Hello and welcome to my weekly meal plan for week 4 of 2017.
I was recently asked how I save money on my weekly shopping and as saving money and meal planning goes hand in hand I thought that this would be the perfect post to write about my top tips. Feeding a family can be one of the biggest expenses each month. It is so easy, whilst shopping, to be drawn in by 'special offers' and 'multibuys' which often result in unnecessary items being thrown into the trolley. Believe me we have done this on many a shopping trip and what was meant to be a small shop ended up being a trolley full and numerous pounds more than we wanted to spend. There are a number of small changes that can be made to help you save money, reduce your food waste and be more of a savvy shopper.
Here are my top tips for cutting your shopping expenses...
- Meal plan - There are a few reasons why I love to meal plan. Having meals planned for the week keeps me sane! There is nothing worse than it getting to dinner time and not knowing what to cook, I hate it! Having the organisation of what to eat allows me to take anything out of the freezer if needs be the night before, it gives me an answer for when I get asked for the umpteen time "what's for tea?", it has reduced our food waste but most of all it saves us money! I like to write the weeks meal plan before I go shopping so I know exactly what I need to buy for each meal.
- Writing a list - When I go shopping without a list I end up putting items that we do not need into the trolley and more annoyingly I forget things which means I have to do a second shop for what I forgot and spending more money! But taking a list and sticking to it gives me a little more restraint, if it is not on the list we do not need it!
- Do the maths - When I am going round the shop I have my list in one hand and mobile in the other. I always use the calculator as I go round so that I know how much I have spent so that it is not a shock once I get to the checkout. Adding the prices up as I go round means that I am more in control and more aware of what I am spending.
- Budget - Work out each week what you can afford and stick to it. I know that this is easier said than done especially when bigger products like household items need to be bought but if you know how much you have to spend and are doing the maths as you go you will not get a shock. If it means not buying a bottle of wine or a more expensive product so be it.
- Shop around - I know that not all of us have the time to do this but if you can this will save you money. Shopping around will help you find the best deals. Try your local market and budget shops. Aldi has become the first shop that I go to thanks to their low prices which help me to create Cheap Budget Meals.
- Look for vouchers - Vouchers and coupons are a great way to save additional pennies! Online you will find various sites that specialise in vouchers and coupons so before you shop check them out. This is always a great one to follow https://www.promocodesfor.co.uk/waitrose!
- Freeze - If you have a large freezer you can save additional money by buying items that have been reduced to clear. I always check out the reduced to clear section in the supermarkets for any meat and fish. I have saved so much money this way! I have also started to buy reduced vegetables to par boil before freezing!
- Own brand/value range - I always go for shops own brands or value range. I often find that the products are exactly the same it is just the packaging that is different. I would rather pay less and have plain packaging than pay more just for a fancy label!
Making a few simple changes can help you to save money. I hope that these tips will help you, I know that they have helped us!
Last weeks meal plan was a success. We had all of the meals but one that I had planned. We did not have the pork curry as there was not any roast pork left over as I had hoped. But I did have some chicken breasts in the freezer so we had a chicken curry instead which was so good!
Friday saw my 14th weigh in at Slimming World. I will admit to feeling a little disappointed at only having lost 1.5lbs, but when I got home and saw that over the last 14 weeks I have lost 24.5lbs I was delighted. As I changed my target after Christmas this loss means that I am now half way there. I just need to shift another 24.5lbs to reach my target. This week my aim is to increase my activity levels. I need to walk the school run and even try to dedicate some time to daily exercises. Wish me luck!
Weekly Meal Plan - Week 4 2017
Monday - Beef Joint with a Ragu Sauce
Yesterday I failed at a roast dinner as I did not take the joint out of the freezer. As I had planned to make a ragu sauce on today and use the leftovers in the sauce I am adapting it slightly and trying something new.
Tuesday - Sweet Potato and Bacon Pasta
This meal is based on an Aldi recipe and will feature in my cheap budget meals with Aldi feature next Tuesday. I have started to make meals that cost under £5 which is a great way to save additional money!
Wednesday - Fish Tagine Stew
After a shopping trip last week I bought a few pieces of fish that were reduced to clear. After the success of my Smoked Fish Tagine I am going to be making another fish stew.
Thursday - Jamie's Hit and Run Chicken Tray Bake
Last week I started a new weekly blog post called 101 Cook Books. Yes, I really do have that many cook books! This new feature is a way to encourage me to use them more! This week I am using one of my favourite books, Jamie Oliver's Save with Jamie. I love leftovers and this book is full of delicious ways to use leftovers. I am not going to use leftovers for this meal but I am excited to have a go at this dish!
Friday - Cheese and Wine Treat
It has been weeks since the hubby and I enjoyed a much loved cheese and wine night. So this week we are going to treat ourselves.
Saturday - Steak
On Saturday we have a birthday party to attend so I'll be cooking a quick and easy meal in the evening of steak with jacket potatoes and salad.
Do you meal plan? If so what have you got planned?
Feel free to join in with the MealPlanningMonday blog hop!
Hope you have a good week x
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Disclosure: This is a collaborative post