Trying out Menu Plan Monday

I’ve been away for a while with the Beau on a bit of a bargain break, and while we didn’t buy too many souvenirs or blister the credit cards half to death in the sun we also figured it might be a good idea to keep the bills right down for the rest of the month.

While I was gone, the Office for National Statistics released figures that suggested food inflation had hit a two-year high, with prices up 6.4% in May 2011 compared with the same month in 2010.  Am I the only person who finds that a bit frightening? Time to use up things in the freezer and cupboards, anyway, as well as having some cheap nights in.

I’ve put together my first Menu Plan Monday (started by, kudos also to The Lean Times). Here goes:

Monday – Cous cous with toasted almonds and sultanas, with tomato salad, homemade sticky balsamic dressing and grilled cheese on top. This has already been eaten. Very nice but next time maybe I’ll do it properly and use goat’s cheese instead of the mousetrap lurking at the back of the fridge. No spend involved.

Tuesday – Spicy noodle soup with frozen prawns, mushrooms and home grown spring onions, chillies, green beans, and Thai basil. No spend needed.

Wednesday – Out doing Orange Wednesdays at the cinema, so no cooking. Will either have a sandwich at my desk before heading into town or try my luck with the £5 Pizza Hut offer. Haven’t eaten there in a very long time, but apparently they’ve changed their recipes so maybe I’ll give it a go. Free or £5.

Thursday – Freezer dinner! We’ll probably be having something like fishfingers, oven chips, peas and sweetcorn. Not exactly gourmet, but no spend required and it might be kind of nice if it’s still cold and rainy in the evening.

Friday – Out again, free tickets to an art exhibition. Will probably have a snack while I’m there, and of course I’m going to have a glass of wine as well. Be realistic, c’mon. Approx £10.

Saturday – Found some veggie chilli in the freezer, some Mexican hot sauce and a few beers in the cupboard, a lime in the fruit bowl and some cheese and tomatoes in the fridge. There’s also fresh herbage from the garden, plus a few salad leaves. Will be adding fresh avocado, flour tortillas on special offer and natural yoghurt to make bean burritos. Freezing the other four leftover tortillas for another cheap meal next week too. Outlay will be around £2.50.

Sunday – We’ll be having huevos rancheros for a lazy brunch, made with any leftover beans, peppers and salsa. They’ll probably be plonked on top of some wholemeal toast from the freezer instead of served in burritos, but don’t call the food police on us, eh? Cost: £1.13 for some free range eggs. I know we could get the eggs cheaper, but I hate the idea of battery farming with a passion and it’s either happy chickens or no eggs at all as far as I’m concerned. For dinner we’re having some kind of roast dinner with roast/mashed potatoes from the cupboard, garden veggies, and a cheapo Quorn steak from the freezer for me. We’ll be adding some bought broccoli plus a piece of chicken for the Beau for about £2.70 all in.

We’ll probably have to buy a four-pinter of milk at some point too, which the local shop sells for £1.

Not a bad menu for a first Menu Plan Monday attempt, I hope. Fair bit of variety there so am unlikely to get bored. Or scurvy.


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