This week’s meal plan has us eating from the larder. When you need to spend less on food, a great basic tip is to eat from your store cupboards. Look in the fridge, freezer and anywhere you keep food and find those items lurking at the back that need using.
Force yourself to be creative using what you have got. You might think that you can’t do much with cheese and flour, for example, but there are actually plenty of dishes that can be put together with these basics.
Not only will this save you money, it prevents food waste and the environmental issues such waste creates.
There are several websites that allow you to put your ingredients in and they will give you recipe ideas. I like Super Cook, as it allows you to input a few ingredients before offering suggestions. My daughter enjoys using Recipe Roulette when she needs inspiration, although it only allows you to put in your key ingredient.
Failing that, just Googling ‘recipes with xxx’ also works!
Here is this week’s Eating from the Larder meal plan.
Eating from the Larder meal plan
I bought my daughter and her boyfriend various vegan dishes when they were cat sitting the other week. There are still some no meat burgers in the freezer, I noticed, along with a couple of Quorn burgers.
I can’t eat the meatless ones as they contain soya, but Mr S can. The Quorn ones aren’t delicious, but need eating, so I will have those. I will melt cheese on top and have some gherkins from a jar in the fridge to make them taste nicer.
We will have our burgers with home made sweet potato fries made in the air fryer and a carrot salad, since there is a whole bag in the fridge.
Roast chicken with broccoli, carrots and roast spuds for Mr S. I will strip and save the chicken carcass for some home made stock at some point. There is already one carcass in the freezer, but ideally I like to use at least two.
My daughter left half a swede in the fridge, so I will cook and mash that as well. I don’t love swede, but it’s OK with plenty of butter and pepper.
I will freeze some of the leftover meat and keep some in the fridge for lunches.
As it’s just me for dinner tonight, I will have a bowl of hearty veg soup. I used up some bags of frozen mixed veg last week to make it, and froze some.
It’s handy to have some frozen veg in the freezer, but we really only enjoy peas and green beans, so the mixed veg had been there for a while. It was just taking up space, so I chopped up some celery and potatoes with veg stock and transformed it into the soup.
I won’t buy it again, although it did make very nice soup.
We have some apples that need eating, so I will do pork chops with a home made apple sauce. Home grown kale, mash and gravy will be nice with this.
I will make another easy chicken tray bake, with chicken drumsticks, peppers, mushrooms, garlic and olive oil, all roasted together.
We still have plenty of home grown tomatoes coming, so I will add those 15 minutes before the end of the cooking time. I might throw in some thinly sliced new potatoes as well.
I will make a sweet potato, coconut and chicken curry, using some of the cooked chicken from the Sunday roast. Mr S can have brown rice with his, but I will have it as it comes.
For some reason, we have 4 tins of coconut milk in the cupboard, so that will get rid of one of those at least!
As it’s just me again for dinner, I am hoping there will be enough leftover curry to make a meal. If not, I will go for my usual Friday fall back dinner – a trusty cheese omelette. I will grate some carrots to have with this, plus some tinned sweetcorn.
I am still avoiding most carbs and not eating bread, but I have the odd serving of new potatoes and brown rice when I feel like it.
We eat a lot of olives as snacks – I just buy the cheap ones in jars from Aldi or Lidl. I just love them, and they are healthy too. Lidl particularly is brilliant for nuts, which we enjoy snacking on too. They can be really expensive!
Eating from the larder should keep this week’s shopping bill really low. I am just intending to buy some basics to keep us topped up.
What are you planning this week? Do you have a lot of ingredients lurking in your stores that you really ought to use?