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OUR FAMILY MEAL PLAN FOR WEEK OF 17/09/18 - £42

Sunday, 16 September 2018
We're facing another couple of Mother Hubbard weeks.  A (hopefully) temporary issue with our tax credits means we have had significantly less money coming in the last couple of weeks, and it could take another couple of weeks to sort it out.  One of the few expenses we can control, that isn't a fixed amount, is our grocery spend and we'll need to really be frugal for at least a fortnight or more.

We'll be using up any provisions in the cupboards and have been foraging again.  We picked 3kg of blackberries 2.5kg of plums and 3kg of apples from our local parkland and common.  About a third of the apples will keep OK in the fruit bowl this week, the other two thirds I've made a couple of crumbles and some compote with the plums to have with yoghurt as a snack or pudding.


Our garden is still providing fresh herbs, lots of chard, and small amounts of salad greens so of course I'll be using those in our meals this week.


Breakfasts will be porridge with foraged blackberries on weekdays, weekend breakfasts will be pancakes and maybe English muffins.


Packed lunches will be Wholemeal Vegemite and Cheese Bread Swirls with crudites and homemade hummus, a piece of fruit and a baked treat for afters.  Weekend lunches will be Twice Baked Potatoes and Basic Vegetable Soup with homemade wholemeal bread rolls.



Dinners

Roast Chicken (slow cooker) with roast vegetables and steamed greens

Roast Vegetable Frittata




Shopping List

28 items: £42.13

Packets and Cereals
1x     Mornflake Superfast Oats (2Kg)         £2.22
1x     ASDA Smartprice Spaghetti (500g)         20p
1x     Silver Spoon Granulated Sugar (1Kg)         65p
1x     ASDA Wholemeal Bread Flour (1.5Kg)         69p
1x     ASDA Smartprice Plain White Flour (1.5Kg)         45p
2x     ASDA Smartprice Long Grain Rice (1Kg)         90p
1x     ASDA Egg Noodles Medium (250g)         59p
1x     Cypressa Red Split Lentils (500g)         £1.15

Frozen
2x     ASDA Frozen for Freshness Mixed Vegetables (1Kg)         £1.90

Tins, Jars and Cooking
1x     ASDA Smartprice Chopped Tomatoes in Tomato Juice (400g)         29p
5x     ASDA Chick Peas in Water (400g)         £1.65

Dairy and Eggs
3x     ASDA British Whole Milk 6 Pints (3.41L)         £4.44
4x     ASDA Smartprice Low Fat Natural Yogurt (500g)         £1.80
1x     ASDA Best for Baking (250g)         55p
1x     ASDA Smartprice Mature White Cheddar (830g)         £3.69
1x     Wood Farm Free Range Eggs Medium (12)         £1.60

Meat, Fish and Poultry
1x     ASDA Farm Stores Cooking Bacon (500g)         57p
1x     ASDA Butcher's Selection Whole Chicken (1.6Kg)         £3.28

Fruit and Vegetables
24     ASDA Grower's Selection Bananas by Weight (200g)         £3.00
2x     ASDA Grower's Selection Carrots (1Kg)         £1.30
1       ASDA Grower's Selection Butternut Squash by Weight (1.3Kg)         97.3p
3x     ASDA Grower's Selection Whole Cucumber         £1.65
2x     ASDA Grower's Selection Celery         £1.04
1x     ASDA Grower's Selection Sweet Potatoes (1Kg)         £1.00
2x     ASDA Grower's Selection Pears (1.2Kg)         £3.30
1x     ASDA Farm Stores Brown Onions (1Kg)         65p
1x     ASDA Farm Stores White Potatoes (2.5Kg)         £1.25
1x     ASDA Grower's Selection Cooking Peppers (700g)         £1.35

We purchased our shopping online from Asda, via My Supermarket and the cost of our groceries was £42.13. Had we shopped elsewhere our shopping list would've cost:

£46.88 from Tesco
£48.29 from Sainsburys
£59.95 from Ocado
£63.90 from Waitrose

My lovely blogging buddy Ciara from My Fussy Eater has created a fab Meal Planning Facebook Group so we can inspire each other. She also has a book out which you can order here

And Katykicker has a Meal Planning Linky full of fabulous Meal Planning posts with lots of tasty ideas.

