Jump to content

Budget meals/meal plan
What's you meals/plan look like?


  • Please log in to reply
9 replies to this topic

#1 MissButtercup

Posted 09 January 2013 - 11:53 AM

We're on a tight budget at the moment so I am looking to get back into the meal planning but are struggling to come up with some fresh, tasty & nutritious meals that won't cost the earth!

Any suggestions?

What would you include in your weekly plan to avoid waste and save $$.

Edited by MissButtercup, 09 January 2013 - 11:54 AM.


#2 katiebear26

Posted 09 January 2013 - 12:09 PM

my mum was the queen of this as we have a big family, and i still prefer her cooking over anything :-)

try the following:

spaghetti bol bake - layer cooked spaghetti, bolognese mince and cheese sauce (even a pkt mix one) twice, then cover with cheese and bake. it's easy, serve with a salad or steamed vegies if you have them or sneak vegies into the mince, whatever you have on hand (or whatever needs to be used up!)

cream of chicken casserole - add a can of cream of chicken soup to cooked chicken pieces like legs or thighs, whatever vegies you like and a little water or milk to make it go further. top with bread crumbs or crumbled special k - style cereal and bake, we even used jatz crackers. this is a take on a weight watchers recipe so is not as high fat as you would think! serve with rice or pasta, or more steamed vegies, if required.

baked pumpkin on baby spinach with a balsamic/oil dressing is a great side salad.

anything in a slow cooker or just in a pot on the stove or casserole dish in the oven, so you can use cheaper cuts like gravy beef and lamb forequarter chops. add vegies and serve over pasta, mash, rice or couscous.

i think the key thing is when you are planning your meals look for things that use those special items up - for example if you buy sour cream on week, have a couple of recipes that use it so it doesn't go to waste. then buy a different special item the next week, use it up too, so you get variety in the meals as well.

oh, and if anyone is at home during the day, make enough for leftovers for lunches!

Edited by katiebear26, 09 January 2013 - 12:10 PM.


#3 MissButtercup

Posted 09 January 2013 - 01:06 PM

Thanks! Spaghetti Bol is a staple in our house and I do make a pumpkin/sweet potato and rocket/spinach salad with feta.

We don't use a lot of pre-packaged foods, I like to try and keep everything fresh. We've been eating a lot of basic salads and meat lately so I think we need some new salad recipes or other meal ideas.

There are 4 of us home during the day (myself, 6yo (during school holidays) 3yo & 3 wk old bub) and we normally have toasted sandwiches or a "health kids combo" (vege sticks, saladas, cream cheese for dipping - they sell this as a kids meal at the local pub so the girls think its a real treat lol) for lunch.



#4 Funnington

Posted 09 January 2013 - 05:31 PM

I've always followed the concept of stretching a meal across 2 (possibly) 3 additional dishes when budgeting.

For example - if you buy a leg of lamb (expensive at first glance) you can have a roast one night, a shepherd's pie another and possibly some cold meat for sandwiches or cold meat and salad.  

I'm trying to cut our meat portions down so I'm bulking things up with legumes and vegetables.  For example, if I made a shepherd's pie out of leftover lamb I would only use about 2 cups of chopped meat and bulk the rest of the mixture up with red lentils and vegetables.

Other ideas are:

Make a big casserole using chuck steak (so cheap), use leftovers for pies or freeze individual portions for lunches or a quick dinner (leftover casserole on toast - yum yum!).  When you make the casserole, again bulk it up with heaps of vegies and cheese dumplings are really filling and delicious (it's like having roast beef & yorkshire in a bowl).

Roast chicken - again, roast one night, next night a chicken pasta bake or other pasta dish and possibility some for sandwiches, salads and use the bones for stock.

I won't bore you with the endless dishes using minced beef!

Edited by Funnington, 09 January 2013 - 05:32 PM.


#5 roses99

Posted 09 January 2013 - 06:22 PM

I use the slow cooker to bulk cook. In my (large) slow cooker I can make about four meals for my family of four. I generally do a shop and buy my meat, and over the next couple days I'll do a few meals in the slow cooker. That way I can do a couple of weeks of meals in just one hit.

