Category Archives: Grocery challenge

Mealplan and Spending Update 23/06

Bit late this one!  Had a busy weekend and I started a new job today so been sort of frantically preparing for that too – seemed to go well though there was a lot to take in so I’m sure it’ll take a while til I’m properly settled in.

Because of this, I’m keeping it simple with the mealplans until I get into a proper routine.  We’re just slightly over the budget for this month but I don’t see us buying anything else until the new month starts so I’m not worried about that.

Since I didn’t need much, I thought I’d save time and only go to the local Tesco garage yesterday, instead of the bigger Morrisons, but I forgot how expensive it was shopping there so won’t be doing that again in a hurry!  The only saving grace of that place is that they do quite good reduced food sometimes – I got the carrots as I needed them anyway, and bought the cream to make butter with instead of buying it.  We could have come in closer to budget if I hadn’t bought the sneaky pack of Snickers, but Dave tripped and badly cut his chin at the weekend, and was in need of a bit of comforting.

Mealplan

Sun 22 – pittas, hummous, couscous, coleslaw and roasted veg
Mon 23 – potato, onion and cheese frittata with salads
Tues 24 – veggie curry with rice
Wed 25 – turkey meatballs and spaghetti
Thurs 26 – pork and veg stirfry with sticky rice
Fri 28 – Dave’s out, so I’ll probably have fishcakes
Sat 29 – I’m out; not sure what Dave’ll have yet

Lunches – usual ham or tuna sandwiches for Dave; mix of stuff I need to use up for me (had leftover couscous/hummous + veg sticks today, having leftover mini quiches with veg & cottage cheese the next couples of days, then probably make some lentil soup)

Spending Update (£185.42 / £180)

Coca cola cans 6pk £1.86
Snickers bars 4pk £1.88
RTC carrots 1kg 60p
Cherry tomatoes 90p
Cucumber 49p
RTC whipping cream x2 90p
Bananas x6 £1.08
Salad leaves £1
Whole milk 4 pints 84p
Bread rolls x 10 £1
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Mealplan and Spending Update 15/06

It’s getting to that tight time of the month again! Got 10 days to go until the new budget but we’ve got loads of food in the freezer so should be OK with a few quid left to get milk and fruit.

Dave’s mum’s staying with us for a couple of days so having a visitor is always an excuse to go all out with a roast dinner 🙂 Not made a proper roast chicken in ages – it was seriously good!

Mealplan

Sun 15 roast chicken with all the trimmings, apple crumble & custard
Mon 16 – my mother-in-law’s kindly cooking for us so got a night off!
Tues 17 – pan-fried salmon with rice and roasted veg
Wed 18 – cashew and veg patties with couscous salad
Thurs 19 Spinach, walnut and pumpkin seed spaghetti
Fri 20 – chicken and ham fried rice
Sat 21 – turkey meatballs, pittas and roasted veg with salad

Lunches smoked salmon and broccoli mini quiches for me; tuna or ham sandwiches for Dave

Spending Update (£174.87 / £180)

fruit & veg £10.60
savers potatoes 5kg £3.45
bramley apples 555g 92p
orange 25p
lemon 25p
braeburn apples 5pk x2 £1.33
frozen spinach £1.25
fresh sage, rosemary and thyme bunch 79p
bananas x6 56p
peppers 3pk 66p
broccoli £1.14

meat & fish £13.03
free range chicken 1.2kg £4.94
tinned tuna x2 £2
RTC pork steaks x2 £1.60
RTC pork and chorizo burgers 4pk £1
RTC haddock £2
savers smoked salmon £1.49

dairy & eggs £5.19
whole milk 4 pints £1.39
savers butter 99p
baking block 55p
RTC free range eggs 6pk 50p
RTC free range happy eggs x2 6pk £1.76

bread 75p
RTC sliced rolls 6pk 35p
RTC croissants 40p

general £6.05
cola x4 £1.80
cola cans 4pk x3 £3
savers mayonnaise x2 80p
savers orange juices 3pk 45p

