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Our Family Meal Plan for week of 16/04/18 - £70

Sunday, 15 April 2018

I am really glad that the children are back to school and routine this week, it has been quite a challenging 17 days of school holidays this time around.  I don't know about you but my children tend to develop ravenous appetites during the school holidays, I swear they eat more than the All Blacks rugby team at the moment.

Of course the weather is much better this week, after being generally grim and damp for the two weeks of school holiday.  Our gardens have loved all the rain though and our salad greens, rhubarb and chard are all growing very well indeed as is the herb patch.  This means we've free, freshly picked food to add to our meals this week which is delicious and most welcome.

Our dinners this week are quick, low faff and tasty.  Everyone will be exhausted after the first week back at school and I need to be able to serve dinner early if necessary depending on grumpiness levels.  After a long day at work and school, nobody wants to be waiting an age for dinner to cook and be served up.

Meal Plan 

Breakfasts will be overnight oats or granola with a piece of fruit for afters.  I'll do fruit bread and pancakes on the weekend.

Packed lunches will be Storecupboard Salad and crudites for some of the week and egg salad sandwiches and crudites for the rest of the week both with herbed yoghurt dip. 

Snacks will be homemade popcorn, flapjacks, and fresh fruit.

Dinners

Pizza Beans - Meatfree Monday hearty dinner served with salad greens

Fish parcels - fish and vegetables cooked in foil parcels, accompanied by sweet potato wedges

Mini Frittatas with potato salad and coleslaw



Honey Soy Chicken with Steamed Vegetables and Rice

1kg chicken drumsticks
2 Tblsp soy sauce
1 Tblsp honey
1 tsp tomato paste
1 Tblsp oil
1 Tblsp mustard, I usually use Dijon mustard

Make a few slashes into each chicken portion. This will help the marinade penetrate the chicken and also help it cook faster.

Mix together all the marinade ingredients, pour over the chicken and make sure the chicken is thoroughly coated. Leave to marinate for half an hour at room temperature or overnight in the fridge.

Preheat your oven to 200C/180C Fan. Put the chicken into a roasting dish and bake for 35 - 45 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. We'll be having ours with rice and steamed vegetables.


Quesadillas with coleslaw and sweet potato wedges

12 tortillas, wholemeal wraps or burritos (Store bought or homemade)
2 tins chilli beans
2 peppers, any colour will do (finely sliced)
1 tin sweetcorn, drained
1 spring onion, white and green parts chopped
A couple of large handfuls of grated cheese

Preheat a non-stick frying pan or sandwich press. Top four of the tortillas with the chilli beans, drained sweetcorn, chopped peppers, spring onion, and grated cheese. Cover with remaining tortillas to make a tortilla sandwiches.

Spray frying pan with a little oil. Cook tortillas one at a time in frying pan. Cook on one side for 2 or 3 minutes, then turn and cook the other side for another 2 or 3 minutes, or until the fillings are hot and the cheese has melted. Repeat with the other three tortillas. Allow to cool for a few minutes before serving.






Oven Baked Risotto



Shopping List

46 items: £70.33

Packets and Cereals
1x   Cypressa Popping Corn (500g) *unavailable                          £1.00
1x   Silver Spoon Granulated Sugar (1Kg)                                    64p
1x   ASDA Strong White Bread Flour (1.5Kg)                               69p
1x   ASDA Smartprice Self Raising Flour (1.5Kg)                         45p
1x   ASDA Smartprice Sultanas (500g)                                        88p
1x   ASDA Lemon Juice (250ml)                                                  39p
1x   ASDA Arborio Risotto Rice (500g)                                         £1.25
1x   ASDA Smartprice Long Grain Rice (1Kg)                              45p
2x   ASDA Scottish Porridge Oats (1Kg)                                      £1.98

