Monthly Archives: July 2014

Mealplan and Spending Update 27/07

It’s Commonwealth Games time here in Glasgow! Have been really enjoying the buzz the last few days and we have tickets to three events next week, so can’t wait for that 🙂

After a weekend where I barely saw the inside of my flat – including tickets to a performance of a Shakespeare play in the Botanic gardens, a night out, a visit to my parents and going to a strongwoman competition to support a friend who was competing – it’s a miracle I actually got any kind of mealplan done, but I even managed to order a delivery from Asda too! There was much divergence from the mealplan last week by the way due to some last minute plan changes, so some of the meals in this week’s are recycled. Hopefully we get around to actually eating them this week 😉


Sun 27 – chicken & vegetable curry with rice

Mon 28 – breaded fish, chips and veg

Tues 29 – chickpea and pepper stew with bulgur wheat

Wed 30 – some kind of pasta

Thurs 31 – veggie chilli with rice

Fri 1 – pork and apple burgers with coleslaw

Sat 2 – not planned yet in case we end up going out, but probably some kind of chicken dish if not

Spending Update (£69.03 / £175)

delivery £5.50

fruit & veg £14.61
smartprice carrots 2kg £1.18
white cabbage 1.4kg 80p
maris piper potatoes 2.5kg £2
smartprice lemons 500g 85p
bananas x6 70p
cherry tomatoes 525g £1.20
celery 50p
smartprice peppers 700g £1.50
frozen spinach 1kg £1.39
smartprice frozen sweetcorn 1kg 99p
strawberries 700g £2.50
florette salad leaves £1

meat & fish £8.69
free range whole chicken 1.75kg £8.69

dairy & eggs £2
greek yoghurt £1
whole milk 4 pints £1

general £24.41
cola 2ltr 4pk x3 £4.95
cola 250ml 12pk x2 £4.80
black peppercorns 200g £2.38
smartprice mayonnaise 40p
veg stock cubes 40p
beef stock cubes 40p
coarse grain mustard 48p
smartprice tinned tomatoes x4 £1.24
granulated sugar 2kg £1.55
smartprice spaghetti 20p
smartprice penne pasta 29p
udon noodles £1.20
roasted red peppers $1.40
cashew nuts 200g £1.72
mccoys crisps 6pk x2 £2
bulgur wheat £1.08

household £12.15
smartprice cat litter x3 £4.65
triple velvet toilet roll 16pk £5
bin bags 30pk £2.50
antibacterial spray £1
smartprice kitchen roll 4pk £1.39

Lentil, sweet potato and coconut soup

I had some really tasty soup for lunch today out of a batch I made and froze last week, and belatedly thought that it’d make a good recipe to share, so here it is. It was far too hot for soup today really – I sat outside, which is why the pictures are so bright – but I enjoyed it anyway 🙂

It’s got a lovely sweet, earthy, coconutty flavour plus a nice level of heat from the curry powder, without being too spicy. Interestingly, since I’ve been trying to have my lunchtime soup without bread I’ve paid a lot more attention to seasoning the soup and can really tell the difference. I think you can rely on buttered bread to ‘carry’ an underseasoned soup a bit so I was being a bit lazy about tasting and seasoning before packing it up and freezing.

I’ve always said that soup’s the best way to get in a healthy lunch as cheap as possible and this one’s only 38p per portion when you split the batch into five (if you’re the hungry sort you may want to have bigger portions or have some bread with it too, but it’ll still be pretty cheap).


Lentil, sweet potato and coconut soup (serves 5 for lunch at 38p per portion)NutritionLabel

  • 1/2 tbsp cooking fat (free* – I used homemade lard, vegetable oil is fine too)
  • 2 small onions, peeled and chopped 10p, (Asda smartprice £1.06 for 2kg)
  • 3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes 50p (Asda £1 per kilo)
  • 2 tbsp curry powder (I used Madras) 4p (Rajah Madras curry powder 61p per 100g in Asda)
  • 150g red lentils 27p (East End, £3.50 per 2kg in Asda)
  • stock to well cover (free* as I used homemade ham stock but vegetable or chicken stock is fine too)
  • 1 can coconut milk 95p (Rajah brand, Asda)

Heat the fat or oil in a large saucepan and add the chopped onions. Gently fry for several minutes until starting to colour, then add the sweet potatoes, curry powder, lentils and enough ham or vegetable stock to well cover. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 20-30 minutes, until the lentils are mushy and the sweet potato is cooked through.

Remove from the heat, blitz with a hand blender (or use a jug blender, but let it cool a bit first) and add the coconut milk. Reheat gently, taste and season as required.

Makes five lunch portions at 38p per portion. *If you use Asda own-brand vegetable oil it’ll add less than a penny to the overall price and Asda own-brand stock cubes are 40p for 12 or 6p to use two in your soup.

