I can’t believe we are already at the end of Week 1 of this challenge. I thought I would have grumpy kids and an empty fridge by now but we are going strong without any complaints. In fact, I still have a few ingredients left over that I will be rolling into next week so yay! In case you missed it, here’s a recap of the dinners from this week:
Day 1 – Monday – Vegetable curries and rice.
I made potato curry, cauliflower and peas as well as pumpkin curry. Curries are a really easy way to cook bulk meals on the cheap and will give you plenty of leftovers. You can find the recipes here
Day 2 – Tuesday – Spaghetti and meatballs
This meal was done by Jarrod from the ingredient pic (which is beautiful) to the plated pic (taken at 10pm). Our lazy public holiday ended up being such a crazy day. Our gas tank for the stove ran out and when we swopped over we found that the spare tank was empty (thank you previous owner) so my poor husband had to drive around on a public holiday afternoon looking for somewhere to swop the tank. Even with all the chaos, the dinner was delicious.
Day 3 – Wednesday – Nacho Soup
This was a guest recipe by Letitia Venter and it blew my mind! What an incredibly delicious dish! I will definitely be making this again. You can find the recipe here
Day 4 – Thursday – Ramen
I have never made ramen before but I have eaten it a few times and I love it! This is definitely a ‘short cut’ recipe but it’s still really good. I swopped out bok choi for broccoli because I knew the girls would prefer it and I used the leftover chicken fillet from the night before instead of buying pork. The rice noodles didn’t hold up well with the broth though so I would recommend using egg noodles instead. You can find the recipe here
Day 5 – Friday – Drummies and veg
My kids must have some Viking blood in them because they love biting into and chewing on drumsticks. This was a really easy crispy chicken meal and I used the leftover pumpkin from Monday (it was a massive pumpkin! I even gave 1/3 of it away). I tried to be clever on Friday and use our fancy camera but I clearly have no idea how it works because the pics came out quite awful, cry! Luckily the food tasted better than it looked. The recipe can be found here
Day 6 – Saturday – Cheesy Chicken Toasties
We were supposed to have pizzas on Sat night but I had some chicken left over so decided on toasted sandwiches instead. It was a good call and the avocado was buttery perfection. Such a simple meal but it really hit the spot.
Day 7 – Sunday – Cottage Pie
This was the best cottage pie I have ever made, and I think it was because of the addition of the two sauces. The sauce was garlicky and delicious and the mash was sweet and a bit crunchy from the breadcrumbs. I highly recommend it and you can find the recipe here.
What about breakfast and lunch?
I don’t keep a set meal plan for breakfast because it depends on what the girls want and how much of time we have before leaving for school. This week we had combinations of the following:
- Corn flakes
- Eggs (fried, scrambled, cheesy)
- Toast and avo
Lunch is usually whatever we had for dinner the night before so that’s pretty simple.
Weekly wrap up
All in all, this week wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be. The girls had lots of fruit as snacks instead of the numerous packets of crackers and fancy pretzels I usually buy them and they didn’t complain at all. If anything, this week has proven that I have definitely been over spending on groceries all this time. Where previously I would shop based on convenience, I am now shopping based on a meal plan in conjunction with in-store specials.
If you’re wondering how I managed to cook these meals on such a strict budget (Cheralle, I’m looking at you!), we have partnered with Food Lovers Market on their #LoveFoodMovement campaign so I have been shopping exclusively at FLM. The focus of the campaign is to fall in love with cooking and fresh produce and how to use ingredients in creative ways to maximize your budget while still cooking delicious and healthy meals. I can honestly say that this week I ate the tastiest avocados I have EVER eaten! The best part is that it was only R7 each from FLM and each avo was bigger than my hand from wrist to fingertips. I didn’t think I was going to afford avocados while on this challenge 😂
I’m really looking forward to Week 2, especially since Mother’s Day falls in there, so I have to budget for a ‘Special Occasion’ meal as well.
Have you been following the challenge? Let me know if you’ve tried any of the recipes and what you thought about it.
Don’t forget to also check out what my cooking buddy, MammaChef Jozi, has been cooking each day!