Mealplan and Spending Update

mealplanning

Had a lovely unplanned afternoon out at Glasgow’s West End festival today, so we ended up going for a curry afterwards at Mother India’s Cafe AND it meant I didn’t really have time to do my usual cooking today.  Bit of a frugal fail – worth it though 😉

I’ve slightly rejigged my planned meals because of this – it’s a busy week this week so trying to keep it simple but healthy overall.  I’ve recently joined a Crossfit gym and tend to go on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so I’m planning meals that Dave’ll cook (either from scratch or things I’ve made earlier and frozen) those days.

Mealplan

Sun 8 – out for a curry!
Mon 9 – chorizo and bean stew with rice
Tues 10 arrabiata pasta
Wed 11 – I’m out – not sure what Dave’ll have yet
Thurs 12 – salmon with roasted veg and couscous
Fri 13 turkey burger, wedges and homemade coleslaw
Sat 14 homemade pizzas

Breakfasts – bran flakes with raisins or bacon rolls for Dave; porridge with apple or banana milkshake for me
Lunches – tuna or ham sandwiches for Dave; cottage cheese fritters or lentil soup for me

Spending Update (£139.25 / £180)

fruit & veg £6.75
bananas x6 71p
white cabbage half 47p
onions 1kg 69p
peppers 3pk x2 £1.33
braeburn apples 6pk 66p
courgettes x2 £1.01
mushrooms 89p
four leaf salad 99p

meat & fish £4
turkey thigh mince 500g x2 £4

dairy & eggs £2.87
meadow park milk 2ltr x2 £1.68
savers cottage cheese 64p
savers mozzarella 55p

bread £1
mixed rolls & bagels x5 £1

general £4.60
savers bran flakes 88p
allinson white bread flour £1.72
walkers crisps 6pk x2 £2

household £2.29
toothpaste 50p
shower gel 79p
saving gel £1

Mealplan and Spending Update 01/06

mealplanning

Kept the meals pretty simple this week (two from freezer and the rest are pretty quick to pull together) because I’m just feeling a bit lazy this week! And also feel like I want to eat more summery salady type things – those two warm days Friday and Saturday must have gone to my head 🙂

I’ve decided to stop tracking cat food as part of the challenge, because I’m trying out some more expensive/higher meat content brands on Basil the cat and the plan is to start bulk ordering this online every few weeks/months.  She’s just been having some issues with throwing up over the last few months (we have been to the vet and they confirmed it’s dietary) and she’s also a bit overweight – having done some research, it seems that higher quality food may help with this too.  If we’re doing an expensive order every so often I don’t want it leaving me with no budget for our own food that month, if that makes sense, so the plan is to keep an eye on that separately.  I’ll still get her litter from the supermarket so will continue to track that here.

Mealplan

Sun 01 – mini baked potatoes, roast ham slices, homemade coleslaw, corn on the cobs and salad

Mon 02 – black bean burritos with salad

Tues 03 – squash & chickpea tagine (from freezer) with couscous

Wed 04 – salmon, sticky rice, wilted greens and roasted veg

Thurs 05 – beef goulash (from freezer) with greens and bread

Fri 06 – black pepper, cauliflower and cashew curry with rice and naans

Sat 07 – feta, sundried tomato and spinach frittata with salad

Breakfasts – bran flakes for Dave and bacon roll at the weekend; porridge with apple and/or banana for me and milkshake at the weekend

Lunches – tuna or ham sandwiches or wraps for Dave; soup or couscous & feta salads for me

