So, tomorrow our Frugal Food month starts, and we've been planning carefully so far! I've done a rough meal plan for the next few weeks, which is heavily influenced by things we have in the freezer and cupboards. For starches we'll mostly be relying on pasta, couscous and rice, rather than potatoes. Now I know that my lovely Wellie-Clad friend will be horrified at that confession - she generally feels that a tattie-less kitchen is a bit of an aberration! We have a LOT of the other things though, and as one of the points of this exercise is to run down the supplies a bit, using what we have will be the name of the game. I have a sneaking suspicion that there will be a call for jacket spuds at some stage though, I'll never manage a whole month without one!
You might remember, we have two freezers. The theory of this was that the second one would mean that we had the space to allow for the purchase of meat in bulk - a whole lamb for example. The theory was also that when we were not in possession of a lamb, we'd turn the second one (known unimaginatively as "Freezer 2") off - naturally that hasn't happened though! So we hope that another side effect of the challenge will be to use up enough stuff that freezer 1 (bottom half of the fridge) can be emptied into 2 before being defrosted, then everything can be transferred back in order for freezer 2 to be switched off and also defrosted. It'll then stay off until we have need of it again. In order for this to happen though I've had to plan our meals using as much as possible from the freezers.
The other thing I have started putting together is a list of all those things that need using up. For example I have half-used jars of "things" in the fridge, and part packets of things like paella rice in the cupboard. Rather than leaving them lying around cluttering up space, it seems to me that they might as well get used - rice is rice, after all, and while you might not get quite the normal consistency in a risotto that's made using paella rice, it's unlikely to be a problem! At some stage we will also have a pasta meal using up the last of a squeezy tube of basil (bought for pennies at the Good Food Show) and a curry using the last of a jar of chinese curry base (bought in the same place). I've also got a cunning plan to utilise the last of a chunk of ginger and half a head of garlic, plus a few onions, to make a home made curry base which can then be frozen for future use.
So, the next week's meal plan looks like this:
Sat: Lunch: Soup & Bread Tea:
H M Pizza
Sun: Lunch: Something portable if we're out walking Tea: Chicken cooked in the slow cooker with chinese rice
Mon: Chicken & mushroom pasta (Use up remaining soft cheese)
Tue: Sausages, couscous & sweetcorn fritters
Wed: Sausage pasta
Fri: New Recipe!!
And the shopping list looks like this:
I think this week might be a Tesco shop, using Luncheon Vouchers, and looking at that list that should mean an entirely cash-free week to get us started. Fingers crossed!
If you're joining in, how's your week one looking?