Category Archives: meal planning

Meal planning and silver linings

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I blogged a few days ago about how I can’t get any money out of the bank for ten days ( my card was cloned) so it looked like this week was going to be a struggle.
Luckily my eldest was able to help me out a little but I wasn’t going to be able to do a proper grocery shop.
Which has made me have a big think about the way I shop.
I try to meal plan …. And when I do I do it well.
It really is the way to go it saves money and makes things easier.
but when things get busy I fall off the meal planning wagon , this has happened a lot lately.
What happens then is that every week when I do the online order I just automatically order the same things week after week.
I get sucked in by offers that I don’t really need and I waste money. money that I can’t afford to waste.
Yesterday before I ordered the shopping ( which my eldest is helping me with) I told the kids we will have to eat what we have this week.
I emptied both of the freezers and the cupboards on to the table.
Got a notepad and wrote down what we had.
It turned out that with just a small shop including milk ,bread ,fruit , beans and potatoes we have plenty of food to eat well for a week.
Including meat , fish , vegetables , rice , pasta and veggie food.
We even have 7 boxes of cereal , because I buy cereal that’s on special offer only to find that it’s not flavour of the month anymore. So I buy more.
Well this week they can eat what we have.
I would have ordered more cereal and I would have ordered food that we didn’t in fact need just because I hadn’t taken the time to look at what we had.
Rather than the usual £130 that I would have spent on this weeks shopping I’ve only spent £60 and none of us will go hungry.
I’m going to make the time every week to sit down and plan meals properly. First taking into account what we already have.
I’m not going to buy special offer things just because they are on offer and the kids will have to learn to finish what we have before expecting another flavour / type / brand , putting a little more thought into the weeks shopping will save me a lot of money.

And although I am still fuming about my card being cloned , looking on the bright side it’s saved me around £70 this week , made me think about our grocery shopping and also made me think about how I spent money here and there throughout the week. Because this week I just don’t have access to money !

Sometimes it’s possible to find a bright side.

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What we are eating this weekend

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I’m loving meal planning. It really does make things easier. And keeps the shopping budget under control. I do a big shop with meals from Monday – Thursday , then a smaller shop with meals from Friday -Monday.

This is what we are eating this weekend

Friday
This and that , for the kids ( using up some of the various things in the freezer , which could probably feed a small army
)
quorn Goujons and salad with garlic ketchup for me

Saturday
salad wraps with homemade oven chips I haven’t made homemade oven chips before so I’m looking forward to that.

Sunday
pizzaps ! using mozzarella , basil , tomatoes , peppers, onion , garlic , salami , and ham.

I’ve got plenty of fresh stuff in there and hopefully will have a lot more space in my freezer.

Meal planning : what were eating this weekend

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I’m always very jealous when I see peoples meal plans. I want to be that organised , and as I’ve said before it helps us to eat better because we think about what we will eat and it saves money to have a plan and stick to it. Often I can buy things that will be used for a couple of meals .for example I might make quorn Goujons with mashed potato , the next day I’ll make the remaining Goujons and serve with a salad , then the next day the remaining salad will be used in cheese salad wraps.
I write the meals on a magnetic board thats stuck on the freezer.
I was meal planning a little while agoabut it fell by the wayside because there was just so much else going on.
But I’ve been doing it for a couple of weeks now …..

This is the meal plan for the next three days

Friday homemade pizza ( I will be using ready made dough because I’m no Wonder Woman )

Saturday homemade quorn lasagne / homemade quorn cottage pie

Sunday
homemade quorn curry with nan bread

I will admit that on weekdays there isn’t as much homemade stuff as I don’t have so much time but I’m going to try to incorporate at least 2 homemade weekday meals.

What’s on your menu this week ?

