I’ve written a little before about meal planning and how useful it can be for saving a little money and taking away some of the stress of meal times with little ones. My previous post is called Balancing Act and is under The Extra Slice tab.
As I explained in that post, I like to do an entire month’s meal planning in one go. I only visit the butcher once a month and I prefer to have it done and dusted so I know in advance what I’m doing for the weekly food shop. However for your benefit, dear reader, I shall break down my plan into handy weekly chunks and post a corresponding shopping list for each week. The shopping lists omit certain store cupboard ingredients that I always have in stock (garlic, herbs, spices, flour, etc) so be aware of this should you wish to use it as a guide. Hopefully you’ll get an idea of the balance I try to achieve each week and perhaps even pick up a few ideas to try yourself.
Please note, this is not fancy restaurant cooking! Most of my food is quick and simple but mostly cooked from scratch from fresh ingredients. We eat at the table altogether every day so it is all child-friendly food. Most of my meals make enough for leftovers, which can be frozen or used in another meal but usually they end up being my husband’s packed lunch the following day.
I try to use as few jars and packets as I can but we are a busy, working family on a fairly average budget. For a family of four I spend around £80 per week on our grocery shop (including household products and cleaning supplies) plus anything between £50 and £70 each month at the butcher, depending what’s on the menu. Each week I try to achieve: one meat-free day, one fish day, a proper Sunday lunch and a quick freezer tea on my eldest daughter’s karate night!
MONDAY – Smoky sausage frittata and salad
TUESDAY – Savoury mince, homemade Yorkshire puddings and peas
WEDNESDAY – Homemade chicken nuggets, potato waffles and frozen veg
THURSDAY – Tuna and salmon layer bake with green beans
FRIDAY – Ready-made pizza and salad
SATURDAY – Pan fried scallops with lardons, minted peas and sautéed potatoes
SUNDAY – Roast chicken, potatoes, carrots, runner beans, bread sauce and gravy
salad (enough for 2 meals)
bunch of spring onions
ready-made meat-free pizza
jar of white sauce (a lazy cheat. So sue me!)
jar of garden mint (we do grow our own but this is so much easier)
packet of bread sauce mix (yes, I could make my own but I can’t be bothered)
10 scallops (this will be expensive but is a very occasional treat)
1lb lean steak mince
3 x skinless chicken breasts
large whole chicken (on next week’s meal plan, the leftovers make a Monday night pie)
bacon lardons (or streaky bacon you can snip up with scissors)
smoky sausage (Toulouse sausage, chorizo or Polish smoked sausage perhaps?)
So there it is. Week one of Lucy’s list. I hope it’s given you some food for thought. Haaaaaaaa! FOOD FOR THOUGHT! See what I did there?! Anyone? No? Sigh. Fine.
I’ll be blogging the recipes for at least one meal each week but let me know if there’s anything you’d like me to cover! In the meantime, I’m always on the look-out for inspiration and fresh ideas so let me know – what are the family favourites being dished up regularly in your house? Do you have any fail-safe recipes that you can knock up easily at short notice for rampaging hordes of ravenous small folk?