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  • FIRST POST
    • Maiden Mum
    • By Maiden Mum 5th Jan 18, 9:18 PM
    • 156Posts
    • 382Thanks
    Maiden Mum
    Monthly meal plans
    • #1
    • 5th Jan 18, 9:18 PM
    Monthly meal plans 5th Jan 18 at 9:18 PM
    Hi . I am keen to reduce my food bills and know from reading on here that meal planning is a good way to achieve this. I was wondering if anyone who creates monthly meal plans would be willing to share them on here? I have to create gluten-free meals as my DS has Coeliacs but that doesn't matter too much in respect of other people's meal plans as I may be able to adapt them anyway, We seem to eat the same things week in, week out and I think we could all do with a bit of variety!
Page 2
    • klbooth
    • By klbooth 28th Jan 18, 2:37 PM
    • 204 Posts
    • 753 Thanks
    klbooth
    Korean Grilled Chicken
    INGREDIENTS
    4 (6-oz.) boneless skinless chicken breast halves
    1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
    1 1/2 tablespoons dark sesame oil
    1 (1-inch) piece fresh gingerroot, peeled and minced
    1 tablespoon honey
    1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    3 cloves garlic, sliced

    METHOD
    Combine all ingredients in a 1-gallon zippered plastic freezer storage bag, gently squeezing to coat. Carefully squeeze out excess air before sealing. Freeze.

    Defrost.

    Preheat indoor or outdoor grill for medium-high heat. Lightly grease grill grate with olive oil. Place chicken breasts on grill, discarding marinade. Grill 6 to 8 minutes per side, or until cooked through and juices run clear.
    1P Challenge #13 £170.18/£667.95;£2 Club #30 £34;50p Club #8 £18;20p Club #100 £21;SPC #39 £?;VSPC #15 £297.85;1 Debt Vs 100 Days #1 £3964/£3964 (100%); PAYDOBX 2018 #118 £6212/£10014 (62%);GC Jan £483.58/£450; Feb £390.32/£430; Mar £260.41/£410; Apr 185.44/£410
    • klbooth
    • By klbooth 28th Jan 18, 2:41 PM
    • 204 Posts
    • 753 Thanks
    klbooth
    Shredded Chicken Chicken
    INGREDIENTS
    1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast meat
    1 teaspoon ground cumin
    1 (1.25-oz.) envelope taco seasoning mix
    1/2 cup diced onion
    4 medium ripe tomatoes, seeded and diced
    2 cloves garlic, pressed
    1/2 teaspoon sea salt
    1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

    METHOD
    In a small bowl, combine cumin and taco seasoning. Generously coat chicken with seasoning mix, then place chicken and any remaining seasoning mix in a 1-quart freezer bag. Carefully squeeze the bag to force out any air, then seal.

    In a second 1-quart freezer bag, combine onion, tomatoes, garlic, salt and pepper; seal bag and toss to mix well. Carefully squeeze the bag to force out any air, then seal.

    At Time of Cooking Ingredients:
    1 teaspoon olive oil
    1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
    8 corn OR flour tortillas
    Your favorite taco toppings, such as salsa, chopped cilantro, shredded cheese or sour cream

    Cooking Instructions:
    In large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat; add seasoned chicken and brown for about 2 minutes per side. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add chicken broth and vegetable mixture; cover and simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 30 minutes; transfer to a cutting board and shred with two forks. Return shredded chicken to the skillet and stir to coat with skillet contents. Cover and continue to cook on low heat for 15 minutes. Spoon mixture into tortillas and serve with your favorite toppings.
    1P Challenge #13 £170.18/£667.95;£2 Club #30 £34;50p Club #8 £18;20p Club #100 £21;SPC #39 £?;VSPC #15 £297.85;1 Debt Vs 100 Days #1 £3964/£3964 (100%); PAYDOBX 2018 #118 £6212/£10014 (62%);GC Jan £483.58/£450; Feb £390.32/£430; Mar £260.41/£410; Apr 185.44/£410
    • klbooth
    • By klbooth 28th Jan 18, 2:46 PM
    • 204 Posts
    • 753 Thanks
    klbooth
    Shredded Chicken Taco's
    INGREDIENTS
    1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast meat
    1 teaspoon ground cumin
    1 (1.25-oz.) envelope taco seasoning mix
    1/2 cup diced onion
    4 medium ripe tomatoes, seeded and diced
    2 cloves garlic, pressed
    1/2 teaspoon sea salt
    1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

