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Meal Planning - how do you do it?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Old Style MoneySaving
604 replies 110.4K views


  • Well, am only 10 days in and the fridge is pretty empty but I physically cannot get much more in the freezer, although this is spurring my DH into thinking about a second one!:D Most things are cooked or prepared and frozen so the rest of the month should be fairly easy.

    sweetserendipity - Thanks. I'm definately going to try to make some traybakes flapjack and brownies, although my track record in sweet baking is rocky! Not sure about fruit salad as DH is a bit fussy and seems to think that if he eats 3 pieces of fruit one day he can get away with none the next!!! :rotfl:

    Freakyogre - Recipe is really simple for Brie burgers. 500g of minced beef, one small onion finely chopped, seasoning and a dash of worcester sauce. Mix together to form 4 even balls. Push a small chunck of brie into the burger and wrap the meat around it to seal. Grill or oven bake to taste - I like mine medium. I've also been known to add extra cheese!

    Spent another £5 today on bread and some essentials so that brings my total for the month so far to £120 (budget per month is £150 so still hopeful). Have realised though that in 10 days I have managed to use 12 cartons of chopped tomatoes. Crikey!!
  • Thanks for the recipe stingy rach. I might give it a go next month.

    Thought i'd post an update as my first week has gone to plan. Tonights dinner wasn't a huge success as I tried to subsitute creme fraiche for yogurt and it split...doh! Still tasted quite nice though. Tomorrow i'm going out for dinner so I don't need to plan for that (only to decide what to have!)

    Next week should be fine too, the stew, quiche and potato wedges are made and in the freezer and the rest are fairly easy to make. Some of them will be meals for March too as the pasta bake and stuffing and lentil burgers will make several portions.

    I've just checked through the rest of my recipes for the month and all I should need is a red pepper (knew I shouldn't have stuffed my last one!), some carrots and maybe some noodles. Woohoo!
    Grocery challenge - Nov: £52/£100
  • PetuliaGristlePetuliaGristle Forumite
    2.2K Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    Hi, apologies if this has been posted already as I haven't read through new posts, some useful links here from weezl's recipe testing and frugalisation thread.
    "We have to be kind because everyone is fighting a great, great battle" - Sir Richard Attenborough
    "There is a special place in hell for women who don't help other women" - Madeleine Albright
  • Another week gone to plan :) Last night I nearly stuck a pizza in the oven as wasn't hungry, but hadn't eaten anything except a cookie, so forced myself to make the stuffing and lentil burgers. The mixture made 5, so I have 4 in the freezer (the aim to empty it will never happen!)

    I bought a swede in Aldi the other day for 29p and have cooked that up today, half to mash and half to roast (never tried it roasted) so that will need to feature on next months plan.

    Next week should go to plan except for tomorrow night as i've decided to have a takeaway. Won't make any difference as I as only having fish fingers anyway! I have 4 new recipes to try next week, so hopefully they'll all work out.

    I better start planning March soon!
    Grocery challenge - Nov: £52/£100
  • Well this week has had to change as I have a lot of chinese leftover from last night (not sure where my appetite has gone lately), so will have that tonight. I got tonights sweet and sour out the freezer before I picked the chinese up so that's already defrosted so i'll have to have that tomorrow now instead. The sausage casserole can stay in the freezer for another time, but the rest of the week should remain the same.

    It was all going so well until now! :p
    Grocery challenge - Nov: £52/£100
  • rosiebenrosieben Forumite
    5K Posts
    Great thread! :T I'm very into meal planning; think I'll try to incorporate more batch cooking in future. I'll be back for more ideas :D

    stingy rach - I've put a link to your brie burgers on the Grocery challenge recipe list, nice easy recipe!
    ... don't throw the string away. You always need string! :D

    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z Head Sharpener
  • Well, the month is almost up for me, I get paid on the 24th, and all has gone well so far. Have changed a few meals although using the same ingrediants i.e. meatball and goats cheese bake turned into meatball risotto. Plus, a large veg curry (8 portions) turned out to be disgusting and so that got binned, even the dog turned his nose up! :(

    One week to go and the fridge is fairly empty but the cupboards and freezer not bad. Have spent £150 so far which is about right and will probably spend another £5 on bread, milk and some potatoes before next week.

    Mad point though is that I've actually missed my weekly shopping planning and cooking and am finding it hard to stick to the programme. This week is gonna be tricky. Will post back then.

