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Monday, 13 August 2012

Our Family Meal Plan for Week of 13/08 - Super Scrimping Edition

It is midway through the Summer Holidays here in the UK and in order to afford outings with our 3 children, school shoes and uniforms and everything else, we are using up what we have lurking in the freezer and cupboards this week.  I shall be an exercise in saving money, cutting food waste and clearing out any food that may have been lingering unnoticed in the pantry.  We have some yeast, sugar, baking powder, cornflour, tomato paste, dried fruit and breakfast cereals, homemade chutneys, jams and vegemite (of course) in the pantry.  We also have tins and packets of pulses, rice, pasta and vegetable soup mix.

If you are really broke and need a really frugal Meal Plan please see our Live Below The Line Meal Plan when we only spent £1 per person per day for 7 days on food.

Our grocery spending this week will be limited to fresh fruit and vegetables, flour, eggs, butter, cheese and milk. 

What will we be cooking and living on then? Well, here are a few things we will be doing to use up what we have:

Flour, Butter, Eggs and Milk
Luckily we have some dried pasta in the pantry, if we had none then I would be using flour and eggs to make our own fresh pasta.  One egg and one cup of plain flour will make enough fresh pasta for two adults.  Using flour, butter and milk we shall be baking bread and scones, both sweet and savoury.  Sour dough bread can be made without yeast by making your own starter which is really easy and a great science lesson for kids.  We'll also make our own tortillas.

By adding eggs to the flour, butter and milk we shall be making fritters which are incredibly versatile, a sponge and some muffins to use up any over-ripe fruit and baked apples to utillise the apples on our trees in the backyard.

Using four and eggs with some milk we will be baking crustless quiche and also filled bread cases

Using flour, cheese and  tomato paste with some veg we shall be making homemade pizza and calzone.

We shall also be making our own yoghurt with our Easiyo or in our slow cooker.

Fresh and frozen vegetables

We'll be making some soup because it is tasty, easy to make and can be bulked out by uses pulses from the pantry.  We've salad greens in the garden so will be making use of those as side salads and to bulk out sandwiches.  We can also use some of the greens from our garden in stir fries with rice or noodles which will help us make a little bit of meat or fish from the freezer go a long way.   We've some frozen vegetables in our freezer which will be used in fritters, on pizzas, and in calzone throughout the week as well as being an accompaniment to dinner.

We shall of course be having baked potatoes, and twice baked potatoes which are a cheap and filling lunch or dinner option.

Rice and Pasta

We've some Arborio rice so will be making risotto which we will either leave as a vegetarian dish or alternatively it will help a little meat from the freezer go a long way.  Any leftover risotto will be made into into patties, dipped in flour, egg, bread crumbs then lightly pan-fried to make risotto cakes.

Leftover cooked rice is ideal for making fried rice so we will no doubt be making some of that too.  Again, this makes a little meat or fish go a long way, or just add some finely sliced thin omelette.

You make a sauce for cooked pasta with a little olive oil and grated parmesan or pesto thinned out with a little olive oil.  I normally add some spinach or greens to the pasta during the last couple of minutes of cooking time.  You could also use a homemade tomato based sauce made from tinned tomatoes.  Lentil bolognese is a great frugal dinner and can also be served with baked potatoes as well as pasta.

Pulses

We have some tins of pulses and also dried pulses lurking in the pantry.  I shall be using them to make vegetarian curry, dhal, lentil bolognese, and also to bulk out soups.  They also make a really quick and filling salad when mixed with some salad vegetables and drizzled with a simple vinaigrette.

Leftovers from the freezer

Even a small amount of casserole, pasta sauce or cooked meat can used to fill a wrap made with homemade tortillas or crepes, you can also make small pasties or calzone.  Any leftover family meals that we have in the freezer will be a welcome respite from having to cook dinner that night.

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