If there’s one thing that single handedly save us money each week it is meal planning. Even when we don’t have the time to go shopping, or we choose not to, or even when the cupboard is almost bare, we manage to pull off some amazing dishes that are fun to make, healthy, and delicious.
We also link with Katy Kicker and others each week to see what meals they are planning. It helps us with ideas for when we are bored with the variations of the 10 or so dishes that we usually make.
We also love shopping at Aldi mainly because the prices are cheaper and we love to challenge ourselves to see what we can make with some of their super six range (six or so fruit/veg that they have a special deal on each week). This past summer we had serious fun using up their products and showing how to throw a barbecue for at least 6 persons for £20 or less. It was a blast and you can check them out below.
This reminds me that I am so looking forward to next summer to see if we can better those. It helps to keep looking forward to summer as we hate the cold but we also love soups so that is something to look forward to in the winter as well. I am going to share below how we make the beef and vegetable soup that people have either asked us about or commented on.
Here’s what our meal plan looks like this week
Sunday: Beef soup for the adults and Nandos style chicken burger meals for the girls
Monday: Steamed vegetables with rice, avocados and cherry tomatoes
Tuesday: Leftover Beef and vegetable soup
Wednesday: Pasta salad
This is one of the quickest dishes to come up with. It’s a good thing we always buy big bags of pasta. It only takes 10 to 12 minutes to cook and during that time we prepare things like lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, cheese and any cooked meat we want to add. Then we serve it just like that and allow everyone to add their own sauce for a bit of moisture and flavour. We have used mayonnaise, sweet chilli sauce, bbq sauce, or even curry sauce in the past. Then there is the usual tomato sauce with herbs and also cheese sauce.
This is also another quick dish we come up with when there is little time or we want to use up leftovers. It is one of my favourite of the fakeaway meals we always make. It lends itself to being flavoured just the way you want it. Do make sure that the rice is cooked and cooled before use though. Otherwise it is too moist and sticky. I love a spicy fried rice and I’ve been know to add some weird things like sardines or even corned beef.
Friday: pizza and chips
The girls love making a homemade, quick pizza with bread or baguette (the part baked ones in the supermarket are good for this). Toppings range from sweetcorn and frankfurters to pineapple and cooked chicken. They are always creative with the sauces too and sometimes use a combination of sweet chilli, tomato, and bbq sauce.
We quite enjoy these Polish frankfurters and use them up in a lot of quick dishes.
Here are the pizza baguettes with the simple toppings on. This is a lovely simple Saturday night fakeaway.
Here are the finished meals for Friday
Here’s how we make beef and vegetable soup
In the slow cooker, add roughly chopped celery, beef cubes or chunks (with bones in), onion, thyme and garlic. Top up with water to just cover and leave on high for 3 hours.
Transfer ingredients to big enough pan, top up with water and add potatoes, carrots, pumpkin and any other vegetables you fancy. We also make dumplings using just flour, salt and water.
When the soup has thickened from the combination of softened vegetables, add the dumplings and noodles to flavour it.
Don’t laugh, but our favourite noodle to use is one from Jamaica called Cock Soup! When you try it, you will see why it is such a favourite.
How was it for you this week? Did you find any food deals that you could work into a meal plan? Share with us in the comments below