As always, I bake all our bread and rolls myself so have included the cost of flour and yeast instead of premade loaves of bread and bread rolls. This plan will feed my family of 5, all our meals, 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.
Please note: I am not a nutritionist or dietitian. See a professional if you want a calorie controlled, super nutritious Meal Plan suitable for specific dietary needs. I'm a Mum and wife who uses Meal Plans to try and manage our grocery spending whilst giving my family decent quality, tasty, and healthy food - with the occasional homemade treat.
Vegetable and Lentil Soup – Meatfree Monday
1 onion, finely diced
2 celery sticks, finely sliced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 swede, peeled and diced
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 Tblsp ground cumin
115g (1/2 cup) red lentils
2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
1.25 Litres (5 cups) vegetable stock
Put a large saucepan on the hob over a medium heat. Sauté the vegetables and garlic in a little oil until they begin to soften. Add the cumin and cook for a minute until fragrant. Add all the rest of the ingredients to the saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until all the vegetables are tender.
If I can be bothered I whizz up the soup a little with a stick blender. I serve this with cheese on toast or crusty bread rolls.
Creamy Bacon and Vegetable Pasta - Tuesday
300g unsmoked back bacon
400g frozen chopped spinach
Handful or 2 of frozen mixed vegetables
300ml pot crème fraîche
Bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to the boil, add the spaghetti and cook following pack instructions. When the spaghetti has about 3 minutes left to cook toss in a handful or two of frozen mixed vegetables.
Meanwhile, in a deep frying pan, fry the bacon until the fat starts to run and then add the garlic, fry until the bacon is lightly golden. Add the chopped spinach and 2 tablespoons of water, then cover and cook until the spinach has defrosted.
Remove the lid, stir everything together, season to taste, then cook for a further 2-3 minutes.
Drain the spaghetti and vegetables and add to the bacon and spinach mixture with the crème fraîche. Stir to thoroughly combine and serve immediately.
Spicy Rice with Chickpeas and Spinach - Wednesday
This is a quick, healthy and delicious family dinner for a Meatfree Monday. My daughters like it with some poppadoms on the side and mango chutney. Give it a go, it works well as a side dish too.
1 ½ cups basmati or long grain rice
1 Tblsp olive oil
3 carrots, roughly diced
1 pepper, roughly diced
1 leek, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
Handful of raisins or sultanas
1 tsp turmeric
2 tsp mild curry powder
400g can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
400ml vegetable stock, made with 1 stock cube
200g spinach (fresh or frozen)
2 Tblsp chopped fresh coriander leaves
2 Tblsp chopped fresh mint leaves
Natural yogurt and more chopped fresh coriander leaves to serve
Put the rice in a sieve and rinse it under cold running water until the water runs clear. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the roughly diced carrots, pepper, leek, garlic, raisins/sultanas and spices. Cook, stirring it occasionally for about 8 – 10 minutes or until the vegetables, especially the carrots, are tender.
Once the vegetables are tender add the chickpeas, rice, stock, and water. Bring everything to the boil. Reduce the heat to low and cook everything with the lid on the saucepan for 12 minutes.
Remove the saucepan from the heat and put the spinach over the top of the rice. Replace the lid on the saucepan and stand for 8 minutes. Uncover the saucepan again and add the chopped fresh herbs. Stir everything together until well combined. Serve topped with some yoghurt, chopped fresh herbs and the remaining almonds.
Spicy Sausage Hotpot - Thursday
450g pack good quality sausages
1 Tblsp oil
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 carrots, diced
1 leek, sliced
1 pepper, diced
2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
1 tin chilli beans
2 cups/handfuls frozen mixed vegetables
Grill or bake the sausages until they are cooked. Leave to cool for a few minutes and then slice into pieces around 2cm thick. Set aside.
Add oil, onion and garlic to a saucepan over a medium heat. Cook for a few minutes then add the carrots, leek and pepper. Sauté for another couple of minutes. Add the tinned tomatoes and chilli beans. Simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the carrots are tender. Add the sausages to the saucepan with the frozen mixed vegetables. Cook for a final 5 minutes. Serve with cooked rice or mashed potato/sweet potato.
Fish Pie – Friday
1 onion, finely chopped
1 pepper, diced
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1 vegetable or fish stock cube
1 tsp mild curry powder
1 large tin of 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, stock cube 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.