    METHOD
    In a small bowl, combine cumin and taco seasoning. Generously coat chicken with seasoning mix, then place chicken and any remaining seasoning mix in a 1-quart freezer bag. Carefully squeeze the bag to force out any air, then seal.

    In a second 1-quart freezer bag, combine onion, tomatoes, garlic, salt and pepper; seal bag and toss to mix well. Carefully squeeze the bag to force out any air, then seal.

    At Time of Cooking Ingredients:
    1 teaspoon olive oil
    1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
    8 corn OR flour tortillas
    Your favorite taco toppings, such as salsa, chopped cilantro, shredded cheese or sour cream

    Cooking Instructions:
    In large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat; add seasoned chicken and brown for about 2 minutes per side. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add chicken broth and vegetable mixture; cover and simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 30 minutes; transfer to a cutting board and shred with two forks. Return shredded chicken to the skillet and stir to coat with skillet contents. Cover and continue to cook on low heat for 15 minutes. Spoon mixture into tortillas and serve with your favorite toppings.
    1P Challenge #13 £170.18/£667.95;£2 Club #30 £34;50p Club #8 £18;20p Club #100 £21;SPC #39 £?;VSPC #15 £297.85;1 Debt Vs 100 Days #1 £3964/£3964 (100%); PAYDOBX 2018 #118 £6212/£10014 (62%);GC Jan £483.58/£450; Feb £390.32/£430; Mar £260.41/£410; Apr 185.44/£410
    • klbooth
    • By klbooth 28th Jan 18, 2:53 PM
    • 204 Posts
    • 753 Thanks
    klbooth
    Buffalo Chicken
    INGREDIENTS
    1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast meat, cut into strips
    1 bottle hot sauce (I actually use a homemade BBQ sauce instead so the family will eat it!!)

    METHOD
    Place chicken in a 1-quart freezer bag; pour hot sauce on top and squeeze the bag to coat; carefully squeeze the bag to force out any air, then seal.

    At Time of Cooking Ingredients:
    4 ounces blue cheese or Feta cheese, crumbled
    Your favorite dipping sauce, such as ranch or blue cheese dressing

    Cooking Instructions:
    Place contents of bag into a crock cooker. Cover and cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours or until chicken is cooked through and juices run clear.
    Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove chicken from juices and place in a single layer in a baking dish. Pour liquid from crock cooker over chicken and top with cheese; bake for 15 minutes or until cheese develops golden tips. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce.

    So that is the official recipe but I don't really follow it much, I don't use the slow cooker I just throw the chicken in a oven dish and cover with foil, cook about 25 mins at 180C then uncover and cover with grated cheddar and back in oven for 5-10mins until cooked.

    HOMEMADE BBQ SAUCE
    2 Tbspn tomato sauce
    2 Tblspn Worcester sauce
    2 Tblspn honey
    2 Tspn chinese five spice
    1P Challenge #13 £170.18/£667.95;£2 Club #30 £34;50p Club #8 £18;20p Club #100 £21;SPC #39 £?;VSPC #15 £297.85;1 Debt Vs 100 Days #1 £3964/£3964 (100%); PAYDOBX 2018 #118 £6212/£10014 (62%);GC Jan £483.58/£450; Feb £390.32/£430; Mar £260.41/£410; Apr 185.44/£410
    • klbooth
    • By klbooth 28th Jan 18, 3:01 PM
    • 204 Posts
    • 753 Thanks
    klbooth
    So basically all 4 of those recipes I prepare in bulk. I bulk buy chicken breasts and get all the ingredients in to do 4 lots of each of them which I prepare in the one day then freeze and boom I have 16 meals ready to go.

