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Friday, 30 December 2011

Family Weekly Meal Plan - £55

You may remember that we tried out the Sainsbury's Feed Your Family For Fifty Meal Plan and I blogged about it.  I thought the plan was a tad austere, we did missed baked treats and didn't like the supermarket bread because I normally bake my own.  However, that meal plan inspired me to compile this one. Admittedly it is £5 more expensive but there are more baked treats and a little more variety with breakfasts and lunches.

I've devised this plan to feed my family of 5 for an entire week. My 11yo eats the same portion size my husband, despite being reed thin, so the plan could be for 3 adults and 2 children - or 2 adults and 2 older children. The lunches are really simple packed lunches of sandwiches, vegetable sticks and 1 or 2 pieces of fresh fruit.  Adults take leftover dinner for lunch the next day in order to stop food going to waste and save money.  Sandwich fillings on this plan are cheese and chutney, leftover cooked meat, or egg salad.

The weeks dinner recipes use a total of 15 eggs so there is another 15 reserved for sandwich fillings, breakfasts and baking.  I've also included 6 x 2 litre bottles of milk in my plan, plenty for cereal and also to make a couple of batches of Rice Pudding (see recipe below) as a lunchbox treat or pudding.

Breakfasts are really simple: cereal or porridge and milk, or toast with spread.  I've added some sultanas to the Meal Plan that can be added to breakfasts, lunchboxes or used to bake some flapjacks and muffins. There's also enough flour and eggs to make some Pancakes on the weekend and perhaps some Versatile Savoury Scone Swirls, Apple and Sultana Scrolls, Flapjacks or Fruit Muffins for lunchbox treats.  See below for the recipes.

You could of course do a meal plan that costs more by having more elaborate lunchboxes and baking more snacks.  I haven't bought any loaves of bread or rolls. I prefer to make my own so I've included the cost of the wholemeal bread flour and yeast.

My Meal Plan also assumes that there are already some storecupboard items available like tea/coffee, herbs, spices, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, stock cubes, tomato ketchup, oil, cornflour and homemade or store bought relish/chutney and jam,peanut butter or honey.


Apple and Sultana Scrolls

Pikelets/Pancakes

300g self raising flour

2 eggs

50g sugar

375ml milk

Mix all the ingredients together well and then cook ladlefuls of mixture in a greased fryingpan over a moderate heat.  Serve with chopped bananas and drizzle with golden syrup, spread with jam or brushed with lemon juice and sprinkled with sugar.

Fruit Muffins

1 cup of any fruit (fresh, tinned, dried or frozen)

3/4 cup sugar

100g melted butter or 100ml oil

250ml milk

2 cups plain flour

4 tsp baking powder

1 egg

Mix all of the ingredients together gently but thoroughly until well combined. Spoon into lined muffin tins.

If you want to be fancy you can mix together 1 tsp cinnamon and 1 Tblsp sugar and sprinkle it over the top of the muffins.

Cook for 12 minutes or so at 180C, depending on the size of your muffins.

Flapjacks

225g butter

170g sugar

340g porridge oats

pinch of salt

3 Tbsp golden syrup

100g sultanas

Preheat your oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4. Line a 28cm x 18cm x 3cm or 11in x 7in x 1.2in baking tray with non-stick baking paper.

Gently heat the butter and golden syrup in a large saucepan on the hob until the butter has melted, stir well to mix.  Don't let it boil!

Once the butter has melted take the saucepan off the heat and add the oats, sugar, sultanas and pinch of salt. Thorough mix everything until well combined and the oats are completely covered by the butter mixture.  

Put the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth evenly into the corners. Bake in the oven for approximatly 15minutes, turn the tin around and bake for another 5 minutes until golden brown.

Once cooked remove the baking tray from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes.  With a bread and butter knife lightly mark out about 16 pieces before the flapjack completely sets. Cut up into pieces when completely cold.

Rice Pudding (Lunchbox treat or pudding)

600ml whole milk

65g long grain white rice

pinch of salt

50g white sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

50g sultanas (optional)

In a medium sized, heavy bottomed saucepan combine the milk and rice with a pinch of salt. Place saucepan over a fairly high heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the rice is tender.  This usually takes about 25 minutes.  Stir the milk mixture frequently using a heatproof rubber spatula or wooden spoon to stop the rice from sticking to the bottom of the saucepan.

When the rice is tender (al dente) take the saucepan off the heat and sugar, vanilla extract, and ground cinnamon. Mix well to combine.  Return the saucepan to the heat and cook until the rice pudding thickens, this should take about 5 - 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add the sultanas if you are using them.  Spoon the pudding into a bowl to cool and cover with clingfilm to stop a skin forming.  Store in the fridge for up to 3 days.  To make this into more of a Mullerice type treat add some jam or golden syrup to swirl through the rice pudding.  You could also add dried apricots or dates instead of sultanas if you have some in your store cupboard.


(Serves 7 - dinner for 5 plus 2 lunches)

I added a couple of blocks of frozen spinach for extra vegetable content and to make the dinner stretch further.  This risotto makes enough to feed the 5 of us generously and provide 2 large lunch servings for the next day.

