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Our Meal Plan For This Week - The Hardly At Home Edition - £52

Sunday, 1 December 2013
This week is a rather busy one for my family and I.  My eldest is singing in her school Carol Service on Monday evening, I have won't be home on Tuesday or Wednesday evenings due to events, I work Thursday evening so Friday, Saturday and Sunday are the only days this week we will all be able to sit down together as a family for a normal dinner time.  

My daughters will be having packed lunches of Versatile Bread Swirls with crudites and a piece of fruit for afters whilst hubby and I will have leftovers or the same as the kids.  Breakfasts will be porridge or weetabix and hot milk with homemade fruit compote.


Simmered Mince Many Ways - Monday, Shepherds Pie - Tuesday, Chilli Con Carne - Wednesday

Vegetable and Lentil Soup

I love this soup, so warming and tasty on cold winter nights.  It is really filling and a great low cost dinner.  It also freezes well and  is fab for lunches too.

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

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.

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.

Spicy Rice with Chickpeas and Spinach

This is a quick, healthy and delicious family dinner for a Meatfree Monday or any day of the week. 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
½ tsp turmeric
2 tsp mild curry powder
400g can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
400ml vegetable stock, made with 1 stock cube
300ml water
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.

Macaroni Cheese - Sunday

Shopping List 

33 items: £52.58

Packets and Cereals
1x   Mornflake Superfast Oats (2Kg)                                                   £2.18
1x   ASDA Wholefoods Strong White Bread Flour (1.5Kg)                    80p
1x   ASDA Wholemeal Bread Flour (1.5Kg)                                          £1.39
1x   ASDA Smartprice Long Grain Rice (1Kg)                                      40p
1x   Great Scot Red Split Lentils (500g)                                               £1.28
1x   Asda Home Baking Easy Bake Yeast (6 per pack - 42g)                 65p
1x   Cook Italian Wholewheat Spaghetti (500g)                                     £1.00
1x   Cook Italian Wholewheat Fusilli (500g)                                           £1.00

2x   ASDA Smartprice Mixed Vegetables (1Kg)                                   £1.50
1x   ASDA Whole Leaf Spinach (1Kg)                                                 £1.39

Tins, Jars and Cooking
4x   ASDA Smartprice Chopped Tomatoes (400g)                               £1.24
2x   ASDA Chosen by You Chilli Beans (290g)                                     96p
1x   ASDA Chick Peas in Water (400g)                                                60p

Dairy and Eggs
1x   ASDA Crème Fraîche (300ml)                                                       £1.10
1x   ASDA Soured Cream (300ml)                                                       £1.10
5x   ASDA British Semi Skimmed Milk 4 Pints (2.27L)                           £5.00
1x   ASDA Smartprice Low Fat Natural Yogurt (500g)                           45p
2x   ASDA English Extra Mature Cheddar (450g)                                  £5.00 any 2 FOR £5.00

Meat, Fish and Poultry
1x   ASDA Butcher's Selection Back Bacon Thick Cut (300g)                £2.55
2x   ASDA Butcher's Selection British Beef Mince (500g)                     £4.00

Fruit and Vegetables
12   ASDA Bananas (Approx 170g)                                                     £1.39
10   ASDA Royal Gala Apples (Approx 160g)                                      £2.56 was 31.2p
1x   ASDA Celery                                                                               50p
2x   ASDA Trimmed Leeks (500g)                                                        £2.00
2x   ASDA Garlic Loose                                                                     60p
1x   ASDA Smartprice Peppers (700g)                                                £1.58
1x   ASDA Spring Onions                                                                   50p
1x   ASDA Smartprice Brown Onions (2Kg)                                         98p
2x   Inspire Premium Baking Potatoes (2Kg)                                        £3.00 was £2.35
3     ASDA Swede Portion by Weight (100g)                                        30p
2x   ASDA Carrots (1.2Kg)                                                                  £2.00
2x   ASDA Satsumas (650g)                                                               £2.00
2x   ASDA Smartprice Pears (500g)                                                    £1.58

Prices and special offers reflect those of the online grocery websites, and are correct as of 1st December 2013.  Prices may vary in different in-store locations.

Our groceries cost £52.58 from Asda, had we shopped elsewhere our groceries would've cost £59.55 from Sainsbury's and £62.43 from Tesco.

Don't forget to check out the Meal Planning Monday linky over on At Home with Mrs M.


  1. I love the way you are so organised about this. I don't have the patience to stick to a plan but I love the simple ideas above. Thank you for sharing xx

    1. Thanks Urvashi :o) I have to be organised or it squiffs me out because we are so busy and I need the structure.

  2. It does sound like a busy week for you!!
    That Vegetable and Lentil Soup sounds delicious! Perfect for this time of year!

    1. Thanks Kim, we are busier than usual this week. I hope you have a good week x

  3. I have only just found your blog and I am more than thrilled - this is EXACTLY what I've been looking for: meal plans, no fuss no nonsense food for normal everyday families, easy recipes, and healthy and healthy eating.
    Thank you for the excellent blog!

    1. Thanks Jo, you've made my day! What a lovely comment, I'm always chuffed when families can use my Meal Plans :o)


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