Who wants to join my February challange - 28 nights, 28 meals, £28 ?

(76 Posts)
stormforce10 Thu 31-Jan-13 17:31:59

This is one for those food horders out there who like me have over stocked freezers and cupboards. The challange is to plan up 28 evening meals based on what's there and spend £28 or less on any extras you don't have in stock This is ONLY for evening meals so you can still spend on breakfast and lunch.

I will be posting my menu plan here later on.

stormforce10 Tue 05-Feb-13 11:09:17

Chicken stripped. There was so much meat on it I've frozen it in 3 separate lots. It should do for the curry and stirfry already planned plus an extra meal another time. All the bones and scraps of meat that wouldn't come off easily are simmering away to make a broth which I'll add to soup broth mix, carrots, parsnips and onions to make a stew / soup type thing. Once I would have thrown the parsnips out as they were bendy and even a bit black and soggy in places but they were fine underneath. I'm aiming to make enough that I'll have left overs for lunch for a couple of days. So its meal 13 tonight - chicken and veg soup, bread and cheese if wanted smile

I was planning omlettes tomorrow night but dd begged for mashed potatos on Sunday instead of roast and we have some left so I'm going to try my hand at making tuna fishcakes with a big salad instead. Was going to be tuna hash but thought fish cakes might be more interesting (and might still turn into hash grin )

11plustrauma - tk maxx often have good quailty food flasks

Still not touched my £28 really hoping to keep it intact until I do a shop on Tuesday and then I plan to be very cautious mean

Bejeena Tue 05-Feb-13 14:39:34

Well today should be the marrow and potato soup, meal 14 but oh for the life of me I really don't think I can be bothered to make it all that peeling and chopping, am so lazy blush

So I was thinking of making a risotto instead although hubby will moan at that because it is 'all one thing' and there is 'no sauce' (heaven knows is this man logic) so he isn't keen.

Option 3 could be scampi & homemade chips, if hubby moans about the risotto I can tell him that that is other option and he has to cook it. Is fair enough isn't it? I mean I am busy growing the baby after all and it is tiring me out!

Not touched my 50€ yet either, am hoping to hold out on a shop until tomorrow or Thursday.

stormforce10 Wed 06-Feb-13 09:49:03

Just made the first dip into my budget. dd ate all the cherry tomatos last night so I picked up a carton in Aldi this morning and also a tin of tomatoes. £1.20 gone so £26.80 left. Damn was so hoping to last out until Tuesday and why on earth did I buy the tin of tomatoes - absolute habit that's why I put them in the basket without even thinking about it. Not too upset will need them later in month anyway.

Bejeena what did you have in the end. Did you get him to make you scampi and chips?

Going to try making my tuna cakes in a bit

11Plustrauma Wed 06-Feb-13 09:56:23

we are having carbonara tonight with some reduced bacon that was in the freezer and eggs that went out of date yesterday (I am sure they will be fine)

stormforce10 Wed 06-Feb-13 10:22:31

They will be fine 11plus but if you're unsure break them into a cup first. I ofteb use eggs a week out of date theyre fine for cooking with

Just made my tuna cakes. I think they're alright. I made 8 of them so should be able to freeze 4 for another meal. No DP tonight so will only use 2 each for me and dd. (lucky he hates tuna!)

Bejeena Wed 06-Feb-13 10:38:07

We had the scampi and chips but I did them myself as bless him my poor husband is suffering from a cold so I wanted to give him something he really liked.

I often eat eggs a day or two out of date, although I guess maybe during the pregnancy I should be more careful!

I am still fancying risotto and there are some mushrooms in the fridge that won't last much longer, so am thinking of going for bacon and mushroom risotto, hubby doesn't mind it as much if there is meat in it (fusspot).

So I still won't have had my soup, let's hope for tomorrow or maybe if I feel super energetic make it tonight ready for tomorrow!

stormforce10 Wed 06-Feb-13 20:01:47

Tuna cakes were lovely. We had them with the last of the broccoli and some leeks in cheese sauce left overs I froze a while ago. Yummy.

Chilli con carne tomorrow night. We've got some frozen but not sure its enough for us all so going to add some soya mince to bulk it out. So that will be meal 11. I've discovered we've run out of tortillas which is odd as I know we had a packet but someone must have eaten them when i wasn't looking so we'll have it with rice instead.

Hope you enjoyed carbonara 11plus and risotto sounds lovely bejeena - make that soup tomorrow or you'll be stuck with it at the end of month grin

Bejeena Thu 07-Feb-13 10:03:38

Hmm tuna cakes do sound good might have to give them a go.