Credit Crunch Munch

I’m entering this into Credit Crunch Munch hosted by Sarah at Maison Cupcake, but set up by Helen over Fuss Free Flavours and Camilla over at Fab Food 4 All.

Mealplan 20/07

Back from a lovely but brief weekend away in Argyll, where, after staying with Dave’s mum on Friday night, we attended a wedding on the beach – in fact standing barefoot in the sea in the pouring rain – a really unique and lovely day 🙂

I’ve not been keeping an exact record of spends this month – though looking at my bank statements shows that we have been more or less in budget – so I’ll not bother adding up the spending updates until next month’s budget comes in. Here’s this week’s mealplan and what I bought though:



Sun 20 – macaroni cheese with broccoli, mushrooms and tomatoes
Mon 21 – sweet potato, onion and cheese frittata with salad
Tues 22 – breaded cod, homemade chips, peas and broccoli
Wed 23 – turkey meatballs with a tomato sauce, rice and veg
Thurs 24 – chicken and spaghetti in a puttanesca sauce
Fri 25 – pork and apple burgers with corn on the cob and salad
Sat 26 – chickpea and cauliflower curry with rice

What I bought (£28.74)

I spent £27.74 in Morrisons today and a further £1 in my local Tesco garage (because I didn’t realise I was out of pasta when I did the shopping and didn’t really want mac and cheese made with spaghetti).

Fruit & veg £9.84
Courgettes x3 50p
Savers frozen peas 900g 89p
Frozen broad beans 500g £1
Cauliflower 99p
Broccoli 49p
Salad tomatoes x6 50p
Cucumber 49p
Frozen summer fruit £2
Peaches x4 50p
Savers apples x7 89p
Bananas x5 60p
Salad leaves 99p

Meat & fish £5
Minced pork 1.05kg £5

Dairy & eggs £5.34
Cheddar 350g x2 £3.50
Meadow park whole milk 2ltr 84p
Free range eggs x6 £1

Bread 25p
RTC white pittas 25p

General £6.79
Basmati rice 1kg £1.49
Pasta 500g £1
Tuna in brine x4 £3.49
Oatcakes 81p

Household £1.52
Savers washing up cloths 3pk 45p
Savers washing up liquid 34p
Savers food bags 73p

A weekend away

I wanted to post a recipe today but time has gotten away with me. Even though I was off work today. I went for a run in the park, tidied up, packed, then got on a bus for four hours, finally arriving at a tiny village next to the sea where my mother in law fed me a fillet steak and a massive salad and Dave and I got to watch the sun set perched on a rock in the sea with vodkas in our hands.

Tomorrow we’re going to a wedding but I promise I’ll be back on Sunday with an update on my spending and mealplans.

Meanwhile, here’s the view from Dave’s mum’s house:


A catch-up…

So I’ve been a terrible blogger and haven’t posted all month *looks appropriately guilty*.

banana milkshakeI don’t have that much of a reason, except that I seem to have been really busy for the last few weeks for some reason! I started a new job just over three weeks ago so it’s taken me some time to adjust to the new routine. You’ll be glad to know that I’ve continued taking my lunch in, making the majority of my food from scratch and keeping the grocery costs down. I have been incorporating more quick and easy meals but still ones I’ve made from scratch – e.g eating more oven-baked frittatas, stir-fries and meat-fish-or-halloumi-with-salad/veg meals. I’ve even been taking milkshakes with me in a water bottle when I’m too rushed for breakfast before I leave 🙂

It’s not just the new job though. I’ve also been really focused on fitness the last couple of weeks – specifically spending lots (for me) of time running. I’m still going to Crossfit too, but the reason I’ve been doing so much running is I’ve signed up to do the Great Scottish Run 10k at the start of October – eeek! I did my first Parkrun two Saturdays ago and was really happy to run pretty much the whole way and finish in 33 mins 57, so my next step is to get used to doing a bit more distance and also try to pick the speed up a bit.

Doing so much exercise has affected how I eat a bit – I want to take this opportunity to get as healthy as I can, so I’m trying to lower the amount of sugar and carbs I eat and make sure I’m hitting my daily requirements for protein too (always a challenge as you know I don’t eat masses of meat). So far I’ve made the surprisingly easy transition to having my lunch-time soup without bread pretty painlessly but hopefully I’ll also be spurred on to come up with some lovely new healthy recipes. I’ll be keeping things low cost though and don’t worry – I’m not cutting out bread, pasta or sweet things altogether, so they’ll still feature here from time-to-time 😉

Here’s a wee pic of my dinner tonight to keep you going until I get a recipe up. It’s a rainbow trout fillet simply pan-fried and dressed in butter and lemon juice, served with roasted veg, curly kale and I nabbed just a few homemade chips from Dave’s plate (yes, I got him to eat the fish too, even though he’s not the biggest fish fan – bribing with chips usually works tbh 😉 )trout veg and kale