We mix up those freezer casseroles with things like lasagne (which I also cook in bulk and freeze). And on weekends, I like to cook from scratch because I've got more time.

When I'm organised enough and keep up the bulk cooking, we never need takeaway. Firstly, because there's always something in the freezer and secondly because it's quicker to reheat a casserole, cook rice and steam veggies than order takeaway.

Jamie Oliver has an awesome slow cooked shoulder of lamb recipe. The shoulder is a cheap cut, and it cooks beautifully. He uses the meat for a ragu and sweet potato shepherd's pie. Delish!

#6 Babetty

Posted 09 January 2013 - 06:30 PM

If you want some new salad recipes, borrow some recipe books from the library - Jamie Oliver's cookbooks always have a lot of salad recipes.

I usually stretch mince by adding grated vegies (carrots and zucchini as they hide well and are pretty cheap, carrots especially at the moment).

Small amounts of leftovers - eg leftover bolognaise sauce, pasta sauce etc, can be turned into another meal as 'pastry puffs'. Cut a sheet of puff pastry in half, put in some spoonfuls of whatever leftovers you have, fold in half and bake.

We don't eat much 'meat and veg' meals as you tend to eat more meat. We make lots of stirfrys, curries, frittatas, home made pizza etc as a little meat goes a long way in these dishes. Or the 'meal' might be a vegetarian dish with some strips of char-grilled meat laid over the top.

#7 MissButtercup

Posted 09 January 2013 - 08:03 PM

Great ideas! We did buy a full scotch fillet in bulk the other day for only $24 and we should get at least 10-15 steaks out of it. I agree we need to cut our meat down though.

I love the puff pastry idea. I am terrible at using leftovers but I think this will work for us.

I have a lot of JO books but there packed in boxes from our last move (haven't unpacked as we're waiting for our new home to be built) so I'll have to dig them out.

I like the slow cooker idea too but it's been pretty hot here and DH works in the sun all day so not sure a hot meal would work, not until it cools down anyway. The slow cookers still in a box torso will dig it out at the same time.

#8 ballogo

Posted 10 January 2013 - 09:13 AM

We make our own chicken stock and then use the chicken from the stock for sandwiches.  Using a carcass we boil up a chicken stock - including carrot, celery, pimento, celery leaves, parsley, onion.  We then shred the chicken and use it for sandwiches or other meals involving chicken.  The stock we use for soups in winter mostly.  We also have a family favourite of noodles.  Using the stock, boil up lots of vegetables - carrot, beans, onion, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini (basically whatever is in the fridge), then left over meat.  We then use instant noodles (packet of 10 quite cheap from the Asian section in the supermarket). Add some herbs and you're done.

Being a part Asian family another favourite is fried rice.  Fry up onion and garlic add diced vegies from your fridge or even left over vegies from other meals, add chicken, ham or any other meat if you like (but not necessary if full of vegies). Add your rice, a little chicken stock and soy, egg if you like and you have a very filling and nutitious meal!

We love vegie patties- do an internet search for lentil or chick pea patties.  I have a recipe for spinach and potato patties as well.  Very yummy and nutritious! We also have a vegetable curry made with vegetable stock, a curry paste, sweet potato, spinach, and other vegies - I cant remember all  the ingredients but I'm sure there must be similar recipes online.  Vegetarian lasagna with silverbeet!  Meatless bolognaise with vegies - usually whatever we have left in the fridge.  

We also love a variety of stir fries - I always add more vegies than suggested in the recipe and keep them crunchy!

(Sorry for late reply I started this post yesterday and then got distracted by three children)

Edited by ballogo, 10 January 2013 - 09:21 AM.


#9 MrsLexiK

Posted 10 January 2013 - 09:41 AM

I find making things without using packets and jars is headps cheaper.  ie: I make fajita salad (or my DH will have it in a wrap if we have wraps at home) I make the seasoning my self with the spices from my cupboard.  I do the same with the taco meat and then I can just buy some wraps or I like to serve my taco meat over steamed veg.  

