, some corn and tinned mushrooms is popular with my kids, as is pasta with a sauce made with pasatta, garlic, onion, paprika and chorizo or pepperoni.

Chowder made with onions, leek, potatoes, 1/2lb of smoked mackerel and a couple of pints of milk (made from dried milk)is also popular here. Or replace the mackerel with a couple of frozen white fish fillets cut into chunks and add some celery and carrots to the veg (this is my youngest's favourite soup.)Serve it with crusty bread or hm soda bread and it is a very filling, hearty meal.

Another very popular thing in here is this:

3 cups porridge oats mixed with a couple of eggs, water, poultry seasoning and sage. Mix it all up and shape it into 6 large burgers. Fry until golden on both sides. Mix a tin of mushroom soup with a tin of milk, pour over the burgers and heat through gently until the sauce is a bit thickened. MY kids love this with mash, green beans and carrots. I know that it sounds weird, but it is nice.

Another popular thing in here is a pork shoulder meal. I buy a big one and slow cook it. The kids eat half of it and then the other half goes back in the slow cooker or a casseroel dish in a low oven with about 1/3 bottle of barbecue ketchup and a finely chopped onion. I cook this for a long time and then shred the pork between two forks until it is completely pulled to pieces and the sauce is mixed right through it. The kids love this in rolls and because the meat is shredded it goes really far.

Minute minestrone is another popular thing in here. Boil 2 pints of stock, a chopped onion and a tin of tomatoes for 5 minutes or so. Add about 1/2 a pack of tiny pasta and cook for a few minutes. Chuck in 1/2 a pack of frozen mixed veg and simmer for another few minutes. Stir in a few spoonfuls of pesto and serve scattered with grated cheese. Just adjust quantities to get the consistency you like.

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