The marvel that is the sandwich

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For my lunch today I made my absolute favourite sandwich. I’ll tell you what it was a bit later on, the suspense is killing you , right ?
While I sat enjoying this , my favourite sandwich and actually my favourite meal of all time I pondered just how wonderful a thing the sandwich is.
Taking its name from the 4th Earl of Sandwich after he asked his servants to put some meat between 2 slices of bread whilst he played cards ( although he didnt ‘invent ‘ putting a filling between two slices ) the sandwich has fans all over the world. Fads and fashions come and go but the humble sandwich remains. And in fact goes from strength to strength. There are whole sections in shops dedicated to the sandwich , even shops that specialise in the sandwich.
It comes in so many variations. An endless list of varieties. You can have it on brown , white , seeded , you name it , there’s a bread for everyone. you can pile it high with layers of fillings , hot food , cold food , or spread it with a savoury spread , marmite , cheese spread , pâté , you can even smother lashings of sweet spread. Jam , lemon curd , chocolate spread , anything goes.
You surely cannot deny the simple joy of a crisp sandwich , so quick ,so easy , yet so crispy!
In America they like the peanut butter and jelly ( jam) sandwich. Not sure why that hasn’t caught on over here , possibly because it sounds vile ? But , each to their own.
A banana sandwich is in my opinion , the only way to eat a banana. In fact I actually can’t eat a banana if its not in a sandwich.
At our school sports days the sandwiches were almost always filled with egg ,not for me , the egg sandwich
And then of course there’s the humble chip butty , simple ,but hot steaming carbohydratey joy. You can even have a toasted sandwich. Your favourite fillings in hot crispy bread , if you put cheese in it gets all melty gooey and extra delicious.
When you’ve decided what to put in your sandwich there’s the presentation , cut into triangles perhaps , perfect for picnics and parties , are squares your thing ? Or perhaps a simple cut down the middle? Crusts on or crusts off ?
I’ll eat the crust on a brown bread sandwich but not a white. It will make your hair curl if you eat the crusts you know , that’s what the dinner ladies told us at school. Maybe that’s why my hair is so limp. Yes , I’ll blame it on not eating all of my crusts!
Do you make a dainty sandwich that you can pick up and eat , no mess , perhaps just a slight dribble down your chin or do make such such a big hearty sandwich that a knife and fork is really the only way to go ?
Growing up we spent a lot of time in Norway staying with my Nan , there we had open sandwiches. Very Scandinavian , la dee da.
You can always count on the sandwich , kids hungry , need something quick … You can rustle up a sandwich in moments.
Unexpected guests , nothing to feed them , there’s always bread in the cupboard , that bit of cheese you’ve got in the back of the fridge , whack it on , et voila you’ve made them lunch.
And it’s so perfectly portable , lunch for work , packed lunch for school.you can even make the sandwiches into clever shapes , surprise your child with a dinosaur shaped sandwich , or cut a funny face into it. Endless fun . Is there no end to the joy of sandwiches ?

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Look and marvel at the presentation that’s gone into this fine specimen of a crisp sandwich made by @ADadCalledSpen, for me it’s the carefully placed cherry tomato that makes all the difference.

Now I’ll tell you what my all time favourite sandwich is …. Quorn bacon slices , fried , with fried cherry tomatoes , on brown hovis bread ,spread with clover seedburst , not forgetting lots of barbecue sauce drizzled on to the quorn bacon , before the tomatoes go on.
This for me is the king of all sandwiches !
I asked twitter what their favourite sandwich is ( as you will see I was swamped with replies :-/ )

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also this” @oldpoyntz: @8TOZERS ooh I like chicken & stuffing or salmon & cream cheese”
As you can see twitter , well 7 of them are fans of the savoury sandwich.

Sandwiches they really are the best thing since sliced bread.
* disclaimer , this post was not sponsored by a sandwich , just inspired by one 🙂

Meal planning

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I’m not enjoying not having a working oven , sure I can cook most things in the grill but when it’s in the grill you need to keep an eye on it , turn it over ,it burns when you forget about it for a minute ( that happens alot ) and I’m missing pizza , garlic bread , pasties .

This is what we will be eating this week

Wednesday
Toasted muffins with beans and cheese ( this one the kids are looking forward to )

Thursday
Mashed potato ( a big favourite of mine ) with fish less fingers or turkey dinosaurs for the non veggies ( a turkey dinosaur doesn’t hurt once on awhile ) served with mange tout , beans and sweet corn

Friday
Bangers mash peas and aaaah! Bisto

Saturday
Farfelle pasta with a tomato and herb sauce served with crusty farmhouse bread.

Obviously while I was ordering the shopping I forgot the oven isn’t working so I also ordered some lovely pasties for lunch , they will have to sit in the freezer for a while. * sobs*

What are you having for dinner this week ?