Tuesday - Chicken Casserole (5 Servings)

1 onion, finely chopped

1 pepper, diced

1 clove of garlic, crushed

1 Tblsp dried mixed herbs

100g diced bacon

1 Tblsp flour

2 chicken stock cubes dissolved in 1 Litre of boiling water

1 Tblsp mustard

8 chicken drumsticks

3 large potatoes, cooked and mashed

a couple of blocks of frozen spinach

300g frozen mixed vegetables

Preheat oven to 180C. In a casserole pot on the hob sauté the onion, pepper and garlic in a little oil for a couple of minutes, add the mixed herbs and bacon. Cook until pepper and onions are soft. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes.  Take the pan off the heat and slowly mix in the stock and mustard.  Put back on the heat and make sure everything has dissolved and is well mixed.  Add chicken drumsticks then cook in the oven for 45 mins.  Remove from the oven and add the frozen mixed vegetables and spinach.  Let these heat through with the casserole on the hob for 5 minutes or so before serving.  Serve the chicken casserole with mashed potato.

Wednesday - Fish Pie
(Serves 7 - dinner for 5 plus 2 lunches)

1 onion, finely chopped

1 pepper, diced

1 clove of garlic, crushed

600ml water

1 vegetable or fish stock cube

1 tsp mild curry powder

200g rice

2 large tins tuna or salmon in spring water (drained)

4 hard-boiled eggs, cut into quarters

100g grated cheese

5 potatoes, cooked and mashed

400g mixed vegetables to serve

Preheat oven to 180C. Sauté onion, pepper and garlic in oil. Mix water, chicken stock and curry powder then add to onion, pepper and garlic mixture. Add rice, stirring occasionally until rice has cooked through. Season. Pour in fish and mix until combined. Put the mixture in a casserole dish. Cover with the egg quarters and spread over the mashed potato. Groove the mash with a fork. Sprinkle over the cheese and put in the oven for around 15 - 20 minutes until the cheese has melted and the fie pie is piping hot.  Remove from the oven and leave to cool for a few minutes before serving.

Thursday - Spaghetti Bolognese
(Serves 7 - dinner for 5 plus 2 lunches)

500g mince

1 onion, finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped or crushed

1 pepper, diced

1 Tblsp mixed herbs

1 Tblsp mustard

1 Tblsp Worcester sauce

4 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes

300g frozen mixed vegetables

1 Tblsp cornflour

1 Tblsp cold water

500g spaghetti

1 tsp oil

100g grated cheese

Brown the mince in a frying pan. In a separate large saucepan sauté the pepper, onion and garlic until softened. Add the mince, mixed herbs, mustard, Worcester sauce and tomatoes to the pepper, onion and garlic. Simmer for 15 minutes.  Add the frozen mixed vegetables and simmer for another 10 minutes whilst you cook the pasta according to packet instructions.  Once the mince has simmered for a total of 30 minutes, mix the cornflour and water together and add to the mince mixture to thicken it.  Serve bolognese on top of spaghetti and sprinkle cheese on top.

Friday - Bacon and Vegetable Frittata
(6 or 7 servings, depending on appetites)

1 pepper diced

2 potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks

100g bacon

9 eggs

200g frozen mixed vegetables

1/2 of a 750g pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled and cut into chunks

Preheat the oven to 200°C/ fan 180°C/ gas 6.

Simmer the potatoes and pumpkin in a pan of boiling water for 10 minutes, then drain and leave to cool slightly before slicing thinly.

Meanwhile, put a 25cm non-stick ovenproof frying pan on the hob over a moderate heat.  Dry fry the bacon for 5 minutes or so until browned.  Remove then from the pan and set aside. Add the onion, pepper and garlic to the pan, and fry in the remaining bacon fat for about 5 minutes until the onion and pepper has softened.

Lightly beat the eggs in a bowl and the softened onion, pepper and garlic.  Carefully fold in the potatoes, pumpkin and frozen mixed vegetables.  Pour the frittata mixture back into the frying pan and cook over a low-medium heat for 8-10 minutes. Transfer to the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until it has cooked through and is set.  

Saturday - Macaroni Cheese (7 servings)

500g pasta shapes

1 onion – finely chopped

1 garlic clove, crushed

1 pepper, diced

150g bacon

2 Tblsp butter

2 Tblsp flour

350ml hot milk

200g grated cheese

200g frozen mixed vegetables

a couple of chunks of frozen spinach

Preheat oven to 180C. Cook the pasta according to packet instructions, adding the frozen mixed vegetables for the last 3 minutes of the pasta cooking time.  Whilst the pasta is cooking, sauté the onion, pepper and garlic in a little oil. Add the bacon and seasoning. In a separate saucepan slowly cook the butter and flour stirring constantly. When mixture looks a bit like biscuit crumbs add the hot milk and whisk until the mixture thickens. Add 200g of grated cheese and simmer for 5 mins, stirring frequently. Add the softened onion, garlic and bacon mixture to the cheese sauce and mix well to combine.  Pour the cheese sauce mixture on to the drained pasta and mixed vegetables and stir through until combined.  Serve as is or with a side salad.

