December 22, 2023

Christmas left overs meal plan

We had our family Christmas last weekend with my side of the family, and have another one on Christmas Day with the family of Mr S.  This week we have therefore been living on the left overs.  Some one contacted me asking what kind of things we eat each week on our low budget, and so I thought that I would share our Christmas leftovers meal plan and the kind of things that we eat at this time of year.

It is obviously a bit more luxurious than normal with it being Christmas leftovers, and there is a lot more meat than we would normally eat.  We usually only have two lots of meat and one lot of fish a week. Our meal plan is always flexible and has no set days.  We eat around what needs eating up first, and what we enjoy and feel like.  We love Mexican and spicy food and so there are a lot of those kinds of meals.

Items bought

A variety of 15p  Christmas vegetables including broccoli, potatoes, shallots and carrots. (£1.80)


Leftovers from our early Christmas day and Boxing day

Some pulled chicken and turkey. (enough frozen for 2 or 3 meals after this meal plan)

A turkey carcus (frozen and soup and stock made later in the week)

Half a small joint of ham

4 slices of a beef joint (frozen to use in January and February)

14 pigs in blanket

2 part baked baguettes

Salsa (used on pizzas)

A variety of cheeses (some now grated and frozen)

Cream (portioned and frozen and saved for meals for other weeks, or to make ice cream)

Berry crumble

Christmas cake

Jar of Mincemeat

Christmas cupcakes

Half a lettuce, 7 tomatoes and a third of a cucumber

2 capsicum peppers

2 pastry pie tops

9 Yorkshire puddings (4 used and the rest frozen)

Sweet potato mash

home made smoked fish pate



Christmas pudding

Chocolate brownies (a gift)


From the cupboards, fridge and Freezers

Plain flour

Popcorn kernals

4 eggs


custard powder


salmon (salmon from a whole salmon bought half price and filleted).

home grown berries

home grown vegetables


Half a loaf of home made bread

Home made butter


Icing Sugar




Toad in the hole with pigs in blanket and stuffing balls in the Yorkshire puddings served with carrots, broccoli and gravy

Turkey stew using home made stock (cooked in the slow cooker) pie crusts and sweet potato mash

Chicken and ham pizza and salad (pizza base made with yoghurt). Grated carrot, defrosted sweetcorn and peppers added to other salad items.

Vegetarian chilli  on baked potatoes

Salmon, chips and salad

Spicy vegetarian enchiladas with frozen homegrown green beans (home made wraps)

Turkey fajitas (home made wraps and spice mix) and served with peppers

(I also made a turkey curry in the slow cooker that I have divided into 3 meals each and have frozen for meals in the new year)



Chicken and vegetable noodle soup (the rest frozen for meals other weeks)

Crackers and cheese

Smoked fish pate and toast x 2

Spicy chicken and vegetable wraps

Pizza baguette

Potato nachos


Toasted ham and cheese wraps

Ham and eggs

Gingerbread pancakes, yoghurt and berries

Ham, tomato and cheese omelette

Pigs in blanket sandwich

Porridge with mincemeat in

Smoothie with cheese on toast

Desserts and snacks

Chocolate brownies, bramble crumble and custard, Christmas cake, home made spicy popcorn, Christmas cupcakes, Christmas chocolates (gift), Christmas pudding. We also made a Yule log out of pantry staples.


Every week I add things to my store cupboard or freezer, whether I have bought food or not.  Sometimes it is foraged or grown food, sometimes meals cooked from scratch, but this week I stored a lot of vegetables. I had stocked up on the 15p vegetables that the supermarkets sell for Christmas.  These will last me into February or March if stored correctly.  I also froze cream, pulled chicken, beef slices, chicken soup, Yorkshire Puddings and chicken curry for meals in the future.

Our Christmas meal next week is elsewhere, but Mr S is going to make some pork pies for the buffet with discounted meat we had frozen earlier in the year, and cupboard staples.  Next week I will only buy bargains.  I will be looking out for double cream to make butter, or cheese to freeze. I have bought meat and fish in the weeks it was advertised half price in the supermarkets, and so will not be looking for yellow stickers.  I only have under £20 of my annual food budget left.

Hopefully we will only need to stock up on flour and a few other staples during the first few months of next year. This will then give me a head start on my food budget in 2024.  During the summer months I buy very little as I have plenty of food in the garden or foraged,  The weeks I tend to spend the most are in March, April ( Easter bargains) and May, and November and December.  By not spending a lot in the other months, and being savvy with my shopping,  I can stretch my small budget to last all year.  What helps you to stick to your food budget?



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  1. Gill Willis December 22, 2023 at 2:47 pm - Reply

    How much is your food budget for the year Toni and if you grew say 50% less what do you think could be an achievable one.
    I’m not good in the garden!!
    Love the menu!!!
    Do you do B&B???? 😉😉

    • ToniG December 22, 2023 at 5:15 pm - Reply

      Lol. This will be my ninth year of having £750 for the year. Bare in mind that when I retired I filled the cupboards and freezer with high quality food and so I had a good start. The budget was initially just for me but now feeds two of us (Mr S does buy his own coffee and fizzy drinks). We have added another freezer since then but the contents of the freezers are mostly home grown food or batch cooking now, and the cupboards have cheaper ingredients in them and a lot of pulses. I think that if you are lucky and have Olio where you are (we don’t), and a food waste project, you could probably manage on this if you eat a lot of vegetarian meals and do not waste any food. When I first started I shopped weekly and had £10 a week and the rest was for Easter, Christmas or bulk buying. Now I don’t shop weekly and try to only make intentional purchases when I need things or see them discounted. My preserving skills and foraging skills have improved as well. We used to have 2 large allotments but when we downsized to the garden I was just more particular with what I grew and I planted bushes and rhubarb that come back every year. I didn’t notice any difference.

  2. Katie Naden January 6, 2024 at 10:56 am - Reply

    Thank you for your post . I would be interested in your gingerbread pancakes . I like the fact you don’t go shopping weekly& target the seasonal bargain times . Do you know in advance to go to particular shops or will you keep visiting until the offer you are looking for is on . I think Asda tends to be 2pm daily so going about 2.15 is useful . X

    • ToniG January 6, 2024 at 11:57 am - Reply

      For offers before or just after bank holidays I visit about 11i am ish and 2 pm ish to try to target the bargains. Otherwise I don’t chase them. For loss leaders and other bargains I just keep my eye out for advertising, and sometimes I just strike lucky. I will put a recipe up the next time I make the pancakes this month

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