Tag Archives: Fruit and Vegetable

Menu Plan for the week

  Now my January Financial Focus has finished over on my other blog where the journey takes me all posts about reducing my spending will be appearing here as this is where I log my weekly spending.

I have been reviewing our meal planning this weekend –  in fact not just reviewing but resurrecting!  Whilst I was focussing on our finances last month I put very little thought into our meals and this can end up quite wasteful.

Recipe Folder

I have decided that I must make an effort to use more of my recipe collection and get rid of the ones that we either do not like or have been a complete disaster so I have been compiling a small folder of recipes that are both firm favourites and a few new ones to try.

Recipe Folder

Generally my menu plan has to work around

  • my working days – Monday to Thursday,
  • my shopping day – probably now a Tuesday
  • any leftovers in the fridge
  • stock items in my fridge and cupboards

I am also looking to take more packed lunches to work, my favourite being soup or salad rather than sandwiches.  I am aiming for 2 packed lunches out of the four days.

So firstly a review of my fridge and cupboards as it is a while since I did a stock take.  Some food items seem to come and go quickly and others linger forever in the back of the cupboard waiting for what I am not sure!  Perhaps it is waiting for the right recipe, the right season, a specific other ingredient or just for me to notice it!

I do like to keep a bit of an emergency stock in my cupboards during these wintery days when snow can render me almost housebound overnight so it is not wise to play Old Mother Hubbard and run the food supply down too far –  I will save that for the better weather.

After a good rummage in the cupboards I find I have a stock of…

  • Beans and lentils
  • Passata
  • Halloumi cheese
  • Cheddar cheese
  • 8 eggs
  • Courgettes
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • White Potatoes
  • Celery
  • Spring onions
  • Onions
  • Green Beans
  • Red peppers
  • Carrots
  • Frozen chips
  • Frozen peas
  • Frozen Broad beans
  • Cherry and Apricot Compote
  • Patak Korma paste
  • Rice
  • risotto rice
  • half pot of soured cream
  • bits of salad items

So it doesn’t look like I will have much shopping to do this week other than the basics!

Sunday

As I have a number of eggs to use up I will make a Farmhouse Fruitcake this will also use up the remains of the dried fruit from Christmas I had about 10 oz in varying proportions and I added dried Apricots rather than candied peel.

Fruit to use up

 

And this was the result.Farmhouse Fruit Cake

I can also make some little ramekin Crumbles with the jar of Bon Maman Cherry Compote so we can top them with the end of the sour cream.  The remaining crumbles can be frozen for another day.

 

Monday – Red Pepper and Courgette Frittata with salad

Frittata would be good today to use the rest of the eggs.  I have a new recipe to try – Red Pepper and Courgette Frittata.  I can use up the little gem lettuce and cucumber and cook a few frozen broad beans and salad potatoes and make potato salad.  I will need to buy a few tomatoes.

Any leftover salad and potato salad I will take to work with some bread and butter and a little cheese.

Tuesday – Macaroni Cheese with Fusilli Pasta, tomato and breadcrumb topping, green beans

Shopping Day after work so a quick meal tonight and pasta is easy.  There won’t be any leftovers for work though.

Wednesday  – Curry and Rice

I can use up the carrots, courgettes, celery,  onions and add a few potatoes.  If I make double the amount we can have it another night with Taco shells.

Whilst cooking tea I will boil an egg for tomorrows lunch and make egg mayonnaise sandwiches with fresh watercress.

Thursday – Bought ravioli and sauce

I have a ‘Leaving do’ tonight and will be eating out so I will buy a pack of fresh ravioli pasta for hubby to cook with cheese sauce – he can make this in 5 minutes flat and add peas if he wants to make it more healthy!

Friday – Curry with Tacos shells

A nice easy leftover meal tonight so I could use the time I would normally take to cook tea to make soup for the weekend and work next week from all the leftovers.

