Meal Planner

Menu Planning is the key to sticking to a household food budget. I plan at the beginning of the month and try and choose meals that have similar ingredients so nothing is getting wasted. When I write it out I also write 4 little shopping lists so I know what ingredients I will need to buy I can then just add any extras I’ve run out of during the week. It saves so much time. I am not a super organised person so I need to do this otherwise I would run round the supermarket throwing all-sorts in my trolley! Believe me in the past I have – hence the pricey shopping bills I used to have!

Below you will see my latest menu planner. And when I’ve made the meal a link to it’s recipe. All our families have different tastes so you may not wish to copy mine, instead maybe you could use it as a guide to help write your own…

I generally just write down the evening meal…our lunches are usually soup or sandwich so I make use of the ingredients I already have in or spend any extra in our budget buying luxuries!

I aim to spend no more than £50 per week on food for our family of 4.

I try not to buy any ‘convenience’ foods and try to cook things from scratch as my Grandma used to….this way I can keep an eye on the cost of things whilst I believe providing a healthier alternative to some mass-produced products.

When you organise your meal planner at the beginning of the month, prepare to be flexible with some of your dishes. As the week in question comes closer take a look in your cupboards and consider the supermarkets offers (i.e what’s on the Aldi super 6 this week?) and if you find something better or cheaper for your wallet then switch it round.

My top tip for keeping in budget when shopping is to be strict with yourself. If £50 is your goal then leave your bank cards at home and simply take £50 in cash instead. Work through your shopping list and only buy what is on there. Add it up as you go along (the calculator on a mobile phone is ideal for this). If you have some money over after buying everything on your list then feel free to go back and buy that bottle of wine or packet of biscuits you were first looking at…

The beauty to taking cash instead of a card is that you will stick a better chance of keeping within your target budget because lets face it, nobody wants the embarrassment of not having enough pennies to cover their shop at the checkout!  Good luck everyone

This Month’s Plan

Week 1

Monday – Bacon & Tomato Wild Garlic Tagliatelle

Tuesday – Turkey Taco’s

Wednesday – Goodbye ‘Georgie’ Minced Beef Pie

Thursday – Sausage, Squash & White Bean Cassoulet

Friday – Slow Cooker Beef Curry

Saturday – Hunter’s Chicken

Sunday – Crackling Pork

Week 2

Mon – Vegetable Chow Mein

Tues – Sausage & Mash

Weds – Turkey Fajitas

Thurs – Slow Cooked Chicken Tikka Masala

Friday – Papa’s Pizza

Saturday – Fillet Mignon in Mushroom wine sauce

Sunday – Shepherd’s Pie

Week 3

Monday – Macaroni Cheese

Tuesday – Lemon & Herb Fish

Weds – Chorizo & Chickpea Stew

Thurs -Slow cooked lamb saag

Friday – Chicken Kebabs

Saturday  – Spaghetti Bolognaise

Sunday – Coq Au Vin

Week 4

Monday – BLT Pasta Salad

Tuesday – French Onion Pork Chops

Wednesday – Meatballs

Thursday – Slow cooker Chilli Con Carne

Friday – Saag Paneer

Sample

Week 1

Mon – Basa Fillets with chorizo & butter beans – from 87p per person

Tues – Jacket Potato Traybake – 52p per person

Weds – Palak Paneer – 83p per person

Thurs – Mexican Bean Soup – 57p per person

Fri – Spaghetti Bolognaise – 59p per person

Sat – Super Smokin’ Bacon & Tomato Spaghetti – 65p per person

Sun – Pork Chops with hassleback potatoes

Week 2

Mon – King Prawn Noodle Broth – £1.34 per person

Tues – Creamy Cheese Tortellini Soup (v) – 48p per person

Weds – Quorn Lasagne – 76p per person

Thurs – Szechuan Chicken – £1.12 per person

Fri – Valentine’s Pizza

Sat – Valentine’s Picnic

Sun – Marks & Spencer’s Valentine’s Meal Deal

Week 3

Mon – Roasted Vegetable Strudel

Tues – Cornish Pasties

Weds – Roasted Halloumi with basil dressing

Thurs – Lasagne

Fri – Swedish Meatballs

Sat – Bella Italia

Sun – Normandy Pork Casserole

Week 4

Mon – Quorn Thai Curry

Tues – King Prawn Linguine

Weds – Sweet Potato & Spinach Bake

Thurs – Peppered Steak

Fri – Out for Birthday

Sat – Birthday Takeaway

Sun – Rustic Chicken with Garlic Gravy

Sample

Week 1 

Mon – Tuna Burgers & Salad

Tues – Scotch Broth

Weds –Kidney Bean Burgers

Thurs – Sweet potato, Spinach & Chickpea curry with chapatti

Fri – Meatball Surprise with Tomato Sauce

Sat – Lamb Kofta’s & Raita with Couscous

Sun – Roast Chicken Dinner

Week 2

Mon – Fish Goujons with Hand cut chips & minted mushy peas

Tues – Baked bean curry

Weds –Salsa di pasta di verdure

Thurs – Daddy’s Quorn Chilli & Nachos

Fri – The ‘not so nutty’ Chicken curry

Sat – Chinese Takeaway

Sun – Fish in garlic butter with asparagus

Week 3

Mon – Spag Bol

Tues –Falafels with couscous

Weds – Chunky Minestrone

Thurs – Toad in the Hole

Friday – Out for dinner

Sat – Papa’s Pizza

Sun – Boeuf Bourguignon with cheese mash

Week 4

Mon – Thai Fishcakes with Crunchy Peanut salad

Tues – Claire’s Carbonara

Weds – Mushroom Stroganoff

Thurs – Quorn Shepherd’s Pie

Fri – Diet coke chicken & couscous or chips

Sat – Tapas Night

Sun – Roast Pork Dinner

Last years….

JANUARY 2015

Week 1

Mon – Fish, Chips and Peas

Tues – Pepperoni Pizza Jackets with salad 

Weds – Slurpy Spaghetti and garlic bread with salad

Thurs- Baked Bean curry and rice

Fri – Homemade Pitta Bread Pizzas

Sat – Piri Piri Chicken and Spicy Rice with sweetcorn

Sun – Dublin Coddle and vegetables

Week 2 

Mon – Chicken Marinara with vegetables

Tues – Beef and Pepper stir fry

Weds – Pea and Ham soup with crusty bread

Thurs – Cowboy Pie

Fri – Vegetable Curry and Rice

Sat – Smoky Bacon and tomato spaghetti with garlic bread

Sun – Minced beef pies with minted mushy peas

THIS WEEK I BOUGHT A HAM TO USE IN THE SOUP AND FOR SANDWICHES

Week 3

Mon – Jacket potatoes with cheese and beans

Tues – Broccoli and rice casserole

Weds – Mushroom Carbonara and garlic bread

Thurs – Vegetable Scotch Broth and crusty bread

Fri – Baked Bean Curry and Rice

Sat – Chicken Satay Noodles

Sun – Quorn Cottage pie and vegetables

Week 4

Mon – Meatballs and chips

Tues- Jacket Potato with cheese and beans

Weds – Quorn Spaghetti Bolognaise

Thurs – Scrambled egg, bacon, beans and toast

Fri – Stir fry pork with ginger and honey

Sat – Camembert and crusty bread

Sun – Coq au vin and mash

Total cost £50 per week – this included toiletries also

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