Friday, 22 October 2010

A freezer week: use up those unidentifiables!

Now we have been earmarked to be poor for the rest of our lives, by dint of not being born a Tory grandee landowning family, I have been thinking of ways to minimise our weekly shop and cut, cut, cut. I've been tight as Osbourne on Xmas presents, ebaying like mad and carbooting to raise funds, which are strictly controlled this year. If I was any good at it, i'd be making presents, not buying. As it is, there is a cap on spending in this house.

I already meal plan like a modern day Beeton, only without all the 5 course meals and servants. I make a weekly plan and do not deviate from it. We are a snack free, treat free house. We splurge on fruit. We buy seasonally from the old geezer down the road, who grows it himself. The chooks provide 3 eggs a day, we eat a LOT of eggs. They eat the scraps. But still, I feel, we eat too much meat. So i've cut down on the expensive cuts, and buy the cheaper stew friendly ones. I eke out a chicken to 3 or 4 meals, and I make stock. At the end of every week, husband gets a curry made from any veg that are looking sad. But I still overcook. I still make too many portions. For example, we had cauliflower cheese as a side last week. Nobody in my family loves it so much that they'll eat a whole cauli. So half gets frozen. In an attempt to cut right back and empty that freezer, last week I took a good hard look inside that chest freezer and was amazed.

Meat: mince, 1/2 pork loin, 2 chicken breasts, bacon.
Cooked meals: 1 portion chilli, 1 bolognaise, 1 chicken stew, 1 cauliflower cheese, 4 homemade fishcakes, 10 homemade chicken nuggets, 2 portions lamb curry, 4 portions marinanded ribs.
Veg: frozen sweetcorn, bananas, blackberries x 1 million, peas, lemongrass, chillis, chopped leeks
sundries: enough ends of loaves of bread to feed an army.
That is more than enough, I saw, to feed us this week. So all I bought this week were fresh veg from the market, and tinned tomatoes and dried chickpeas/ lentils. And this is what we had.
Monday: minced beef pasties with leeks and sweetcorn and chickpea relish.
Tuesday: Fishcakes and cauli cheese with broccoli.
Weds: kids had nuggets, we had the curry.
Thursday: Kids had bolognaise, we had chilli.
Friday: Kids had chicken stew, we will have ribs and salad. And wine. A lot of it. I've been inside a lot this week.
Also managed a bread pudding using chooks eggs and the arse ends of bread from the freezer. Total expense on shopping this week was probably less than a tenner. Plus, I didn't have to cook per se, I only microwaved and defrosted, and it was LOVELY. Instead, I stood in the kitchen pretending to cook, standing by the microwave and reading while the kids waited. Ha!


Jan said...

Not being a Tory Grandee either ,in fact I am a pensioner ,who foolishly believed after working hard all my life caring for the elderly ,life would get easier Pahh ,I applaud your efforts feeding your family on fresh air and a shoestring .I know, I know ,we are good at making a meal out of nothing hee hee ,(who is Osbourne ?) Jan xx

This Mid 30s Life said...

Like you, we're having to keep a lid on things too. My problem is I rarely throw away leftovers, everything goes in the freezer so I shudder to think what lurks beneath. Really ought to get onto that!!

Mummy D said...

brilliant! though how big is your freezer?
im looking forward to the day i sort out meal planning once and for all! i always mix awful things together on a leftover whim, or time the cooking badly :(