Saturday – Griddled Halloumi, Courgette and Sweet Potato on a bed of Brown Lentils

Another new recipe to try – once opened I will need to look for another recipe to use the remainder of the Halloumi cheese next week.

Sunday – Baked Potatoes and Ratatouille

This is a fairly quick accompaniment in case we go out or get busy.  The potatoes can be put in the oven on automatic.  I can add a pack of Red Kidney Beans to the Ratatouille for extra protein.

Click here for table format  in PDF Weekly Menu Plan

How are you doing with your menu planning do you find it helps keep the grocery spend down?

Advertisements

September Challenge

Reducing the Spending – ideas to cut the grocery bill to get to the end of the month

Although I have just received this months pay on the 20th I am trying not to spend any of it until until I can combine it with my hubby’s pay at the end of the month.  It is so much easier to do a budget for a combined income starting on the same day rather than be part way through one wage when the other arrives.  Ideally my aim is to be one months pay ahead so we are spending the previous months pay when the current one is received.

For the remaining days of September I am looking to use up food that I have already bought and create menus to fit the items I have.  So far this year I have spent £2,222.56 on groceries over 38 weeks which is an average of £58.50.   This is just for groceries and does not include face creams, shampoo and conditioner or supplements, remedies and occasional whole food items from my local health / wholefood shop.

If I were to stick to my target of £50 a week then I will only have £377.44 to last me until the end of the year, which works out at £26.96 per week.

Something tells me that £26.96 a week is going to be a tough target and, if I am both realistic and honest, one that I will not succeed in meeting no matter how creative I am!  So what are my choices?

  • Find free food – I do not grow our own food yet, it is on the cards for next year so free food this year would have to be foraged foods and I don’t think hedgerow berries or wild mushrooms would give us a good meal every day and I doubt very much that I would come across some road kill Lentils!
  • Perhaps I could sell some of the ‘stuff’ I am getting rid of and use the income to add to my grocery allowance.
  • I could try buying my food daily as it is needed, although I am not convinced this would work out cheaper although it might stop me buying items just in case.
  • I could go back to being non-organic and also buy the very cheap basic economy foods.
  • I could make savings in another area of my budget and add this to my food allowance.

Instead of any one of the above list I will put all of them into place except the non-organic.  I think staying organic is well worth it on taste alone.

Foods I already have in stock

Fresh Fruit and Veg

  • Carrots
  • 4 Leeks
  • Bunch Celery
  • A head Broccoli
  • Pack Beetroot
  • Courgettes x 2
  • Pack button mushrooms
  • 4 sweet poataoes
  • Bunch spring onions
  • 5 onions
  • Handful potatoes
  • 3 Braeburn apples
  • 4 lemons
  • 1 Avocado
  • 1 Kiwi

Also

  • Frozen Broad Beans
  • Frozen Peas
  • Frozen Spinach

There is plenty of frozen fruit in freezer which will be fine to go on my Yoghurt and I have fresh apples for my snack at work.

As a standby there are two pies in the freezer should I not get to cook the intended meal for some reason.

Groceries / fridge

There are a selection of herb teas and a unopened box of decaff tea, 2 packets of ground coffee, a new tin cocoa and a large drinking chocolate.

In the fridge I have an unopened fresh orange and apple juice and 1 carton Almond Milk.  We have just opened a Lurpack tub butter 9should last the week) and I have 2 tubs Bertolli spread.

In my cupboard I have an unopened box of wheat free Museli and some linseeds to use up for breakfast and a few Spelt flakes.  I also have a whole tub full of Porridge Oats – this might become Flapjack, Melting Moments or even just porridge.

I have bread in the freezer so I will take the Pitta breads to work for my lunch and buy some fresh salad to put inside and add chopped boiled egg or Feta Cheese from the fridge.

The plain Indian Chapattis will be fine with some curry and rice. I have a bag of rice and I can use the courgettes, onions, celery, potato and carrot in the curry plus 1/2 tin coconut milk from the freezer.

