Meal Plan ★ 4th – 10th June, 2012

June 3, 2012 by flyingdrunkenmonkey

2012-05-30 15.10.26

Do you shop at Lenard’s? We were given some gift vouchers, including one for a roast chicken so added it to the meal plan last week. I haven’t had Lenard’s in years!!


Click on the image on the left to download my Weekly Plan/ Meal Plan Template.

Please let me know if you use it and what you think! If you have any requests or suggestions I’d love to hear them.

Meal Plan:

♥ Monday – Dinner at Grandma & Grandad’s House
♥ Tuesday – Lenard’s Spinach & Pinenut Chicken Sausages and Chickpea & Potato Salad
♥ Wednesday – Dinner at the Pub
♥ Thursday – Dinner out for Aunty Em’s Birthday
♥ Friday – Lenard’s Greek Pinwheels with raita
♥ Saturday – McCormick’s Herb Chicken and Potatoes
♥ Sunday – McCormick’s Beef Brew with Herb Dumplings

Long post today! I’ve got lots to “talk” to you about.

Last week

The lovely people from Lenard’s sent me a couple of gift vouchers after the Kids Business Bloggers BBQ – one was for their new Lenard’s Signature Fresh Family Roast. My parents were coming to babysit Lily while I was at my course on Wednesday night so I thought it would be a great night to try out the roast. In the end Mr Monkey even had the night off work!

I’ve never actually cooked a roast chicken before so the ease of these chickens really stood out to me – they come in the tray that you cook them in, with the glaze (in our case a “Premium Balsamic”) plus all of the yummy goodness of the herbs and garnish. You simply pour 2/3rds of the glaze over the chicken, pop it into the oven for 90mins, pour the rest of the glaze over the chicken and roast for a further 15mins. Simple!

The chicken was really moist and yummy and went down a treat. Mr Monkey shredded the leftovers and we had it on toasted sandwiches the next day. He also used the carcass to create a chicken stock which left the house smelling really yummy.

These roasts are great for a quick, easy roast meal and would be perfect for people with minimal cooking skills or even for an easy dinner party.

This week

When we bought the roast chook last week we also picked up some Spinach & Pinenut Chicken Sausages and Greek Pinwheels with the other gift vouchers. I really wanted Chicken Kievs as I haven’t had them in years but Mr Monkey suggested we get something that we hadn’t tried before. We put both straight in the freezer so we could keep them for this week’s meal plan. I checked the Lenard’s website for some side dishes that may work with the sausages and found the Chickpea and Potato Salad. I thought the pinwheels would go best with a light salad and perhaps a bit of raita. Yum!

I was also contacted by McCormick’s to trial their new Recipe Creations and a range of new Recipe Bases. I mentioned the Recipe Creations earlier – they’re great packets that contain just the right amount of herbs to create each meal. All going well, I’ll be sharing my experience of the recipes with you next week!

Budget Meal Planning

This week, after really no planning on my part, we don’t really have to do much grocery shopping – just some fruit and veg and some general things.

But in the coming weeks I want to work on getting our grocery bills down. Our car registration and insurance is due at the end of the month and that takes a big wallop out of Mr Monkey’s pay check. We also had quite a lot to pay off the credit card but thanks to basically no spending the past few weeks we’ve been able to get that right down again. But it’s made me realise that perhaps we should be spending less each week – we spend around $150-$200 a week for the three of us. Not too bad considering we buy a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables, a fair amount of meat and fresh fish. So, not too bad but it could definitely be better.

The last few weeks of eating only what we’ve had in the house has been enlightening but very challenging – we haven’t eaten as many fresh vegetables and I struggled to be imaginative and come up with interesting meals.

Mr Monkey was given a sample tin of crushed tomatoes (2.5kgs!) so we made up a basic bolognese sauce to freeze. We have the stock that Mr Monkey made from the leftover chicken and I’ve made sure to freeze any leftovers. Our biggest issue is the fact that we have a very small freezer, one that is just on to of the fridge, so we can only freeze a small amount of meals, plus have room for the frozen veggies and bulk lots of meat etc. I’d really like to get a chest freezer but we simply do not have the room.

I think I need to be conscious in the coming weeks of what I am planning with our meal plans. It’s been great ensuring we have one chicken, one fish, one meat, one vegetarian meal etc each week as well as being mindful of the side dishes but I haven’t been as conscious of how much each meal is actually costing. I tend to simply look for interesting meals and they can often include ingredients that are uncommon or out of season. I’m not sure why but it takes a lot for me to get my head around the fact that not everything is in season all the time – I suppose that’s one problem of always shopping at major supermarkets.