Tins, Jars and Cooking
2x   ASDA Smartprice Chopped Tomatoes (400g)                        58p
2x   ASDA Butter Beans in Water (400g)                                      90p
2x   ASDA Smartprice Sweetcorn in Water (326g)                        70p
1x   ASDA Real Mayonnaise (500ml)                                           70p
1x   ASDA Borlotti Beans in Water (400g)                                    50p
1x   ASDA Cannellini Beans in Water (400g)                                40p
2x   ASDA Chilli Beans in Chilli Sauce (390g)                               £1.30
1x   ASDA Haricot Beans in Water (400g)                                    50p

Dairy and Eggs
3x   ASDA British Whole Milk 6 Pints (3.41L)                               £4.44
3x   ASDA Smartprice Low Fat Natural Yogurt (500g)                   £1.35
1x   ASDA Butter - Unsalted (250g)                                             £1.45
1x   ASDA Smartprice Mature White Cheddar (830g)                    £3.69
1x   ASDA Smartprice Hard Cheese Wedge (170g)                      £1.60

Meat, Fish and Poultry
1x   ASDA Farm Stores Cooking Bacon (500g)                            57p
1x   ASDA Extra Special Pork Sausages (10 per pack - 750g)      £4.00

Fruit and Vegetables
25   ASDA Grower's Selection Bananas by Weight (200g)            £3.00
25   ASDA Grower's Selection Royal Gala Apples                         £4.56
4x   ASDA Grower's Selection Whole Cucumber                           £2.20
2x   ASDA Grower's Selection Iceberg Lettuce                             £1.20
2x   ASDA Grower's Selection Celery                                           £1.10
1x   ASDA Grower's Selection Garlic Loose                                 25p
2x   ASDA Grower's Selection Spring Onions                               £1.10
2x   ASDA Grower's Selection Sweet Potatoes (1Kg)                    £2.40
1x   ASDA Grower's Selection Oranges Extra Juicy (2Kg)            £2.00
1x   ASDA Grower's Selection Pears (1.2Kg)                               £2.00
3x   ASDA Grower's Selection Plums (750g)                                £3.00
2x   ASDA Grower's Selection Broccoli (360g)                             £1.10
22   ASDA Grower's Selection Loose Carrot by Weight (135g)      £1.70
1x   ASDA Farm Stores Brown Onions (1Kg)                                59p
1x   ASDA Farm Stores White Potatoes (2.5Kg)                           £1.25
1x   ASDA Farm Stores Round Lettuce                                        45p
2x   ASDA Farm Stores Mixed Peppers (3)                                  £1.98
1     ASDA Grower's Selection White Cabbage (Approx 1.2Kg)      78p

Frozen
1x   ASDA Smartprice Peas (1Kg)                                               76p
1x   ASDA White Fish Fillets (540g)                                             £2.50
1x   ASDA Chicken Drumsticks (1.1Kg)                                       £2.50

Bakery
2x   ASDA Mexican Style Wholemeal Tortillas (8)                        £1.50

Snacks and Sweets
2x   ASDA Fruit Mix (200g)                                                          £2.00

We purchased our groceries on 15/04/18 from Asda via My Supermarket.  Had we shopped elsewhere our items would've cost:

£75.69 from Sainsbury's
£78.13 from Morrison's
£90.71 from Waitrose
£102.27 from Tesco


My lovely blogging buddy Ciara from My Fussy Eater has created a fab Meal Planning Facebook Group so we can inspire each other. She also has a book out in April which you can order here

And Katykicker, and Naomi from The Organised Life Project have a Meal Planning Linky full of fabulous Meal Planning posts with lots of tasty ideas.

NCS - Yes! Sign up your teen for a life changing Summer experience

Thursday, 12 April 2018
Our eldest daughter completed a summer National Citizen Service course about 2 years ago, it was truly life changing and she came back much more confident and capable.  It was the best £50 we have ever spent.  She formed lasting friendships, gained life skills, and completed challenges she never would've dreamed of taking on.  I would recommend the programme without hesitation, it is brilliant! 

National Citizen Service is a government backed programme established in 2011 to help build a more cohesive, mobile and engaged society.  It brings together young people from different backgrounds for a unique shared experience which helps them to become better individuals, and in turn better citizens. 


