This food we’re eating this week was almost all prepared on Sunday as part of a batch cooking session!
I’m really struggling with meal planning at the moment as I’m not getting in from work most days until 6 pm – by which time the kids have usually already had a cheeky snack and don’t really want what I’ve planned to cook.
This week, I’m trying to up my game though so yesterday, I spent a couple of hours batch cooking all of our meals for this coming week.
I absolutely know that batch cooking is the way to go and anyone who’s been around for a while might remember that I always used to have a good choice of meals in my freezer that I’d batch cooked by just cooking double when I made something that was suitable for freezing. I used to be way better at freezing leftovers too so if I knew I had a busy week coming up, I could plan our meals using what we had in the freezer.
The problem is that every week has been a busy week since the end of last year so my freezer meal stock is severely depleted to the point where I actually have three empty freezer drawers which is something I can’t remember ever happening before.
It’s not just the time issue that’s stressing me out, I also worry that the kids aren’t eating properly because I’m so disorganised and they’re snacking before I get home.
And I don’t even want to think about how much we’re spending on our food shopping at the moment!
Something definitely needs to change and I’m hoping that a couple of hours on a Sunday afternoon spent in the kitchen will be the first step to getting back to basics with our meal planning.
So, here’s our meal plan for the week…
Monday – Macaroni Cheese
I made a big batch of this on the hob on Sunday and popped it in the fridge ready for it to be heated up in the Instant Pot. It only takes five minutes on the steam function to heat it up and it’s so easy that Miss Frugal can absolutely get tea sorted for the two of them.
Tuesday – Mince and Onion Pie
I adapted my slow cooker mince and onions recipe and cooked a big batch of this in the Instant Pot on Sunday. Just over half of the finished mince went into the freezer where it will stay until Thursday night when I’ll get it out and pop it in the fridge overnight to defrost. The rest of the mix was made into a pie straight away and is now sitting in the fridge ready to reheat tomorrow night – a pie should keep in the fridge for a good 3 days so a pie made on Sunday is fine to reheat and eat on Tuesday. I have some Aunt Bessies mini roasties to serve with it along with some broccoli.
Wednesday – Spaghetti Bolognaise
I used my usual recipe for bolognaise sauce and cooked a huge batch in the slow cooker. I halved the finished bolognaise and popped both portions in the freezer as I don’t want to leave it in the fridge for more than a couple of days. I’ll get one out on Tuesday night and defrost overnight ready to heat up in the Instant Pot and serve with spaghetti and the other one will be used to make Saturday’s lasagne.
Thursday – Hunters Chicken
This is the one exception to the week as it’s not a batch cooked meal. It is an easy one though as I have a jar of Hunters chicken sauce that I’ll pour over some chicken breasts before I leave for work. The kids can then just top with some grated cheese and pop in the oven when they’re ready for tea. It’ll be served with rice which I have in the freezer so that just needs to go in the microwave for 3 minutes.
Friday – Mince and Dumplings
This is the second part of the minced beef that we used in a pie earlier in the week. I’ll get it out of the freezer on Thursday night to defrost and one of the kids will be tasked with dumpling making after school on Friday.
Saturday – Lasagne
I’ll use the rest of the bolognaise mix to make a lasagne for tea on Saturday. I was planning on putting the lasagne together on Sunday and freezing it as a whole lasagne but I decided against that as I’ll have some time on Saturday to make it up then. I’ll probably serve it with garlic bread and a salad.
Sunday – Gammon Dinner
A super easy meal for Sunday as I’ll pop the gammon in the Instant Pot and serve it with some mash, freezer veggies and some Yorkshire Puddings that I made and froze last time we had Yorkshire puddings (because I made too much batter rather than because I was being organised).
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