Well, it is helping me to consider what we have in and reminding me to use up what I’ve already got before buying more.
Don't get me wrong, it’s not that I wasted food before, I hate wasting food, it’s just that the amount in store in the cupboards and freezer would steadily increase and I would still be thinking I needed to buy more.
This has improved so much, I now have space in the cupboards and the freezer is no longer over stuffed. I am using my stocks up and only purchasing things that I need. (Well and one or two whoopsied bargains to pop in the freezer!)
It’s not that I am inexperienced in frugal meal planning, when my daughters were young my circumstances were such that living frugally was an absolute necessity so much so that when I became a one parent family and had to temporarily live on benefits I felt positively rich and was able to save money. I think this is part of the problem, in that having to really live hand to mouth so to speak, I like the comfort of having food squirreled away.
You may remember that last week I started calling it my menu guide, rather than thinking of it as a rigid plan – well that seems to work best for me. I didn’t stick exactly to the guide, but I did stick to it loosely and did use up things that were already in stock rather than calling at the supermarket every day on my way home from work and buying something new for tea.
Anyhoo my guide for this week:
Monday – Lunches – Just needed these for Dave and myself – Dave took beef and horseradish sarnies using up the beef left over from Sunday dinner and I took a portion of HM scotch broth from the freezer.
Evening meal - Used up some salmon burgers that were long time lurkers in the freezer and had Salmon burgers in buns with lettuce and seafood sauce, chips and peas.
Tuesday – Lunches - me & Ellie - HM Roast Pumpkin, Garlic and Chilli Soup (recipe below). Dave – Bacon & Egg Sandwiches.
Evening meal – Just Dave and me tonight so decided to try the new Italian restaurant that has opened in the next village and is offering a Happy Hour special.
Wednesday – Lunch – Just Dave & me – Roast Vegetable Wraps.
Evening Meal - Braised Lamb Shanks (didn’t end up using these last week) with Mashed Potatoes ( Plain boiled for me because I think mash is the food of the devil!), Steamed Cabbage and Carrots.
Thursday – Lunch – Ellie & me – Lentil Dahl & a Chapati. Dave – Cheese and Onion Sandwiches.
Evening meal - Nachos Grande - Tortilla corn Chips smothered in Chilli & Cheese served with HM Salsa, HM Guacamole and Sour Cream.
Friday – Lunch – Just me and Ellie so planned leftover chilli etc from previous night.
Evening meal - Rump Steak, Saute Potatoes, Garlic Mushrooms, Onion Rings & Coleslaw.
Saturday – Lunch – Out
Evening Meal – Pasta Alamatricana, Grated Cheese & Garlic Bread.
Sunday - Brunch - Bacon, Sausage, Egg & Tomatoes with Toast.
Evening Meal - Roast Chicken, Mash, Roast Potatoes, Carrots, Cabbage, Broccoli, Yorkshire Puds, Gravy.
Roast Pumpkin, Garlic and Chilli Soup
1 Small Pumpkin
1 Medium Onion
3 Cloves of Garlic (unpeeled)
1 Fresh Chilli
Glug of Olive Oil
2 tsp Marigold Stock Powder
Cut the pumpkin into quarters, no need to peel.Peel and quarter the onion. Put them both into a roasting tin. Throw in the unpeeled cloves of garlic and use scissors to snip the chilli into bits over the top of the pumpkin. Drizzle it all with olive oil and roast till the pumpkin is tender. Allow to cool enough so that you can handle things comfortably then scoop the pumpkin flesh off the skin into a saucepan. Squeeze the garlic out of it's skin into the saucepan with the pumpkin and add the onions and any stray bits of chilli. Add the two teaspoons of stock powder and cover the whole lot with just boiled water. Use a stick blender to blitz, check that the soup is not too thick if it is add a little more water- and add any salt/pepper to taste.