Vegetable Lasagne - Saturday
2 or 3 cubes of frozen spinach
1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
1 tsp dried oregano or a handful of fresh oregano
salt and pepper, to taste
100g cheddar cheese)
2 tsp plain flour
6-8 sheets dried lasagne
1 tsp olive oil
Turn the oven on to 180C/Gas Mark 4. Put the oil into a saucepan on a moderate heat, add the crushed garlic, chopped onion and sliced mushrooms. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the tin of chopped tomatoes, a good grind of pepper and either fresh or dried herbs. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring regularly. Add the frozen spinach and cook for another 5 – 7 minutes until well heated through.
Whilst the tomato and vegetable sauce is cooking, make the cheese sauce. Grate the cheese. Put the flour into a saucepan and stir in a little milk, about 1 Tblsp, until you have a smooth paste. Pour in the rest of the milk and stir well.
Put the saucepan onto the hob on a moderate heat, stirring constantly so the sauce will thicken without going lumpy. When the sauce is thick and smooth, take it off the heat and stir in the grated cheese until it melts.
When the tomato and vegetable sauce and the cheese sauce are both ready, layer up the lasagne into a rectangular ovenproof dish. First, put a thin layer of tomato and vegetable sauce in the bottom of the dish, then a layer of lasagne sheets and repeat until all the tomato and vegetable sauce has been used up. Finish with a sheet of lasagne and top with the cheese sauce. Grate a little extra cheese over the top if you want to.
Bake the lasagne in the oven for 45 minutes until the cheese sauce has started to brown a little. Serve with a side salad or cooked mixed vegetables.
Toad in the Hole - Sunday
125g plain flour
2 free range eggs
450g pack good quality sausages
For the gravy:
2 Tblsp oil
1 Tblsp plain flour
1 onion, peeled diced
300ml vegetable stock
Serve with 500g frozen mixed vegetables, cooked of course.
Preheat the oven to 220C/ 200C fan/Gas Mark 7. Make the batter by mixing the flour with the eggs and milk.
Put 1 tablespoon oil in a roasting tin and heat in the oven for 1 minute. Brown the sausages in the oven for 10 - 15 minutes. Pour over the batter and arrange the sausages. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes.
If you want to make your own gravy, heat 2 Tblsp of oil in a pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and cook for about 10 minutes, until soft and golden. Stir in 1 Tblsp flour and cook for about a minute. Remove from the heat and stir/whisk in the stock. Return to the heat and bring to the boil, stirring constantly until the gravy has thickened. Stir in 1 tsp of mustard then serve.
Sandwiches/rolls/wraps: either cheese and chutney, ham and chutney, or egg – all with lettuce included and cucumber sticks as well. All packed lunches will have a small pot of yoghurt and either a pear or an apple.
Mixed Bean Salad – Weekday Lunches
Cover the Salad Bean Mix in plenty of cold water and soak for 8-12 hours, I soak the beans overnight. Rinse the beans thoroughly in plenty of cold water and put them into a large saucepan. Cover the beans with plenty of fresh water. Bring to the boil then boil for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat and simmer for 90 minutes. Drain well and then the beans are ready to be used.
500g cooked mixed beans
300g can sweetcorn
3 sticks celery, finely sliced
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1 tsp chopped fresh chives
2 Tblsp chopped fresh parsley
2 Tblsp lemon juice
5 Tblsp olive oil
Mix the beans, drained can of sweetcorn and celery together in a bowl. Set aside and make the dressing
Squeeze the lemon juice into a mug and add the olive oil, chives, parsley and garlic. Whisk with a fork to thoroughly combine. Alternatively, put everything in a jar with a lid and shake until thoroughly mixed.
Pour the dressing over the salad and mix through so that everything is well combined. Put into containers and then into lunchboxes.
Homemade Pizzas - Saturday
Baked potatoes with baked beans and cheese - Sunday
Weekdays breakfasts will be either cornflakes/porridge with milk and a banana or toast and spread (jam, honey or vegemite) and a banana.
Bacon butties – Saturday
Toasted Tea Cakes (recipe by The Pink Whisk) – Sunday
Preheat oven to 180C and line a couple of baking trays with non-stick baking paper.
Soften butter then add sugar and beat to a creamy light fluffy consistency. Sift in the flour and cocoa, then pour in the cornflakes. Mix well to combine. Put spoonfuls on a greased oven tray, flatten gently with a floured fork, and bake for about 15 minutes. When cold, ice with chocolate icing.
