Meal Plan on a budget
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We’re into week 4 of our money-saving and debt-free journey, and I thought I’d share this week’s meal plan with you. Given my husband’s excessive spend last week, I’ve been desperately trying not to go shopping and have stretched my number two tip for saving on my supermarket bill (actually, I frequently do this, as I detest going food shopping).
Freezer fodder (sometimes also called Freezer Roulette) is basically whatever I can find in the freezer if I can’t be bothered to cook and/or need to use up leftovers. The girls ended up having chicken nuggets, pasta shapes mixed with a cheese triangle (Aldi’s version of Dairylea), and smashed peas, and I had Thai fish curry that was leftover from last week.
The week before last, I bought a big pack of chicken breasts from Aldi as I often do, as it works out cheaper to separate them and freeze the portions. Alternatively, I like to go to my local butcher and get 8 chicken breasts for £10, and he bags them up into pairs for me.
So last week we had a homemade chicken curry, and I put the remainder of the breasts in the freezer, and got two out at the weekend to make a chicken pie. As sometimes happens, life got in the way, and I didn’t get round to making the pie after all. I thought I’d attempt it today, only to find (as suspected), the chicken was no good. I had to do something I hate doing; I had to throw it away. With the pastry made and the chicken pie prep already underway, I needed to improvise. Fortunately, hubby had bought some chicken drumsticks for his 12-hour night shift (he usually does wings, and they’re oh-so-delicious) as he likes to snack as he goes, but he hadn’t used the second pack. So these went in the oven while the sauce commenced its journey in the slow-cooker. When slightly cooled, I’ll strip half of them and put the meat in with the sauce mixture, and we’ll have the rest of them with tomorrow’s planned jacket potato and salad.
These balls-ups are not uncommon for me. A few weeks ago, I’d made home-made pizzas and put one in the freezer to be used the following weekend, as I knew we’d have a busy day ahead. Unfortunately for me, as I was so tired and didn’t think of the obvious, I put the uncooked pizza straight onto the oven shelf… and the dough, and entire pizza, literally melted onto the bottom of the oven. The girls ended up having mini-pizzas (toasting muffins topped with tomato puree and grated cheese) and I think I just had gin. And maybe some hummus and pitta.
So you see, if you’re ever in despair at dinner having gone wrong (it happens to the best of us!), be assured that there will always be a way to turn it around. It might not be what you wanted, but where there’s a will, there’s a way. Money saving is all about improvisation, and if you can do that, you can do anything.