MEAL PLANNING MONDAY: W/C 16/1/2017

It’s time for me to construct the family weekly meal plan and as social media would lead me to believe, today is blue Monday.

First thing this morning the boiler was as dead as a dodo. PANIC. After a few minutes of both Mr Vista and I standing there, pressing buttons and scratching our heads we realised something vital… the washing powder box had the pressed the boiler switch on the wall to off.

Ahem.

We may be dummies but the point that I’m making is this: things aren’t always as bad as they first seem. When faced with certain peril, stop. Take a deep breath and like the kids of ‘Bear Hunt’ figure out a way to go through it. There is always a way – sometime it is as simple as turning the switch to on.

It’s blue Monday. It’s wet. The toddler has a snotty nose and we’re skint. But I will SMILE. We have a lot to be grateful for. Read more

Poor Mans Risotto: Slimming World Friendly

It’s getting towards the end of the month again, and I find myself looking to see what is lurking in my kitchen to make my family weekly meal plan rather than choosing from the recipe books before I shop.

By doing this I can cut both my food bill and my kitchen waste in half. Obvious, right? But it doesn’t always seem to be when money isn’t an issue on the 1st of the month…

I went wild in Costco just before Christmas and as a result we still have over 100 portions of plain white, long grain rice in the cupboard… Because of this we’ll be eating a lot of rice for next week or so to cut down on the grocery bill… so with this plan in mind I needed to find a few tasty variations of rice recipes that are Slimming World friendly. Read more

6 Foods You Should Learn To Make: My Slimming World Journey

6 Foods You Should Learn To Make: My Slimming World Journey by katie haydock for life on vista street

As much as I love cooking and baking I’m still pretty new to it.

It was mainly my mother in law that taught me how to cook whilst Mr Vista and I were living with her for six weeks awaiting the completion of the sale of the house that we now live in. Before that I would cook the things I knew how to but didn’t really have a massive relationship with food and hence didn’t put much love into it.

At that point, food was for sustenance only. Sad times.

My Mum taught me a few basics and I learned how to shop frugally from her (you can read about that here and here).

And so after I learned how to cook it seemed there was just no stopping me! In fourteen years we have managed to pile on a fair few stone between us.

After spending half of my life with my other half, it's safe to say we are both comfortable. Now that we are both into out thirties we decided it's time to get healthy and shift some of the extra lard. My other half is gluten free and lost the majority of his weight via IBS, I joined slimming world and went down the traditional route ;-) read more: http://www.lifeonvista.com/2016/02/6-foods-you-should-learn-to-make-my-slimming-world-journey.html witten by katie haydock of life on vista street - parent food and lifestyle blogger

Read more

How to feed a family on a budget: Part Two

How to feed a family on a budget: Part Two by katie haydock for life on vista street

Soremember this face?
*Sourced from google*
Yesterday I set myself a challenge to make a meal plan for a family of one adult and two children. The meal plan was to be nutritious, cheap and easy.

I looked at Christina Briggs’ goodies cupboard and worked out that her bill for all of *that* junk food would have been approximately £22.23.

I was certain that I could feed her family of three on this budget for one week but with a much more nutritional outcome… without pushing the boundaries of cooking abilities too much.

Here is how I did:

Potion sizes are based on the adult having one more of everything than the children (i.e. one weetabix per child and two for the adult) and the meal plan is also based on none of the family being vegetarian… most of the meals are easily and cheaply re-jigged to be veggie.

As before, I based the shopping list and prices on Asda’s prices via My Supermarket (not sponsored… this is just how I do my online shopping).

