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Our Family Meal Plan - First week of the New Year - £56

Sunday, 29 December 2013
After the indulgence of Christmas we are craving a Meal Plan with lots of vegetables, and also one that is both frugal and filling because we will all be at home for most of this week.  I'm trying to keep tums happy and satisfied as well as our budget intact.

Breakfasts will be porridge to fill us up, with a seasonal fruit compote which I make in bulk and freeze in portions or toast with homemade jam.  Snacks will be fruit, homemade yoghurt or homemade rice pudding.  As usual I shall bake all of our bread, my 3 daughters are keen to help so I will be taking full advantage of their enthusiasm.  We'll be having Twice Baked Potatoes and Versatile Savoury Scone Swirls for lunches as well as the Crustless Quiche and soups I've mentioned below.


Crustless Quiche

3 cups mixed vegetables
1 cup cheese, grated
4 eggs
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup self-raising flour
good grinding of black pepper

Put the vegetables and ¾ of the cheese into a greased ovenproof dish.  Lightly beat the eggs and milk together in a jug.  Sprinkle over the self-raising flour and mix well, ensuring there are no lumps.  Pour egg mixture over the vegetables and grind over some black pepper then sprinkle over the remaining cheese.  Bake at 200°C for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown and set.  Serve either hot or cold.

Slow Cooker Root Vegetable Soup

1 large onion
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons oil
2 large carrots, peeled and chopped into chunks
2 large potatoes, scrubbed and cut into chunks
500g pumpkin, peeled and cut into chunks
3 Tblsp plain flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp curry powder (use mild or medium)
1 pinch chilli powder (optional)
a few good grinds of pepper
1 Litre vegetable stock, more if needed

Heat the oil in a large pan heat the oil and add the onion and garlic.  Cook until softened.  Add the prepared vegetables and the flour and spices then mix so they coat the vegetables. Cook for a couple of minutes until the spices are fragrant.  Tip everything into your slow cooker. Add the salt, pepper and stock.  Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6 hours.
When the vegetables are tender, purée or process the soup until smooth and return to the slow cooker to keep warm or serve immediately.   Adjust the consistency to suit your taste by adding a little more water or stock.

 Onion Soup

1 Tblsp each oil and butter
1 kg onions, peeled and very thinly sliced
2 tsp light soft brown sugar
1 Tblsp flour
1 Litre vegetable stock

Heat the butter and oil in a large, deep saucepan over a medium heat.  Add the onions and cook, stirring often, for 25-35 minutes or until golden and softened.  Add the sugar and flour and stir until incorporated.  Slowly add the stock, stirring constantly until combined.  Bring to the boil then reduce the heat. Simmer for 25 minutes, add more stock if necessary.  Serve with cheese on toast or wholemeal crusty bread.

Bean and Greens Soup

2 Tblsp oil
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
400g tin of chopped tomatoes or 4 large fresh tomatoes, roughly chopped
3 stalks celery (including leaves), chopped
400g can beans, drained and rinsed (I used butterbeans)
750ml vegetable stock
1 Tblsp fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
Handful spinach or chard leaves, fresh or frozen

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium-high heat.  Add the onion, garlic and tomatoes. Cook, stirring, for 3 minutes or until the onion and garlic have softened.  Add the chopped celery (including the leaves), drained and rinsed tinned beans, stock and rosemary.  Bring everything to the boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes.  Add chard/spinach to soup and simmer until the greens have wilted.  Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with wholemeal rolls or cheese scones.


Slow Cooker Beef Casserole – Tuesday and Wednesday

This is a fab, low faff warming stew that is cooked in a slow cooker. It makes enough to serve us 5 generously for 2 nights. Great for nights when I need a dinner that is guaranteed to be eaten without fuss. This casserole is perfect for that. It tastes even better the second night. Sometimes I freeze the other portion but more often than not I just serve it the next night with different vegetables on the side. You can add other chopped root vegetables to the casseroles if you want, such as potatoes, parsnip. pumpkin, sweet potato, etc.

1kg beef braising/stewing steak cut into chunks
1 tsp ground ginger
1 onion, sliced
2 sticks of celery, finely sliced
2 x 400g cans of chopped tomatoes
2 x 400g cans of kidney beans, drained and well rinsed
2 peppers, diced (any colour will do) 
3 carrots, peeled and chopped into chunks
2 bay leaves
2 Tblsp light soft brown sugar
2 Tblsp red wine vinegar
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 Tblsp Worcestershire sauce

If you have time, brown the meat in a non-stick pan, use a little oil if necessary.

Put the beef and everything else in the slow cooker. Stir well and cook for 7-8 hours on low, or 4 hours on high. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary. If the casserole needs thickening, stir 2 Tbsp cornflour mixed to a paste with 2 Tbsp water into it. Serve with mash and greens or mixed vegetables.

Creamy Bacon and Vegetable Pasta - Thursday

I can have this dinner on the table in under 20 minutes from whine to dine LOL Great for those nights when you are really tired or really busy with a low tolerance for faffy dinners or diners.  Also fab for those nights when I have to dash off to work or a meeting.

500g spaghetti
200g unsmoked back bacon
350g 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.