NCS is open to 16 and 17 year-olds across England and Northern Ireland. The two to four week programme, which takes place in school holidays, includes outdoor team-building exercises, a residential for participants to learn ‘life skills’, a community-based social action project, and an end of programme celebration event.


It's a fab initiative which puts young people through a series of challenging activities to take them out of their comfort zones and develop their strength of character, whilst helping them become part of a team.

Young people develop more responsibility as the programme progresses and develop leadership skills necessary to succeed in further education and the workplace. There's a social action project which enables young people to connect with, and help out, their communities.


NCS is amazing value for money. The whole experience including food, accommodation and travel costs just £50 and bursaries are available on a case by case basis. Support is also provided for young people with additional needs.



No matter what your plans are for summer, there are programmes to suit.  Register for more information to find out how NCS can fit in with your summer plans.  There are still places available for Year 11s to take part in this once in a lifetime opportunity this summer. To sign up now, go to the NCS website.

You can also check out the NCS social media channels on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram.


**Sponsored Post **

OUR FAMILY MEAL PLAN WEEK BEGINNING 09/04/2018 - £72

Sunday, 8 April 2018

It's the second week of the School Holidays and the first week was hard. The weather wasn't great, the teens and tween were grumpy and bickering, and our 3yo discovered his inner threenager. However, we did try and get out of the house each day, even if it was just to the local park or a stomp around the neighbourhood so little dude could splash in puddles. 

We had a couple of long walks up to the local Charity Shops for a browse and also into town to the library and Zoological Museum.  None of the local Churches have holiday activities on so we're planning a couple more museum trips this week and a trip to the cinema midweek.  We're seeking out as many low/no cost holiday activities as we can.  There's been crafting, park trips, gardening, baking and cooking, and lots of reading. I'm trying to ration screen time otherwise the older three become phone zombies really quickly, and there's only so much CBeebies I can stand.

Our Meal Plan for last week ensured that we didn't run out of supplies and everyone was well fed, despite the younger two having growth spurts and the teens having hollow legs.  This week I'm planning portable lunches so we can take them on outings and save pennies by not buying lunches when out and about.  If we walk into town to the museum or library, and take our own food and drink, then the outing is free. 

Meal Plan 

Breakfasts will be homemade muesli/granola or wholemeal toast with spread, and a piece of fruit for afters.  Our weekend ritual of pancakes continues, and I'll probably make crumpets too.

Lunches

Root Vegetable Mini Quiches




Spicy Vegetable Patties




Versatile Vegetable Pasties



Falafels and Yoghurt Dip, Chickpea and Couscous Salad

Weekend lunches will be homemade pizzas, and baked potatoes with baked beans and cheese.

Snacks will be fresh fruit, vegetable sticks with herbed yoghurt dip, scones/sodabread, flatbreads, popcorn, and homemade rice pudding.

Dinners

Macaroni Cheese with mixed vegetables



Roast Chicken with Roast Vegetables and Yorkshire Puddings (my husband's birthday dinner)

Chicken and Bacon Stew with Dumplings


Chicken and Vegetable Noodle Bowls

Simple Pilaf with oven baked fish fillets

Vegetable Stew with herbed dumplings


Shopping List


49 items: £72.06

Packets and Cereals
1x   Cypressa Popping Corn (500g)                                               £1.00
1x   Silver Spoon Granulated Sugar (1Kg)                                     64p
1x   ASDA Strong White Bread Flour (1.5Kg)                                 69p
1x   ASDA Wholemeal Bread Flour (1.5Kg)                                    69p
1x   ASDA Smartprice Plain White Flour (1.5Kg)                            45p
1x   ASDA Smartprice Self Raising Flour (1.5Kg)                           45p
1x   Jus Rol Puff Pastry Block (500g)                                            £1.25
1x   ASDA Smartprice Sultanas (500g)                                          88p
1x   ASDA Smartprice Long Grain Rice (1Kg)                                45p
1x   ASDA Egg Noodles Medium (250g)                                        59p
1x   ASDA Cous Cous (500g)                                                        65p
1x   ASDA Wholewheat Penne (500g)                                            45p
2x   ASDA Scottish Porridge Oats (1Kg)                                        £1.98

