Recipes, reviews & lifestyle

Saturday, 4 February 2017

Quick and Easy Weekly Meal Plan (under £65 from Tesco)

 As a couple, Fabio and I have made the decision to try and see how reasonably priced we can make our shop - let's call it our challenge to ourselves. I'm all for reasonably priced items, but sometimes I can get carried away with speciality ingredients. I used to stereotype that cheap meals were processed and I wouldn't be able to experiment, however it's quite the opposite. Whilst doing this challenge, I have experimented and cooked more home-cooked meals than in previous weeks. This is not only due to the fact that the dinners are also lunches too, I've just had more of a drive to cook. 

The following meals were bought at Tesco and all the deals were available at the time of purchase. 

Sub-total: £62.77
Reduced items due to expiry: 4
Brand guarantee* savings: £1.12

Total to pay: £61.65

* This means that if the branded items could have been bought cheaper elsewhere, Tesco will take off the difference.

My Weekly Meal Plan for Two
Please note: I also already had some ingredients at home, so this cut costs. However I did buy extra snacks and other non-food items which could be seen to make up for the price of these items. I will include the price in brackets of the items I bought in this shop.

Sunday dinner (becomes lunch for Monday) 

I only managed to get photos of the Irish Stew!! 

 Irish Stew
700g lamb chops (1 pack: £1.50 reduced, £5.00 for second pack)
2 onions
450g potatoes
1 tbsp freshly chopped parsley (£0.70)
1 tbsp dried thyme
300ml lamb stock (£1.49 for Knorr stock cubes)

1. Pre-heat oven to 170 degrees (150 fan), gas mark 3. 

2. Layer in a deep casserole dish, the meat, onions and potatoes, ensuring that you sprinkle each layer with some herbs and seasoning. Finish with a layer of potatoes, lapping over the potato slices to form a sort of, lid. 
3. Pour the stock over the potatoes and then cover with a circle of greaseproof paper. Put on the lid and cook in the oven for 2 hours.
4. Take off the lid and serve immediately. 

Rough total meal cost: £2.17 per meal (covered 4 meals)

Day 1 - Monday
Breakfast: Caffe latte (Lavazza coffee £5.70) and granola, 2 strawberries (£1.49), granola and Yeo Valley Strawberry Yoghurt (£1.75)

Lunch: leftover Irish Stew from Sunday evening's dinner 

Dinner: Oriental Steamed Rainbow Trout with Chinese Fried Rice
Rainbow Trout fillets from the fish counter x 2 (£4.00)
3cm piece root ginger, peeled
1 tsp soy sauce
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 spring onions 
1 tsp groundnut oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Few cabbage leaves to line the steamer
Salt and ground black pepper

For the rice:
5 cups of basmati rice (or however much you think you would eat)
A handful of frozen peas
1 tbsp soy sauce
1cm piece chopped ginger
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 spring onion, chopped

Rice - cook the rice first, or at least start cooking it now. We used a rice cooker to quicken the process.
1. Slice the ginger thinly and chop the garlic small. Slice the spring onions too. 
2. Over a medium heat, toast the sesame seeds in a dry pan and when golden brown, place in a bowl.
3. Add the oils to the same pan and gently fry the garlic and ginger until pale, not brown. Add to the bowl with the seeds, along with the oil.
4. To the same bowl, add the lemon juice, soy sauce and spring onions - mix together. 
5. Place the fish on a board and season. Spread some of the mixture over the fish and then roll into a roll. Place them in a steamer basket that has been lined with cabbage leaves and top with the rest of the mixture. Steam over boiling water for 8 minutes. 
6. Begin frying the rice now - add a tiny bit of sesame oil to the pan and when hot, tip in your garlic, ginger and frozen peas and fry until the peas have defrosted. Next, add the rice and stir. After a few minutes, pour in some soy sauce. Fry for about 5 minutes. 
7. Serve your fish on top of your rice and enjoy!

Rough total meal cost: £2.00 per person (only because I had many of the ingredients) The rice covered 4 meals.

Day 2 - Tuesday
Breakfast: Chocolate bake breakfast bar (had no tupperware left for my normal breakfast!)