Spending Update (£117.74 / £180)

fruit & veg £11
savers frozen peas 89p
peppers 3pk x2 £1.33
spring greens 75p
garlic 4pk £1
cauliflower 99p
radishes 50p
vine ripened tomatoes 5pk 99p
bananas x5 52p
braeburn apples 5pk 67p
aubergine 59p
coriander bunch 79p
four leaf salad x2 £1.98

meat & fish £12
gammon joint 1.2kg £6
salmon fillets 4pk £6

dairy £9.36
meadow park whole milk 2ltr x2 £1.68
savers butter x2 £1.98
savers natural yoghurt 45p
free range eggs 6pk £1
savers feta 75p
mature cheddar 350g x2 £3.50

general £4.97
vegetable oil 1ltr £1.29
savers ketchup 40p
savers mayonnaise 40p
instant coffee 200g £1.79
maldon sea salt £1.09

household £2
radox bath salts £1
face wipes £1

Mealplan and Spending Update 26/05

mealplanning This is a day late because we were up in Aberdeen this weekend, visiting my grandparents and having a night out with some friends too. We had a lovely time and didn’t need to do the shopping until today. As with last month, I decided to try and stock up on the heaviest things in my delivery now, hopefully meaning I won’t need another delivery for the next few weeks.  I didn’t stock up quite as much as last month though – it was a bit tight getting the shopping the rest of the month when I’d spent so much upfront.

Mealplan

Mon 26 – beef goulash soup with dumplings and cabbage Tues 27 – roasted veg arrabiata Wed 28 – tofu and vegetable noodles Thurs 29 – breaded cod with chips and veg Fri 30 – chorizo and bean casserole with potatoes Sat 31 – chickpea and squash tagine with couscous

Spending (£78.41 / £180)

delivery charge £4

fruit & veg £14.90
cauliflower £1
savoy cabbage £1
beansprouts 60p
frozen corn on the cobs 875g £1.50
e'day value frozen sweetcorn 907g 99p
lemons x4 £1
limes x4 £1
bananas x6 75p
cucumber 49p
fresh coriander 80p
salad potatoes 2.5kg £1.50
e'day value carrots 1.5kg 89p
e'day value onions 1kg 63p
butternut squash £1
e'day value peppers £1.75

meat & fish £14.23
bacon 8 rashers x2 £4
beef brisket £8.23
finest chorizo ring 225g £2

dairy & eggs £2
whole milk 4 pints £1
free range eggs 6pk £1

general £29.51
tofu 396g £1.60
balsamic vinegar £1.50
granulated sugar 1kg 79p
e'day value spaghetti 20p
e'day value plain flour 45p
e'day value porridge oats 75p
e'day value penne 29p
tinned tuna 4pk £3.99
east end yellow split peas 500g 53p
e'day value golden syrup £1.18
e'day value tinned mandarins x2 70p
east end chopped tomatoes x8 £2
pistachio kernals 100g £1.64
blue dragon egg noodles £1.39
aasani cashews 750g £6.50
e'day value tomato puree 40p
e'day value passata 43p
e'day value tinned pineapple x2 72p
cola x10 £4.45

household £13.77
e'day value kitchen roll 2pk £1.18
e'day value cat litter x3 £4.65
cif floor cleaner £1
lynx shower gel £1.50
enrituals laundry liquid £1
pomegranate shower gel 95p
whiskas wet food pouches £3.49

Mealplan and Spending Update 18/05

mealplanning

You know those weeks – the last one before payday when you seem to have had a month full of bills?  That’s what this week is like.  The remainder of our budget was so low that I pretty much had to stick to things we already had in for the mealplan.  Luckily we’re away visiting my grandparents this weekend so only had to plan five meals!  You’ll notice that we’ve gone over by 19p – I’m counting that as a win though 🙂

Given all that, I thought I’d do a bit more of a detailed run-through of the mealplanning process this week to show you what to do in a really skint week:

Mealplan

So how did I decide what to have? First of all, I have a bit of a ‘framework’ in place when I’m mealplanning – meat twice a week, fish once, and the remainder veggie (sometimes we have meals like pizza where I’ll have a veggie option and Dave’ll have meat on his).  I also try and vary the carbs so we don’t end up eating pasta three times in a row.

