I think meal planning is massively important to help cut your grocery budget. It helps you to manage your money and prevents food waste. For me, it also means we eat more healthily. As I am in the process losing a few pounds on Slimming World, it makes a huge difference.
If you have your whole week’s dinners planned (and even breakfasts and lunches too, although I tend to keep those fairly fluid), you are far less likely to give into fast food, a takeaway or a ping meal on your way home from school or work. When you are trying to save money and cut your grocery budget, meal planning to use up what you already have and then writing a shopping list to buy only the things you really need, will save you a ton of cash.
As I said in yesterday’s Five Frugal Things round up, last week’s meal plan went by the wayside somewhat. This is because we had family round for dinner on Sunday and had so many leftovers we had to eat them for half the week! We also had a gas leak and no cooker for one night and I had to improvise dinner. So for this week’s meal plan we shall try again!
Here are this week’s dinners to help us stick to our budget.
Meal planning to cut your grocery budget
The first thing I did was to see what needed using in the fridge and what was in the cupboard and freezer. Then I wrote the bits I needed on top plus things like Bread,milk and cheese and wrote a shopping list. This is crucial if you want to cut your grocery budget. We didn’t need much at all.
Ratatouille and rice with grated reduced fat cheddar. This is because we are growing our own courgettes and I want to use them. I also bought a pack of three peppers last week that need to be eaten.
All three daughters will be here for Sunday lunch today with a couple of boyfriends thrown into the mix. We will be eating a roast chicken, with roast potatoes, carrots and chard from the garden.
One of them is a vegan. I had thought about making a nut roast (this one could easily be adapted) but don’t want to make more than will actually get eaten. As we know, I made that mistake last week! Instead I will probably buy a ‘chicken’ and vegetable vegan pie from Tesco Groceries. I have just noticed that they also do a dairy free Ben and Jerry’s ice cream so I will get one of those too. We will have some raspberries from the garden and strawberries from the farm shop.
If we have any chicken left over I will use it in the week with low fat mayonnaise for lunches, and freeze the chicken carcass to make stock for soup.
Pasta with roasted pepper and tomato sauce. I will roast fresh tomatoes with peppers and garlic and literally just squish them through some cooked pasta with some chopped parsley and oregano. Super easy. Another one of the pack of peppers gone!
Spanish Style tortilla with a big salad of leaves and herbs from the garden, tomatoes and grated carrot. This will use up the last of the peppers.
Mediterranean fish stew with mashed potato and chard. I have fish and prawns in the freezer already.
An easy dinner of omelettes with air fried saute potatoes. They are super easy to make in the air fryer and you only need a couple of squirts of Frylight to make them very low fat. I will see what needs using up in terms of veg for this but possibly a delicious and healthy grated carrot salad.
In the larder we still have some of the Simply Cook packets I got from when I subscribed briefly. They are very nice and super easy. I plan to make a Goan curry with low fat coconut milk, also from the larder. I will hopefully make enough to tip over for Saturday’s dinner. This will be nice with rice and some chard.
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