Frozen
2x   ASDA Smartprice Mixed Vegetables (1Kg)                              £1.64
1x   ASDA Cook from Frozen Chicken Breast Diced (600g)            £2.50
1x   ASDA White Fish Fillets (540g)                                              £2.50

Tins, Jars and Cooking
1x   ASDA Smartprice Sweetcorn in Water (326g)                          35p
5x   ASDA Chick Peas in Water (400g)                                          £1.65
2x   ASDA Chilli Beans in Chilli Sauce (390g)                                £1.30
1x   ASDA Haricot Beans in Water (400g)                                      50p

Dairy and Eggs
3x   ASDA British Whole Milk 6 Pints (3.41L)                                 £4.44
1x   ASDA Free Range Large Eggs (12)                                        £1.85
3x   ASDA Smartprice Low Fat Natural Yogurt (500g)                    £1.35
1x   ASDA Butter - Unsalted (250g)                                               £1.45
1x   ASDA Smartprice Mature White Cheddar (830g)                     £3.69

Meat, Fish and Poultry
1x   ASDA Farm Stores Cooking Bacon (500g)                              57p
1     ASDA Farm Stores Whole Chicken by Weight (1.2Kg)             £2.39

Fruit and Vegetables
25   ASDA Grower's Selection Bananas by Weight (200g)              £3.00
25   ASDA Grower's Selection Royal Gala Apples                          £4.56
3     ASDA Grower's Selection Leeks by Weight (315g)                  £1.65
1     ASDA Grower's Selection Butternut Squash (1.3Kg)                97.3p
3x   ASDA Grower's Selection Whole Cucumber                            £1.65
1x   ASDA Grower's Selection Celery                                            55p
1x   ASDA Grower's Selection Garlic (3)                                        60p
1x   ASDA Grower's Selection Spring Onions                                 55p
2x   ASDA Grower's Selection Sweet Potatoes (1Kg)                     £2.40
1x   ASDA Grower's Selection Ginger (125g)                                 50p
1x   ASDA Grower's Selection Oranges Extra Juicy (2Kg)              £2.00
2x   ASDA Grower's Selection Pears (1.2Kg)                                 £4.00
3x   ASDA Grower's Selection Plums (750g)                                  £3.00
2x   ASDA Grower's Selection Swede                                            £1.00
22   ASDA Grower's Selection Loose Carrot by Weight (135g)        £1.70
5     ASDA Grower's Selection Parsnips by Weight (Approx 200g)  £1.15
1x   ASDA Farm Stores Brown Onions (1Kg)                                 59p
1x   ASDA Farm Stores White Potatoes (2.5Kg)                             £1.25
1x   ASDA Farm Stores Round Lettuce                                          45p
1x   ASDA Grower's Selection Cherry Tomatoes (325g)                 75p
2x   ASDA Farm Stores Mixed Peppers (3)                                    £1.98

Snacks and Sweets
1x   ASDA Fruit Mix (200g)                                                           £1.00
1x   ASDA Smartprice Tortilla Chips - Lightly Salted (180g)           41p


We purchased our groceries from Asda online via My Supermarket on 08/04/2018, had we shopped elsewhere our items would've cost:

£81.70 from Lidl
£82.61 from Sainsbury's
£83.69 from Morrisons
£96.55 from Waitrose
£112.45 from Tesco

My lovely blogging buddy Ciara from My Fussy Eater has created a fab Meal Planning Facebook Group so we can inspire each other. She also has a book coming out in April which you can pre-order here

And Katykicker, and Naomi from The Organised Life Project have a Meal Planning Linky full of fabulous Meal Planning posts with lots of tasty ideas.


OUR FAMILY MEAL PLAN WEEK BEGINNING 02/04/2018 - £72

Sunday, 1 April 2018

It's school holidays for the next two weeks. My children are off for a total of 17 days, that's quite a long time which will be challenging for all of us and our budget.  I've spent about £10 more than normal on our shopping this week, some items will of course be useful next week such as the bread flour.