Another issue is that while I normally cook enough that there is leftover for Mr Monkey when he gets home from work, our lunch the next day or maybe a meal to go in the freezer, I normally focus on each meal as separate from the others. I need to star looking for meals that can last for more than one day e.g. a spag bol that becomes a lasagna the next night.

So, you may see a bit of a focus in my meal plans from now on – I want to create budget friendly meal plans while still ensuring that we eat a varied and healthy diet.

What are your budget meal planning tips? Do you manage to keep costs down while still providing healthy and interesting meals for your family?

 

Have you entered my Oral B Giveaway yet? Go on!!

 

 

Disclaimer: I was given 2 $20 gift vouchers from Lenard’s to try their new Signature Fresh Family Roast and other products. I was not paid for this post. 

 

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Related posts:

Meal Plan ★ 22nd – 28th October, 2012
Meal Plan ★ 29th October - 4th November, 2012
Meal Plan ★ 3rd - 9th November, 2014

8 Comments »

  1. Amy says:

    Hey! Budget eating is so tricky, especially when there is some super duper yummy (read: expensive) food out there. Im saving for a trip over seas next year and i’m trying to put most of my money towards that endeavour at the moment.

    My tricks are:
    Making lots of stuff and freezing it (I understand the small freezer thing, I have a quarter of a freezer to store my stuff)
    -Specials shopping. Stock up on stuff you can store when it is on sale.
    -Australian Farmers Direct – I get a couples fruit and vegie box and I honestly struggle to get through it!!! $26 a week! It is so amazing! (I think family boxes are $36!) Lots of potatoes too!!!
    -Cheap noodle packs and soup packs (good for those weeks when you actually have $0 in the bank account!)

    Its really hard, but im sure its worth it in the end!!!
    Amy recently posted…Being a Morning Person…My Profile

    • Cassie says:

      Oh yeah yummy (expensive) food is my downfall!! Fish especially – I’d much prefer salmon.

      I’m trying to freeze as much as possible but we’re running out of room! It’s driving me crazy.

      We are seriously looking at http://www.andyandted.com.au/default.aspx – they’re family boxes are $48 for 15 selections and you can actually choose what you want those 15 to be!

      Oh 2min noodles are fantastic! We have those for lunch a lot :)
      Cassie recently posted…This Week’s Cleaning Zone ★ The Master BedroomMy Profile

      • Amy says:

        Oh I love the Mi Goreng ones… To make it super spicy, like I like, I add a bucket load of tobasco sauce.

        I love salmon, still cant bring myself to *really* get into white fish even though it is so unbelievably healthy for you!!! I like to bake it and just have it with a simple salad.

        I actually think you have just saved my life a little with that website. You can pick and choose what you want in the AFD boxes but its more complicated that Andy ad Ted!!! (plus they do a singles box! Yipee)
        Amy recently posted…Being a Morning Person…My Profile

        • Cassie says:

          Hmm I just have them plain and add frozen peas and cheese.MMMMMMM

          Yeah white fish can be good but there’s just something about salmon.

          It looks good doesn’t it?! They do other things (cans and tins etc) so if you wanted you can do one order with those and then one order of fruit and veg the next week. Plus they have a loyalty bonus! I’d definitely look into it if I was you! :)

      • Lollerskater says:

        I miss 2min noodles… I can’t really eat them because the gluten makes me feel terrible. I used to love eating them raw with the flavour sachet sprinkled over the top. Classic primary school playground lunch!

  2. Lollerskater says:

    You mentioned inexpensive, in season ingredients, but the other part of meal planning that I’ve found is to use all of what you buy. What I mean is, if you have roast vegetables one night, what about all that leftover pumpkin? My trick is try and make sure that if I’m buying something, it will appear in the meal plan often enough to use all of it up. I used to waste a lot of vegetables, and while I still do occassionally, I’ve gotten a lot better at making sure we eat what we buy.

    The other thing with fresh produce is where you buy it from. Too often “fresh’ things I’ve bought from the major supermarkets only last in the fridge 3 or 4 days before needing to be chucked. Produce from our local fruit & vegetable market often lasts over 2 weeks in the fridge!

    • Cassie says:

      Oh yes I forgot to mention that. We have gotten a lot better at this too. More that I’m trying to make sure that we only buy small amounts of fruit and veg so that we don’t have more than we need. But that gets a bit hard with other things that are in bigger serves – especially capers! I only want a teaspoon for a recipe but you can only buy them in big bottles!!

      We changed to our local grocer for that exact reason! I had a bag of carrots from the grocer that lasted for almost a month! My parents only have a major supermarket and the produce from there is shocking. It doesn’t even last 3 days!

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