A bit of garlic, and lemon pepper ontop of frozen veg (or even canned veg) work a treat.  We go camping a bit so I like to have my veg but you can't take a whole bunch of fresh veg camping, you can take your spices though!

I also don't use anywhere near as much cream and stuff that receipes ask for.  I make my own honey mustard chic ( abit of a treat in this house as to me it is not that healthy) with a small tub of sour cream, wholegrain mustard and some dijon mustard and a sponful of honey.

spag bog is a stable in our house as well but we get the good mince and drain it, and I make the sauce from tinned toms and my spices and condiments. No one batch tastes the same.  We add mushrooms and zuccini and carrot and onions but I also don't serve it with pasta, it is served mainly with veg. DH then eats this the next day or so on a sandwhich for lunch.

Stirfrys are also great as well, I make it again with what I have ie not a jar of kanton.  If I want it to be more a runny stirfry I add stock to the stirfry.

I am loving my slow cooker as well, again I do it from scratch mostly. I will always add more veg and not always add as much meat to it though.  If I added the meat it called for there would be enough for 2 dinners and 3 or 4 lunches, now there is enough for 2 dinners or 1 dinner and a few lunches.

#10 monkeys mum

Posted 10 January 2013 - 11:39 AM

From my kids point they love pasta bakes but turn their noee st spaghetti lol I use about600-700g of mince for two meals to feed five of us. I bulk it up with grated mushroom, carrot, sweet potato if there's some left, any veg that grates really. Then I do the sauce myself and mix it through cooked pasta sprinkle with a little cheese and bake one and put the other in the freezer.

My kids love my mac and cheese too. It is never made the same way twice, the main recipe is to mix flour with milk to fofm the sauce I use about a cup of milk and the rest water then add garlic and any other seasoning. I add about 250-300g of bacon pieces, dicd up cauliflower, heated mushrooms and any other vsg that needs using then top that with pasta mix it around and bake for half an hour. Add grated cheese and mix it around then bake fir five minutes. We use a bit of pasta as my youngest only eats soft food.

Strog is a good one fir doing in bulk too.





1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

How I learnt to relax about routines

After many routine-led, tough years, we've realised that being parenting isn't about being perfect. It isn't about following a schedule to a T.

Should you have a third child or not?

I thought our family had been complete with our two boys. I had no idea how much I needed my daughter until she was here.

Helping a toddler embrace an adopted sibling

A single parent by choice, I am preparing to adopt a second baby from Morocco. And I face a special challenge.

When pregnancy messes with your self-esteem

Pregnancy doesn't make all women feel beautiful. It certainly doesn't raise every woman's self-esteem.

Join us in The BIG nappy change

Introducing the new Coles Little Explorer Nappies! You can confidently rely on Coles Little Explorer nappies at each stage of your child's growth, so take the Big Nappy Change and try new Coles Little Explorer nappies for yourself!

Robbie Williams live tweets wife's labour

And the award for most patient woman in labour goes to ... Robbie Williams' wife, Ayda Field.

Vaccine ignorance is deadly and contagious

In the absence of credible, strong political leadership, paranoia about disease can go viral.

Parenting differently based on birth order

All children have unique personalities, but keeping birth order in mind could help when parenting.

How to get rid of the mum guilt

Motherhood and guilt seem to go hand in hand, but there are ways to focus

Paid parental leave scheme grinds to a halt

The future of Prime Minister Tony Abbott's paid parental leave scheme appears to be up in the air, despite the fact it is due to begin in less than nine months.

The devastation of foetal alcohol spectrum disorders

No one's sure how many Australians are affected by foetal alcohol spectrum disorders, but the consequences for those who are can be devastating.

The pros and cons of finding out the sex of your unborn baby

It’s often one of the biggest choices parents make during the course of their pregnancy; to find out, or not to find out, the sex of their baby before it’s born.

Toddler's awesome dress up month

Two-year-old Willow and her photographer mum, Gina Lee, made October "Dress Up Willow Month". She posted photos of Willow's costumes on her Instagram account, and her creative takes on popular culture are simply adorable.

