Monday, February 24, 2014

Meal Planning 2014 - Taking Stock

Last week was half term - we spent half of it at my mums being fed very well and the rest of it on freezer food, McDonalds (after a half term treat cinema trip) and pizza...

So no food planning but fortunately not a huge amount of spending on food either.

Over the last few weeks I have been 'deep cleaning' the kitchen - sorting through the accumulated clutter, cleaning out cupboards and those hard to reach places that usually get over looked like under the microwave, on top of the cupboards and behind the fridge.

This week it was the turn of the food cupboards - I took everything out, checked for best before dates (which I don't fret about too much although a couple of things must have been lurking at the back of the cupboard since we first moved here 8 years ago! *eek* )  To be fair it wasn't a mammoth job - the food cupboards have gradually been emptying this year as I work what is in there into my weekly meal plans and slowly use everything up. We are getting to a point where a lot of the store cupboard staples are depleting too so a thorough stock check was essential for me to make sure I start topping things up as I can afford to.

Eating plain and simple on a budget is all well and good but you'd be amazed how much difference a dash of soy sauce, a few dried herbs and spices and a condiment or two can make!

I also noted how my baking supplies are depleting. A batch of muffins made with Roo used up the last of the caster sugar and sorting through all my flour jars revealed hardly any self raising flour left either. I cannot justify buying lots of cakes and biscuits on our budget but I always try and bake a few tasty morsels through the week so these supplies need topping up too!

Luckily I I found something else whilst tidying up - a stack of Tesco clubcard vouchers! Almost £20 worth in fact (Yay!)  So maybe next week I will sit down and do an online 'store cupboard shop' using those vouchers and the money I have saved from 'underspending' the food budget over the past 7 weeks (about £12 in total!).

If I replenish the basic stocks I can then concentrate on getting more of the good fresh stuff - fruit, veg, meat and dairy - with my weekly budget.

This weeks meal plan


Bacon, Egg, Chips, Beans and toast
aka A FRY UP


Homemade southern fried chicken strips
potato wedges, salad (for me) and beans (for the boys)


Gourmet Vegetable Rice and Aduki Bean Burgers


Homemade Leek and Potato Soup with cheesy bread rolls


Freezer food 


Chicken pasta with peas and broccoli 



Are you meal planning on a tight budget? How do you replenish your staples? One or two at a time within your weekly budget or one big 'store cupboard' shop every couple of months? I would love to hear your experiences.


  1. I have lots of flour in my cupboard but hardly any sugar and no eggs. I think I might have to get some just so I can bake myself a cake...

  2. I'm not meal planning at the moment, as I am trying to make an effort to be more spontaneous, but I do periodically have a sort through the cupboards, and it's amazing what you can come up with when you think you have no food! I often have fall backs of frittata, pasta and spicy sauce, veggie chilli (all the better if I have some mince in the freezer, naturally - as long are you aren't veggie by choice), and sometimes you can't beat a good bit of beans on toast, or scrambled eggs.
    I tend do do a sort before a big shop, and then that lasts us a month or so, so I only need to top up on fresh stuff (the downside being I can nip to the supermarket for milk and accidentally spend £30 on things I don't actually need...hmmm)

    1. I know exactly where you are coming from with the 'Nip to the supermarket, spend £30 ' problem! I used to do that all the time. These days I have a list and I even manage to stick to it most of the time.
      If we really don't fancy a meal I have planned for one night we do swap the around and everytime I make something 'big' like a pot of curry or bolognaise I will always freeze a portion - that way there is always something in the freezer for those 'really can't be bothered to cook' days :-)

  3. This post reminded me to do our meal plan for next week tonight! I try and do one so we have at least 4-5 home cooked meals per week, and then things in the freezer for the nights when we really can't be bothered. When it comes to replenishing the cupboards, we add things to the shopping list as and when we need them, but we tend to do a big shop one every two months and then one or two much smaller shops in between, so it depends on how urgently we need things :)


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