Oven Baked Doughnuts
My daughters love these donuts and they're easy to make, especially with loads of kids about as there's no deep frying involved. They taste delicious and my daughters friends like them as a treat when they come over to play, I get nagged for them a lot! I usually either make them quickly in my stand mixer or get my daughters and their friends to help knead the dough.
Chocolate Anzac Slice
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup plain flour, sifted
1 cup caster sugar
1 cup desiccated coconut
25g butter, chopped
1 Tblsp golden syrup
2 Tblsp boiling water
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/3 cup raisins
200g dark chocolate, melted
Preheat oven to 160°C. Lightly grease an 18 x 28cm swiss roll tin. Line the baking tin with non-stick baking paper, with a decent overhang above the top of the tin.
In a bowl, combine the oats, flour, sugar and coconut. In a small saucepan, combine butter and golden syrup. Stir over low heat for 2-3 minutes until melted.
In a small jug, combine the boiling water and bicarbonate of soda. Quickly pour this into the butter mixture and then into the dry ingredients. Mix in the raisins.
Press the mixture very firmly into the prepared tin using a fork or potato masher. Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden. Cool in the tin.
Melt the dark chocolate then spread it over the cooled mixture and chill until set. Using a hot knife, cut the slab into squares. Store in an airtight container.
Cost of 45 items from Asda: £62.77
Packets and Cereals
1x ASDA Smartprice Cornflakes (750g) 46p
1x ASDA Smartprice Porridge Oats (1Kg) 75p
1x ASDA Smartprice Spaghetti (500g) 25p
1x Silver Spoon Granulated Sugar (1Kg) 99p
1x ASDA Strong White Bread Flour (1.5Kg) 60p
1x ASDA Wholemeal Plain Flour (1.5Kg) £1.10
1x ASDA Smartprice Plain White Flour (1.5Kg) 52p
1x ASDA Smartprice Long Grain Rice (1Kg) 40p
1x ASDA Smartprice Lasagne Sheets (250g) 39p
1x Great Scot Red Split Lentils (500g) 98p any 2 FOR £1.50
1x ASDA East Bake Yeast (42g) 64p
1x Great Scot Salad Bean Mix (500g) 98p any 2 FOR £1.50
Tins, Jars and Cooking
1x Branston Baked Beans in Tomato Sauce (4x410g) £1.00 was £1.50
1x ASDA Wild Pacific Pink Salmon (418g) £1.57
5x ASDA Smartprice Chopped Tomatoes (400g) 38p
1x ASDA Chilli Beans (290g) 54p
1x ASDA Naturally Sweet Sweetcorn in Water (326g) 48p
1x ASDA Chick Peas in Water (400g) 70p
1x ASDA Chopped Spinach Leaves (1Kg) £1.00
2x ASDA Freshly Frozen Mixed Vegetables (1Kg) £1.00
Dairy and Eggs
1x ASDA Crème Fraîche (300ml) £1.00
1x ASDA Smartprice Salted Butter (250g) £1.19
2x ASDA Low Fat Strawberry Yogurt (6x125g) £1.12
4x Marybelle Fresh Semi Skimmed Milk (2L) £1.25 any 2 FOR £2.00
1x ASDA Free Range Mixed Weight Eggs (15) £2.00 was £2.50
2x ASDA English Medium Cheddar (400g) £2.48 any 2 FOR £4.00
3x ASDA Low Fat Autumn Fruit Yogurts (6x125g) £1.12
Fruit and Vegetables
1x ASDA Smartprice Mixed Fruit (500g) 64p
2x ASDA Conference Pears (800g) £1.00
15 ASDA Smartprice Apples by Weight (100g) 10p
20 ASDA Bananas by Weight (100g) 6.8p
10 ASDA Carrots by Weight (100g) 8p
1x ASDA Smartprice Mushrooms (750g) £1.35
7 ASDA Onions by Weight (100g) 7.6p
3 ASDA Swede by Weight (100g) 8.5p
2x ASDA Whole Cucumber 80p
2x ASDA Round Lettuce 57p
1x ASDA Celery 83p
1x ASDA Trimmed Leeks (500g) £1.00 was £2.00
2x ASDA Garlic Loose 30p
1x ASDA Smartprice Peppers (700g) £1.47
2x Albert Bartlett Rooster Potatoes (2Kg) £1.00 was £1.97
Meat, Fish and Poultry
5 ASDA Deli Carved Ham by Weight (100g) 75p
2x ASDA Extra Special Pork Sausages (6 per pack - 454g) £2.00 was £2.38
2x ASDA Smartprice Unsmoked Middle Bacon (350g) £1.68