Last Week’s Food Prep 3rd-9th July 2017

Hi guys,

So I am writing this a little late – mainly because I was mainly eating on my own (as OH didn’t fancy ANY of the food I had planned!) and I got treated to a couple of meals for doing some extra bits and pieces for people. My £25 food budget ended up lasting me two weeks and I topped up during this week (10-16 July) with some impromptu snack foods as I was working super late one night and had run out of food and a trip to McDonalds >.< so I've probably spent around £50 over the two weeks.

I did the majority of my food prep in one day whilst I was doing some paperwork at home. I did have a couple of cravings for certain foods which I made using stuff I already had so I didn't buy any additional ingredients (10/10 for sticking to the budget for me!).

So first off I cooked my gammon joint from Aldi. I used this recipe from Feisty Tapas and then made a delicious gammon and vegetable soup based on Feisty Tapas’ recipe here. I added a few more veggies to clear out what I had left in the fridge and to bulk it out a little more as well as adding a cinnamon stick, star anise and Sichuan peppercorns for extra flavour. I really do recommend this recipe – it’s so delicious and I love using my new Instant Pot.

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I used about a third of the gammon joint to slice back up and put in the soup and I sliced the rest to use for another meal.

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The night before I marinated my chicken drumsticks. I marinated half in a BBQ sauce I had lying around and the other half I did my own marinade of soy sauce, fish sauce, honey, pepper, chilli, garlic powder and some smoked paprika. I then roasted these and took the meat off the bone for meals, sandwiches or salads in the week.

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At the same time I roasted some new potatoes and carrots to go alongside some meals.

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Whilst the oven was still on, I also roasted my lamb leg with some courgette slices. I put garlic pieces in little slits all over the lamb leg and then covered with salt, pepper and mint sauce.

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Midway through the week I had a craving for a creamy pasta bake. I made a cheese sauce from scratch using a bechamel base (flour, butter, milk). I used some water in place of some of the milk to reduce the calories a little bit. I threw in some of the chicken, a slice of gammon as well as broccoli and cauliflower and some pasta we had in the cupboard. Placed it in the oven for around 20-30 minutes until golden brown and served it with homemade garlic bread. I had made a homemade loaf but forgot to take a photo! To make the garlic bread, I toasted it before putting a mix of butter, garlic powder and chopped garlic and placing it in the oven for the last 5 minutes.

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I also had a super craving for congee late one night after work which I also forgot to take a photo of as it was so late and I was a little hangry. I based my recipe on this one from Pressure Cook Recipes. As I used the chicken I cooked earlier, I reduced the cooking time a little to just cook the rice through. I added preserved Tianjin vegetables and some pieces of spam I had sliced in the freezer from the last time we had hotpot. Really delicious.

As of today, I still have some leftover pieces of lamb and gammon and some frozen veggies and potatoes. My next post will be on some of the meals I’ve eaten over the last couple of weeks.

Until next time.. x

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Food Shop & Meal Plan 03.07.17

Hi guys,

As promised, here is my food shop and meal plan for the upcoming week. If you read my update post, you’ll know that I’m preparing myself for a sharp drop in income so I will be curbing my spending and eating more at home.

To prepare for my food shop, I went online to both Asda (as my flatmate has 10% discount) and Aldi (where I live, they are around the corner from each other and only a 5 minute drive from me) to see what special offers there were on meat and vegetables. I then decided which meats I wanted to use and compared them to each other to make sure I was getting the best price. My aim for the shop was £25.

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Frozen items: mixed shredded cabbage (£1) and broccoli & cauliflower (£1.25) from Asda

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Meat: a kilo of chicken drumsticks (£1.89), smoked gammon joint (£2.65) and a half leg of lamb (£7.76) from Aldi

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Fresh items: Charlotte potatoes (95p), 4 baking potatoes (85p), a watermelon (£1.99) from Aldi and semi skimmed milk (75p), 1kg carrots (45p), celery (55p), strawberries (£1) and courgettes (95p) from Asda

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Cupboard items: sugar free tropical blast drink (42p), diet lemonade (19p) from Aldi and mint sauce (83p), bread flour (79p) and mini wraps (75p) from Asda.

In total, I spent £16.68 at Aldi and £7.49 (after discount) at Asda, giving me a grand total of £24.17. I had also planned to get some cherries from Aldi but they were sold out. I still have some avocados, a couple of carrots & potatoes, some smoked salmon, cherry tomatoes from last week’s shop so they will be used up in the next couple of days. I could have been even more under target if I didn’t choose lamb but I have a bad roast dinner craving and I can use the leftovers in sandwiches and whatnot in the week. I can pick up some eggs and rice for free so I will probably top up these at some point too.

Meal Plan

I no longer assign meals to days as I’ve found I’m less likely to follow the meal plan if it’s too rigid! Therefore, breakfasts on my list consist of avocado toast with eggs and tomatoes, granola/cereal with milk or beans on toast with a veggie.

Lunches and dinners will be a mix of: gammon and vegetable soup, gammon steak with potatoes & vegetables, roast chicken dinner, roast lamb dinner, lamb/chicken sandwiches, lamb/chicken stir fry with rice.