    It really suits me to do it this way as I find it so time efficient, can plan it for a day that suits in my shift schedule and have the ingredients all in and just crack on. I have 100's of these types of recipes but sadly my family is incredibly fussy so I keep trying 1 here and there and keep hoping to stumble on another they love then will add it to my bulk prep list.

    Anyway, hope they help, hope it isn't too confusing as the ingredients are split into prep day and cooking day as separate.
    1P Challenge #13 £170.18/£667.95;£2 Club #30 £34;50p Club #8 £18;20p Club #100 £21;SPC #39 £?;VSPC #15 £297.85;1 Debt Vs 100 Days #1 £3964/£3964 (100%); PAYDOBX 2018 #118 £6212/£10014 (62%);GC Jan £483.58/£450; Feb £390.32/£430; Mar £260.41/£410; Apr 185.44/£410
    • Maiden Mum
    • By Maiden Mum 28th Jan 18, 4:38 PM
    • 156 Posts
    • 382 Thanks
    Maiden Mum
    That is amazing klbooth!!! Thank you so much! I also buy my chicken breasts in bulk from Makro so if I get organised there is no reason why I couldn't also do the same! It's such a clever way of getting organised!
    • klbooth
    • By klbooth 28th Jan 18, 4:54 PM
    • 204 Posts
    • 753 Thanks
    klbooth
    No problems, for me personally it was somewhat life changing, just need to find more recipes that are acceptable and build my repetoire, slowly, slowly catchee monkey........ the korean grilled chicken is a new one in the last 2 months and seems to be eaten without revolt so looking for the next one to try and slip in now. Did add in the honey soy chicken this month and it is a hit but not one i can pre-prep but oh well can't win them all, lol.
    1P Challenge #13 £170.18/£667.95;£2 Club #30 £34;50p Club #8 £18;20p Club #100 £21;SPC #39 £?;VSPC #15 £297.85;1 Debt Vs 100 Days #1 £3964/£3964 (100%); PAYDOBX 2018 #118 £6212/£10014 (62%);GC Jan £483.58/£450; Feb £390.32/£430; Mar £260.41/£410; Apr 185.44/£410
    • Maiden Mum
    • By Maiden Mum 28th Jan 18, 10:25 PM
    • 156 Posts
    • 382 Thanks
    Maiden Mum
    Is it zip & seal bags that you use klbooth? Do you get them from a supermarket?

    You know, the honey spy chicken would probably be liked by everyone else in the house apart from me ( I find chicken with honey too sweet) so could I also have that one as well please klbooth?
    • klbooth
    • By klbooth 28th Jan 18, 11:41 PM
    • 204 Posts
    • 753 Thanks
    klbooth
    Honey Soy Sticky Wings
    Ingredients
    1 dozen Chicken wings, raw (I used drumsticks this time)
    2 Tablespoons Soy sauce
    1 Tablespoon Honey
    Ĺ teaspoon Garlic, minced
    Ĺ teaspoon Ginger, minced
    ľ teaspoon Sesame oil
    1 teaspoon Cornstarch
    2 teaspoon water
    Salt and pepper to taste
    sesame seeds

    Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 375 Season the wings with salt and pepper. Lay out on a parchment lined baking sheet
    and bake for approximately 30 minutes.
    2. 2. In a small sauce pan, combine soy sauce, honey, garlic, ginger and sesame oil, and bring them to a
    boil. Make a thin paste with the cornstarch and water and then add it to the sauce when it boils. Turn it
    down and stir till it thickens. Set aside.
    3. At the 30 minute mark, remove the wings from the oven and baste lightly with the sauce. Return to oven
    for another 10 minutes or so.
    4. 4. When 10 minutes is up, remove them from the oven and place the wings with the remaining sauce
    together in a bowl and toss together. Put into a serving dish and garnish with sesame seeds.
    1P Challenge #13 £170.18/£667.95;£2 Club #30 £34;50p Club #8 £18;20p Club #100 £21;SPC #39 £?;VSPC #15 £297.85;1 Debt Vs 100 Days #1 £3964/£3964 (100%); PAYDOBX 2018 #118 £6212/£10014 (62%);GC Jan £483.58/£450; Feb £390.32/£430; Mar £260.41/£410; Apr 185.44/£410
    • klbooth
    • By klbooth 28th Jan 18, 11:42 PM
    • 204 Posts
    • 753 Thanks
    klbooth
    I use the lakeland freezer plastic bags and have a pot of clip loc fasteners but anything would do really.

    I do double bag them as it is advised to help avoid freezer burn, seems to work.
    1P Challenge #13 £170.18/£667.95;£2 Club #30 £34;50p Club #8 £18;20p Club #100 £21;SPC #39 £?;VSPC #15 £297.85;1 Debt Vs 100 Days #1 £3964/£3964 (100%); PAYDOBX 2018 #118 £6212/£10014 (62%);GC Jan £483.58/£450; Feb £390.32/£430; Mar £260.41/£410; Apr 185.44/£410
    • *Jellie*
    • By *Jellie* 29th Jan 18, 6:57 AM
    • 2,923 Posts
    • 13,520 Thanks
    *Jellie*
    I often do a 3-4 month meal plan! Due to my health issues we batch cook and freeze lots of our meals. Doing a plan for this long means we still have day to day flexibility.
    First we choose a !!!8216;theme!!!8217; for each day e.g. Monday chicken, Tuesday pizza, Wednesday fish, Thursday mince etc. For the batch cooking categories we then choose about 4 recipes to batch cook (often in slow cooker). Mince might be a keema curry, spag bol, meatballs in italian style sauce and chile con carne. Meals are batch cooked and frozen in bags/ containers which can mainly be taken from freezer and cooked within an hour (boiled in bag). This method means that in the evening we generally have 4 dishes to choose from so we don!!!8217;t feel restricted. It also allows us to cook on days when I am at my best health wise and hubby has to do minimal work day to day.
    Completely crazy clothes challenge 2018 £0/0!
    New year...new start!
    • S_Wales_Saver
    • By S_Wales_Saver 29th Jan 18, 4:54 PM
    • 240 Posts
    • 2,595 Thanks
    S_Wales_Saver
    Sweet chilli chicken and savoury rice
    Sweet chilli chicken

    Chicken breasts to serve your family
    Sweet chilli sauce (I use Nandoís)
    Oil

    Add a little oil to the bottom of a baking dish. Place chicken breasts on in the dish and spread with a dessert spoon of chilli sauce on each. Cook at fan 180 degrees for 20-25mins til almost cooked, then spread with another spoonful of chilli sauce. Put back in the oven for 5 more minutes or til fully cooked.

    Savoury rice

    2 cups basmati rice
    Small onion finely chopped
    Half red pepper chopped
    Frozen peas and frozen sweet corn
    4 cups chicken (or veg) stock

    Saut! the onion and pepper in a little oil til onion is translucent. Add rice and stir. Add stock and a couple of handfuls each of the peas and sweet corn. Bring to the boil and bubble covered for 3-4 mins. Turn off the heat and leave covered for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve with sweet chilli chicken and salad.

    If you are in a hurry you can leave out the onion and pepper and the saut! bit and use some of the small cut frozen mixed vegetables. A pack of savoury rice would also work.

