A 7-days healthy meal plan for a family of 2 adults and 2 children, including breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, nappies, a few household essentials and yes, even my son’s 1st birthday cake!
Over the past week, I have had a few people asking me to provide a shopping list and a 7-days meal plan, to show how to cook healthy meals for the whole family on a tight budget.
So, before we get to the shopping list and meal plan, let me tell you how I plan my shopping. Plan, yes, you’ve heard it right. Planning is essential if you have a low weekly budget you need to stick to. This is the process I usually follow.
- Check online for the best fruit and veg offers and take it from there: If you live near Aldi and Lidl, try to do your shopping there. Most items are cheaper than in any other supermarkets. Every Thursday, new fruit, veg and meat offers are released on their websites. Lidl usually has 4 fruits/veg at no more than 69p, same for Aldi, although the choice is bigger, as they have 6 items on offer. Also, the meat can be quite cheap in some of these offers. What I usually do is, I see where I can buy the cheapest amount of fruit and veg and shop there. I don’t plan my meals and then do the shopping for the ingredients I need. I see each week, where the cheapest ingredients and what the best offers are and I plan my meals accordingly. Browse online and see which supermarket inspires you more! If you live by a market, consider buying your fruit and veg there, have a walk around and have a look at what they have to offer.
- Think about what you can make with the items on offer: Be creative, imagine that is all you have and that ideally, you want to add the fewest items possible. Write down a few meal ideas you get (only a few for now), don’t worry if you don’t know how to prepare certain meals, you can look up at a recipe online later!
- Write down extra ingredients you need to make your chosen recipes: here is where you need to be very smart. Start with the first meal you really want and write down any extra ingredient you need. Let’s say you want to make Bolognese and you need to buy carrots, pasta and onions. You are not going to need the whole bag of carrots, so now think, what can you do with the remaining bag? And that’s when your next meal should come to mind. Then again, write down the extra ingredients you need for the second meal and repeat the same process until you have all of your dinners and lunches sorted. Breakfasts are normally quite easy, as we usually tend to stick to a certain food, especially during those busy mornings. Just consider adding more fruit or nuts or seeds to your breakfast, to keep it a bit more varied. And for the snacks, try to use any leftover fruit and veg you have and consider doing some baking for some extra treats :).
- Go on https://www.mysupermarket.co.uk/ and do a virtual shopping in the supermarket you have decided to shop: this is the best way to make sure you know exactly how much you’re spending. Sometimes, not all of the products you were planning to buy that are available in store, may be shown online, so keep that in mind and write down how much you think you will be spending for that product.
- Write down your shopping list and stick to it!: When you go shopping just buy what’s on your shopping list and don’t get tricked into buying extra bits you don’t need.
- If you can, buy some of the items in a different supermarket: if you have the possibility to shop in different supermarkets, please do. That way, you can be sure you are getting a product at the best price around!
Now, back to my shopping! This week I did my shopping in Aldi, one of the main reasons being pineapples were only 45p! Wait, whaaat? I love pineapples and I suddenly started to dream about pineapple smoothies, done! That bought me straight away, haha! I did notice though, that Lidl is doing a weekend offer where nappies are discounted from £3.49/pack to £2.79/pack and wipes from £2.09/4-pack to £1.09/4-pack, which is extremely cheap! So, I will be buying those there tomorrow and buy double the amount of wipes I normally buy in a week. Also, I usually buy the toilet paper from poundland, 6 rolls for £1, yes please! Everything else has been bought in Aldi this week, or nearly everything. I did incur into some unexpected inconveniences, though. Aldi didn’t have any pineapples, gluten free flour and gluten free porridge in stock, so I had to stop in Asda on the way home. Which was quite lucky on one side, as the pineapples were only 50p and I managed to pick up the only 2 left, that’s right! I felt so proud of myself, haha. The gluten free porridge, however was more expensive than in any other supermarket, but hey ho, you can’t have everything, I guess. So, here is the shopping list.