Sun 18 – honey & lemon chicken wings with couscous, coleslaw and salad

We’d collected 12 wing pieces in the freezer, from the last few whole chickens I’d bought. Normally I’d serve with wedges but we didn’t have any potatoes, so I went for couscous instead.  We actually had almost all of the ingredients for this meal in so all I had to buy was mayo.

Mon 19 – veggie fajitas

I wanted something to use the rest of the wraps I’d be making for the dhal, and we had cheese, veg, salsa ingredients and jalapenos in already.  Only needed to buy yoghurt.

Tues 20 – smoked mackerel fillets with rice, green beans and cabbage

We had a few different fish choices in the freezer but I just felt like the mackerel.  Ever since our honeymoon in Japan, we like fish served with short-grain rice and veg.

Wed 21 – lentil dhal, rice and wraps

This is a total store-cupboard meal.  I have red lentils, spices, onions, frozen spinach tomatoes and rice, and have made a batch of wraps.  Will serve with some of the yoghurt I bought.

Thurs 22 – spag bol and salad (if there’s any left)

Beyond a bit of bacon, the only other meat in the freezer was a small block of mince, so spag bol was an easy choice.  All I had to buy was mushrooms.

Fri 23 & Sat 24 – away both nights

Breakfasts – bran flakes for Dave and either bran flakes or porridge with banana for me

I had to pick up some bran flakes, as we didn’t have enough, plus bananas and milk

Lunches – tuna or ham sandwiches or pittas for Dave, with tinned fruit and maybe crisps; soup with seeded bread for me, with an apple

Had to get mayo, which I needed for the coleslaw anyway, plus an extra tin of pineapple and apples; I made bread myself and had soup and ham in the freezer and tuna in the cupboard

Spending (£180.19 / £180)

Meadow Park whole milk 2ltr 84p
Morrisons cola x2 90p
Savers bran flakes 88p
Savers tinned pineapple 25p
Savers mayonnaise 40p
Whiskas wet food pouches 12pk £2.50
Bananas x6 63p
Frozen sliced green beans 1kg £1
Pumpkin seeds 100g 75p
Savers apples 8pk 89p
Savers scourers 5pk 19p
Mushrooms 89p
Savers natural yoghurt 45p
Salad leaves 99p

mealplanning

This week seems to have flown by though I’m not sure why I’ve been so busy!  Can’t believe it’s Sunday night already.  I’ve kept the mealplan quite simple this week because we’re low on budget and I wanted to use things we already had in (the freezer seems fit to burst right now too for some reason).

Dave’s away this weekend so there’s just five meals to plan for the two of us.  I might go and visit family one night while he’s away, or else will just cobble something together out of leftovers, so only six meals to plan overall.

Mealplan

Sun 11 – beef & mushroom stew with dumplings, mash, carrots and spinach

Mon 12 – hummus, homemade pittas and salads

Tues 13 – veggie pasties with home baked beans and chips

Wed 14 – smoked salmon fillets with couscous & roasted veg salad

Thurs 15 – pork & veg stirfry with sticky rice

Fri 16 – fishcakes and salad (just for me)

Sat 17 – not sure if I’ll be in – leftovers if so

Spending Update (£168.63 / £180)

Fruit & veg £7.47
Lemons 5pk 99p
Peppers 4pk £1.39
Salad leaves x2 £1.98
RTC courgettes 3pk 75p
Bananas x6 62p
Garlic 4pk 99p
Baking potatoes x2 75p

Meat & fish £5.58
RTC breaded cod 2pk £1
RTC smoked mackerel 250g 90p
RTC smoked salmon fillets 2pk £2
RTC duck and orange pate x2 18p
RTC smoked haddock x2 £1.50

Dairy & eggs £2.38
Meadow park milk 2ltr 84p
Baking fat 55p
Savers butter 99p

General £6.63
Cola x4 £1.80
Tomato puree 49p
Princes tuna x2 £2
McCoys crisps 6pk £1
Fast action yeast 64p
Savers tinned peaches x2 70p

Household £2.50
Whiskas wet food pouches 12pk £2.50