I'm trying to make sure we have filling meals to cut down on snacking and ensure our tums are fuller for longer. Hopefully it will also mean that we will have sufficient supplies to last the week, no matter who calls in for a feed visit. Most of the lunches can be easily expanded should unexpected guests arrive. 

As usual I am baking our bread, this week I will also be baking bagels, English muffins and fruit bread. This saves us loads as all of those baked goods would cost rather a lot from the supermarket. Because I'll be baking quite often and the lunches are fairly substantial I've kept the dinners fairly low faff and simple.

Breakfasts will be porridge or overnight oats with homemade apple and berry compote.  On the weekend I'll do pancakes and perhaps crumpets.


Lunches

Quesadillas (We will have these twice this week)

10 tortillas, wholemeal wraps or burritos
1 can whole kernel corn
2 tins chilli beans
1 cup grated cheese
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 spring onion, chopped

Preheat a non-stick frying pan or sandwich press.

Top five of the tortillas with the chilli beans, corn (drained), chopped tomato, spring onion and grated cheese. Cover with remaining tortillas (to make a tortilla sandwich).

Spray frying pan with a little oil. Cook tortillas one at a time in frying pan. Cook on one side for 2 or 3 minutes, then turn with a spatula and cook the other side for another 2 or 3 minutes, or until fillings are hot and cheese has melted. Repeat with other tortillas.

Allow to cool for a few minutes. Cut each tortilla into four wedges (or smaller pieces for smaller kids). Eat and enjoy!


Vegetable and Egg Bake

1 potato, cubed and cooked
1 small sweet potato, cubed and cooked
1 cup baby spinach leaves or kale
2 cups frozen mixed vegetables
1 onion, finely chopped
3 free range eggs
180ml milk
2 Tblsp plain flour
½ cup cheese
pinch salt
couple of grinds of pepper
¼ cup cheese, extra

Put all the vegetables in a large bowl. Combine the eggs, milk, flour, cheese, pepper and salt. Beat until thoroughly combined. Gently stir into the vegetables, being careful not to bash about the cooked potato and sweet potato too much. Tip the mixture into a lightly greased 23cm pyrex dish or lined cake tin.

Bake in the oven at 180°C for 40 minutes, then sprinkle with the extra cheese and put under the grill for a couple of minutes until the cheese is bubbling and golden. Serve immediately.


Baked Potatoes with Baked Beans and Cheese

Storecupboard Hotpot

½ Tbsp oil
1 large onion, roughly chopped
2 Tbsp flour
1 tin (400g) chopped tomatoes
1 tin (425g) beans, drained (e.g. mixed beans, butter beans, haricot beans or chickpeas)
1 large tin (400g) sweetcorn, drained
1 pepper, diced (red, orange or yellow)

Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan and sweat the onions until soft and transparent. Add the diced pepper and mushrooms and cook gently until softened.

Sprinkle in the flour stir for 1-2 minutes before adding the drained tins of tomatoes, beans and sweetcorn. Cook for another 5 minutes until everything is well heated through and the stew thickens slightly then serve.  I'll be serving this with wholemeal bread rolls.


Root Vegetable Soup (we'll have this twice)

1 onion, diced
1 Tblsp oil, butter or margarine
1 potato, peeled and diced
4 cups chopped vegetables (or a mixture of vegetables)
500ml vegetable stock
1 tsp dried mixed herbs
salt and pepper

Saute chopped onion in oil in a large saucepan until soft but not browned. Add around 4 cups of peeled chopped vegetables and the chopped potato. The starchiness of the potato improves the overall texture of the soup.

Gently cook the vegetables in the saucepan with the lid on for about 5 minutes over a moderate heat, then add water, stock or a combination of both to just cover the vegetables.

Simmer with the lid on until the veges are very soft, then process using a stick blender until smooth. Add extra liquid to adjust the consistency of the soup. Taste and adjust the seasoning before serving.