- Hummous (200g) £0.55
- Frozen peas (907g) £0.69
- Unsalted butter (250g) £1.08
- Oranges (10) £1.30
- Whole cauliflower £0.75
- White mushrooms (250g) £0.75
- White potatoes (2.5kg) £1.19
- Sweet potatoes (1kg) £0.89
- Frozen Broccoli florets (1kg) £0.89
- Apples (5) £0.65
- Wholegrain spaghetti (500g) £0.45
- Gluten Free Pasta (500g) £0.99
- Red kidney beans (1x400g tin) £0.30
- Cannellini beans (2x400g tins) £0.66
- Passata (500g) £0.35
- Whole Pineapple x2 £0.90
- Carrots x2 (2kg) £0.78
- Bananas x9 £1.08
- Lemons x2 £0.50
- Lime £0.28
- Kale (200g) £0.65
- Lettuce £0.70
- Spring onions £0.47
- Whole milk (4 pints) £0.99
- Semi-skimmed milk (4 pints) £0.99
- Mozzarella (125g) £0.49
- Dark chocolate (100g) £0.30
- Smoked mackerel fillets (200g) £1.35
- Low fat natural yogurt x2 (1kg) £0.90
- Long grain rice (1kg) £0.40
- Porridge oats (1kg) £0.75
- Walnuts (130g) £1.29
- Eggs (20) £1.58
- Tomatoes (6) £0.65
- Sliced wholemeal bread (800g) £0.36
- Icing sugar (500g) £0.69
- Beef mince (500g) £1.59
- Diced chicken breast (410g) £2.39
- Wheat breakfast biscuits (24x18g) £0.69
- Chopped tomatoes (4x400g tin) £1.19
- Women’s deodorant £0.59
- Hand soap £0.55
- Liquid non-bio washing detergent (25 washes) £1.89
Total from Aldi: £35.02
Bits from other shops:
- Nappies (48 pack) £2.79
- Wipes (4 pack) £1.09
- Toilet paper (6 rolls) £1
- Gluten Free porridge (450g) £2.40
- Gluten Free plain flour (1kg) £1.65
- Pineapple x2 £1
Weekly Total: £44.95
Some of the ingredients I will need for my meal plan, I already had them at home, as I don’t generally buy them every week. They include, oil, spices, fresh herbs ( I bought a big bunch a while ago and froze them, if you can grow your own and they are free!), cocoa powder, almond milk, sugar (I only use it occasionally for baking), onion and garlic. Every week I buy a few items that will last me more than 7 days, for example, hand soap, washing detergent, gluten free bread (I always buy my loaves reduced from the supermarket whenever I find them and then freeze them), nuts, seeds etc. Also, as I have coeliac disease, I have to buy Gluten Free alternatives, while the rest of the family eats the regular items containing wheat. This makes the food shopping a bit more expensive as gluten free alternatives can’t be found as cheap, so if you don’t have this problem, save that money for something else ;).
Another note, my youngest son is nearly 1 and he basically eats whatever we eat. I just make sure I omit salt and sugar for him and I mash it up a bit. My daughter eats her lunch at school during the week, so I don’t have to worry about that.
This is the meal plan for next week, starting tomorrow. On Tuesday, it’s my son’s first birthday, so I will be baking a chocolate cake with chocolate icing to celebrate! I can’t wait! I need all the chocolate to cheer me up at the thought he is 1 already! How did that happen so quickly? Anyways, here’s the plan.
Breakfast: Porridge with apple and cinnamon (for me and the kids)/ Wheat biscuits with milk and walnuts (for my husband, he hates porridge)
Lunch: Frittata with fresh herbs + peas and broccoli
Dinner: Cauliflower pizza + homemade wholegrain garlic bread
Breakfast: Lemon pancakes with honey and almonds
Lunch: Mushroom Risotto
Dinner: Scrambled eggs with rosemary hashbrowns and salad leaves
Breakfast: Porridge with apple and cinnamon/ Wheat biscuits with milk and walnuts
Lunch: Carrot soup topped with yogurt + toasted bread on the side
Dinner: Spaghetti alla bolognese (I freeze the leftover sauce and use it for another day)+ lettuce and tomato salad on the side
Breakfast: Carrot cake porridge/ Wheat biscuits with milk and walnuts
Lunch: Spaghetti with a tomato and basil sauce + yogurt with pineapple
Dinner: Mackerel salad with kale and oranges + lemon and parsley rice
Breakfast: Banana and walnuts porridge/ Wheat biscuits with milk and walnuts
Lunch: Spinach pancakes with fresh tomatoes and mushrooms
Dinner: Leftover spaghetti alla Bolognese + lettuce and tomato salad
Breakfast: Banana pancakes with honey and walnuts
Lunch: Green beans, pea, basil and rice soup + toasted bread
Dinner: Baked sweet potatoes topped with vegetarian chilli and a dollop of yogurt
Breakfast: Porridge with oranges and pumpkin seeds/ Wheat biscuits with milk and walnuts
Lunch: Carrot soup topped with yogurt + toasted bread
Dinner: Lemon chicken + egg fried rice and broccoli
- Carrot, pineapple and orange smoothie
- Pineapple, banana and yogurt smoothie
- Pineapple, banana and lime smoothie
- Banana and orange oat biscuits with no sugar added
- Carrot sticks with hummus
- Chocolate cake (ehm, ehm)
- Carrot cake muffins
- Jasmine Green tea ( I already had this in the cupboard, but it’s usually 79p)
- Regular black tea
I am sorry if at the moment I can’t attach the recipe to each one of the meals, the blog it’s all a work in progress and over the next days and weeks I will upload all of these recipes, plus more meal plans, so stay tuned!
I hope you found this useful and I can’t wait to hear about your weekly food shopping and any suggestions you may have! Share your stories on my social media channels or drop me a message! 🙂
Have a great weekend my dear friends