Meatfree Monday Teriyaki 'Mince' Puffs

Monday, 10 September 2018
**Sponsored Post**

These are so quick and delicious to make, perfect for a busy weeknight, easily transportable to after school clubs and would be fab in packed lunches.  I was asked by Quorn to come up with an easy and tasty recipe to celebrate Back to School and I think these scrumptious morsels are ideal.


We've been reducing our meat consumption for a while now, and have several meat-free days in our Meal Plan each week. Quorn is a protein-rich meat substitute that is healthy for both us and the planet – it’s so easy to cook with and its versatile range tastes delicious. If you lead a busy lifestyle with children to cook for, then Quorn is a great option as it is high in protein, high in fibre, low in saturated fat, with no cholesterol, and easy to switch in place of regular meat.


You can still eat all your favourite meals – whether that’s fajita wraps, burgers or sausages – just by making an easy, healthier switch.  Check out the wide range of recipes on the Quorn website for inspiration.

Meatfree Monday Teriyaki 'Mince' Puffs

300g Quorn mince
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
7 Tblsp teriyaki marinade
500g puff pastry
1 Tblsp sesame oil
2 Tblsp sesame seeds

Put a frying pan over a medium heat, add the Quorn mince and cook, stirring constantly, for a few minutes until it has defrosted.  Add the ginger and garlic, cook for a minute or two, then add the marinade.  Continue stirring over a medium heat for a further 5 minutes.  Turn out on to a plate so the mixture cools down quickly.  You want the mixture to be around room temperature before putting it onto the pastry.

Preheat your oven to 220C/200C Fan/Gas Mark 7.  Line two oven trays with non-stick baking paper.  Roll out the pastry thinly on a lightly floured surface and, using a 7cm cutter, cut out 24 circles of pastry.  Put 6 pastry circles on each tray, leaving room for them to puff up.  Spoon a little of the mixture into the middle of the 12 pastry circles.  Brush the edges of the pastry with a little water then place the other 12 circles of pastry on top.

Press well to seal the edges of the pastry together, I used the fat end of a chopstick to crimp the edges of the pastry together.  Brush the tops of the pastries with sesame oil then sprinkle over the sesame seeds.  Bake the pasties in your preheated oven for 12 - 15 minutes until the pastries are golden brown and crisp.

You can freeze the uncooked pastries and cook them from frozen, adding an additional 5 minutes to the baking time, or until cooked thoroughly and piping hot.


A great way to reduce meat consumption is to find meat-free alternatives for family favourites that are already enjoyed by your household.  Rachel Stevens chatted to Ben Fogle about her family food choices and how cutting down on her meat intake has helped her family feel healthier, and reduce their impact on the environment. Watch the video for a delicious family recipe using Quorn Crispy Nuggets.



**Sponsored Post **

OUR FAMILY MEAL PLAN FOR WEEK OF 10/09/18 - £60

Sunday, 9 September 2018

Everyone is properly back to school and Nursery so it will be the first full week in routine.  I'm sure we'll all be completely knackered by Friday.  Back to our usual schedule means that on a Tuesday, Thursday and Friday at least one of our children will need an early dinner or one that can be easily reheated later on.  

The weather is cool enough now for the older ones to have a cup of soup, with homemade bread, after school as a snack.  This stops them from being quite so 'hangry' and gives them an extra potion of vegetables which is never a bad thing.  I've made Vegetable and Pearl Barley Soup and Tomato Soup then frozen portions in silicone muffin cases ready to defrost and serve in a mug for each person.


Breakfasts on weekdays will be porridge with homemade compote, a good hearty start to the day which will hopefully keep them going until morning break.  Weekend breakfasts will be pancakes and scrambled eggs on toast.



Packed lunches will be Pull Apart Picnic Bread with crudites/homemade vegetable crisps, a piece of fruit, and a baked treat. 



Weekend lunches will be Versatile and Thrifty Flatbreads and 10 Minute Spicy Bean Burgers.