    Rosieben - thanks for that. The Brieburgers were soooo nice

    Freakyogre - Good to hear you are doing well. I succumbed to takeaway as a supposed valentines treat - any excuse!!!! :D
  • edited 31 March 2010 at 7:45PM
    freakyogrefreakyogre Forumite
    1.5K Posts
    edited 31 March 2010 at 7:45PM
    Here's my plan for March: -

    Monday 1st – tuna, sweetcorn and pea pasta bake
    Tuesday 2nd – stuffed pepper with potato wedges
    Wednesday 3rd – pea pakora pockets with salad
    Thursday 4th – southern fried chicken with polenta cubes and green beans
    Friday 5th – [STRIKE]red pepper, mozzarella & spinach melts (using a bagel)[/STRIKE] changed to pizza, quiche, salad etc.
    Saturday 6th – my dad and stepmum are taking me out for an indian
    Sunday 7th – mini homemade chicken and vegetable pie

    Monday 8th – stuffing and lentil burger with salad
    Tuesday 9th – chicken satay with rice (kind of a new recipe, I have made it before, but will be tweaking how I made it as was quite thick)
    Wednesday 10th – sausage pasta bake
    Thursday 11th – fish fingers, chips and peas
    Friday 12th – chicken korma with rice
    Saturday 13th – pasta with spicy sausage (chorizo) and cream
    Sunday 14th – roast chicken breast with vegetables (cabbage, roast swede)

    Monday 15th – pasta with spicy sausage (chorizo) and cream
    Tuesday 16th – broccoli and red pepper quiche with potato wedges and [STRIKE]mini corn on the cob[/STRIKE] coleslaw as I have cabbage to use
    Wednesday 17th – tuna, sweetcorn and pea pasta bake
    Thursday 18th – sesame chicken wrap with salad
    Friday 19th – mince stuffed pasta tubes (kind of cannelloni but smaller tubes!)
    Saturday 20th – [STRIKE]pork and rice one-pot[/STRIKE] - stayed ay my sisters
    Sunday 21st – chilli with pasta

    Monday 22nd – pea pakora pockets with salad
    Tuesday 23rd – stuffing and lentil burger with salad
    Wednesday 24th – i'm hopefully going to my sisters after work so will have to wait and see! - had beef bourguignon with rice
    Thursday 25th – leaving early to go to Thorpe Park with my brother and sister :D:D so will eat at hotel - had a massive cheeseburger with wedges
    Friday 26th – not sure what time we’ll be back, so will probably have something easy from the freezer like fish fingers or pizza - didn't bother as lunch was filling
    Saturday 27th – chicken laksa
    Sunday 28th – [STRIKE]macaroni cheese with bacon and peas[/STRIKE] had a big lunch at my dad's, so had a chicken and salad wrap for dinner

    Monday 29th – [STRIKE]chilli with rice[/STRIKE] going to change this to spaghetti bolognese as my chilli is frozen in double portions
    Tuesday 30th – tuna, sweetcorn and pea pasta bake
    Wednesday 31st – maple and pepper-glazed chicken with roasted carrots

    I have done the rest of this week too, but will keep that for April! Any new recipes are in bold. I'll have to do a shopping list for the bits I need, but I already have most of the main bits and a lot of it is already made in the freezer :)

    It may change slightly as not sure what my plans are for weekends yet and think my dad is taking me out for an indian at some point next month :D

    Edited to change one night as we've booked the indian now. Mmm!
    Grocery challenge - Nov: £52/£100
  • i have 4 of those boil in the bag fish in sauce in the freezer and am fed up of seeing them lol, can i cook them put in pyrex with mash on top and some cheese then put in oven for a while for a simple fish pie? sorry for the silly question but im just not sure
    I'd definately go for it,I experiment no end with odds and ends left in the freezer.You could always bulk it out with some onions ,.veg etc and you should have enough to freeze for another day.:)
  • rosiebenrosieben Forumite
    5K Posts
    Thinking about my last post, I've realised that I freeze more pre-prepped stuff than actual meals, eg I always have pastry in the freezer, crumble topping, bolognaise sauce, grated cheese, stewed fruit, minced veg, chopped tomatoes/onion/garlic mixture;

    I found loads of useful ideas inThriftlady's Meal building blocks for the freezer thread :T
    ... don't throw the string away. You always need string! :D

    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z Head Sharpener
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