Homemade Fish and Chips - Friday

Macaroni Cheese with Mixed Vegetables - Sunday


Rice 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 or mixed fruit (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 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.


Makes 8 - 10 crepes

150g flour
2 free range eggs
20g melted butter
20g sugar
300ml milk
Melted butter to grease the pan

Put the flour and sugar into a bowl, stir to mix.  Make a well in the centre.  Use a whisk to mix together 2 eggs, 300ml milk and 20g melted butter together.

Pour the milk mixture into the flour and sugar then whisk, gradually mixing in the flour until you have a smooth and well combined mixture.  Cover and leave to chill in the fridge for half an hour.

Heat an 18-20cm frying pan over a medium heat.  Lightly grease with a little butter.  Pour 60ml crepe batter into the middle of the pan then swirl the pan around so the mixture spreads out and coats the base of the pan. Cook for 2 - 3 minutes or until the crepe turns golden and the edges look cooked.  Carefully turn the crepe over and cook for a further 30 - 60 seconds.  Transfer to a plate and repeat until all the batter has been used.

Shopping List

34 items: £55.49

Packets and Cereals
1x   Mornflake Superfast Oats (2Kg)                                       £2.18
1x   ASDA Wholefoods Strong White Bread Flour (1.5Kg)        80p
1x   ASDA Smartprice Self Raising Flour (1.5Kg)                     45p
1x   ASDA Smartprice Long Grain Rice (1Kg)                          40p
2x   Great Scot Pearl Barley (500g)                                         £1.28
1x   Asda Home Baking Easy Bake Yeast (6 per pack - 42g)     65p
1x   ASDA Wholefoods Brown Bread Flour (1.5Kg)                  £1.28
1x   Cook Italian Wholewheat Spaghetti (500g)                         £1.00
1x   Cook Italian Wholewheat Fusilli (500g)                               £1.00

3x   ASDA Smartprice Mixed Vegetables (1Kg)                       £2.25
1x   ASDA Whitefish Fillets (500g)                                          £2.00
2x   ASDA Chosen by You Diced Casserole Beef (454g)         £6.00
1x   ASDA Whole Leaf Spinach (1Kg)                                     £1.39

Tins, Jars and Cooking
4x   ASDA Smartprice Chopped Tomatoes (400g)                   £1.24
2x   ASDA Smartprice Red Kidney Beans in Water (400g)        54p
1x   ASDA Organic Butter Beans in Water (400g)                     70p

Dairy and Eggs
1x   ASDA Crème Fraîche (300ml)                                           £1.10
5x   ASDA British Semi Skimmed Milk 4 Pints (2.27L)               £5.00
1x   ASDA Smartprice Salted Butter (250g)                              98p
1x   Cathedral City Mature Cheddar (2x350g)                           £4.00
1x   ASDA Mixed Weight Free Range Eggs (6)                        97p

Fruit and Vegetables
1x   ASDA Smartprice Sultanas (500g)                                    84p
15   ASDA Bananas                                                               £1.39
15   ASDA Royal Gala Apples                                                £3.33
1    ASDA Butternut Squash (Approx 850g)                            80.8p
2x   ASDA Celery                                                                   £1.78
1x   ASDA Smartprice Peppers (700g)                                    £1.58
1x   ASDA Smartprice Brown Onions (2Kg)                             98p
2x   ASDA Plums (500g)                                                         £2.00
2x   Inspire Premium Baking Potatoes (2Kg)                            £3.00
2x   ASDA Carrots (1.2Kg)                                                      £1.50
2x   ASDA Smartprice Pears (500g)                                        £1.58

Meat, Fish and Poultry
1x   ASDA Extra Special Pork Sausages (6 per pack - 454g)    £2.50
1x   ASDA Butcher's Selection Smoked Back Bacon Rashers (10 per pack - 300g)            £2.00   

Prices and special offers reflect those of the online grocery website My Supermarket, and are correct as of 28th December 2013.  Prices may vary in different in-store locations.

As usual I compared the cost of our shopping which cost £55.49 from Asda using My Supermarket.  Had I shopped elsewhere our groceries would've cost £63.47 from Tesco or £65.11 from Sainsbury's.

Don't forget to check out all the other fab Meal Plans over on At Home With Mrs M.


  1. this is inspiring - if only my fussy one would eat anything like her sisters...sigh

    1. Thanks Caroline :) My eldest was a picky eater until second came along and 3rd never got a chance to be picky. It can be very stressful, hopefully she'll develop broader tastes in time x

  2. Ooo lots of soup and the fish and chips sound lovely x

    1. Thanks :) It is definitely soup weather, so many storms at the moment.

  3. I'm always impressed by your meal plans. I'm hoping to try and do this more myself next year.

    1. Thanks :) Let me know how you get on, Meal Planning saves us loads of money and stress.

  4. Yum yum, that slow cooker soup recipe sounds divine.... might need to add that for my own plan in a week or two....

    1. Thanks :) Let me know how you get on. I love seeing everyone else's meal plans, lots of fab ideas.

  5. Oooh, thanks for the slow cooker root vegetable soup recipe, I might have to try that this week! I have potatoes and squash that need using.


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