So, until next time.. x

Food Shop – Asda – 01.02.16

Hi guys,

As promised (albeit a little late! Sorry!) here’s my food shop. Went a little off the shopping list and got a few bits which added up.. Ah well. I was running on no sleep and absolutely starving!

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Fresh items: Cathedral City lighter, honey roast ham, jalapeño humous, unsmoked lean diced bacon, continental meat selection, smoked salmon (not pictured) and semi skimmed milk.

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Dry items: chicken stock pots, worcestershire sauce, light sandwich speed, Red’s BBQ rub, lean corned beef, garlic granules, 9pk wholemeal sandwich thins, pickled onions and pickled beetroot.

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Vegetables: carrots, new potatoes, mushrooms, sprouts and frozen peas (not pictured).

I’ve subsequently lost the receipt (this is what happens when you have no sleep and put things away for “safe keeping”) but my total was just a smidge over £28.

Until next time.. x

Grocery Shop – 20.01.16

Hi guys,

As promised, here is my grocery shop for the week. I still have some bits and pieces from the week before so it isn’t a great massive shop.

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Dry things: Tilda wholegrain basmati & quinoa microwave rice, Tilda wholegrain basmati microwave rice, Tetley tropical green tea, Tetley mango and passion fruit green tea, Ryvita Mediterranean herb crisp bread and Asda’s milk chocolate rice cake thins.

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Fresh things: cherry tomatoes, Laughing Cow light triangles, blueberries, bananas, strawberries, 2x mini fruit platter.

Total: £15.97 – not too bad. I was in and out of Asda within 15-20 minutes which is quite rare for me! I’ll be posting my meal plan in the next couple of days – I’m having a horrible time remembering to take photos of my food so there won’t be a food round up quite yet!

Until next time.. x

Food Shopping – 08.06.15 – Asda

Hi guys,

Another budget food shop for you 🙂 I went to Asda this week for a quick shop. I was searching for some low point snacks and several posts about how some of the Asda Smartprice range were around 2pp and pretty cheap so win win all round (as long as it tastes good!)

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Fruit and veg: 2 punnets of strawberries, mushrooms, 2 packs of carrots, pears, clementines, apples, new potatoes, 2 punnets of cherry tomatoes, a bunch of bananas, punnet of nectarines and a bag of spinach

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Everything else: Yeo Valley 0% natural yoghurt (half pot 1pp), Dairylea light cheese slices (1pp each), Laughing Cow extra light triangles (3 for 1pp), wafer thin ham (30g for 1pp), bagel thins (3pp each), sandwich thins (3pp), Smartprice caramel wafers (2pp each), 15 eggs (2pp each) and Smartprice baked crisps (2pp each).

Total: £23.82

I think I’m getting the hang of this budgeting malarkey. Putting my list through the website first definitely helps as I make a note of prices so I don’t pick the wrong item or go too crazy.

Anyhow, I hope someone out there found this useful. If you have any questions, just leave me a comment.

Until next time.. x

WW Food Shop – Asda 01.06.15

Hi guys,

Not a massive food shop this week as I’m trying to stick to budget. One thing to try and make sure I was under budget this week, I put all my items through the online groceries bit so I had a vague idea of roughly how much I was going to spend and I came in under budget 🙂

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Fruit and veg: a bunch of celery, 2 punnets of nectarines, 2 punnets of strawberries, carrots, cherry tomatoes, bananas and spinach

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Everything else: a small skimmed milk, 2 pots of fat free natural yoghurt, a can of Heinz tomato soup (300g – 5pp), laughing cow extra light triangles, laughing cow light triangles (only had 1 pack of extra light), a pack of turkey mince, 2 packs of bacon, some smoked salmon trimmings, bagel thins and sandwich thins.

Total: £21.84

I also popped to Tesco for 3 packs of frozen fruit salad and frozen butternut squash = £4.70

Overall total: £26.54 

So under budget this week. Hopefully will manage to keep away from any further spending this week.

Until next time.. x

Food Shopping – Asda – 23rd February

Hi guys,

This post is a bit late and without photos but better late than never, right?

Fruit & veg: 2 bunches of celery, a punnet of peaches, nectarines, leeks, grapes, honeydew melon, 2 punnets of strawberries, clementines, carrots, a grapefruit, pears, fine beans, mangetout, spinach, basil, chives, red pepper and passion fruit.

Other: 2 packs of 5% beef mince, almond milk, roast peppers in brine, chickpeas, mackerel in spicy tomato sauce, WW cumberland sausages, frozen black forest fruit mix, quark, cottage cheese, fromage frais and a loaf Kingsmill Great White.

Total came to £53.41.

I’ve tried the houmous recipe on the SW website and it’s not for me which I’m a bit upset about as I was looking forward to a syn free dip! I might just stick to synning the shop bought stuff. Similar views on the leek and potato soup but it’s more edible than the houmous!

I’ve not been totally following my meal plan either but it’s been nice to spend some quality time with my sisters and trying to throw myself back in college life. The past few days have been getting better and I’m taking some time off next week just to catch up on some rest and organise my life a bit more so hopefully I can get back into the blogging swing of things 🙂

Until next time.. x