Dinners

Vegetable Fried Rice (using brown rice)


Sausage and Roast Vegetable Traybake with steamed greens

Spicy Slow Cooker Lentil and Chickpea Soup

1 ½ cups green lentils
1 onion, finely diced
1 inch knob of fresh ginger, finely grated
2 cloves garlic, minced or finely grated
3 carrots, roughly diced
2 peppers, roughly diced
400g tin chopped tomatoes
1 litre vegetable stock
1 Tblsp chilli powder, use more or less to your taste
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp cinnamon
salt and pepper to taste
1 Tblsp fresh lemon juice
400g tin chickpeas, drained

Put all of the ingredients, apart from the chickpeas and lemon juice, into your slow cooker and stir to combine. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4-6 hours.  Add the lemon juice and chickpeas, stir well and cook for a further 30 minutes until the chickpeas have heated through.  Season to taste then serve in bowls, garnish with fresh herbs if you like, and have some flatbreads on the side.



One Pot Pepper and Chorizo Spaghetti

Lentil and Vegetable Curry


Leftover Curry Pasties

Potato and Vegetable Bake



Shopping List


36 items: £60.19

Packets and Cereals
1x     ASDA Wholewheat Spaghetti (500g)         45p
1x     ASDA Wholemeal Bread Flour (1.5Kg)         69p
1x     ASDA Good and Balanced Green Lentils (500g)         £1.15
1x     ASDA Good and Balanced Pearl Barley (500g)         55p
2x     ASDA Scottish Porridge Oats (1Kg)         £1.78
1x     ASDA Ready to Roll Puff Pastry (500g)         £1.00

Frozen
2x     ASDA Frozen for Freshness Mixed Vegetables (1Kg)         £1.90
1x     ASDA Frozen for Freshness Berry Medley (1Kg)         £2.75

Tins, Jars and Cooking
3x     ASDA Smartprice Chopped Tomatoes in Tomato Juice (400g)         87p
2x     ASDA Smartprice Red Kidney Beans in Water (400g)         60p
1x     ASDA Chick Peas in Water (400g)         33p
1x     ASDA Double Concentrated Tomato Puree (200g)         37p
1x     ASDA Black Beans in Water (400g)         65p

Dairy and Eggs
3x     ASDA British Whole Milk 6 Pints (3.41L)         £4.44
1x     ASDA Free Range Mixed Weight Eggs (15)         £2.00
1x     ASDA Mature Cheddar Cheese - Light (750g)         £3.65

Fruit and Vegetables
20     ASDA Grower's Selection Bananas by Weight (200g)         £3.00
2x     ASDA Grower's Selection Carrots (1Kg)         £1.30
2       ASDA Grower's Selection Butternut Squash by Weight (1.3Kg)         £1.95
4x     ASDA Grower's Selection Whole Cucumber         £2.20
1x     ASDA Grower's Selection Celery         52p
1x     ASDA Grower's Selection Courgettes (3)         95p
1x     ASDA Grower's Selection Beetroot Bunched (500g)         £1.60
1x     ASDA Grower's Selection Sweet Potatoes (1Kg)         £1.00
2x     ASDA Grower's Selection Apples (1.2Kg)         £3.00
4x     ASDA Farm Stores Pears (500g)         £3.00
2x     ASDA Chosen by Kids Easy Peasy Peelers (500g)         £2.30
2x     ASDA Grower's Selection Broccoli (360g)         £1.16
1x     ASDA Grower's Selection Swede         50p
1x     ASDA Farm Stores Brown Onions (1Kg)         65p
1x     ASDA Farm Stores White Potatoes (2.5Kg)         £1.25
2x     ASDA Farm Stores Seedless Grapes (500g)         £2.50
2x     ASDA Farm Stores Plums (400g)         £1.58
2x     ASDA Grower's Selection Cooking Peppers (700g)         £2.70

Meat, Fish and Poultry
1x     ASDA Extra Special Chorizo Casero Sausage (225g)         £1.85
1x     ASDA Extra Special Pork Sausages (10 per pack - 750g)         £4.00


We purchased our shopping online from Asda, via My Supermarket and the cost of our groceries was £60.19. Had we shopped elsewhere our shopping list would've cost:

£65.64 from Tesco
£66.16 from Sainsburys
£73.58 from Ocado
£73.89 from Waitrose

My lovely blogging buddy Ciara from My Fussy Eater has created a fab Meal Planning Facebook Group so we can inspire each other. She also has a book out which you can order here

And Katykicker has a Meal Planning Linky full of fabulous Meal Planning posts with lots of tasty ideas.

