Welcome to my blog!

Savvy shopping, seasonal eating and thrifty recipes. Spend less on groceries and enjoy better tasting, easy to prepare meals your friends and family will love – all on a budget.

Monday, 11 February 2013

Our Family Meal Plan For This Week - Half Term Edition £70

It is Half Term Week this week and I love having the kids home so we can spend time together and not have to rush anywhere.  We will be going on a few outings and normally take a packed lunch to cut costs.  I will be looking after additional children a few times this week so am taking that into account when devising this Meal Plan.

I will of course be making/baking all our bread, rolls, wraps, etc and will have help because my 3 daughters love baking bread - amongst many other things - and we'll have much more time to bake together during Half Term.

The cost of our Meal Plan this week was £69.67 from Asda on 10/02/13.  I used My Supermarket to compare the cost of my shopping at other supermarkets and my items would've cost £81.72 from Sainsbury's and £83.45 from Tesco.

Breakfasts will be porridge or toast with a piece of fruit for afters.  We'll of course have pancakes on Pancake Day and boiled eggs with soldiers at least once during the week.

Treats will be Rice Pudding and Fruit Muffins from this post. I will also bake some biscuits this week but will blog them separately.  We'll also have some Fruit Bread for afternoon tea a couple of days this week.

Fruit Bread

2 tsp mixed spice 
3 1/4 cups plain flour 
2 tsp instant dried yeast 
1/4 cup sugar 
375ml (1 1/2 cups) warm water 
2 cups of mixed dried fruit, I'll use dates and sultanas
1 Tblsp milk 
1 Tblsp each cinnamon and sugar mixed together

Sift mixed spice and 3 cups flour into a bowl. Stir in yeast and sugar. Make a well in the centre. Add water then mix to form a soft dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Add remaining flour. Knead for 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic.  I use my stand mixer to knead my bread if I'm not in the mood to knead it by hand.

Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with lightly greased plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size. I leave my dough in the stand mixer, with the plastic shield on it the dough proves quite happily.  Grease a 6cm-deep, 9cm x 19cm loaf tin. 

Using your fist, punch the dough down. Knead until smooth. I just knead a little in my stand mixer.  Turn out on to a lightly floured surface. Gradually knead in the dried fruit.  Again, I just use my stand mixer.  Shape then put in to the prepared loaf tin. Cover with lightly greased cling film and set aside in a warm place for 15 minutes or until the dough rises to the top of the tin. 

Meanwhile, your preheat oven to 200°C/180°C fan-forced. Once the dough has risen, brush the top of it with milk. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Bake for 10 minutes then reduce oven temperature to 170°C/150°C fan-forced. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown and hollow when tapped on top. Stand in tin for 5 minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool. Serve with butter and jam.


Lunches

Lunches will be accompanied by vegetable sticks, yoghurt and a piece of fruit for afters.  I've made sure our lunch options are fairly substantial which will hopefully fill up the kids for a while before their munchies return.  

Baked Potatoes with baked beans and cheese



Couscous and Bean Salad

1 cup couscous
1 tsp vegetable bouillon
1 tsp ground cumin
250ml/1 cup boiling water
1 can mixed beans, drained and rinsed
1 stalk celery, finely sliced
1 pepper, deseeded and finely diced (any colour will do)
1 clove garlic, crushed

Put the couscous into a large bowl.  Mix the cumin, vegetable bouillon and boiling water together then pour the liquid over the couscous.  Cover with clingfilm or a tea towel and set it aside for a few minutes.  Prepare the celery, pepper, garlic and beans whilst you wait for the couscous to "cook".

Once the couscous has absorbed all the liquid, fluff it up with a fork to separate the grains, add all the other ingredients and stir to combine.  Serve.


Versatile Fritters

1 cup self raising flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 free range egg
250ml milk
Filling of choice
seasoning to taste

Filling suggestions, choose 1 or 2 of the following: 325g tin of sweetcorn (drained), 4 rashers of cooked bacon (rind removed and chopped), 1 pepper (deseeded and finely diced), 1 Tblsp finely chopped spring onion or fresh herbs, 185g tin tuna or salmon in spring water (drained), 1 carrot and 1 courgette, both grated and excess moisture squeezed out.

Put the flour and baking powder in a bowl.  Make a well in the centre and add the egg and half of the milk.  Use a fork or whisk to gradually whisk the flour into the liquid until totally incorporated.  Add the rest of the milk slowly, whisking all the time, until you have a thick and smooth batter.  Once the batter has been made stir in the fillings of your choice.

