Monday, 2 February 2015

Menu Planning For The Month

I'm trying to eat from the freezer and shelves again this month since I have lots of frozen meat and veggies, and tinned and dried goods in my stockpile. I've had to buy yogurts, milk and cheese and will need to get some fresh fruit and veg, and I also needed to buy DH's cereal, Crunchy Nut Cornflakes, but I got him the Aldi version as I couldn't find a really good deal on Kelloggs.

My housekeeping week goes from Friday to Thursday and I'm hoping to keep my weekly spend to £50 for everything, including household items.I've already spent over £30 this week because of the stock-up I did on loo rolls and cleaning products at Tesco on Saturday, and on cat food on Friday, but all that stuff will last a couple of months. I already have plenty of laundry gel and I bought 4 bottles of Persil washing up liquid on offer for 50p each at Morrisons a couple of weeks ago. 

As intended I did my freezer inventory today and while I was at it I also defrosted the freezer, a job I hate since it's a big chest freezer and I have to practically climb into the thing to reach the bottom of it. It was well worth the effort though as everything is now organised neatly into bags, and since I've listed everything in it I've made a preliminary menu plan for dinners for the rest of the month. Some meals will probably be swapped about and I might change my mind about others depending if I have leftovers or we just fancy something different, but basically I've managed to work out a whole month's dinners using the food I already have in the house. 

Breakfasts are generally porridge, cereal, fruit and yogurt or a smoothie, and lunches are usually soup for me with crispbreads or jacket spuds and salad. The boys prefer to buy their own lunches when at work or uni, or if they're home they might have something on toast. DH doesn't eat during the day. He only eats at breakfast and in the evening, when he makes up for not eating during the day by scoffing from the moment he sets foot in the house after work. At weekends he likes soup and also rice cakes and pate or hummus for lunch. I tend to buy liver and bacon spread for 41p from Morrisons and either make my own hummus or look for reduced items in Asda or Morrisons.

This year I had resolved to try a new recipe each week, but with eating from my stores I'm tending to stick to old favourites so I don't need to buy too many extra ingredients.

This week's menu (starting with yesterday) is as follows:-

Sunday - Meatballs in Tomato Sauce and Pasta

Monday - Lamb stew with Dumplings

Tuesday - Vege Sausage Plait (sachet of vege sausage mix and frozen puff pastry), mashed potato, peas and sweetcorn

Wednesday - Macaroni Cheese with Chorizo and Salad

Thursday - Sliced Corned Beef or Tinned Ham, Oven Chips and Baked Beans

Friday - Barbecue Chicken Drumsticks, Spicy Potato Wedges and Salad

Saturday - Chorizo and Vegetable Savoury Rice

The only things I will need to buy towards this menu are some potatoes for the mash and salad veg. The menu is a bit meat heavy this week with only one proper vege meal, but the chorizo meals will only contain half a chorizo ring each. We don't often do a proper dessert but there are always yogurts and tinned fruit in the fridge, and sometimes I'll make up a sugar-free jelly with fruit or a rice pudding in the slowcooker.

I forgot to take pictures of tonight's lamb stew but this is what went into it:- 


700g pack frozen chump chops - £3.33 (Farm Foods 3 for £10)

500g Pack of Fresh Casserole Veg with Leeks - 35p (yellow stickered from Morrisons)

1 Veg and 1 Beef Stock Cube - 7p (Aldi stock cubes 39p per 12 pack)

Few New  Potatoes - approx 15p (Aldi from a 69p bag)

Dried Rosemary and Thyme - 5p

Salt and Black Pepper - 2p


8 oz self raising white flour - 8p (Aldi 1.5 kg bag for 45p)

3 oz vege suet - approx 25p (Morrisons - 20g for 89p...I think)

Tsp baking powder - 2p 

I browned the chops in my large slow cooker for about 30 minutes on high, drained off the liquid fat and trimmed the solid fat from the chops with kitchen scissors. Then everything else was added, plus enough boiling water to just cover it. and it was left to cook on low for most of the day. An hour before serving it was turned to high and when bubbling nicely the dumplings were added. For the dumplings I stir all the ingredients together with enough water to bind them without making the mix sticky, divide into balls and then just pop them on top of the stew, put the lid back on and cook for a further 30 minutes until nice and fluffy. I always use less than half suet to flour to cut calories, but also because I find they don't cling to the inside of your mouth as much with less fat in them.

The total cost for 4 decent servings - £4.32 or £1.08 per serving

I've done a lot of little jobs today like defrosting the freezer, doing that inventory, replacing some broken hooks in the sitting room curtains, changing our bedding and doing a light load of laundry, washing the kitchen mats, vaccuuming throughout downstairs, a quick pop round to Aldi, clearing up cat sick (one of my darlings left me a lovely pressie to find when I got up this morning) and sorting out fabric for those tote bags. Actually I found 4 pretty cotton pillow cases that are exactly the correct width. I'd bought them for 50p each from the Age UK shop to use as bag linings, but they are such good quality fabric they will be fine to use as a bag in their own right. I'll just cut them down to the correct height, hem the top and either use the offcut of fabric for the handles or find something that coordinates. 

It's been a lovely bright, sunny day with a light breeze, but very, very cold. I couldn't feel my fingers at all while I was pegging the washing on the line, but the combination of sun and breeze did a good job of drying it all even in our tiny enclosed back yard. 

Thst'a all for now folks. Hope you are all managing to keep warm. Love and hugs, Helen xx



  1. Goodness me, that sounds like you have been very busy.