Kenwood Veggie Express Review

*Sponsored Post*


I was recently sent a Kenwood Veggie Express to try out and my family and I gave it a thorough workout. We made salads, dressings, pesto, hummus, sliced and grated fruit, vegetables, and cheese.


We found the Kenwood Veggie Express to be a really useful addition to our kitchen. One feature we particularly liked was the ‘straight to plate’ option. This means that we can prepare a salad straight on our serving plate, so useful for getting teens to eat salads and fresh vegetables. They can serve themselves delicious salads, anytime. The non-slip base makes the appliance really stable, and it’s fairly quiet too.

I found the Kenwood Veggie Express made preparing meals unbelieveably quick and easy. Impromptu BBQ during the Summer? No problem at all. Just whip up some marinades, salads, dressings and dips in no time at all.


Family dinners are a doddle too. Hidden vegetable Bolognese is so simple, just grate all the vegetables you need speedily with minimal clean-up. It’s brilliant for cutting down on food waste too.  Broccoli and rainbow chard stalks can be either grated or thinly sliced and added to stir fry, and I used the Kenwood Veggie Express to shred some cabbage that needed using up and made Okonomiyaki.


The four blades are super sharp, and the 500w motor ensures they power through chopping and blending tasks quickly and easily. I really liked the reversible slicing and grating disc, we had a large bowl of coleslaw made in minutes. There’s a very handy oil drip hole in the lid which makes creating your own mayonnaise a quick and simple process.


Features:

Brushed aluminium metal food processor with 0.5L plastic bowl
2 speeds
2mm reversible thin slice/grating disc
Quad blade chopping blades
Dishwasher safe parts
Non slip feet
Safety interlock
Spatula included
500W power

The Kenwood Veggie Express is available from a wide range of appliance retailers for rrp £100.  I was sent the appliance for review, and compensated for my time and ingredients.  All opinions are my own objective view.  Follow Kenwood UK on Facebook, Instagram, and their website for more product news, recipes, and inspiration.  

Our Family Meal Plan for week of 03/09/2018 - £60

Monday, 3 September 2018
We got through out Mother Hubbard week last week, and I took advantage of the empty fridge and freezer to thoroughly clean both and defrost the freezer.  I also cleaned our oven, because of a spillage, and it's still gleaming.  I loathe cleaning the oven, it's one of my least favourite jobs so a the suggestion of many friends I've purchased an oven liner to put on the bottom of our oven which should make spillage clean up much easier.

We're staying with the frugal theme with the Meal Plan this week as I'm bracing myself for the inevitable school trip letters the first couple of weeks back, and other unforeseen expenses that crop up once school starts.

It's back to routine for us towards the middle of this week, although 3yo doesn't start back at Nursery until next Monday.  The holidays have seemed rather long and all of my children are welcoming the prospect of getting back to routine and starting the new school and college year.

Our apple tree still has enough fruit to keep us going this week, and we've been blackberry picking again too.  We've rhubarb, fresh herbs, chard and rocket from the back garden. The weather is still fairly warn so the garden is still giving us plenty of produce, the apple tree will probably not have fruit left by next week though.

Breakfasts will be overnight oats, granola with yoghurt and fruit, or porridge and weekend breakfasts will be pancakes and bacon butties.

Packed lunches will be Quinoa and Pearl Barley Salad, cooked pearl barley and quinoa mixed with diced celery, peppers, cucumber, grated carrots, and chopped fresh herbs with a garlic yoghurt drizzle.  There'll of course be a piece of fruit and baked treat for afters.  Weekend lunches will be Bean and Rice Burritos and Homemade Pizzas.