 The Shopping List

Packets & CerealsPrice in £
ASDA Smartprice Wheat Bisks (24x18g) 75p
ASDA Smartprice Spaghetti (500g) 20p
ASDA Smartprice Sponge Mix (227g) 22p
ASDA Smartprice Sage & Onion Stuffing Mix (85g) 15p
ASDA Smartprice Long Grain Rice (1Kg) 40p
ASDA Smartprice Pasta Shapes (500g) 29p
ASDA Smartprice Rice Pudding (400g) 15p
Tins, Jars & Cooking
ASDA Smartprice Tuna Chunks in Brine (185g) 62p
ASDA Smartprice Chopped Tomatoes (400g) 31p
3x ASDA Smartprice Garden Peas in Water (300g) 63p
2x ASDA Smartprice Sliced Carrots in Water (300g) 38p
ASDA Smartprice Sweetcorn (326g) 35p
ASDA Smartprice Grapefruit in Light Syrup (540g) 40p
ASDA Smartprice Strawberry Jam (454g) 29p
ASDA Smartprice Chicken Paste (75g) 25p
ASDA Smartprice Gravy Granules for Meat Dishes (200g) 20p
ASDA Tomato Puree (142g) 35p
ASDA Chosen by You Vegetable Stock Cubes (12x10g) 40p
ASDA Smartprice Pineapple Pieces in Light Syrup (565g) 33p
ASDA Smartprice Pacific Ocean Sardines in Tomato Sauce (120g) 34p
Frozen
ASDA Smartprice Mixed Vegetables (1Kg) 73p
Bernard Matthews Turkey Breast Roast Easy Roast (450g) £2.00
ASDA Smartprice Chicken Portions (1Kg) £1.69
Dairy & Eggs
3x ASDA Smartprice UHT Skimmed Milk (1L) £1.47
ASDA Smartprice Mixed Weight Eggs (15) £1.25
The Laughing Cow Cheese Spread Triangles (8 per pack – 140g) £1.00
ASDA Smartprice Low Fat Natural Yogurt (500g) 45p
ASDA Smartprice Mozzarella (125g) 43p
ASDA Smartprice Fromage Frais – Strawberry (6x55g) 42p
Snacks & Sweets
ASDA Cream Crackers (300g) 40p
ASDA Smartprice Tortilla Chips – Lightly Salted (200g) 46p
Fruit & Vegetables
ASDA Smartprice Sultanas (500g) 84p
3x ASDA Onions by Weight (230g) 51.1p
ASDA Whole Cucumber 49p
ASDA Chosen by Kids Soft Apricot Monster Chomps (40g) 35p
ASDA Charlotte Potatoes (1Kg) 97p
ASDA Bananas (10) £1.50
ASDA Smartprice Apples (500g) 89p
Bakery
ASDA Chosen by You Wholemeal Pitta Bread (6) 49p
ASDA Smartprice Crumpets (6) 37p
ASDA Chosen by You Supersoft Thick Sliced Golden Wholemeal Bread (800g) 75p
Ready Meals
ASDA Houmous with Pesto (200g) £1.00
ASDA Smartprice Naan Bread Plain (2 per pack – 200g) 38p
Meat, Fish & Poultry
ASDA Smartprice Pork & Beef Mince – 25% Fat (500g) £1.81

Total: £27.66

 The Mean Plan 

Sunday

Breakfast – Weetabix (supermarket own brand) with milk & a handful of sultanas

Lunch – Roast dinner using turkey roast, carrots, peas, roast or mashed potato with stuffing and gravy. Use the cake mix to make 12 individual cakes for pudding.

Dinner – Rice pudding with a dollop of strawberry jam.

Snacks – Boiled eggs and bananas.

Monday

Breakfast – Toast with grapefruit and natural yoghurt.

Lunch – Keep some of the turkey roast back from previous day’s roast to make sandwiches. Add a left over cake from yesterday.

Dinner – Make soup using any other left overs from previous days roast dinner, plus an onion and stock cube. Serve with naan bread cut into slices.

Snacks – Bananas and crackers with paste

Tuesday

Breakfast – Weetabix with milk and banana.

Lunch –  Cheese spread sandwiches. Add an apple and a few crudettes of cucumber per person.

Dinner – Spaghetti bolognese using the spaghetti, 1/2 of the mince, onions and a tin of tomatoes. Have the last of the cakes from Sunday lunch if there are any left.

Snacks – Fromage Frais

Wednesday

Breakfast – Weetabix with milk and pineapple on the side.

Lunch – Jam sandwiches and a cheese spread triangle on the side. Add an apple and handful of sultanas per person.

Dinner – Cottage pie using the rest of the mince, carrots, peas, potatoes, onion and stock cube. Use some milk in the mashed potatoes. Have any leftover pineapple from breakfast for pudding.

Snacks – Crackers and cream cheese

Thursday

Breakfast – Weetabix with sultanas and milk.

Lunch – Pasta with mixed veg and tortillas.

Dinner – Roasted chicken portion with rice and cucumber.

Snacks – Sultanas and boiled eggs

Friday

Breakfast – Weetabix with dried, chopped apricots and milk.

Lunch – Pasta with sardines in tomato sauce.

DinnerHome made pizza with pittas, tomato paste and mozzarella.

Snacks – Natural yoghurt with sultanas.

Saturday

Breakfast – Cumpits

Lunch – Rice with mixed vegetables and a stock cube.

Dinner – Eggs (fried, poached or scrambled), chips (home made with potatoes) and peas.

Snacks – Jam with crackers and weetabix.

