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    • Alfietinker
    • By Alfietinker 16th Dec 05, 12:47 PM
    • 565 Posts
    • 545 Thanks
    Alfietinker
    • #2
    • 16th Dec 05, 12:47 PM
    • #2
    • 16th Dec 05, 12:47 PM
    I tend to look through a recipe book for things that take my fancy. I make a shopping list based on that and then look for recipes with similar ingredients.

    Eg, Prawn jumbalaya uses prawns, rice, tomatoes etc. In the same week I'd also have something like a prawn curry, again using tomatoes, rice. Not so many different ingredients to buy then.

    Don't forget to include lunches etc.

    Good luck
    New year, no debt! Debt free date - 02/01/07
    • 16011996
    • By 16011996 16th Dec 05, 12:51 PM
    • 8,140 Posts
    • 3,704 Thanks
    16011996
    • #3
    • 16th Dec 05, 12:51 PM
    • #3
    • 16th Dec 05, 12:51 PM
    try writing down favourite meals to get you started, and think about which nights your going to have most time to cook, i tend to do double batches some nights, that are then easy to warm up. on this website, there are some meal planner forms you can print off, i use these, i find they really help.

    http://www.organizedhome.com/printable/index.php/cat/501

    160.
    • Sarahsaver
    • By Sarahsaver 16th Dec 05, 1:00 PM
    • 8,219 Posts
    • 13,174 Thanks
    Sarahsaver
    • #4
    • 16th Dec 05, 1:00 PM
    • #4
    • 16th Dec 05, 1:00 PM
    Look at what you already have in the cupboards/freezer. Chances are you have enough for a week's meals anyhow.
    For example this is ehat I do for a week. I usually get a chicken, leg of lamb or a joint of meat for sunday, then leftovers make meals for 1 or 2 days (pasta bake, pies, curries, biryani...) We have a couple of veggie meals a week, omelette with cooked 'past its best' veggies in, and a baked potato with toppings, or something made with dried beans. This week I got mince from lidl (very good quality) and cooked a bolognese type sauce, split it and made a chilli, of which there was enough to freeze for another time, and the rest is going into a lasagne tonight with some hm garlic bread to go with it. I always have tinned toms, tuna, tomato soup, baked beans, plain and sr flour, rice, pasta and risotto rice in store. I make stock with any bones left and also make 'sunday dinner soup' for sunday tea with the leftover veg and gravy from the dinner. (often gets a standing ovation)I often do too many roast spuds and save the rest in the freezer for the next week.

    So basically I look at what I have first, then if there are any special offers on like BOGOFs or reduced meat I get them to fit in for the following week's plan.
    HTH
    Member no.1 of the 'I'm not in a clique' group
    I have done reading too!
    To avoid all evil, to do good,
    to purify the mind- that is the
    teaching of the Buddhas.
  • swampytiggaa
    • #5
    • 16th Dec 05, 1:04 PM
    • #5
    • 16th Dec 05, 1:04 PM
    thanks for that! will have to go thru the freezers and start thinking more about what we eat - and maybe get some receipe books to look at
    five children? I must be mad........
    aug grocery spend - 166.45
    • squeaky
    • By squeaky 16th Dec 05, 1:05 PM
    • 13,808 Posts
    • 15,843 Thanks
    squeaky
    • #6
    • 16th Dec 05, 1:05 PM
    Oops. Hit the wrong smiley
    • #6
    • 16th Dec 05, 1:05 PM
    Hiya

    There are a few threads on menu planning, and I've copied a few out of the MEGA Index here:-

    Menu Planning:
    - menus again
    - Once a month cooking
    - Organising recipes


    And there's a much longer thread here:-

    Menu Planning Tips
    Last edited by squeaky; 16-12-2005 at 1:47 PM.
    Hi, I'm a Board Guide on the Old Style and the Consumer Rights boards which means I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly and can move and merge posts there. Board guides are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an inappropriate or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com. It is not part of my role to deal with reportable posts. Any views are mine and are not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.

    Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence.
    DTFAC: Y.T.D = 5.20 Apr 0.50
    • jobbingmusician
    • By jobbingmusician 16th Dec 05, 1:14 PM
    • 19,651 Posts
    • 20,477 Thanks
    jobbingmusician
    • #7
    • 16th Dec 05, 1:14 PM
    • #7
    • 16th Dec 05, 1:14 PM
    I think the approach of 'here's what I have in the cupboard, what can I make?' is nearly always the right one - a good basic shopping list combined with whatever's on BOGOF or nearing the end of its shelf life!