Sunday - Roast Chicken (5 servings)

4 potatoes, peeled and quartered

8 chicken drumsticks

100ml oil 

1 Tblsp chopped fresh rosemary and thyme

1 chicken stock cube

1 Tblsp mustard

125ml boiling water

400g frozen mixed vegetables, steamed or cooked in boiling water.

other 1/2 of Friday's 750g pumpkin, peeled and cut into chunks

Preheat oven to 180C. Place potatoes in cold, salted water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 5 mins then drain. Put the potatoes, pumpkin and chicken in a roasting dish and brush over/lightly spray with a little oil. Use separate roasting dishes for the chicken and vegetables if you haven't got a roasting dish big enough to fit everything in.  Sprinkle over the fresh herbs.  Roast in the oven for around 40 minutes until the chicken and potatoes are golden brown and crunchy and the pumpkin is cooked and sweet.

To make gravy:

Mix cornflour, stock, mustard and water then add to the juice from the cooked chicken. Stir over a low heat until the mixture thickens.

Serve the chicken with roast potatoes and vegetables. Pour over some gravy if you like.

Shopping List

I used My Supermarket to find out the cheapest supermarket to purchase all the items for this meal plan.  The following shopping list cost a total of £54.87 at Asda on 30/12/11.

1x Smartprice Porridge Oats (1Kg) 75p

1x Smartprice Spaghetti (500g) 25p

1x Silver Spoon Granulated Sugar (1Kg) 92p

1x Smartprice Self Raising Flour (1.5Kg) 52p

1x Smartprice Golden Syrup (680g) 77p

1x Smartprice Long Grain Rice (1Kg) 40p

1x Smartprice Pasta Shapes (500g) 41p

1x ASDA Fast Action Dried Yeast (42g) 58p

1x ASDA Wholefoods Bread Brown Flour (1.5Kg) £1.10

1x Sunnybisk Wheat Biscuits (48 per pack - 864g) £1.59

1x ASDA Wild Pacific Pink Salmon (418g) £1.57

1x Napolina Chopped Tomatoes in Tomato Juice (4x400g) £2.00

1x ASDA Good for you! Mayonnaise (500ml) 79p

1x ASDA Chopped Spinach Leaves (1Kg) £1.00

2x ASDA Freshly Frozen Mixed Vegetables (1Kg) £1.00

6x ASDA British Semi Skimmed Milk 4 Pints (2.27L) £1.18 any 2 FOR £2.00

1x ASDA Cooks Value Medium Eggs (30) £2.98

2x Smartprice Salted Butter (250g) £1.19

2x ASDA English Mature Cheddar (400g) £2.00 was £2.48

1x Smartprice Sultanas (500g) 84p

1x Extra Juicy Oranges (10) £1.97

3 Mushrooms by Weight (100g) 28.9p

10 Smartprice Apples by Weight (100g) 10p

15 Bananas by Weight (100g) 6.8p

5 Carrots by Weight (100g) 8p

10 Onions by Weight (100g) 7.6p

2x White Potatoes (2.5Kg) £1.25 2 FOR £2.00

10 Tomatoes by Weight (100g) 19.9p

8 Butternut Squash by Weight (100g) 9.7p

2x Whole Cucumber 80p

2x Round Lettuce 57p

1x Celery 83p

1x Garlic Loose 22p

1x Smartprice Peppers (700g) £1.48

1x Smartprice Unsmoked Middle Bacon (350g) £1.68

1x British Beef Mince (500g) £2.40

2x Chicken Drumsticks (1Kg) £3.89 2 FOR £7.00

Do you Meal Plan? Have you got any tips or tricks for how to save money on grocery bills? How low can you get your weekly grocery bill?  Please leave a comment and let me know. 

8 comments:

  1. Thanks for linking up!

    Oh my word, you put my meal plan to shame. TO SHAME!

    You're way more thorough than me, I shall try harder!

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  2. It took me a while to get the total down low enough and still keep the treats and meals tasty enough to satisfy my family. Your plan is fab too, will try it out one week, will save me having to Meal Plan that week :o)

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  3. Wow i wish i was so organised its a great plan. We are planning to meal plan more next year to keep better control of the pennies.Im going to try online shopping as its all too tempting when in the supermarket to throw extras in the trolley especially if i have my toddler with me.
    Happy new year
    Cat x

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  4. This is great!! I will be doing a meal plan using my supermarket

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  5. My tips on getting the shopping bill down is not to send hubby! Gave mine a small list yesterdsy for a top up shop and he managed nearly £200 ouch - and I've nothing I can actuslly make a meal out of

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  6. I find online shopping helps, especially the running total so you can amend according to budget. Also being able to amend the shop up until the night before helps if you've suddenly run out of something. I hardly ever send my husband to the supermarket. Tis always a total disaster! LOL Much better for me to pop in and him to watch the kids for half an hour or so.

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  7. THAT is a great meal plan! And I love the look of those scrolls...

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  8. Thanks lovely xx Proves you can get a whole lotta food from not much money if you shop wisely & use it well :o)

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