April 10, 2024

Our recent meal plan

I get asked almost weekly for our meal plans or what kind of things we eat on such a low food budget.  I think that we eat really well, considering. Our meal plan varies every week as we make it from what we have in.  We bulk buy things when they are on offer, especially at Christmas and Easter.  Our menus do not include a lot of meat, and some of our food can be repetitive in that we will eat the same breakfast or lunch during the week, and on other days we might have leftovers for lunch.  An example of this is that we had a beef stew made from some cooked end of a beef joint that we were given. I kept a bit of the beef and gravy to serve with cooked onions in a baguette the next day. (I always try to have some of those part baked baguettes in the cupboard).

Most of our food is homemade and we do not visit the supermarket very often except to buy milk.  We do visit The Company Shop once a month which is a discounted supermarket with short date food. I am buying less from there now, though, as I try to remove about 80% of processed food from our diet.  We grow some of our own food which we preserve and freeze, and we also forage. Every Sunday we spend a few hours prepping food for the following week.  This might include making yoghurt in the slow cooker, making compote from berries grown in the garden or foraged and then frozen, making hummus or waffles etc.  We also bake once a fortnight and fill the oven to save money.  Some of the baking is frozen for the following week.  In between we might bake using the air fryer eg. I made some cheese and wild garlic scones last week and froze some.  We use the slow cooker a lot to make meals in the winter as this is the cheapest way to cook.  In summer we live on salads, or vegetables, from the garden and grilled or BBQ food, mainly.  Sometimes we cook on the wood burning stove in the winter, and in the summer, we often cook on the fire pit or in the pizza oven.

Over the next few weeks, I am trying not to buy anything except for milk as I bought meat at half price at Easter, and lots of vegetables for 15p a pack that were on offer. I have taken these out of the packaging and stored or preserved most of them so that they last longer. I make my full fat milk last twice as long by diluting it with water which makes it like semi skimmed.  If I am making yoghurt or ricotta cheese, I will take the milk out first before diluting it.

Here is our meal plan for 7 days.  I do not have set days and keep the plan flexible as we found that when the plan had specific days, we didn’t always feel like eating what was on the menu.  Sometimes I will change what we are eating but still use the same ingredient if I have taken it out of the freezer the night before, eg last week I took sausages out to make toad in the hole but could not be bothered and so we just had sausages and mash with vegetables.

From the freezer this week

Fish fingers (broken ones sold cheaply in The Company shop)

Beef from ends of a cooked joint given to me.

Cooked chick peas – batched cooked from dried chickpeas and frozen in 400g servings.  I made wild garlic hummus with 250g and the rest went in the Hungarian stew.

Berries and chopped ginger for compote and smoothies

3 Homemade sausages

2  Homemade waffles


Wild garlic for hummus

From the garden

Rhubarb and Rocket


Bread for lunches and breakfast

Quiche for main meal and lunch

Pasties for 2 lunches (spicy cheese sauce with green vegetables in)

Biscuits for snacks

Rhubarb brownies for desserts and the freezer

Rhubarb crumble for desserts and the freezer

Everything else was from the cupboards, fridge or fruit bowl

We are really well stocked at the moment due to buying lots of bargains at Easter and also a few bargains are left, like cheese and salmon, from Christmas.  This gives us lots of choice in what we eat.  I do try to mix luxury ingredients with basic ones in my menu so that we can have something ‘special’ every week throughout the year.


Meal Plan


1 x homemade waffles with homemade fruit compote and homemade yoghurt and seeds

2 x porridge with fruit compote or jam

Beans on toast with berry smoothie

Egg wraps with berry smoothie

Homemade sausage sandwich

Sour dough crumpets with cheese with berry smoothie


Quiche with salad

Beef and onion baguette

Wild garlic hummus and crackers

Wild garlic hummus on toast

Cheese and vegetable pasties x 2

Toasted cheese and homemade chutney sandwich


Fish Finger and salad wrap with air fryer chips

Home made ricotta and wild garlic ravioli in homemade tomato sauce with salad

Hungarian chickpea and vegetable stew with rice

Beef stew and mashed potato

Quiche and cous cous salad

Baked potato with tuna and cheese and beans

Wild garlic hummus pasta with cooked cherry tomatoes and peas thrown in.