    Perhaps we ought to start a thread 'here's what I've got, what can I make?' - or is there one already?
  • Icemaiden
    • #8
    • 16th Dec 05, 1:20 PM
    • #8
    • 16th Dec 05, 1:20 PM
    I menu plan for a month. It can be a bit of a chore but I find it works for us and I do a large shop at the begining of the month so taking advantage of 3for2, bogofs and large box items such as wasing power, big bags of pasta, toilet rolls that sort of thing. I tend to rotate meals so wk1 meals are the same as wk3 and wk2 meals are the same as wk4. Then month 2 have different meals again if you get my drift..
    • squeaky
    • By squeaky 16th Dec 05, 1:31 PM
    • 13,808 Posts
    • 15,843 Thanks
    squeaky
    • #9
    • 16th Dec 05, 1:31 PM
    • #9
    • 16th Dec 05, 1:31 PM
    Perhaps we ought to start a thread 'here's what I've got, what can I make?' - or is there one already?
    by jobbingmusician


    Pretty much the best thread for that would be our Store Cupboard Challenge, though in the MEGA Index cooking section are a number of links to sites where you can put in your ingredients and they will suggest a recipe.

    In fact, if you join any of our recipe threads (the threads themselves, not their indexes) you can put your main ingredient in the "Search this thread" box and get a list of all the recipes that have it in them.
    Hi, I'm a Board Guide on the Old Style and the Consumer Rights boards which means I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly and can move and merge posts there. Board guides are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an inappropriate or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com. It is not part of my role to deal with reportable posts. Any views are mine and are not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.

    Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence.
    DTFAC: Y.T.D = 5.20 Apr 0.50
  • Penny-Pincher!!
    Hey

    As your a virgin meal planner..LOL. I would start easy and small. Just plan for 4 days at a time. For me it would be (1)Roast Chicken (2)Sausage, mash & veg(3) Chicken Curry & Rice (leftover chicken from roast) (4)Shepards Pie & Veg.

    Just buy the food needed for these meals, then next time if you manage OK, plan for 5/7/10 days etc. Once you get in the swing, its quite easy. Each week we seem to have the same meals but normally do a 2 week meal plan and buy the main food items needed. Meals are like this for the fortnight (roughly..LOL):

    2 X Roast Dinners
    2 X Shepards Pie
    Toad In Hole
    Pie, Spuds & Veg
    Fish Pie
    Sausage, Mash & Beans
    Curry & Rice
    SpagBol
    Fish Breaded, Spuds & Veg
    2 X Egg & Chips
    Chilli Con Carne & Rice

    I would say these 2 weeks of meals should cost about 15 including all veg, pulses etc for the 3 of us.

    Your be fine hun.

    Good Luck and may the OS force be with you!!!

    PP
    xxx
    Last edited by Penny-Pincher!!; 16-12-2005 at 1:36 PM.
    To repeat what others have said, requires education, to challenge it,
    requires brains!

    FEB GC/DIESEL 200/4 WEEKS
    • rubytuesday
    • By rubytuesday 16th Dec 05, 3:27 PM
    • 21,528 Posts
    • 71,147 Thanks
    rubytuesday
    There is a website were you can type in what ingredients you've got an it gives you rceipe ideas lost it now but got it from this site so someone must know what its called!
    • Sarahsaver
    • By Sarahsaver 16th Dec 05, 4:43 PM
    • 8,219 Posts
    • 13,174 Thanks
    Sarahsaver
    www.recipemonster.com i think is the right address
    Member no.1 of the 'I'm not in a clique' group
    I have done reading too!
    To avoid all evil, to do good,
    to purify the mind- that is the
    teaching of the Buddhas.
  • pagan705
    :confused: that link doesn't work but there is also http://search.allrecipes.com/recipe/Ingredient.aspx

    but I'm sure there are many others as well
  • swampytiggaa
    you are all fantastic!

    my plan for monday then [I work weekends boo hiss] is to make a list of what is in my fridge/freezers/cupboards and see what meals i could make with what is there - then only buy what i need to add to them.

    thank you all again - I feel inspired now!
    five children? I must be mad........
    aug grocery spend - 166.45
  • wigginsmum
    I'll join you on this, ST. Our second freezer arrives next Monday, and I'm planning on batch-cooking during the first week in January when I'm off work.

