After my post yesterday a couple of people messaged me to ask me if I could share my planned food menu. I have put up a photo. This is one week of our food meal plan. I don’t normally have set days but I wrote it like that to show how I spread the meat out so that we don’t have more than one lot each day. We love chillies and have loads to eat up from last year and so a lot of our food is spicy.
All the meat and fish are from the freezer and were discounted. The pork is from a joint I got half price and divided up into bits, both the lots of chicken are from a chicken that I bought with 30% off and divided the meat into 5 bags, and the bacon is part of a pack of off cuts. The sausages were a 90p early morning find at Lidl, and cooked and frozen in portions. The 2 mackerel I got for 19p each on yellow stickers from Morrisons just before closing on a Sunday.
All the vegetables and salad, except the onions and a 29p pepper from Aldi, are from the garden. Most of the fruit is from the garden or left from a trip to the market a week ago. Our freezer is full of wedding cake from when Mr S practiced the one he is making for his niece in a few weeks.
I will cook all the rice together and freeze some to save time and fuel. The main meals at the weekend will be cooked out side on the BBQ or in the wood burning pizza oven. The quiche I made and froze when I made bread and other pies this weekend. The wraps will be home made, as will the hummus. The falafels were made previously and frozen. I am always planning and cooking ahead, in my shopping and my meal prep. I am cooking more in my slow cooker now and the sweet and sour pork and the veggie chilli will be cooked in there as it is the cheapest method of cooking. We also use the air fryer a lot.
My shopping this week will be cheese, plain flour, 4 pints of milk, a small tin of pineapple and some plain yoghurt. Everything else I have already from buying bits extra each week. I don’t need the flour but am keeping plenty stocked up in case the predicted shortages happen. If I see any good yellow sticker, or discounted items, I also have about £5 to spend on those. If I don’t, I have plenty in the freezer. I only buy meat if discounted. I have grated cheese in the freezer but will replace it with new as prices in dairy products are really rising. I have a stash of dried milk that I now use to make sauces, custard etc, instead of buying 6 pints a week as I used to.
I am adapting and changing my habits to save money and fuel, but am sticking to my budget of £700 a year for 2 of us, thanks to the garden, yellow stickers, a food waste project, The Company shop, Olio (but rubbish in my area), and also using left overs and not wasting any food myself.
Food is very individual and what I eat may not suit every one. We do eat well, despite our budget, and our food is nutritious. I try to make sure we eat enough protein (I add home grown beans to lots of our veggie food) and we do eat a lot of fresh vegetables that provide the vitamins and minerals. I have the time, luckily, (I know everyone doesn’t), and it is quite hard work shopping around, tending the garden and cooking, but with planning and creativity, and by cooking from scratch, we are finding it possible to eat well on a low budget.