Meal planning

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Well this week it’s a little harder to plan the menu as my oven isn’t working , while I’m saving for a new one I have to think of meals that dont need any oven cooking.
This is what I’ve come up with so far

Sunday

Mashed potato (with cheese and black pepper mashed in ) , fish fingers , fish less fingers for the vegetarians ,and sausages for the fuss pots , served with peas , beans and broccoli

Monday

Homemade quorn chicken style curry
Served with garlic and coriander naan bread

Tuesday

Farfelle pasta
With tomato and sweet red pepper sauce , topped with grated cheddar
Served with homemade chips and some crusty bread.

I think my lot will be happy with this.
What will you be eating this week ?

Meal planning

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This week I’m tired and feeling a little run down so I’m going for some easy dinners from Wednesday to Saturday.

Wednesday
Bolognese ( made with quorn mince ) served with a crusty loaf.

Thursday

Good old sausage and chips (quorn sausages for the vegetarians , the quorn best of British really are the best) served with peas , beans and broccoli.

Friday

Pizza served with garlic bread. We have been making our own lately but as its Friday I’m buying them ready made

Saturday

Beans on toast or tomato soup with baguettes. As with last week as we go to my mums on Saturday we eat lots there so we only need a small easy dinner
God bless mum !

I’m trying to think of some new and different meals but my lot are so fussy it’s proving quite difficult.
I think next week we will try making our own burgers as since the horsemeat business my lot don’t want to eat burgers.

My favourite meal last week was the pizza my 15 year old made for me on Mother’s Day

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What will you be eating this week ?

Meal planning

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The chilli con carne I made last week was a massive hit so obviously I had to put this on the menu again ( the 8 year old especially liked the way it made him very windy “paaaarp” !)

So this is what our menu looks like from Sunday to Tuesday this week

Sunday

Chilli con carne (made with quorn mince) served with Doritos ! I think it’s the Doritos that make this especially appealing to the kids !

Monday

Home made pizzas.
Although I have to admit we use ready made pizza bases ( I do want to try making my own , I’m just not confident that I’d do it well) we all enjoy make our pizzas the way we like them , putting our own toppings on.

20130309-113636.jpg this was mine , ready to go in the oven the last time we made them.

Wednesday

Mashed potatoes (I always put some cheese in mine )
Fish less fingers for the vegetarians , a choice of sausages or chicken for the rest
Served with peas and beans

The meal I’m looking forward to the most is the pizza.

I will also be making homemade garlic bread and a couple of homemade white rustic loaves for evening snacks this week . ( yes, I will be cheating here too , I’m using jus-rol ) but we all need a little help sometimes.

What will you be eating this week ?

Meal planning

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So it’s that time of the week again.
Planning for meals from Wednesday to Saturday. It’s my least favourite job. Trying to find things everyone will eat.
But since I’ve been planning and sticking to it I’ve noticed more empty plates and more “thanks mum , can we have this again” the chilli con carne we had yesterday was a particular hit.

This is what I’ve come up with for Wednesday to Saturday.

Wednesday

Cowboy pie (one with veggie sausages one with regular sausages ) served with crusty bread

Thursday

A cottage pie and a lasagne ( both made with quorn mince ) served with garlic bread and / or Yorkshire puddings and peas.

Friday

Mashed potatoes (chips for some) sausages , fish less fingers for the vegetarians , with peas , beans and broccoli.

Saturday

Beans/spaghetti hoops on toast (always a favourite ) and as we visit my mum on a Saturday we usually come home quite full so just a small dinner needed.

20130304-105013.jpg the chilli con carne I made !

Meal planning.

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It’s not easy feeding 8 of us. Most of the kids are fussy and me and the 15 year old are vegetarian (no meat or fish ) but I try to make sure we eat well , I plan our meals from Sunday to Tuesday , then Wednesday to Saturday .thats just how it works for me.

This week Sunday to Tuesday we are having :
Sunday
Chilli con carne (made with quorn mince) rice and Doritos ( the kids favourite part of this meal)

Tuesday
Homemade macaroni cheese
/ homemade pasta bake ( half of us like one , half like the other)
With home made garlic bread

Wednesday
Homemade curry with quorn chicken style pieces , with rice, and garlic and coriander naan. ( I keep thinking I’d like to make my own naan , I must find out how )

What will you be having ?