    - Spag bol
    - Boeuf Bourguignon
    - Chicken curry
    - Onion/lemon/prawn rice
    - Pork + fruit casserole

    Jules
    The ability of skinny old ladies to carry huge loads is phenomenal. An ant can carry one hundred times its own weight, but there is no known limit to the lifting power of the average tiny eighty-year-old Spanish peasant grandmother.
  • jcr16
    i shall be reading this thread hoping to get lots of ideas. i seem to have a problem as my cupboards can be full yet i still go shopping and buy even more. i do have a shopping budget and i do stick to it. but i generally buy the same things every week wether we need them or not. it got so bad that once we had 15 tins of beans in cupboard.
    i like all normal meals like toad in hole , chilli , roast , spag bol etc etc. but even tho i make a menu up . i sometimes get bored and wanna try something different. i am a very good cook and enjoy cooking , but i have fairly limited time as i have young children .
    although i suppose if i could drag myself away from mse in the evening's , then i could work out a meal planner. but all ideas and advice i would be so grateful off. i am gonna read the mega section in a min.
    Very proud mummy to 4 wonderful children aged 8,7 and 4 and 1 months. And our beautiful little angel in heaven she will never be forgotten .My children and Husband are my world.I'm a sahm and enjoying every minute to the full even if sometimes it can seem a bit tough x
  • HOLsale
    try writing down favourite meals to get you started, and think about which nights your going to have most time to cook, i tend to do double batches some nights, that are then easy to warm up. on this website, there are some meal planner forms you can print off, i use these, i find they really help.

    http://www.organizedhome.com/printable/index.php/cat/501

    160.
    by 16011996

    the organised home site is brilliant for the forms alone

    you can do pantry and fridge/freezer inventory forms too which will of course help with your meal planning

    i have a 'living cookbook' which helps me to meal plan. i tell it what i have in the house (see, those inventory sheets from OH come in handy) then it trawls through the recipes you have in your database (comes with loads, their pages have loads more and easy to add your own) then it comes back with stuff you can make given what you have on hand... brilliant piece of software and their support on site is excellent too
    founder of Frugal Genius UK (Yahoo Groups)
  • Queenie
    have just taken over the family shopping [now i have my 10% discount card for Tesco] and want to pull the cost of it all down as much as possible.

    I realise that my problem is that i don't plan meals in advance but i really don't know where to start

    ideas and help please

    by swampytiggaa
    If you are completely at a loss, one thing that may help ...

    just write down, on your calendar, everything that you eat daily ... at the end of the month - you have a whole month worth of menu plans/meal ideas to skim over and incorporate into the next month.

    A whole month too daunting? Try is for one (normal!) week - Christmas week probably isn't the best week to start

    Another idea:

    Use your till receipt as a meal planner.

    Yes, both of those methods are really working backwards - but, for a first step they can prove extremely useful until you can get into the habit of drawing up your meal/menu plans in advance.

    HTH
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    PMS Pot: 57.53 Pigsback Pot: 23.00
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    • Sweet Pea
    • By Sweet Pea 18th Dec 05, 7:49 PM
    • 674 Posts
    • 1,060 Thanks
    Sweet Pea
    Thanks for this thread. I've managed to get my shopping bill down, but I'm going to try menu planning after Christmas when normality returns.
    I have tried this before over the years but haven't managed to stick to it. I struggle to come up with meals that we all like, as my lot are fussy (to say the least - OH included,) when it somes to food. My approach now is to just cook something and bung it in front of them. If they don't like it - tough. If I listened to them it would be chicken nuggets every night.
    Also I was telling OH how my mum used to meal plan so I always knew what was for tea every night - it was chips on Mondays and Wednesdays, potatoes on Tuesdays and Thursdays etc for years. (My mum hates cooking - cant you tell, originality is not her forte, lol) OH said he would hate this. Too bad 'cos its coming to this house soon! Although maybe I can run to something a bit more exciting than chips or potatoes.

    I was re reading my fave Ol' Style book, (tightwad gazette) and was surprised to find that Amy Dacyzn does not agree with menu planning, claiming that "the pantry principle" is more moneysaving in the long run. This is also the system that I kind of use myself at the moment. I'm going to compare food bills after Christmas and see which I think is more moneysaving for me.
  • Janeryan
    Pantry Priniciple
    Is this where you look in the pantry and then plan your meals?If not what is it please?

    My husband works very strange shifts so I have trouble planning meals as we don't all eat togehter very often so they have to be things he can reheat/defrost-kind of rules out egg & chipsand toad in the hole

    Also have picky 15yr old boy to cater for.


    It's a nightmare!
    Jan 2012 grocery spend 19.20
    2012 total budget is ????
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