    Quantities to suit your family, just remember 1 cup rice to 2 cups of stock.
    Dor
    • S_Wales_Saver
    • By S_Wales_Saver 29th Jan 18, 6:57 PM
    • 240 Posts
    • 2,595 Thanks
    S_Wales_Saver
    Chilli beef pasta
    Chilli

    500 grams minced beef
    1large onion finely chopped
    1 red 1 green pepper chopped
    1 garlic clove crushed
    Large tin tomatoes
    Large tin red kidney beans drained and rinsed
    Large tin baked beans
    1 teasp chilli powder (or to taste)
    1 teasp ground cumin
    Half teasp smoked paprika
    1 teasp sugar
    Beef stock cube
    2 tbs tomato pur!e

    Saut! the onion and peppers, add garlic (I sometimes grate in a carrot or two at this stage). Add minced beef and fry til browned. Add all the spices and sugar and cook for a few minutes. You can add a glass of red wine at this stage (or drink it )
    Make up the stock cube to about 300 mls with boiling water and stir in add tomato pur!e, and both tins of beans. Season and simmer for 45 minutes.

    This is my basic chilli served with rice and soured cream. I use about half for the chilli meal, then freeze half for the pasta.

    When you come to make the pasta, defrost and reheat the chilli in a large pan. Meanwhile, cook about 80-90 grams of penne per person, drain and tip into the chilli sauce. Serve in bowls with grated cheese to sprinkle over, garlic bread and salad.

    Occasionally, if I can be bothered , I put the chilli pasta in a baking dish, sprinkle with cheese and bake for 15 minutes.
    Dor
    • S_Wales_Saver
    • By S_Wales_Saver 29th Jan 18, 7:08 PM
    • 240 Posts
    • 2,595 Thanks
    S_Wales_Saver
    Spicy chicken rice
    This is a cheat. (Well we all need some!)
    I cook a pack of mushroom (or chicken) savoury rice (the dried kind) Just before itís ready stir in a pack of sliced chicken tikka from the supermarket. Serve hot with salad. Any leftovers freeze well and make a quick lunch.
    Dor
    • S_Wales_Saver
    • By S_Wales_Saver 29th Jan 18, 11:42 PM
    • 240 Posts
    • 2,595 Thanks
    S_Wales_Saver
    Chicken balti
    2 tbs oil
    1 tsp cumin seeds
    1 large onion chopped
    1 tsp grated ginger root
    1 tsp crushed garlic
    1 tbs tomato pur!e
    Half a jar balti paste
    150 ml water
    1 red pepper sliced
    1 green pepper sliced
    500 grams chicken in bite sized pieces
    4 tomatoes
    1 tsp sugar
    2 tsp Garam masala

    Heat the oil in a large heavy frying pan. Add the cumin seeds and fry briefly til they release flavour. Add the chopped onion and cover. Fry slowly til translucent (about 10 minutes) then add garlic and ginger and fry a further 5 minutes. Add tomato pur!e, balti paste and water and simmer for 15 minutes. (I often do this the day before while cooking dinner and keep it in the fridge)

    In your clean pan fry the peppers in a little oil til they just soften and turn a little black just at the edges. Put on a plate. Fry the chicken until just sealed. Add half the peppers back into the pan with the quartered tomatoes, sugar, garam masala and the base from the fridge. Add a little more water if itís too thick. Bring to the boil and bubble til the chicken is cooked and the tomatoes soften.

    Serve with basmati rice and garnish with the reserved peppers and chopped coriander.

    Sometimes I add half a bag of baby spinach to just wilt in at the end so itís chicken saag balti. Or Iíll add some new potatoes quartered with the peppers. If you do that it needs more water and a longer cooking time til the potatoes are done.

