Monday, 7 January 2013

Why Menu Plan?

Cass from A Frugal Family and myself have a food blog called Frugaliscious and each week one of us posts out weekly menu plan on it.  This week it is my turn.

I have tried to ensure that we eat a rainbow this week so that we can kick this flu.  Mine has turned in to a chest and ear infection.

Menu or meal planning is one of the most effective ways that I save money.   By menu planning I make sure I only buy the food we need and we rarely have any waste.

Also one of the most soul destroying parts of parenting for me is the constant cooking and what used to be the stress over meal times.

I have got round this as the boys have grown (they are six and seven) by involving them in planning the food for the week.

Why Meal Plan?

Well apart from the obvious wondering what to cook at the last minute, it is a brilliant way to budget and save money.   On Average a family of four throws away £680 of food a year.  

This is a shocking statistic, which equates to about £50 a month.

How to Meal Plan

I start by looking at the bare bones of the food I want to cook.  I try to make one ingredient cover more than one meal.  For example if we have a roast chicken, then I use the leftovers for curry, risotto, pies, soup and stock.  Similarly mince will make shepherd's pie, mince and dumplings, bolognese  lasagna, burgers and much much more.  I use the mySupermarket Top Offers shelf to help me find out which meat is a best buy, as this is often the main expense when it comes to our meals.  


I get my inspiration for lots of places, including other blogs.  Mrs M has a weekly meal planning Monday link up, which is great for getting ideas. 

I also look cookery programs, we all do and they are something that we watch as a family and love cook books too.

My most used ones are:

I would love to know what your most used cook books are.


  1. I had Jamies 15 minute meals for Xmas & need to try some recipes out. I almost always menu plan but it goes to pot when I have leftovers as I put them to use the following day. I need to plan the fruit better as we've always run out by Thursday!

    1. Leftovers tend to be my lunch the next day!

  2. Um, something a bit awry with your figures. That's about £13 wastage a week. Which is still fairly awful but nowhere near £50.

    1. Arggg, I meant £50 a month! Thanks Jax

  3. Jamies 30 minute meals for inspiration
    dairy cookbook and good housekeeping cookbook for basic baking
    nigella and rachel allen for fattening treats
    and nigel slater when I just want to read and drool!

    i was given Economy Gastronomy - but found it a little disappointing

    and anything by margeurite patten/wartime for rationing and thrift

    1. Oh I love Rachel Allen. I have my mums old dairy cookbook and IO have to say I still always come back to the Bero Book too!

  4. I'm not great at meal planning usually, but I recently put two weeks worth of planned dinners in my diary and I find it so much less stressful just knowing what we are going to eat each day! I don't really have any go to cook books as I tend to just make things up as I go along!


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