Using it up to keep food bills low

using it up

Even though Zero Waste Week is now over, I am continuing to use the items I identified as ‘forgotten’ when I did my stock take last week. I don’t want to waste food or money! So I will continue using it up this week.

My ‘using it up’ meal plan


Roast chicken or nut roast for dinner (this was a special request from my daughter for her birthday)! We will have roast potatoes and parsnips, broccoli cheese, Yorkshire puds, stuffing and peas with this.  Dessert will be home-made chocolate birthday cake.


Red wine and mushroom risotto from A Girl Called Jack. This is  hearty and delicious!


using it up

Macaroni cheese. We have a big jar of macaroni that has been sitting around because we are eating mainly gluten free for my low gluten diet. As the girls will all be round it is a good time to be using it up. I will cook and chop up some of the unwanted sausages I mentioned in last week’s plan for Zero Waste Week  in theirs.


Prawn korma with poppadums. We have a couple of jars of curry sauce that need eating and will use one of them.


Veggie burgers or pork chops, vegetables and mash. I will deliberately do too much mash. I plan to make soup and it‘s a great thickener.


Home made chunky vegetable soup. Tuna and cheese pittas.


using it up

More of the soup, probably with a jacket potato. This will be an easy end of week tea.

Snacks and treats

Our fantastic little plum tree is still going strong, so I will be stewing some to have as my fruit pots at work next week. I ran out of time to make the gluten free peanut butter cookies last weekend as we ended up doing a lot of work in the garden. That huge jar of peanut butter needs to be used, so I will have another try this weekend.

I like this using it up mentality as it makes me more creative. It gives me a warm glow of satisfaction to know I am saving money and preventing food waste.

Other meals

Lunches need to be portable and are usually leftovers, home made soup or sandwiches. Breakfast tends to be either muesli with yogurt or porridge. As we have a lot of the latter and it is getting cooler, I think porridge will be favourite this week.

As usual, to keep my shopping budget on track,  I am linking up with Katy Kicker . If you want more ideas on meal planning and saving money, take a look here.

This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, I will earn a small commission. Thanks!

11 thoughts on “Using it up to keep food bills low

  1. I used up the final container of what we call “Sloppy Joes” – spicy seasoned mince in a tomato sauce – along with some leftover veggies for brunch today and supper is just a couple of crisp breads with cheese and the last of the pate. If I’m hungry later I’ll have an apple.

    Sunday: I will eat breakfast as it will be an early start & a late lunch so I’ve taken the last small pork chop (done in tomato sauce) out of the freezer and will have it with the last bit of leftover veggies and potatoes. Lunch will be served at a committee meeting after church & I’m meeting friends at a pub later (probably just some soup & salad).

    Monday: it’s to stay cool so I’m going to make some soup which will do for lunches this week and take some fish out of the freezer to have with a salad for supper.
    Tuesday: probably another day of fish & salad to use it up.
    Wednesday: Chicken Dumplings from the freezer with a bit of rice
    Thursday: Repeat of Wednesday
    Friday: Cook some chicken thighs and have them with potatoes & salad
    Saturday: I eat lunch out with friends after class so supper is just some odds & ends left in the fridge or some scrambled eggs.

    If I need anything else I’ll probably make up some tuna salad and there is plenty of cheese on hand. There is salad greens and a selection of vegetables in the fridge – both fresh & frozen so I think the only items still on my list to buy this week are apples, bananas & milk – some of which will be turned into HM yogurt.

  2. I often make too much mash and like to make potato cakes, they make the mash go further and I don’t use egg in mine so the egg could be poached or fried to have with them as part of a breakfast or brunch. I do like Jack Munroes book and admire her resourcefulness during her most difficult times but do wonder if I only had £10 a week for food would I spend £3 on a bottle of wine but then thought how mean of me to think that and maybe a small glass as a treat helped to keep her going, we bought a few of her books and donated them to the local food bank and they were well received, so hope to do that again near Christmas, a clever lady! We are now on our own as the last son to leave home ( aged 36 ) moved out last week, it feels so strange, we did a stock take and made a list accordingly for the week, it was a good feeling to be in control especially as helping no: 3 to move out was costly but wouldn’t have it any other way, we are having, veggie sausages mash veg and gravy, lentil cottage pie, enchiladas, all day breakfast, quorn curry,pasta bake,bean burgers chips and home made coleslaw and something wrapped in pastry -not decided what yet ! Lunches will be the usual suspects, something either on bread ,in between bread, to dip bread in and leftovers.

  3. It seems that many people forget that we can eat soup for tea, jacket potatoes, baked beans, etc, & macaroni cheese. And that breakfast and lunch can be simple, too. I refuse to watch any more cooking programmes, I feel that people feel pressured to make chef fusion meals, and forget to make simple nourishing foods.

  4. I’ve got macaroni cheese jealousy! It’s my all-time favourite food. Himself hates it. He’s soooo strange. That soup looks good too.

  5. Your comment about the “using it up mentality making me more creative”
    struck a chord with me.
    We are away at the moment and I’m cooking with the bare minimum of ingredients
    including what’s left over from a week sharing with friends last week.
    Tonight we had a soggy banana mixed with a spoonful of marmalade then blackberries
    and cream on top. It was unusual but delicious, especially as we don’t have puddings at home!!
    Our first course was Jack Monroe’s mushroom and wine risotto adapted by what I had.
    I’m loving the challenge and hope to continue it at home to reduce my freezer contents and use
    up some of the tins and dried goods on my shelves that I keep ignoring. Sue

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