Meal planning and keeping it simple

As you know, I find that meal planning saves us so much time and money. Just 15 minutes spent doing meal planning is time well spent. Surely during the course of your busy week, you can spare this much?

It involves going through the cupboards, fridge and freezer to see what we already have and then having a quick look through our recipe books and online to see what can be produced. Then I write a shopping list. Simples!

Keeping it simple

meal planningI honestly don’t plan fussy and time consuming meals. Life is too busy to make a cordon bleu three course meal every night after work. Keep it simple and give yourself a break.

This week I have a foreign language student coming.  As well as being quick and easy to prepare, meals when I have a student tend to be fairly conservative and unadventurous. I have had enough teenagers in the house to know that they don’t like fancy food. Given the choice, most of them would be happiest eating burgers, pizza and pasta!

I am tired at the moment too. Maybe winter has just dragged on too long and I need some sunshine. I booked the day off work today. Instead of traffic, I had a nice deep bubble bath and an hour’s yoga to start my day. I feel better already!

So here is this week’s meal plan:


Chicken drumsticks with baked sweet potatoes and salad. I have a huge sweet potato from last week’s shopping so will share that with darling daughter. It is only us for dinner tonight. I found the chicken drumsticks lurking in the freezer so they need using up. I will have a veggie burger, also from the freezer.


Chicken pasta bake. This should ease the student in fairly gently. There is a jar of sauce to use from Lidl and I always keep a ton of pasta. I will make two versions – a vegetarian gluten free one for me and the chicken one using standard pasta for everyone else. Mixed peppers from the freezer and cans of corn from the pantry will go in both versions.


Roast chicken thighs, roast potatoes, lots of vegetables, gravy and Yorkshire puds from the freezer. I will have sweet potato patties that I made a few weeks ago and froze.


Beef burgers in buns (we have some nice brioche ones in the freezer), coleslaw and frozen corn on the cob. I will have another veggie burger from the freezer.


Home made spaghetti Bolognese. I have Quorn so will make a batch for the freezer. The student will get a meaty version.


Fish and home made chips, with peas. I have fish and peas in the freezer plus a big bag of spuds in the cupboard already.


Sausages and mash with gravy. Well, you have to, don’t you! I will have a veggie sausage or two.


meal planningPizza and salad. I found two gluten free pizzas in the reduced section at Asda the other day so they are in the freezer. I wouldn’t pay full price for them though. They were reduced from £3 to £1.89 each. Even that’s expensive for a single pizza, but good for a gluten free one. I have a normal one for my student.

Puddings will be fruit, yogurt or ice cream for the student. I have some chocolate mini rolls in if the student or anyone else fancies one. I rarely bother with dessert – too bad for my waistline!

Meal planning linky

So this is my eight day meal plan. I won’t shop after work whilst the student is here as I need to be here to see her in from her classes. Luckily my daughter will be here for some of the week before she returns to university. Mr S is away with his mum, so he will miss all the fun!

I love having foreign students in the house. It is lovely to see their confidence growing and to learn about where they come from and all about their lives. This one is a 16 year old French girl. I hope she is nice and likes cats!

This week I am linking up with Katy Kicker and the Organised Life Project. If you want more ideas on meal planning and saving money, take a look at their blogs. For more of my tips on meal planning, try  this post.

7 thoughts on “Meal planning and keeping it simple

  1. I love to meal plan too and find not only that it saves me money but it also saves me lots of time and energy.

  2. Our shopping bill is waaaaaay under AU $100 (approx 54 pounds) per week these days. This includes all other non-edible bits and bobs too. Such a difference since previous years. This feeds three of us and a cat. It also allows for some leftovers that we freeze for later dates. my only sadness is that I haven’t been doing this for years. Love your blog and all that you do.

  3. I saw a meme on Facebook that read; If I could get back all the money I’d spent on food over the last 5 years, I’d be rolling in money now instead of rolling on my belly! 😀

    I’ve finally managed to wean a few of my carnivores onto Quorn & chickpeas which has greatly reduced my budget as I was buying it anyway for me, as well as the meat, and has saved time with cooking/washing up as well as I don’t have to make separate portions!
    Those that haven’t been weaned are either never here, or wouldn’t eat it anyway, so being 17 and up, they are now on their own if they want something different! 😀
    Life is so much simpler now!

    We will have an American lady staying with us for a few days next month and a Quorn pasta bake will have to suffice. I don’t make a meat version for my Quorn-hating, pasta fan, but instead heat a separate pan of just the sauce for him, so will do that for her if necessary. Mostly I hope we’ll be covered by being out and about, because she has provided a short list of likes and a l-o-n-g list of dislikes!

  4. How lovely of you to have a foreign student to stay and to welcome her into your home. Your meal plans sound lovely, it’s really helpful to see how you adapt things for your diet retsrictions as well. Thanks for linking up.

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