Snacks will be popcorn, homemade biscuits, homemade toasted teacakes and English Muffins



Dinners

Chana Masala



Mejadra (Middle Eastern Lentils and Rice) with wilted greens, pita breads (homemade), and yoghurt sauce.




Macaroni Cheese

Chilli Con Carne



Salmon and Rice Bake

Spaghetti Bolognese

Bacon and Egg Pie



Shopping List


40 items: £59.91

Packets and Cereals
1x     ASDA Wholewheat Spaghetti (500g)         45p
1x     Silver Spoon Granulated Sugar (1Kg)         65p
1x     ASDA Strong White Bread Flour (1.5Kg)         69p
1x     ASDA Wholemeal Bread Flour (1.5Kg)         69p
1x     ASDA Smartprice Self Raising Flour (1.5Kg)         45p
1x     ASDA Smartprice Sultanas (500g)         £1.00
1x     ASDA Easy Cook Long Grain Brown Rice (1Kg)         £1.09
1x     ASDA Smartprice Long Grain Rice (1Kg)         45p
1x     ASDA Wholewheat Penne (500g)         45p
1x     Allinson Easy Bake Yeast (100g)         98p
1x     ASDA Good and Balanced Green Lentils (500g)         £1.15
1x     ASDA Good and Balanced Pearl Barley (500g)         55p
1x     ASDA Quinoa (300g)         £1.19
1x     Tropical Sun Popcorn (500g)         79p
2x     ASDA Scottish Porridge Oats (1Kg)         £1.78
1x     ASDA Ready to Roll Puff Pastry (500g)         £1.00

Tins, Jars and Cooking
1x     ASDA Wild Pacific Pink Salmon (418g)         £2.19
7x     ASDA Smartprice Chopped Tomatoes in Tomato Juice (400g)         £2.03
2x     ASDA Chick Peas in Water (400g)         66p
1x     ASDA Stock Cubes - Beef (12x10g)         43p
1x     ASDA Black Beans in Water (400g)         65p
2x     ASDA Chilli Beans in Chilli Sauce (390g)         £1.30

Frozen
2x     ASDA Frozen for Freshness Mixed Vegetables (1Kg)         £1.90
2x     ASDA Beef Mince (800g)         £5.00

Dairy and Eggs
3x     ASDA British Whole Milk 6 Pints (3.41L)         £4.44
4x     ASDA Smartprice Low Fat Natural Yogurt (500g)         £1.80
1x     ASDA Smartprice Mature White Cheddar (830g)         £3.69
1x     ASDA Condensed Milk (397g)         £1.05
1x     Wood Farm Free Range Eggs Medium (12)         £1.60
1x     ASDA Best for Baking Cakes Spread (1Kg)         £1.70

Meat, Fish and Poultry
2x     ASDA Farm Stores Cooking Bacon (500g)         £1.14

Fruit and Vegetables
25     ASDA Grower's Selection Bananas by Weight (200g)         £3.00
2x     ASDA Grower's Selection Carrots (1Kg)         £1.30
4x     ASDA Grower's Selection Whole Cucumber         £2.00
2x     ASDA Grower's Selection Celery         £1.04
1x     ASDA Grower's Selection Garlic Loose         20p
2x     ASDA Grower's Selection Pears (1.2Kg)         £4.40
1x     ASDA Farm Stores Brown Onions (1Kg)         65p
1x     ASDA Farm Stores White Potatoes (2.5Kg)         £1.25
1x     ASDA Grower's Selection Cooking Peppers (700g)         £1.35

Bakery
2x     ASDA Wholemeal Tortilla Wraps (8)         £1.78


We purchased our shopping online from Asda, via My Supermarket and the cost of our groceries was £59.91. Had we shopped elsewhere our shopping list would've cost:

£65.04 from Tesco
£69.75 from Sainsburys
£89.67 from Ocado
£89.88 from Waitrose

My lovely blogging buddy Ciara from My Fussy Eater has created a fab Meal Planning Facebook Group so we can inspire each other. She also has a book out which you can order here

And Katykicker has a Meal Planning Linky full of fabulous Meal Planning posts with lots of tasty ideas.
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