The Verdict

So I came in just over £5 over budget. Considering I factored in a Sunday lunch, pudding and snacks (some days even TWO) I don’t think I did too badly.
I feel that this is a realistic diet for a family of one adult and two children to offer a balanced diet on a budget. Of course, fresh fruit and vegetables will always be the best thing to offer a growing child or a weight concious adult, it isn’t always possible on a tight budget.
The menu that I have put together could be used by someone with little to no cooking ability, could be tailored easily to a vegetarian family and could be sourced EVEN cheaper if you could shop at Lidl, Aldi or even a local fruit and vegetable market.
I personally see no reason why someone can choose a less healthy diet because of cost, and I certainly don’t think that weight loss should be incentiveised by the government when walking, running and going to the park is free exercise and you can feed a family on less than the bread line.
I had fed my family on less than £20 per week a few times this year… it can be done, but you need to be inventive and sometimes… really hungry – tinned sardines and mango anyone?

What do you think? 

How would you change the meal plan? 

Thanks so much for reading: How to feed a family on a budget: Part Two

Love

 

Some of my favourite budget recipes:

Fish Chowder

Banana Bread

Potato Cakes

Linking up with:

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

My kitchen and I are waiting for pay day: Veggie Delight

Last week, Mr Vista and I celebrated our wedding anniversary.

I am still marvelling at how young we look… You can read all about our big day, all those years ago, right here.

My kitchen and I are waiting for pay day: Veggie Delight

I was left rather red faced when I was showered with beautiful gifts on our anniversary and I had got my Mr… a card.

Gulp!

To redeem myself, I promised to make Mr Vista a slap-up anniversary meal on his return home from work. Alas, after taking a look at what was in the fridge and kitchen cupboards there was nothing slap-uppery about their contents, so I went to Aldi in the hope that I would come away with something lovely.

Oh how wrong I was…

My plan was called cried off by a very little lady with a very big ‘tude. You can read all about my terrible day here.

So… after retreating to where the Little’s Miss’s tears of boredom would stop, I re-visited the kitchen. I had no choice. I was going to have to use it’s contents no matter how sparse. I couldn’t face disappointing Mr Vista again.

After some rummaging, I found:

Flour
Sugar
Glacé cherries
Salt
Pepper
Eggs
Butter
1 red onion
1/2 yellow pepper
A ball of mozzarella cheese
Slightly scabby red Leicester cheese
Garlic
Chives
Basil
Orange hi-juice
Soda water
Stale sandwich thins
Pasta
Slightly out of date tinned tomatoes
NO tinned pineapples

Believe it or not, I managed to pull it off! I named my concoction:

Veggie Delight Tagliatelle with Cheesy Garlic Bread

I just threw everything together and hoped for the best. I was so happy when everything was actually tasty…

The Garlic Bread:

Pop some chives, basil, one clove of garlic, salt and pepper (and stray red onion from your knife) into a pestle and mortar.

Grind together.

Add a really generous tablespoon of butter and blend together until even. Slather over the insides of your sandwich thins… Sprinkle with some Red Leicester Cheese and set to one side to oven bake.

My kitchen and I are waiting for pay day: Veggie Delight

The Pasta:

Chop the pepper and onion. Drain the cheese and put the side to use later.

Boil the pasta. Drain and put into a casserole dish. Pop some knobs of salted butter in (to stop the pasta from sticking) and sprinkle with basil. Let the butter melt.

Put the vegetables on-top of the mixture evenly, putting the tomato on last to allow their juies to keep the mixture moist.

My kitchen and I are waiting for pay day: Veggie Delight

Put into a pre-heated oven (at gas mark 5) for 15 – 20 minutes.

Bring out of the oven and add the torn up mozzarella cheese to the top of the mixture. Put back into the oven on a lower shelf for 5 minutes, or until the cheese has melted. At this point, put the garlic bread with cheese onto the top shelf of the oven, this should have browned and the cheese should have melted by the time the pasta is ready to serve.

My kitchen and I are waiting for pay day: Veggie Delight

Serve with a fizzy orange cocktail… and by this mean orange hi-juice diluted with soda water. Simple – but Mr Vista was impressed.

My kitchen and I are waiting for pay day: Veggie Delight

Because I felt so guilty about not getting Mr Vista a gift… a rustled up a little extra for dessert from what I found in the kitchen cupboard… I had planned to make individual pineapple upside-down cakes, but alas, there was no pineapple to be had in the kitchen.

Glacé cherries around the outside of a heart shaped tin covered with a basic Victoria sponge. Simple, but effective… and glorious with a cup of coffee.

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What have you managed to make in a hurry with whatever you can find?

Thanks so much for reading: My kitchen and I are waiting for pay day: Veggie Delight

Love

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