A nifty thrifty meal plan

The new year is a good time to make a new start, and that's just what I'll be doing. If I'm honest, I've lost my way with meal planning somewhat and am eager to start again. Meal planning = less waste. Less time, food and money is wasted. It might seem laborious at first, but once you're in the habit of sitting down once a week and planning your meals, you'll really start to see the benefits.

This week I've also compiled a shopping list, which assumes that the shopper has nothing in stock at all apart from salt, pepper and basic kitchen utensils! It's probably not as cheap as it could be, or as healthy as it could be, but I've tried to find a happy medium and squeeze some veg into every meal.

Breakfasts on this plan are either porridge with honey or eggy bread (1 slice bread, dipped in one egg, fried in a little oil). Cheap and cheerful, yet a true reflection of what breakfasts in thrift cottage are usually like. I quite often have porridge with a dollop of value or homemade jam, whereas Mr. Thrift will eat something eggy. As we keep our own hens we have a good supply of fresh eggs, for which we are very grateful!

We keep a fresh supply of herbs on our window sill, and have cupboards filled to the brim with spices, herbs, sauces and preserves. This is a bare bones plan that can be added to or adjusted as need be.


Lunch - Cheese and pickle sandwiches or wraps

Dinner - Chilli non carne and rice


Lunch - Leftover chilli non carne with homemade wraps

Dinner - Slow cooker root vegetable casserole and homemade garlic bread or rice


Lunch - Leftover casserole

Dinner - Fish fingers and homemade chips with peas


Lunch - Fish finger salad sandwiches

Dinner - At the in laws house for NYE


Lunch - Carrot soup and homemade rolls

Dinner - Homemade falafels, homemade wraps, hummus, pickles, salad


Lunch - Carrot soup and homemade rolls + leftover falafels (if there are any!)

Dinner - Spinach Lasagne


Lunch - Leftover lasagne

Dinner - Lentil curry (from freezer) with rice

Shopping list

Sainsburys basics carrots, 1.5kg - 75p
Sainsburys basics potatoes, 4kg - £1.90
Saisburys basics onions, 15.kg - 90p
Sainsburys basics garlic, 2 bulbs - 35p
2 parsnips - 50p
2 little gem lettuces - 80p

3 tins plum tomatoes (KTC brand) - 33p
Sainsburys basics kidney beans - 30p
3 X KTC tins chickpeas - £1 (currently on offer)
Red lentils, 1kg - £1.80
Granose soya mince - £1

Gherkins in vinegar - £1
Basics ketchup - 35p

Basics Lasagne Sheets - 35p (should make a lasagne next week, too)
Easy Cook Rice , 2kg - £2.45 (also will last more than one week)

Rolls/wraps or bag of value flour to make your own - 55p for 1.5kg
Oats, 1.5kg - £1.70

Basics clear honey - £1

Basics full flavour cheddar, 1kg - £4.50 (freeze half for next week)
Hummus - 85p

Frozen spinach, 1kg - £1.50
Frozen peas - Basics garden peas, 1.2kg - £1.40
Fish fingers - 65p for 10

Loaf of bread - 45p
6 mixed weight barn eggs - 70p

Basics Mixed herbs - 75p
Nato Curry powder, 100g - 75p
Chilli powder, 100g - 75p
Vegetable stock cubes - 30p

Sunflower oil, 1l - £1.20

Total - £30.48

As it might be obvious to you, many of us will already have many of the above in our store cupboards already, and some things will be available cheaper from elsewhere, but I'm assuming that not everyone wants to shop around. Given I've left one meal off the meal plan, as we will be eating elsewhere, I'd like to think somehow it'll all balance out around the £30 mark for the average person. Obviously this list doesn't include household staples like loo rolls and cat food, so I'm expecting this weeks shop to come in at around £40, which is fine by me!


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