Lunch: Leftover Chinese Fried Rice 

Dinner: Mulligatawny Soup
3 rashers of streaky bacon (£1.13 reduced)
550g chicken legs and thighs (£5.00 - Organic)
1 carrot, sliced (0.26p for 3)
1 celery stick, chopped (0.49p for a bundle)
1 apple, cored
2 tsp curry powder
Freshly ground black pepper
1 clove
1 tbsp plain flour (0.40p Tesco own brand, smallest bag)
150ml milk

1. Fry the chopped bacon in a large, wide pan, but not until brown. 
2. Add the chicken and brown well. When done, drain on a paper towel.
3. Return the bacon and chicken to the pan and add the stock and carrot, celery, apple, curry powder, pepper and clove. Cover and cook for 30 mins. 
4. Remove the chicken and shred. Return to the soup and reheat gently. Remove the clove. 
5. Mix the flour with a little cold water and add to the soup. Mix in. Cook for 5 minutes more, but avoid boiling it.
6. Ladle into bowls and enjoy!

Rough total meal cost: £1.75 per meal (covers 4 meals) Although we struggled to make the soup cover 4 meals, this may be because we are big eaters. It is possible you could make it cover lunch too. 

Day 3 - Wednesday
Breakfast: Caffe latte (Lavazza coffee £5.70) and granola, 2 strawberries (£1.49), granola and Yeo Valley Natural Yoghurt

Lunch: I ended up buying lunch as we ate all the soup from last night...naughty!

Dinner: Thai Vegetable Curry
2-3tbsp Thai Red Curry Paste (£1.69 Tesco own brand)
2.5cm fresh root ginger, peeled and chopped
50g cashew nuts
400ml can coconut milk (0.70p)
3 carrots, cut into batons (0.26p)
1 broccoli head, cut into florets (0.45p)
Zest and juice of one lime
2 large handfuls of spinach leaves (£1.00)
Basmati Rice

- Cook some basmati rice before starting. We used a rice cooker.
1. Place the curry paste into a large pan. Add the ginger to the pan with the cashew nuts. Stir and cook for 3 minutes.
2. Add the coconut milk and cover. Bring to the boil. 
3. Add the carrots and simmer for 5 minutes.
4. Add the broccoli and simmer for a further 5 minutes, or until tender.
5. Add the lime juice and zest with the spinach. Serve with basmati rice.

Rough total meal cost: £1.02 per meal. This meal covers 4 meals.

Day 4 - Thursday 

Breakfast: Caffe latte (Lavazza coffee £5.70) and granola, 2 strawberries (£1.49), granola and Yeo Valley Strawberry Yoghurt

Lunch: Leftovers from the Thai Vegetable Curry last night

Dinner: Leek and Boursin stuffed Jacket Potatoes
2 large jacket potatoes (£1.00 for 2)
1 leek (0.29p)
Some mature cheddar (0.77p reduced Pilgrims Choice)
80g Ail and Fines Herbes Boursin (£1.00)
1 tbsp single cream (0.55p)

Rough total meal cost: £3.61 for 2 people

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees. Begin by baking the potatoes - prick them both with a fork and start them off in the microwave to quicken the process - 10 mins.
2. When done, place in a baking tray and cover with salt and pepper. Massage in some oil all over the skin. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, wash the leek to get out any trapped dirt, and then slice lengthways. Slice again into a four, lengthways, and then finely chop. 
4. Place the boursin into a bowl. 
5. When the potatoes are done, carefully slice them in halfway and scoop out the centre with a spoon. Place in the bowl with the boursin. Pour in the cream and season well. Mash or mix with a spoon.
6. Fill each of the skins with the potato mixture. Grate on some cheddar and sprinkle on the leeks. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. 

Extra items I bought:

Cat food - £4.80 (gourmet perle as our cat is fussy!)
Tesco lavender non bio washing tablets (£3.25 for 20 washes)
Actimel drink (Fabio takes these to work) - £2.75
Custard creams - 0.45p (I craved these!)
Newspaper - £2.00
Deodorant - £1.80
Graze lemon flapjacks - £1.50 for 3 packets (these are brilliant for a snack at work
Ryvita cracked black pepper crackers - £1.00 (perfect for those hunger pangs at work)
Oranges - £2.00 for 2 nets
Mucus cough tablets - £3.00
Jam doughnuts - 0.33p reduced - (couldn't resist!)

Please let me know if you want me to do one of these plans again, and if it was useful! It takes a bit of time, but I can do it again if people want me too!
Hijacked By Twins

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