Desserts and snacks

Rhubarb brownies

Ginger biscuits

Homemade popcorn

Homemade ice cream and compote

Orange sugar free jelly with tinned mandarins in x 4

Bananas or compote and custard

Rhubarb crumble and custard

Toast and jam


I do try to make sure that we get enough nutrients every day but I am aware that we probably eat too many carbs, especially in winter.  We don’t seem to want them as much in summer.  Don’t worry, we don’t eat all the snacks and desserts that are on the list, but they are what are available.  Any custard that we have is made with dried milk. Do you plan in a similar way?




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  1. Margie from Toronto April 11, 2024 at 2:29 am - Reply

    I try to do something similar – I will prep a couple of mains and a few sides on the weekend, plus something for sandwiches and maybe hard boiled eggs so I can mix and match meals throughout the week. If I have salad greens then I try to use them before other veg so that they don’t go bad. I am doing more baking at home but it’s usually something simple like a crumble or muffins or maybe I’ll make some rice pudding.
    I’m trying to use up more items from the pantry and I’m making more vegetarian meals and incorporating more fish and seafood but that is expensive. I have a well stocked pantry so I now tend to shop what’s on sale or what they have as loss leaders and I try to only buy non food items on sale – having built up a good supply allows me to do this – I hate paying full price for something like shampoo or deodorant – sales only!

    • ToniG April 11, 2024 at 5:43 pm - Reply

      I am the same, and rarely pay full price for anything. Having a well stocked pantry definitely helps keep the costs down. I stocked mine up before I retired 9 years ago. It is still stocked up now but with totally different items as my knowledge about food has developed. Thanks for sharing

  2. Talis April 11, 2024 at 7:34 am - Reply

    Great reading your meal plan Toni, looking forward to eating more salad’s, and I do try not to eatany processed foods now. Will make some salmon fishcakes with the big salmon I recently bought at Easter and portioned up for the freezer. For the early spring bank holiday weekend I’ll make a salmon encroute for a special meal that weekend. I’ve made loads of meatballs for the freezer with reduced mince from Aldi recently. Must start making different meals instead of the usual meatball Bolognese! I find I can be a bit repetitive with my meals, I’m a very confident cook and so it’s not a problem doing other sauce’s,I love Indian and Moroccan so will do some more of those sauces and bulk out with pulse’s. We usually have 3 meatballs each to cut down on our meat intake. Hubby sometimes says that’s not enough but I say it’ll have to be. ( He eats processed foods usually eating 2 wraps or pitta breads or rolls each day for his lunch at work. I just have a cup of homemade soup which he says wouldn’t be enough for him! He puts meats in them ,but I say do eggs,tuna and other things but he hates preparing his own lunches. I do get him beetroot,salad stuff but he is a bit fussy on eating the healthier things. I’m super healthy that’s the way I like to eat now especially as I’m in my mid 50s I find it important to eat better and cut out the unhealthy stuff. Don’t get me wrong I do still eat it like when we are on holidays.

    • ToniG April 11, 2024 at 5:41 pm - Reply

      Brilliant. I wish I had known how bad some foods were for you when I was younger. We thought that we were eating healthily and didn’t realise that things like seed oils were so bad for you. Thanks for sharing

  3. […] To see our meal plan for last week click here […]

  4. Angela Carmody April 21, 2024 at 8:44 pm - Reply

    It’s very interesting thank you. We plan in as much as I will decide at the beginning of the week I will use frozen cooked meat one day, fish another, something with no meat another day. We often have your curry which my husband likes making using sweet potato and chick peas. He also makes enough to freeze another extra meal for 2.
    If we want a quick meal we take a container of something from the freezer early in the day and it only needs to be microwaved when we get home.
    Today we had a chicken casserole and some was left. I am going to turn it into soup tomorrow as last week I did that and it tasted lovely with other vegetables and herbs added.
    We always have frozen homemade scones in the freezer and some cakes but we are trying to cut them down as much as possible. I make extra dumplings and freeze some. I make the extra ones either on a tray if the oven is on or I microwave them and freeze. We always try to have something that can be frozen or saved to go towards another meal as it makes a bigger choice for meals.
    The freezer still has a lot of fruit from the garden in it and we have been using it often so must try hard to eat it before the new ripens and needs to be frozen and some made into jams and chutneys.

    • ToniG April 23, 2024 at 7:03 am - Reply

      That sounds very much like we do too. I think that it is important to add something to the freezer each week, especially if the food budget is low. Like you say, that way you consistently have choice and variety. It also helps if you have a very lean month. I seem to have lots of fruit left as well, but I guess it will be a good 3 months before we pick any more and so there is plenty of time to use it up, and we are running out of jam and so will probably use some for that.

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