I love my Monday mornings.
I bet you don’t hear that very often! It’s true though. My Monday mornings are for making To-Do lists for my week ahead as well as for meal planning the weeks dinners quietly while drinking a latte and nibbling on an almond square. It is a little oasis of peace amidst the organized chaos of normal momlife and besides enjoying the down time, it also ends up saving us money. How does having a coffee and a square of buttery goodness save me money? I’m glad you asked!
Taking the time to work on a meal plan is what ends up saving us a significant amount of money each month.
Creating a weekly menu has the following benefits:
- You save time thinking of what to cook every night.
- All the ingredients you need are in your kitchen already.
- There are no surplus ‘just in case’ groceries purchased.
- Midweek shopping trips get eliminated.
- Less fruit and veg gets wasted.
- You’re much less likely to order take out if you have fresh ingredients available.
I did a crazy challenge last year where I fed our family of 4 with R1,000 a week for a month. This was breakfast, school snack, lunch, dinner, snacks and treats. What a game changer. It’s actually scary how much we spend on groceries and takeout without realizing it. Anyway, now meal planning is a part of our lives and I’ve gotten pretty damn good at it! Seeing as how a lot of my Instagram followers enjoy joining me on my shopping trips every Monday via InstaStories, I thought I would take you along for the ride as well. I’m going to show you how you can create 5 delicious, healthy dinners for just R500.
My Modus Operandi
1: Stroll through the store to check out the in-store specials
2: Have a look at what fruit and veg are in season. You will know this by the reduced price and bulk buy specials
3: Grab a pamphlet if there is one
4: Sit down with a coffee, pen and paper and make a list of the ingredients you still have at home that’s been carried over from the previous week
5: Start thinking of recipes that can take advantage of the specials AND your ingredients at home
6: Write out the list of ingredients needed and see where you can double up on the same ingredients in different meals if it works out cheaper to buy in bulk
7: Pat yourself on the back then head back into the store to get your shopping done
8: Try to stick to your list as best as you can (this is a problem for me when I walk past the bakery…) and only change if you see a cheaper (but still delicious) substitute ingredient
That is exactly what I did last week and I managed to plan out 6 delicious and healthy dinners for R500. (I had a pack of chicken pieces in the freezer so only had to shop for 5 meals) These are dinners using loads of fresh produce and not bulked up with heavy carbs. There was also enough left over for lunch every day.
What’s for dinner?
Monday – Meat Free Stirfry with Quinoa and lentils
View this post on Instagram
I forgot to post last nights Meat free Monday supper so here it is. A really quick and easy veg Stirfry with lentils and quinoa on the side. I literally chopped all the veg and flash fried them with olive oil, a blob of butter and some fresh thyme. . How are your kids with veggies? Do they love it? Hate it? . . . . #nadias_kitchen #whatsfordinner #meatfreemonday #meatlessmonday #vegetarian #vegan #veggies #eatyourveg #veggiemealsforkids #healthyeating #quinoa #healthycooking #eatclean #homecook #food #dinner #cook #homecooking #foodie #safoodblogger #samomblogger
Tuesday – Cottage pie
View this post on Instagram
Unintentionally Deconstructed Cottage Pie with Cauliflower Mash . This was Tuesday’s supper and it was ‘deconstructed’ because the kids went from ‘I’m not hungry’ to ‘I’M STARVING’ in like 10 minutes so there was no time to put the whole thing in the oven. I grated the cheese over while it was all still hot so the melt factor was pretty great. . Have you tried cauliflower mash on cottage pie? . . P.S. I was too tired to think of food today so there were two options for supper. ▪️Corn flakes, or ▪️Rice crispies #noshameinmygame . #nadias_kitchen #cottagepie #beef #mince #comfortfood #cauliflowermash #homecook #homecooking #easymeals #hungrykids #food #dinner #supper #safoodblogger #samomblogger
Wednesday – Fish with garlic bread and veg
View this post on Instagram
Fish dinner for the win! . This is my new favourite fish. It’s so buttery and boneless 😍 I was never a fish lover growing up and there was roughly a 20 year period when I didn’t eat it at all 😐 I made this one with butter, salt and veggie seasoning (I use this on everything as you may have noticed). Easy peasy lemon squeezy! Hmm…I should have added some lemon 🤔 . What’s your go-to fish dinner? Give me some ideas for next week 😋 . Also, the rye loaf was AMAZING with a garlic herb butter!!! I mixed butter, olive oil, grated garlic and chopped coriander and slipped it between the slices. (Don’t forget to wrap the bread in foil before putting it in the oven) . . #nadias_kitchen #fish #fishdinner #healthyeating #healthycooking #garlic #garlicbread #butterislife #homecook #homecooking #foodie #supper #hungry #easymeals #safoodblogger #samomblogger
Thursday – Crumbed chicken with roast veg (I was so pooped on this night that we ended up having cereal for supper!)
Friday – Homemade burgers
Saturday – Rib braai (Unintentionally perfect planning because we had a sneak load shedding attack!)
Healthy eating with fresh produce and great protein doesn’t have to break the budget. Food Lovers always has fantastic specials and you can really take advantage of these when planning your weekly meals.
The only difficult thing about shopping at FLM for me personally, is walking through the bakery. With my sweet tooth it’s my greatest temptation. It is inevitable that I will buy the girls something yummy but what I do now is I try and find balance so I get something savoury and something sweet. In this case I bought a lovely rye loaf that I used to make garlic bread and my absolute favorite biscuits ever…the ‘big as your head’ choc chip biscuits! They are 3 for R25 and will literally change your life! You’re welcome.
There you have it. I’d love to know what you spend on average for groceries a week. Pop me a message in the comments and fill me in on your tips and tricks to cutting down that grocery bill!
This post is sponsored by Food Lovers Market but as always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. I’m way too stubborn and opinionated to be coerced to say anything I don’t believe in, haha! #FoodLoversCo
Follow me on Instagram and Facebook if you want to keep in touch and up to date with what I’m up to. If you enjoyed reading this, make sure to subscribe at the bottom of this post to receive my new posts by email.