General Chat, Products & Comps <
02/01/2013 at 09:45
I bet there are loads of us starting doing this now in an attempt to save some cash.
How do you decide on meals - do you cost them individually?
Do you freeze lots?
Do you stick to certain meals per week?
Do you all eat the same?
Can you share menus?
02/01/2013 at 10:08
Well my plan for the next couple of weeks is homemade soups for lunch (spicy carrot, chicken broth/noodle, chickpea & veg) then my dinners will be veg stir fry, and salads. I really need to do a month of pure dieting.
02/01/2013 at 10:19
I don't really cost mine individually but try to use similar ingredients in different meals that can also be frozen.
So first off I would do spag Bol and shepherds pie, as they all contain mince, onions, mushrooms, carrots, etc so I know I will use everything up. The leftovers of the meals go in containers in the freezer.
I'd cook a whole extra large chicken, have chicken roast to chicken veg and jackets one day, chicken pasta dish the 2nd day and chicken curry or fajitas the next day.
Try and get meat in the whoops aisle and freeze it, although then you can't really freeze left overs.
Salads are cheap.
I sometimes do roasted veg, the put the left overs with pasta and tomatoe and basil sauce for a pasta bake the following day.
02/01/2013 at 10:32
I don't work out the cost individually per meal but I look at what ingredients I can buy in bulk and those I know I can make cheaply.
I work out how many meals we need for the week and who will be eating them. Some days my daughter has school dinners and goes to after school club so at the most she'll have is a quick snack before bed. The rest of the time we all eat the same meal.
If I buy a chicken then we'll have that one day, then either use some in the next meal or freeze the rest to use another time.
During the winter I make up soups - so I buy a tin of pulses or dried soup mix, plus some vegetables and make up a big saucepan. This will usually do at least 3 meals - probably two dinners and a lunch for two adults and a five year old.
With things like mince I'll make up a load of bolognaise sauce and we'll have part of it for one meal and then freeze the rest for another time.
02/01/2013 at 11:12
I don'tn work out the cost individually. I get the calendar and look at what we are doing for the following week and work out how many meals we need. I look at where the kids are/who is looking after them and plan meals accordingly - for example simple things on the days MIL has them so she doesn't have to spend time cooking.
I try and plan it so we eat a variety of meat and fish and have a veggie night. I don't plan lunches exactly but get things to make enough without going OTT.
I also check what is in the fridge/freezer and cupboards and see what I can use up.
I put it all in to mysupermarket.co.uk, confirm that asda is the cheapest (always has been for us) and if it adds up to more than I want to spend I look at what's expensive and see if I can change anythig. I also look for what's on offer and may change my plans if there is a good deal on.
I honestly have no idea how a chicken lasts more than one meal. We are a family of 4 & one chicken does us a roast plus possibly a round of sandwiches.
As a family we don't eat much mince just shepherds pie so bulk meals like that don't work for us. However i buy a small pack of mince just for L and make up 5 dinners for him.
We buy froZen chicken from farm foods at 2 bags for £8. That does h meals for couple weeks (curry mainly).
02/01/2013 at 11:22
How many kgs is that chicken kat?
Even the cheap stuff from tesco is nearly a fiver a bag now! Used to be £3.29!!!
We dont eat carbs during the evenings so a large portion of meals are out for us.
Am just going to jot some stuff down.
Can anyone advise on meals?
02/01/2013 at 11:45
I wrote down a big list of meals we always eat and split it into columns of mince, chicken, veggie and other. Each week I'm planning on going through the list and picking 7 meals we'll have that week, working it out round H's shifts too as he works nights so I'll make sure I'm not buying too much stuff if he isn't going to be here. I'll try and plan that if we have a chicken on the Sunday night then we'll have stir fry on the Monday using the left overs. Need to time things like stir fry round when we shop though as the use by date of the packs is normally only a couple of days. My list of meals is:
Mince and potatoes
Pasticio (macaroni/mince pasta bake thing)
Lentil Casserole and crusty bread
chiken or steak pie and potatoes
I only started my list yesterday so will probably think of more things to add to it.
I'm trying to stick to a £50 a week budget but that will be more the weeks I need washing powder, shampoo or nappies etc. I was £57 yesterday and that included microwave meals for H's work and baby wipes.
We have a small freezer so can't really take advantage of offers as much as we could when we had a chest freezer in our old house
02/01/2013 at 11:49
I make stock out of the leftover chicken and put it in the freezer for future stews. Means N can eat it too as its not got salt in.
H made a bolognese sauce for the freezer the other day and I've got a cottage pie out for tonight which we made a year ago, oops!
we certainly could be better at cooking and freezing more.
02/01/2013 at 13:09
Thanks Ally thats really good!
02/01/2013 at 15:29
Its a kilo bag which usually has 4/5 decent size breasts in it. Sometimes more smaller ones. Its not pumped full of water either. I really rate it as far aa chicken goes.
02/01/2013 at 19:32
I've started buying bags of frozen fish fillets as its cheaper. Meals I'd do with it include cooking in a 'bag' (baking paper or foil) with herbs and olives, salmon wrapped with parma ham and a fish, potato and onion dish that we have a lot. I've been cooking more with pulses recently as they are a good way of bulking up meals.
02/01/2013 at 19:44
Cedar where do you shop for the fish i always find frozen fillets dry but willing to try again.
02/01/2013 at 20:05
We tried frozen chicken and didnt like it at all, very rubbery (it was from farm foods), I never mentioned to h as if I said I was trying frozen chicken then he'd automatically not like it as but he could taste the difference straight away.
We just had chicken salad though so I'm wondering if maybe I got them again and tried them in currys/casseroles and things like that would it taste better??
Iv bought frozen fish to put in fish pie and fish stews.
I make things like bolognese/fish pie/lasagne and freeze the remainder.
02/01/2013 at 20:45
Tescos for fish. Had haddock this evening, it wasn't dry but did have a small amount of oil drizzled over.
02/01/2013 at 20:55
I use frozen fish for fishcakes, they are fine for those. Salmon fillets are ok as well with slices of lemon on them and wrapped in foil
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