    This one sounds fiddly, but if you get the base done the day before while you cooking that dinner it doesnít take too long at all. Believe me with two 9 yr olds about, nothing can take too long!
    Dor
    • Maiden Mum
    • By Maiden Mum 7th Feb 18, 10:16 PM
    • 156 Posts
    • 382 Thanks
    Maiden Mum
    I had the Korean chicken last night klbooth or at least I think I did! So much for being organised, I made the Korean chicken and the homemade BBQ sauce and froze both in separate freezers, labelling neither but feeling really sure that I would remember which way round they were! But a few sleeps later & that thought had completely gone so I can only say I think I had the Korean chicken! Well it was very nice and everybody eat it so double bonus. It was so nice to just come home from work & stick it in the oven so thanks again for the recipe!
    • klbooth
    • By klbooth 8th Feb 18, 1:41 AM
    • 204 Posts
    • 753 Thanks
    klbooth
    So glad you enjoyed it, it is my favourite part of these recipes, the quick cook but with something a bit tastier!

    And you made me laugh, I am forever doing things thinking I will remember and of course no chance, next day and poof..... all gone out of my head. I do write more stuff down but of course I have to not lose where I wrote it.....
    1P Challenge #13 £170.18/£667.95;£2 Club #30 £34;50p Club #8 £18;20p Club #100 £21;SPC #39 £?;VSPC #15 £297.85;1 Debt Vs 100 Days #1 £3964/£3964 (100%); PAYDOBX 2018 #118 £6212/£10014 (62%);GC Jan £483.58/£450; Feb £390.32/£430; Mar £260.41/£410; Apr 185.44/£410
    • purpleivy
    • By purpleivy 8th Feb 18, 2:21 PM
    • 3,378 Posts
    • 20,683 Thanks
    purpleivy
    There are so many obstacles to making a meal plan! Yet starting with a proper 'repeating' plan has made me much more organised and is part way to getting rid of the 'decision fatigue'.

    Obstacles for me....and solutions perhaps for some!

    - I run out of time having got immersed in my work (home based garment alteration business)
    - I forget to get whatever out of the freezer
    -I have omitted to purchase 'whatever', although I'm attempting to use up freezer supplies.
    -I find that different combo of family members will be present. DD and I have things we can't eat. I'm deliberately low on grains for IBS. She can't eat peppers and won't eat sweetcorn. Her appetite is rather ropy sometimes due to CFS/ME levels. Or maybe hub will be home alone or with her. That affects menu choices too.

    I'm working hard on trying to get over these hurdles. Trying to remember to get stuff out of the freezer in the morning, staying a day a head on soup, bread and yogurt making. Planning shopping ahead so I have the right things in.

    My meal plan has more things than a month's worth of days, so I try to cluster items that are similar in some respect together, so some days will have 3 lines.

    If a day falls out for any reason, then I will judge whether to have the meal another day instead of something else or just abandon. If it's a storecupboard meal or something that is sitting in the freezer waiting, then might go either way. If it's something where I have the ingredients in already, then need to decide whether to eat another day instead of a storecupboard/freezer meal, or whether to freeze.
    "Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad"
    Trying not to waste food!
    • Maiden Mum
    • By Maiden Mum 8th Feb 18, 9:55 PM
    • 156 Posts
    • 382 Thanks
    Maiden Mum
    It!!!8217;s tricky isn!!!8217;t it purpleivy? I!!!8217;m not even attempting meal planning at the moment as I am too busy planning my 50th birthday party!
    I!!!8217;m looking forward to trying the next dish klbooth!
    • Maiden Mum
    • By Maiden Mum 18th Feb 18, 10:06 PM
    • 156 Posts
    • 382 Thanks
    Maiden Mum
    S_Wales_Saver - I am so sorry, you must think me very rude! In my mind I had thought that I had responded to you but tonight looking back on this thread for more ideas of things to cook I realise that I actually hadn't! Thank you so much for all your lovely recipes. The chicken Balti dish is actually the next one on my list to try!
    klbooth - we had the other chicken dish tonight that I had prepared before - the homemade BBQ sauce with Chicken. Again it went down very well and all four of us liked it so thank you again for another successful to this household dish!
    Jellie and purpleivy - would you care to share any of the meal on your meal plans?
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