We had the risotto last night. Hubby is off work sick with the flu and has asked if we can have pasta tonight so we'll be having meal 16. Meaning I still have the marrow and not made the soup drat drat drat! However I'll probably make it on the weekend and use the leftover to make courgette chocolate cake, just to cheer the hubster up since he is feeling so rotten. I am not too bothered it will still be fine in a few days, we got it up from the garden just before Christmas so has been around for a while. Maybe I should give him a name? Haha!

I think we might have turkey chilli tomorrow night yum yum. Weekend plan is probably been invited to friends on Saturday and Sunday will be either roast pork or lamb. Yummy!

I can already see the space in the freezer increasing and it is a pretty good feeling!

stormforce10 Thu 07-Feb-13 14:14:28

Not much to report.

Chilli con carne defrosting. Will make salad in a bit to save time later.

Meal 16 tomorrow night - pasta in tomato sauce with chirizo, olives and sun dried tomatoes.

Should get through the day without touching the budget again all being well.

Its great to see the space isn't it Bejeena? Its crazy how much money I must have spent on all this food we are just storing.

stormforce10 Thu 07-Feb-13 19:07:47

Damn dp announced he won't be in for dinner until 9pm. I've decided ot eat with him and given dd pasta, cheese and tomatoes in front of TV as a treat. DS can have a jar of baby food and we'll have the chilli con carne later.

Sigh

Bejeena Fri 08-Feb-13 10:42:36

Ah how annoying.

Yesterday's shopping bill was 9.18€ for the bits I needed.

Surprise surpise I have changed my mind again about tonight. We are having bangers and mash now! I noticed we really should use up some potatoes that are sprouting!

Tomorrow we are invited to friends in the evening she is doing fingerfood so I said I'll take a quiche. So I just need to get eggs, cream and cheese for that (didn't get eggs when I shopped yesterday as was on my bike and the basket was already quite full!). Plus chocolate, hazelnuts and coco powder for the cake for my poorly hubby.

stormforce10 Fri 08-Feb-13 11:10:57

Well the chilli was lovely. I found an avocado I'd left to ripen in fruit bowl and it was perfect so we had that with it too smile

Pasta and chirizo bake type thing with salad and some garlic bread from freezer tonight. DD has brownies and does not finish until 7.30 so I aim to have it ready to eat as soon as she walks through the door. That will be meal 16

stormforce10 Fri 08-Feb-13 11:11:43

Oh this is our last bag of pasta but noticed hte pound shop have 3 bags for £1 - think they're 500g each so will be getting that offer next time I'm in there

stormforce10 Sat 09-Feb-13 12:34:24

Looks like we'll be away visting family for 2 nights over half term. Chances are we'll eat out one of those nights. I'm going to give myself a break from this for those 2 nights BUT in the spirit of 28 nights, 28 meals will extend my challange to 2nd of March so only sort of cheating.

I've just planned for Monday to Friday next week

Monday cheese omlette, new potatoes and salad
Tuesdayleek, potato and bacon soup, garlic bread
Wednesdaypasta, smoked salmon, crème fraiche, sun dried tomatoes, olives
Thursdaysausage and mash, onions, cabbage, gravy
Friday shepherds pie, mixed veg

Next weeks shopping list to cover all meals (with stuff from £28 budget in bold)

Orange juice
6 pints milk
garlic bread baguette
loaf of bread
big bag potatoes
pasta
cucumber
lettuce
butter
black currant squash
eggs

I've estimated rather than checked prices and think that will leave me about £18.80 in my budget to cover the last 2 weeks of the challenge

Bejeena Sun 10-Feb-13 20:59:12

Ok so plan changed a bit I made a quiche yesterday to take to friends and we had some left over so had that with veg instead of roast pork which I will save for another Sunday.

Too tired to think much about tomorrow and will probably change my mind anyway but I do fancy gammon steaks.

We have been sorting out spare room for the baby it is a never ending task hmm

Off to bed in a bit, put clean sheets on earlier, bliss :-)

stormforce10 Sun 10-Feb-13 22:14:42

I love gammon bejeena but none in the freezer so won't be having it this month.

Just noticed that Tuesday is Shrove Tuesday so will have to make pancakes. Thankfully I think we have enough eggs and flour but will use extra milk so many need to take out of my budget. Plenty of lemons,sugar and jam . We'll move the soup to tomorrow night and forget the omlette (as we'll need eggs for pancakes). DD will be happy she loves pancakes smile

Also not sure why I've put cucumber and lettuce on shopping list, we won't be needing them looking at the meal plan.

Bejeena Mon 11-Feb-13 10:55:42

Oh no my plan has gone out the window again. Got a message from a friend last night inviting us to a last minute birthday bash tonight. So there will be fingerfood for us to eat there, gammon postponed to Wednesday night, as also just remembered Shrove Tuesday and we'll be going to another friend's house for pancakes, perhaps we'll have the veg soup beforehand.