Heat 1 Tblsp oil in a frying pan over a moderate heat and cook spoonfuls of the mixture until bubbles form on top.  Turn the fritters over and cook until golden on both sides.  Add more oil as necessary so the fritters are lovely and crispy.  Keep the cooked fritters warm in the oven whilst you cooking the remaining fritters.


Dinners

Mini Meatloaves

1 Tblsp oil
1 onion, finely diced
1 pepper, deseeded and finely diced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 stalk celery, finely diced
2 tsp dried mixed herbs
1/4 cup rolled oats or breadcrumbs
500g beef mince
1 free range egg
4 Tblsp ketchup

Preheat your oven to 190C/170Fan.

Heat the oil in a frying pan over a moderate heat and gently cook the onion, pepper, garlic and celery together until the vegetables start to soften.

Mix together the rolled oats/breadcrumbs, mixed herbs, mince, egg, ketchup and cooled cooked vegetables.

Grease a 12 hole muffin tin and divide the mixture evenly amongst the muffin cups.  Smooth the tops with the back of a spoon and bake for 20 minutes until cooked through.  We'll be having ours with mash and steamed vegetables.


Beef Biryani

1 Tblsp oil
250g beef mince
1 onion, finely diced
1 pepper, deseeded and finely diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
250g long grain rice
750ml beef stock
4 cups frozen mixed vegetables

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a moderate heat and cook the mince until it is no longer pink.  Add the onion, pepper and garlic then cook until softened.  Add all the remaining ingredients, bring to the boil, then turn the heat down to medium/low and cook for 20 minutes or until the rice is cooked.




Jumbo Sausage Roll

6 sausages
1 onion, finely diced
1 pepper, finely diced
2 carrots, grated
2 tsp dried mixed herbs
2 sheets puff pastry

Preheat the oven to 210C/190C Fan.

Squeeze the sausage meat from the sausages.  Combine the sausage meat, onion, pepper, carrot and dried mixed herbs.  Put a sheet of pastry onto a lined baking tray.  spread the sausage meat filling down the middle leaving a 1 inch border.  Brush this border with water.  Put the second sheet of pastry over the top, carefully sealing the edges by pressing them with a fork.  Cut a few slits in the top of the pastry to let the steam escape.

Brush the pastry with milk to glaze then bake in the oven for 25 minutes until golden and cooked through.  Serve with steamed vegetables or a salad.



Sausage Hotpot

1 Tblsp oil
6 sausages
1 large onion, diced
2 carrots, finely diced
2 celery sticks, finely diced
1 pepper, finely diced
2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
1 tsp dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste

Put the oil in a large saucepan over a moderate heat.  Cut each sausage in to 4 and fry for about 10 minutes until golden.

Once the sausages have browned add the vegetables and gently sweat for 5 minutes before adding the tomatoes and oregano.  Bring to the boil and then turn down to a gentle simmer.  Cover and cook for an hour until the vegetables are tender and the sauce is thick and rich.  We have ours served over pasta and topped with grated grana padano cheese.


Fish Pie

750g baking potatoes
1 Tblsp butter
splash of milk
1 onion, diced
1 stalk celery, finely diced
1 pepper, deseeded and diced
2 cups frozen mixed vegetables
400g fresh fish pie mix
25 g butter
2 Tblsp plain flour
500ml milk
salt and pepper, to taste
½ cup cheddar cheese, grated

Boiling the potatoes until just tender then drain and mash in your usual way.

Preheat your oven to 180C/160C Fan.

Heat a frying pan over medium heat, add the celery, onion and pepper. Cook for a few minutes until the vegetables start to soften.  Remove from the heat.

Roughly dice the fish into 5cm/2inch chunks. Put the uncooked fish, the softened vegetables and frozen mixed vegetables into a large ovenproof dish.

To make the white sauce, put a saucepan over medium heat, add the butter and once it has melted, add the flour.  Cook this mixture for a couple of minutes whilst stirring. Add the milk slowly, stirring all the time, until you have a thick smooth sauce.  Season to taste.

Pour the white sauce over the fish and vegetable mixture, gently stir to combine.

Gently spoon the mashed potato over the top then and grate cheddar cheese over the mashed potato topping. 

Bake for 35 minutes.  Remove from the oven and allow to stand for 5 minutes before serving.


Shopping List

Cost of 48 items was £69.67 from Asda on 10/02/2013.

