One of the things I really like about meal planning is that you are really in charge of deciding what you put into your body and when. This week we had a lapse in judgement due to fatigue and we spent too much money at the chip shop. The quality wasn’t the best either and we knew we could do so much better.
So out came some of our favourite home-cooked takeaway style meals. Most of the week was also ad hoc like last week in terms of the meals we had because we were in and out so much of the time. It’s always a good idea to have in the back of your mind, some quick meal ideas for when you don’t have much time, or that the younger ones can either prepare or help themselves to.
Here are the dinner meals we really had planned:
Jerk chicken and festival
Rice and peas with baked chicken
Callaloo with saltfish, fried dumplings and plantain
Chicken and vegetable stir-fry with noodles
We had planned to dish up, label and freeze any leftovers for a later date.
Sometimes life gets in the way of our plans though, so we had to grab for other ideas and this is what we eventually had:
Chicken and vegetable stir-fry with noodles (two days)
Callaloo and saltfish with fried dumplings and plantain
Fruit smoothies and milkshakes (it was the really hot weather)
Oven style fried chicken
Chips with fried chicken/lamb kebab/fish
Tips for you
One tip which we shared with some folk recently (and they were quite shocked) is that chicken thighs have more flavour and are much cheaper when compared to chicken breasts. Most supermarkets now do the boneless thighs which you can then cut up and use as you would chicken breast pieces.
We always find it much cheaper to buy one whole chicken and cut it into smaller pieces for the dishes you want to prepare. We did a video to show you how to do this.
Also, we would strongly suggest that if your child or children get the opportunity to do Food studies and Cooking lessons, that you encourage it. The knowledge and skills they learn are valuable for life.
Don’t think that branded food items are always more expensive. This week, we found quite a few food items like passata, for example, were coming up much cheaper as a branded item.
Look out for the unit cost of products on the shelves to see what is best for your budget.
Avoid buying multi-buy packs unless you can safely store and use them before they have passed their use by date.
How was it for you this week? Do you manage to plan your meals in advance? I’m sure when you do, you will find that you save so much more on your grocery bill. Do let us know though.