May 8, 2023

Another typical week’s menu

My last weekly menu plan attracted a lot of FB comments and seemed to be helpful for ideas to some and so I thought that I would put my planned menu for this week up on here. As before I plan for 7 days but we have no set days that we eat things on.  My food preparation this weekend has been to make rhubarb compote, yoghurt, wild garlic potato scones, peanut butter, a rhubarb upside down pudding made in the microwave, and some hash browns.  We have not had the oven on this weekend as we did not need to make bread for next week as Mr S picked up a couple of brown crusty cob loaves for 20p each at the local community food waste hub and I froze them. He also got some potatoes, some carrots, and some doughnuts for the same price and so spent £1 there.


Sausage sandwich and smoothie, porridge and jam or compote X 2, spicy veg with a hash brown and an egg with a smoothie, carrot cake overnight oats, yoghurt with granola and compote X 2.

Light meals

Spicy lentil soup and bread X 2, Hot Moroccan carrot salad and toast, Ratatouille with wild garlic potato scones, black bean quesadillas, curry pasty and salad, wild garlic potato scones with beans and cheese.

Main Meals

Wild garlic falafel and salad in wraps, vegetable and sausage skewers with ratatouille and rice, tuna pasta bake with salad, chicken a la king with rice, sweet and sour stir fry pork with chilli noodles, stuffed peppers with wild garlic potatoes, fish cakes with chips and peas.


Rhubarb upside down pudding with custard X 2, home made ice cream with home grown water bathed pears, yoghurt and compote, ground rice and jam x 2, hot chocolate cornflour pudding (blancmange), boozy banana, chocolate and apple crumble, scones and jam.


Toast and jam or peanut butter, biscuits, crackers with hummus or peanut butter, apples, vegetable crudities and hummus.

Being frugal isn't about deprivation 1

Last week I spent just under £10 on food but a lot of it will not be eaten this next week as I am always feeding us from the cupboards, the fridge and the freezer first, and buying essentials or bargains. Some bits of shopping from this week will be used eg I got some reduced bananas for 26p a bag this morning.

In January 2022 I bought some big containers of dried milk as there was predicted to be a shortage of milk, and prices were also predicted to increase.  These have been really useful and have saved me a lot of money.  I use them to make custard and sauces, or if we have run out of milk.  I used to buy at least 6 litres of semi skimmed milk a week, and that was before I started to regularly make my own yoghurt (to replace the more expensive eggs for breakfast).  I now buy 4 litres of full fat milk, use some to make the yoghurt, and dilute the rest to use in hot drinks and porridge (I add at least a third more water to the milk that is left and it is just like semi skimmed).

The peanuts for the peanut butter I got reduced after Christmas and froze them so that they would not go off.  The sausages I got for £1 from The Company shop that sells food that has a short date. The pork is cooked already and is left over from a joint that we had after Easter when family came.  It was bought for half price. I have used a lot of carrots and potatoes in the menu this week as Mr S got a bag of carrots and potatoes for 20p each last week, and we also got 6 baking potatoes for 60p from a different shop. The fish cakes were made a previous week and are out of the freezer. The hummus was made last week and I froze some. Whatever we have a glut of in the garden or have bought cheaply, I will try to freeze, or I will try to serve in different ways so that it does not feel like we are eating the same thing all of the time.

The curry that we had  last week made 5 portions.  We ate two between us, and froze 3.  The third portion is what I will use to fill the pasties with, mixed with some cooked sweet potato.  This will stretch a portion of food to feed both of us.  When I make the pastry, I will make double and freeze the rest.  This saves me time and effort the next time I need some pastry.  The pasties will be frozen raw and defrosted and cooked in the air fryer on the day required, and the  tuna pasta bake will be heated in the microwave and finished off in the air fryer to make it crispy.

I am always preparing for future meals and try to make at least double of whatever I am cooking.  This saves energy, but also time.  When I cook the rice for one of the main meals, I will make twice as much and make sure that I eat the other meal with the rice side dish within 2 days.  The wraps were from the freezer and made over a week ago, and the scones are also from the freezer made a month ago.

We eat really well and have a reasonably balanced diet on a budget of £700 a year.  Growing our own food and foraging help massively.  I did think about increasing my annual budget this year by £50, but that would mean something else would have to go. So far, we have managed to stay on track, mainly helped by some great bargains we got after Christmas and a few after Easter.  We are still using Christmas cheese and have some in wax in the fridge and some frozen in the freezer.  These will last a couple of months yet.  The cheese that I usually buy has gone up £1 a packet, and so buying all that cheese for 50p or less each in December and January, has saved me a fortune.  The Company shop and local waste food hub is helping a lot as well and giving us access to meat and luxuries that we would probably not afford otherwise.  Unfortunately, Olio has very little near us.  I do know families who manage to get half their meals for free from using that app.  I always look but rarely manage to bag anything.  I expect next year I will have to find some more money for food as it is still increasing in price, despite wholesale food prices going down.  According to the ONS some things have gone up by 49% in the last year. I am going to try to preserve more to help with next years’ budget. The pasta sauces and bottled fruit, jams and pickles that I made this summer have certainly helped this last 8 months, as have all the frozen, foraged blackberries. Have you had to increase your budget by much this year, and what tricks are you using to keep your food budget as low as you can?



Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!


  1. Agnes May 9, 2023 at 7:05 am - Reply

    Our food bill went up a lot with the prices increasing over the last year. My son is allergic to milk so we buy oat milk and vegan cheeses, which are expensive , especially when you buy one that tastes decent. As my work contract finished and I am currently looking for a job, I have more time, so I started to cook a lot of traditional Polish country dishes which include home made pastries, dumplings, potatoes and cabbage. I discovered that a little bit of bacon in a dish can improve the taste and goes a long way, 0.5 kg gets used throughout the whole week in soups, as garnish in dumplings or in baked dishes. We use blackberry jams I made last autumn from foraging down the park, and now we have dandelion honey as well. Im planning on foraging for apples and plums in autumn, from local community orchard ,as practically nobody uses them which is sad. When i was picking the blackberries kast year with my kids, this elder couple stopped by and commented , looking glad and surprised that they haven’t seen anyone picking them in years as people can’t be bothered. I am also planning to pick rose hips this autumn/ winter, as well as blossom from a linden tree I found not far from us. It’s great for colds and fevers.

    • ToniG May 9, 2023 at 11:23 am - Reply

      That all sounds great. Yes rosehips are great made into a syrup for sweetening and I sometimes mix with other fruit too when making a compote. Bacon is great for adding taste and I to have some chorizo in my fridge as that acts in the same way and lasts for ages. Foraged apples and blackberries gave us most of our vitamin C this winter. Like you say, it always suprises me that more people do not pick them. Maybe they will this year. Thanks for sharing and I hope that you find a job soon x

Leave A Comment