Packets and Cereals                                                              

1x    ASDA Wholegrain Scottish Porridge Oats (500g)                 65p     
2x    Asda Wholefoods Strong White Bread Flour (1.5Kg)           £1.60   
1x    ASDA Smartprice Self Raising Flour (1.5Kg)                       45p     
1x    ASDA Smartprice Long Grain Rice (1Kg)                            40p     
1x    ASDA Chosen by You Wholewheat Fusilli (500g)                50p     
1x    Great Scot Pearl Barley (500g)                                              58p     
1x    Great Scot Red Split Lentils (500g)                                       £1.28   
1x    ASDA Wholefoods Cous Cous (500g)                                  68p     
1x    ASDA Chosen by You Ready to Roll Puff Pastry (500g)      £1.00   
1x    Asda Home Baking Easy Bake Yeast (6 per pack - 42g)       64p     
2x    ASDA Wholefoods Brown Bread Flour (1.5Kg)                  £2.56   
1x    ASDA Chosen by You Wholewheat Penne (500g)                50p     

Dairy and Eggs                                                                      

1x    ASDA French Set Yogurts Assorted (6x125g)                       £1.00   
5x    ASDA British Whole Milk 4 Pints (2.27L)                            £5.00   
1x    ASDA Smartprice Salted Butter (250g)                                 98p     
1x    ASDA Smartprice Low Fat Natural Yogurt (500g)                49p     
1x    ASDA Peach, Pineapple and Mandarin Yogurt (6x125g)      £1.00   
1x    ASDA Low Fat Strawberry Yogurt (6x125g)                        £1.00   
1x    Cathedral City Mature Cheddar (350g)                                  £2.00   
1x    ASDA Smooth Fruit Yogurts Low Fat (6x125g)                    £1.00
3x        Suffolk Farm Medium Free Range Eggs (6)                       £3.00   

Tins, Jars and Cooking                                                          

1x    ASDA Baked Beans in Tomato Sauce (4x410g)                   £1.24   
3x    ASDA Smartprice Chopped Tomatoes (400g)                      93p     
1x    ASDA Double Concentrated Tomato Puree (200g)               48p     
1x    ASDA Mexican Style Bean Mix in Water (400g)                  53p     

Frozen                                                                                   

3x    ASDA Smartprice Mixed Vegetables (1Kg)                          £2.25   

Fruit and Vegetables                                                              

1x    ASDA Chosen by You Pitted Dried Dates (500g)                 £1.00    was £1.20
1x    ASDA Smartprice Sultanas (500g)                                         98p     
2x    ASDA Smartprice Pears                                                        £1.80   
25    ASDA Smartprice Apples by Weight (100g)                         £2.50   
25    ASDA Bananas by Weight (100g)                                         £1.70   
2x    ASDA Lemons Loose                                                            60p     
12    ASDA Red Onions by Weight (100g)                                   £1.08   
2x    ASDA White Potatoes (2.5Kg)                                             £3.50    2 FOR £3.50
5     ASDA Butternut Squash by Weight (100g)                            50p     
3     ASDA Sweet Potatoes by Weight (100g)                              38.4p   
3x    ASDA Whole Cucumber                                                      £1.50   
2x    ASDA Celery                                                                      £1.78   
2x    ASDA Garlic Loose                                                             60p     
2x    ASDA Smartprice Peppers (700g)                                      £2.76   
1x    ASDA Spring Onions                                                          75p     
2x    ASDA Carrots (1.2Kg)                                                       £2.00   
2x    ASDA Extra Juicy Oranges (1.8Kg)                                   £4.50   

Meat, Fish and Poultry                                                           

1x    ASDA Extra Special Pork Sausages (756g)                £3.33 any 3 FOR £10.00
1x    ASDA Butcher's Selection Lean Beef Mince (750g)   £3.33 any 3 FOR £10.00
1x    ASDA Fish Pie Mix (400g)                                         £3.33 any 3 FOR £10.00

Prices and special offers reflect those of the Asda online grocery section of the My Supermarket website, and are correct as of 10 February 2013.  Prices may vary in different in-store locations.


5 comments:

  1. Have a lovely half term.....Mine are not off until next week!!
    I like the sound of the Mini Meatloaves x

    ReplyDelete
  2. Amazed at how much money you have managed to save. Enjoy your week.

    ReplyDelete
  3. We're having meatloaf this week as well.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love the look of those mini meatloaves - perfect for lunch!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Loving the sound of your fritters. Ive done sweetcorn ones but never thought to add anything else. Thanks for the inspiration.

    ReplyDelete