We are all feeling the pinch with the rising cost of living and dreaded bills spiralling out of control. So many of us struggle to run a home on a basic average weekly income.
One of my own worst shopping habits was impulse buying, mindlessly throwing food into the trolley came as second nature. If you’ve ever walked into a supermarket on a mission to buy just eggs and milk, but left with a basket full of items you didn’t really need, you’re not alone.
One way of breaking the cycle is writing a simple meal plan, with a shopping list and sticking to it. Do the “big shop” armed with your list and don’t give in to impulse. Only buy the staples on the list that can be used again and again in more than one meal.
Now I could be preaching to the converted here, I understand shopping with a list is not some new trendy “hack” we have been using it for generations, because it actually works.
Sometimes we need simple inspiration. Some ideas of what to put on the meal plan and our shopping list. I’ve done it for you, with a 4-day meal plan and list below.
Did you know we have simple meal planning and shopping list tools over in our private member’s area, with real family recipe videos to help you save money weekly and still cook delicious family food.
- Classic Roast Chicken
- Beef Goulash
- Leftover Chicken Pie
- Coconut Veggie Curry
- 1x 2kg chicken
- 500g lean beef pieces
- 1 pack each chicken & beef stock cubes
- 1 jar each smoked paprika, oregano & curry powder
- 1 tube tomato puree
- Fresh parsley & thyme
- 1 pack of mushrooms
- 3 beef tomatoes
- 1 green pepper
- 1 finger of ginger
- 2 red peppers
- 1 blub garlic
- 1 butternut squash
- 1 pack onions
- 1 pack of baby potatoes
- 4 medium carrots
- 1 pack spinach
- 1 small tin sweetcorn
- 2 litres milk
- 1 pack grated cheddar & mozzarella mix
- 1 tub crème fraiche
- 1 tin coconut milk
- 1 pack ready-made puff pastry
- 1 bottle rapeseed oil
- 1 pack of long grain rice
1. Classic Roast Chicken
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and boil a kettle of water.
- Place your chicken in the centre of a roasting tin and rub a crumbled chicken stock cube into the skin. Add a sprinkle of fresh herbs and season with salt and pepper.
- Put a slit into each leg, between the breast and leg, and pour 300ml of boiling water into the tin. Cover with tin foil to trap in all the steam.
- Place in the oven to cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes without touching.
- After the allotted time take the chicken out, drain off the liquid stock into a saucepan for a gravy, and ladle a little chicken juice over the bird.
- Put back in the oven for 10 minutes without the foil to crisp up the skin.
- Serve with boiled baby potatoes, carrots and wilted spinach.
2. Beef Goulash
- Heat a teaspoon of rapeseed oil in a heavy-based saucepan with a lid.
- Sprinkle 500g of lean beef pieces with a tablespoon of flour. Brown the meat over a medium heat.
- Mince 1 garlic clove, chop 3 beef tomatoes, 1 onion and 1 red pepper then add them to the pan along with the beef. Fry until softened.
- Add 2 tablespoons of tomato puree and sprinkle in 2 teaspoons of smoked paprika.
- Finally, pour in 300ml of beef stock. Let it simmer on the hob for 3½ hours.
- Finish with a dollop of crème fraiche before serving with fluffy rice.
3. Leftover Chicken Pie
- Place an oiled pan over a medium heat and add in your leftover chicken.
- Slice a handful of mushrooms, crush 1 garlic clove and add these to the pan with 2 tablespoons of sweetcorn. Cook for 5 minutes then add a tablespoon of flour seasoned with salt and pepper.
- In a jug mix a half pint of hot chicken stock with a half pint of milk.
- Slowly add the liquid quarter by quarter to the pan stirring well till it thickens nicely.
- Transfer the mix to an ovenproof dish.
- Top with a sheet of ready-made puff pastry, egg wash, then finish off in the oven at 180 degrees for about 40 minutes.
4. Coconut Veggie Curry
- Crush a clove of garlic, dice 1 onion and 1 butternut squash, chop a finger of ginger and 1 green pepper, and slice a handful of mushrooms.
- Add all the veggies to your saucepan over a medium heat with a little oil.
- Squeeze in a tablespoon of tomato puree and mix.
- Sprinkle in 2 tablespoons of curry powder, season with a little salt then add a tin of coconut milk. Stir well.
- Put a lid on the pan and simmer for 25 minutes.
- Finally, chuck in a handful of spinach and let it wilt.
- Serve with fluffy rice.