Dinners

Roast Lamb with all the trimmings (Easter Monday)









Homemade Fish and Chips




Shopping List

39 items: £72.17

Tins, Jars and Cooking
1x   ASDA Baked Beans, Reduced Sugar and Salt (4x410g)          98p
2x   ASDA Smartprice Chopped Tomatoes (400g)                         58p
1x   ASDA Butter Beans in Water (400g)                                      45p
3x   ASDA Smartprice Sweetcorn in Water (326g)                         £1.05
1x   ASDA Chick Peas in Water (400g)                                         33p
4x   ASDA Chilli Beans in Chilli Sauce (390g)                               £2.60

Frozen
3x   ASDA Smartprice Mixed Vegetables (1Kg)                             £2.46
1x   ASDA Frozen for Freshness Berry Medley (1Kg)                    £2.75
1x   ASDA White Fish Fillets (540g)                                             £2.50
1x   ASDA Chicken Thighs (1.1Kg)                                              £2.50

Dairy and Eggs
3x   ASDA British Whole Milk 6 Pints (3.41L)                                £4.44
1x   ASDA Free Range Medium Eggs (12)                                    £1.65
1x   ASDA Smartprice Mature White Cheddar (830g)                    £3.69

Packets and Cereals
2x   ASDA Strong White Bread Flour (1.5Kg)                                £1.38
1x   ASDA Wholemeal Bread Flour (1.5Kg)                                   69p
1x   Allinson Easy Bake Yeast (100g)                                           98p
1x   ASDA Good and Balanced Pearl Barley (500g)                       55p
2x   ASDA Scottish Porridge Oats (1Kg)                                       £1.98

Fruit and Vegetables
1x   ASDA Grower's Selection  Sliced Curly Kale (200g)            65p
2x   ASDA Grower's Selection British Spring Greens (500g)          40p
1x   ASDA Grower's Selection Salad Tomatoes (750g)                  £1.25
25   ASDA Grower's Selection Bananas                                        £3.00
24   ASDA Grower's Selection Royal Gala Apples                         £4.56
3x   ASDA Grower's Selection Carrots (1Kg)                                60p
1     ASDA Grower's Selection Butternut Squash (1.3Kg)               97.3p
1x   ASDA Grower's Selection Celery                                           55p
1x   ASDA Grower's Selection Garlic Loose                                  25p
1x   ASDA Grower's Selection Spring Onions                                55p
1x   ASDA Grower's Selection Sweet Potatoes (1Kg)                    £1.20
2x   ASDA Extra Special Buttery Marabel Baking Potatoes (2Kg)  £2.00
1x   ASDA Grower's Selection Oranges Extra Juicy (2Kg)             £2.00
2x   ASDA Grower's Selection Pears (1.2Kg)                                £4.00
2x   ASDA Grower's Selection British Parsnips (500g)                  40p
3x   ASDA Grower's Selection Plums (750g)                                 £4.20
1x   ASDA Grower's Selection Extra Trimmed Leeks (550g)          20p
1x   ASDA Farm Stores Brown Onions (1Kg)                                59p
1x   ASDA Farm Stores Mixed Peppers (3)                                   99p

Meat, Fish and Poultry
1     ASDA Butcher's Selection Half Lamb Leg                         £10.60

Bakery
3x   ASDA Mexican Style Wholemeal Tortillas (8)                         £2.25
We purchased our groceries online from Asda, via My Supermarket for delivery on 31/03/18.  Our shopping cost £72.17, had we shopped elsewhere our items would've cost:

£83.28 from Lidl
£86.42 from Tesco
£87.35 from Morrisons
£91.98 from Sainsbury's

My lovely blogging buddy Ciara from My Fussy Eater has created a fab Meal Planning Facebook Group so we can inspire each other. She also has a book coming out in April which you can pre-order here

And Katykicker, and Naomi from The Organised Life Project have a Meal Planning Linky full of fabulous Meal Planning posts with lots of tasty ideas.
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