Childhood around the world

It can be easy to assume our ideas around childhood are universal, but they are particular to where we live, as these practices show.

Best picks for baby and toddler shoes

Here's a great selection of footwear from pre-walker to walker ensuring comfort and style for growing feet.

I lost my wife and daughters to Ebola - then it came for my son

Sunday, September 21, is a day I will never forget.

The 'yucky' illness that took over my life

I have a chronic illness nobody likes to discuss. It involves toilet talk, and probably caused my miscarriage. But it needs to be talked about.

Prenatal testing: the facts

Prenatal testing is done to check if a baby has certain medical conditions before birth. Here is some important information about what the tests are for and the risks involved.

5 things to do with your baby?s old clothes

Did you think your only option for your baby?s old clothes was to pack them away or give them to the Salvos? Think again.

Why it's possible to not realise you're pregnant until the baby arrives

After hearing about 'surprise babies' born to mums who didn't know they were pregnant, it's common to ask "how did she not realise?" But experts say it's entirely possible for it to happen.

'My miracle is finally here'

How has the world continued on its pace when mine has been altered so drastically?

Dairy can help older women fall pregnant: study

Ice cream may be the ultimate comfort food, but a study suggests it could also help older women to have children.

Megan Gale goes topless for 'sexiest people' cover

Six months after a heavily pregnant Megan Gale posed nude for Marie Claire, the glowing new mum has gone topless for the cover of another magazine.

A new perspective on life from living with two diseases

A mother shares her personal story about the difficulty of living with two conditions, one of which stops her from being able to see her daughter's face.

Warning about Children's Panadol dosage

The Therapeutic Goods Administration has issued a safety advisory warning parents about confusion when using the dosing syringe supplied with Children's Panadol.

Download now: Essential Kids Activity Finder app

Got bored kids? Quickly find the best activities for kids wherever you are in Australia with the Essential Kids app.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

Take 'The Coles Big Nappy Change' Challenge

You could become part of our Test Drive team and win one of 200 packs of Coles Little Explorer Nappies as part of our 5-day challenge.

Win 1 of 5 Canon Powershot D30 cameras

Capture life more easily with the Canon Powershot D30. Shockproof, waterproof and dustproof, you can take it almost anywhere and shoot beautiful images, time after time. Enter now!

16 parenting truths you won't find in the baby books

I am five years into this parenting gig and I’ve learnt that sleepless nights and changing dirty nappies are child’s play.

Best and worst potty party cakes

It's nice to celebrate a child making the shift from nappies to 'big kid' undies, but do we really need a semi-realistic used toilet cake to do it? Here are some of the best and worst cakes parents have used at 'potty parties' around the world.

7 tips for a financially festive Christmas

Plan ahead - and do it now - to ensure festive season expenses don't break the bank.

'Go the F*** to Sleep' author's new book for frustrated parents

A sequel is coming soon to the 2011 hit book 'Go the F*** to Sleep' - and this time, it's about mealtimes.

Great birthday party buys from Etsy

Handmade crafts to decorate and personalise your child's next birthday - from banners to cake decorations, we've got gorgeous party finds from Etsy.

Join us in The BIG nappy change

Introducing the new Coles Little Explorer Nappies! You can confidently rely on Coles Little Explorer nappies at each stage of your child's growth, so take the Big Nappy Change and try new Coles Little Explorer nappies for yourself!

Creative storage ideas for the kids' rooms

Creative and practical storage ideas for the kids' toys and books can also add some stylish decor to your home. Visit babyology.com.au for more stylish modern finds for hip kids & parents.

Weird trend

Couple has five babies in 14 months

Julie and David Grygla weren't sure they'd ever have kids - but their dreams have now well and truly come true.

To the mum in the doctor's waiting room

Maybe the mum I saw in that waiting room, seemingly disconnected from her baby, doesn’t have the support she needs.

10 space-saving nursery ideas

Starting a family doesn't always mean moving into a bigger house - not yet, anyway.

 

What's in a name?

Baby Names

Looking for a classic name, or an unusual name? Our Baby Name Finder is for you, search or browse to refine your shortlist.

 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.