Breads

I bought Halloumi to try a couple of weeks back so I must find a recipe for this.

The eggs will provide another meal – probably pancakes with the buckwheat flour and I have leeks and a pack of mushrooms for the filling.

Dairy

Below are a few more of the items I have in stock.  The Butter Beans will go in a soup or Tuscan Casserole,  the Bulgar and Quinoa with roasted vegetables.  I have already mentioned the curry and I will find a recipe for the sun dried tomatoes.  Not in the picture are a selection of mixed nuts which I bought on offer earlier in the year.

Store Cupboard

So putting that altogether the weeks menu plan is looking like this-

Menu Plan

  • Monday – Pancakes with Mushroom and Leek filling with Broccoli florets and peas
  • Tuesday – Curry and Rice
  • Wednesday – Tuscan Casserole – Butter Beans, Leeks, Courgette and Tomatoes
  • Thursday – Left over Curry with Baked potato.  Hubby away this meal
  • Friday – Halloumi – recipe to find for this – will probably serve with Salad
  • Saturday – Frittata using left over veg, some Parmesan in the freezer and served with Salad
  • Sunday – Nut loaf with Broad Beans and roast Sweet Potatoes

With any other leftover veg I will add beans / lentils and make some soup for the weekend and lunches at work the following week.

The additional groceries I will need to buy to complete the meals above and for general use:-

Shopping List

  • 1 Baking Potato
  • 1 bag fresh salad leaves with watercress
  • 1 bunch radishes
  • 1 cucumber
  • 4pts 1% milk
  • 1 Lactose free carton milk
  • 1 tub Lurpack butter

A quick add up and I estimate that the foods I have in stock for the menus above together with breakfasts and packed lunches will save me about £80.  My only costs for the few items required in the shopping list will be about £10 less the £2.66 brand match coupon.

Now going back to my saving money ideas can any of my readers tell me how you sell on ebay – is there a good article somewhere on how to do it?

February Menu Plan – Week 1#

At last…and what kept me so long?  Reading other blogs if I am truthful – a good way to pass an hour or six!!  But as promised a few posts ago my menu plan.  We have already made and eaten most of it as mine begins on a Friday (after the Thursday shop) unlike Menu Plan Monday that I see most people are following.  I am still debating which day is best for shopping so Thursday could be subject to change.

I have tried to use 80% seasonal foods as well as include any foods that were left over in the fridge from last week.

nutloaf

Menu Plan – February Week 1

  • Friday – Leek and Potato Soup (making enough to freeze for a lunch or two at work next week)
  • Saturday – Courgette and Feta Tart – (using up the courgettes and Spring Onion from last week) with winter salad (grated beetroot and carrot, potato salad, coleslaw) and watercress (I know this isn’t exactly seasonal but being vegetarian I need the iron).  Extra salad to take to work.
  • Sunday – Walnut Nut Roast which has peppers in it (to use the last of those expensive ones I bought last week!) with Roast  Parsnips and Brussel Sprouts
  • Monday – Mushroom Strudel (which has brown rice in it) with Sweetheart Cabbage and Sweet Potato
  • Tuesday – Left over Nut Roast with Swede and Potato mash, carrots and frozen peas (otherwise I would have withdrawal symptoms from peas by now) and frozen Broad Beans.
  • Wednesday – Cauliflower and Broccoli Bake (which has potato, celery, leek and a tin of tomatoes) with a Ground Rice pudding and Prunes to follow.
  • Thursday – Pasta with a pot of sauce from the fridge (need quick meal here as I will have been shopping and it will be late) – with any left over veg and  might also sneak in some more Peas.

 Broccoli Bake

So far I have managed to stick to the plan and this means I only buy the veg we need to do the recipes and this cuts down on potential waste as I don’t buy veg just in case I might make something or other.