Inspired by the lovely Jen at the Madhouse whose brilliant article about feeding your family on £50.00 a week has just been published in the Guardian, I’m determined to reduce the amount of money that we spend on food each month.
We have a grocery budget of £250.00 a month at the moment which is for 2 adults and 2 children. This covers all of our meals at home, packed lunches for me and the kids as well as all of our other household stuff.
We used to be pretty good at sticking to the budget but lately I’ve been so busy that I haven’t been doing our shopping online or been meal planning as much as I used to which has led to lots of a few extra trips to the shops, meaning that we’ve overspent on our budget for the last few months.
After reading Jen’s article, I sat down with a shiny new notebook and listed all of the food we had in the house and wrote a meal plan based on that. Miss Frugal helped me write a shopping list for the extra things we needed and off we popped to the Supermarket to stock up.
The reason we try and do our shopping online is that whenever we pop to the Supermarket, we’re always tempted to buy things we don’t need but we managed to stay more or less within our budget (obviously if you don’t count the vodka and the cider) and have enough food in now to get us through to next weekend when I’ll hopefully be able to do a shop online to avoid further temptation 😉
Here’s this week’s meal plan – fingers crossed I can stick to it….
Monday – Home made Pizza
Tuesday – Macaroni Cheese
Wednesday – Shepherds Pie
Thursday – Chilli and Rice
Friday – Chilli Cheese Wraps
Saturday – Sausage Casserole
Sunday – Giant Yorkshire Puddings and Chicken.
We have loads of Veg to go with each meal and puddings are normally fruit, yoghurt or a home made cakey type thing.
Packed lunches will be sandwiches, cheesey pops and leftovers.
You can pop over to ‘At Home With Mrs M’ for more meal plan ideas, I’ve just found this linky and I’ll be joining in every week with my plans – it might help motivate me a bit!
My new resolve has come at a good time really as we’ve just been sent a Morphy Richards Flavour Savour (a slow cooker to me and you) and asked to cook a meal in it that would feed the whole family for just £4.00….
Slow Cooker Chilli
1 Pack of Mince – £2.00
1 Tin Baked Beans – 50p (from a multipack)
2 Tins Chopped Tomatoes – 50p each (from a multipack)
2 Chopped Onions- 50p (ish)
3 Chopped Chilli’s – 30p
1 Clove of Garlic, Crushed or Sliced – 10p
Also, 1tsp Cumin, 1tsp Oregano and some Worcester Sauce – 10p
Optional: Lentils – I would’ve added some lentils if I’d had some in. You can’t really taste them but they make the chilli go further.
I used the Flavour Savour’s Fast Fry setting to seal the mince with the onions and garlic for a few minutes before adding the rest of the ingredients and giving it a good old stir. If you’re not using a Flavour savour, you can either brown the mince before adding it to your slow cooker or you can just pop it in straight from the pack.
Once all the ingredients are in the slow cooker, just set it and leave it until you’re ready for it. I started making this a bit late in the day to use the Slow Cooker function on the Flavour Savour so I ended up using the Fast Stew option which meant that the chilli only took an hour and a half to cook although usually I would have put it on first thing in the morning before work and have it ready for tea time.
So, the ingredients to my chilli add up to £4.00 which is right on budget, but…. the chilli will be split into two meals, making a total of £2.00 worth of chilli for each meal.
Meal 1 – Chilli and Rice with Jam Sponge Pudding and Custard
Chilli – £2.00
Rice – 45p
Jam Sponge Pudding – 75p
Custard – 50p
Meal 2 – Chilli Cheese Wraps and Rice Pudding
Chilli – £2.00
Homemade Tortilla wraps – 50p
Cheese – 50p
Homemade Rice Pudding – £1.00
So there’s two different meals with puddings at just £4.00 per meal.
You don’t have to have them on consecutive nights as the chilli keeps for a couple of days in the fridge or you could freeze it. You could also use the chilli to make a chilli lasagne, a chilli pasta bake and loads of other things that I can’t quite think of.
Thanks to Morphy Richards for sending me a Flavour Savour so that I could try it out – I’ve only used it a few times so far but I’ve already given away my old slow cooker as the Flavour Savour is so much more versatile and not that I’m shallow but it looks so much nicer sitting on my shelf 😉