On the marrow front, we had half of it in a cake and hubby was so delighted with it that I might be convinced to make another cake this week with the other half. That means no soup but at least marrow used up!

I have also decided to extend, possibly up until when we go back to UK for Easter so I can defrost the chest freezer on weekend of 23rd/24th March. I should be able to find more meals in there if I try and can redo the menu. I'll set another budget for extras when March comes, depending on our stocks.

stormforce10 Mon 11-Feb-13 18:35:12

Wow Bejeena you are determined to sort out your stockpile. You will no doubt be eating some very odd meals by the end of it all. I look forward to seeing March's menu plan.

DP wants us to go and stay with MIL for a couple of days over half term so I will have to extend my challenge to 4th March. I'm determined to get 28 meals. I feel like having set myself the challenge I have to find out whether I really can do it for £28.

We've just had leek and potato soup with some part baked walnut bread I found in the cupboard. Might have been a bit out of date but it was lovely.

Wonder if anyone other than us is actually reading this and marvelling at our madness?

Bejeena Tue 12-Feb-13 08:48:58

grin I don't know but I am determined to get my freezer sorted ;-)

Pancakes tonight as planned at friends and tomorrow we will have the gammon steaks. I will do a meal plan for the rest of the week today and see if there is anything I need to get from shops.

stormforce10 Tue 12-Feb-13 10:58:42

Sigh nothing ever stays the same. Should stop planning ahead so far

Definately pancakes tonight. Off to make a big thing of batter in a bit. I went to Aldi this morning and spent £21.80. I got extra butter as it was on offer, some washing powder as we've nearly run out, porridge oats, a jar of nutella as dd is mourning it, quite a lot of fruit and various other bits. Of that the following was for main meals:

2.5kg bag potatoes1.99
part baked rolls0.39
eggs1.10
Pasta 2 bags0.98
cucumber0.59
lettuce0.89
milk for pancakes0.25

Actually I got a box of 15 eggs for £2.15 but they usually get used for breakfasts and baking so have just allowed for half of them for main meals and we probably won't even use that unless we end up having the omlettes that keep getting shifted down my list.

Price of potatoes seems to have become massive all of a sudden sad

£20.61 left of the budget and 17 meals left to do including tonights so still on target I hope.

My total spend for this month for everything so far is £93.88. Not bad given that includes a taxi fare of £18 (don't ask!!) and a train ticket to London. Bet it shoots up during half term though

Helenagrace Tue 12-Feb-13 11:35:05

Stormforce I am marvelling at your madness inspiring frugality!

Bejeena Wed 13-Feb-13 10:49:40

Just checking in :-)

So plan for next few days is something like:

Wed: Gammon Steak, chips (or maybe mash dunno) & veg (meal 3)
Thu: Anchovy pasta (meal 6)
Fri: Turkey chilli (meal 1)
Sat: Having friends over for pizzas & finger food (meal 26, need to get some cheese & pizza toppings)
Sun: Been invited to neighbours for Sunday lunch so in the evening probably just have a bit of leftover finger food from Saturday

Shopping list:

Cheese for pizzas
Tinned toms for pizza sauce
toppings for pizzas (not determined yet)
puff pastry
flour
eggs
milk
bread

stormforce10 Wed 13-Feb-13 17:08:32

Sounds like you're doing well bejeena. I'm in awe at you making your own pizzas.

Our pancakes were lovely last night. We went through a huge jug of batter though. Tonight is meal 6 - smoked salmon and creme fraiche pasta.

After tomorrow we'll be half way though though thankfully I've still got more than half my budget left.

Bejeena Thu 14-Feb-13 10:13:50

Oh well I must confess, the hubby makes the pizza dough and does all the rolling etc!

Slight spanner in the works again there were 3 slices of gammon in the pack I had defrosted last night. Of course I could have given my greedy husband 2 and he would have polished them both off before wasting, but instead decided to save the last piece and thought we could have a risotto with it tonight.

However I am in a bit of a quiche mood so was thinking I could make a quiche with it for tonight instead if my energy levels allow after work. I'll just need to get some cream and cheese for it, but need to pop to the shops anyway for milk and my other bits I listed above.

I will try and update my spreadsheet today, adding the extra meals. :-)

Bloodymary Thu 14-Feb-13 10:39:54

stormforce10 I have just come across your thread and i am loving it!!
I too have a large freezer which is jam packed with heaven knows what, and there is only myself and little girl (7). Why can I not stop buying food?

As I have to pay a large chunk off of my credit card this month, sad I will be following this with interest.

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