I don’t profess to be a frugal cook, but I do try to keep to a tight budget with my grocery spends, and meal planning is key to keeping those pounds and pence working for you. It gets me organised and focussed and stops me reaching for the takeaway menu 😇
The first job is to ‘audit’ your current stock, list what you have in the cupboards, fridge and freezer – I like to highlight the bits that are a priority to use up. I do a major check each month, then a weekly ‘update’ before I go shopping.
This weeks priorities to use up are large potatoes, Rocket leaves, fresh thyme, half a pack of bacon, lettuce and coriander – I also have 2 large pots of Greek Yoghurt to use up.
The second job is Meal Planning, simply working out what you will eat for the week ahead, if you know you will be late or busy on a specific night, then ensure you plan something speedy, or something you can cook ahead (maybe at the weekend) and reheat.
I meal plan from Wednesday to Wednesday as that is when I do my food shopping 🛒
The Yoghurt I have for work with a squidge of Honey or a spoon of granola.
This weeks plan is –
Wed – Bacon, Potato and onion Bake with salad (fridge finds)
Thurs – my Fish tacos (Cod from freezer stash)
Fri – is Date Night i.e I don’t cook – Friday is the day I like to play in the kitchen, baking, jamming, sorting, enjoying…
Sat – Lamb Burgers with Tadziki sauce salad and fries with crumbled feta
Sun – Good old fashioned roast chicken (from freezer stash)
Mon – Sweet Potato and chickpea curry
Tues – Left over Chicken Salad with Homemade Bread
Wed – Something with minced Beef – freezer stash
A small shopping list this week, as I have most in already
Lamb mince for the Lamb burgers
Salad Veg and fruit
Tin of chickpeas
Whatever green Veg looks good
Fresh coriander and mint
Cat food, milk, Greek Yoghurt, orange juice etc
Also some bits for work lunches for hubby and youngest (they also take leftovers from the night before’s meal)
I shop weekly at Aldi, as it is my local shop, I check out their special offers before going too, so I can adjust the meal plan to suit. Their Super6 change every 2 weeks on a Thursday, as I shop on a Wednesday, I can get the best of the last selection and nip back the next day if they have something amazing in their next selection – I buy loads when it’s something like leeks that can be sliced and frozen.
I also need to buy some coffee beans, (my little indulgence) and some Chicken Thighs – I get these from Bookers every 2 months or so.
I would love to hear how you ‘balance your books’ do you plan? do you bulk cook? Do you shop monthly, or indeed daily? What works best for you when it comes to making and planning your meals?