November meal plan 3 – stress free cooking

stress free meal plan

There’s no doubt that food prices are rising and that food prices are critical for too many  shoppers in determining product choices.

However there are a number of tips that I want to share with shoppers before they buy the cheapest and sometimes the least value food for their family.

About our family meal planner
This week’s family meal planner
Shopping list

Control food shopping

Reverse the psyche in grocery shopping, instead of  1. Shop 2. Deciding what to cook 3. Cooking. Try: 1. Choosing at least four healthy recipes the family love per week. 2. Now Shop 3. Stress free cooking and healthy cheaper meals.

Be a savvy shopper

Look at the price bar of similar products on each shelf, these are there to compare prices, gram by gram or litre by litre. These are the true prices of all products. Don’t buy 3 for 2 unless they are long shelf ingredients you use constantly like tinned tomatoes etc

Rotate ingredients in the fridge and larder

Use up before you buy more or have to  have to bin which is the worse case scenario.

Learn how to use leftovers

We have the potential to save up to £680 per annum by shopping wisely and using up leftovers. Most leftover vegetables cooked or uncooked can be used to make delicious comforting soup.

Substitute or mix expensive animal protein

e.g. Chicken with plant protein eg chickpeas or at the very least allocate 1 day a week a vegetarian meal. All my meal plans for My Family Club factor in one non meat meal.

With these tips in mind and with Christmas looming, it is possible to cut back on grocery spending without compromising on health and wellness and save for a really happy Christmas. Try it out with this week’s meal plan.

About our family meal planner

The meal plans for the week are inclusive of animal and plant protein such as fish, white meat, red meat and eggs. You’ll find nuts, chickpeas, cheese and seeds on the meatless day. Sian comments that the secret to affordable, healthy meals is to plan ahead to make sure you are stress-free, and have the right ingredients in the correct amounts in your kitchen ready to cook.

These family meal planners are made up of dinners that are child friendly, forming part of a weekly balanced diet. It will give you plenty of nutrients from each of the food groups (carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals), says Sian.

Every week, Sian provides you with five simple recipes to plan. You can decide when to make them, on whichever day suits you best. There is also a shopping list (below) that can be printed ready to take with you to the supermarket.

This week’s meal planner

Shopping list

Beef Products
Lean Minced Beef – 350 g

Cereal Grains and Pasta
Corn Flour – 1 tblsp           
Basmati Rice – 2 Cups           
Flour Plain White – 2 tsp           
Tortilla Wraps – 8

Canned Products
Can chopped Tomatoes – 3          
coconut milk (tinned) – 2           
Jar of Hot Salsa – 1     
Sour Cream – 1

Dairy and Egg Products
Cheese Cheddar – 150 g

Fats and Oils
Vegetable oil – 5 tblsp          
Olive oil – 2 tblsp

Legumes and Legume Products
Chickpeas – 1 Can

Pork Products     
Pork Fillet – 1

Poultry Products
Chicken fillets – 3

Soups, Sauces, and Gravies
Vegetable stock – 400 mls  
Beef Stock – 600 mls

Spices and Herbs  Check your own larder first.
Chilli Powder – 1 tsp           
Garlic Powder – 1/2 tsp           
Curry Paste – 2 tblsp           
Coriander – 3 tblsp           
Ground Cumin – 1 tsp           
Dried Thyme – 4 tsp

Vegetables and Vegetable Products
Leek-  2           
Lettuce – 1   
Onion – 3           
Green Pepper – 1           
Red pepper – 3           
Cauliflower – 1          
Carrots – 4           
Sweet potato – 2           
Garlic Cloves – 6           
Peas – 1 small bag (check freezer       
Red Onion – 1           
Baby leaf Spinach – 4 Handfuls           
Sweet potatoes – 4           
Potatoes – 2.5kg           
Kale, brocolli or cabbage – 1

Sian is a home economist with over 25 years experience as a secondary school teacher and now running her own private cookery school with a focus on meal planning. After years of seeing people struggling to provide healthy meals everyday for their families, she created her own meal planning system at