There is a bit of an obsession in budget food writing. For a long time, lots of them have been pricing up the cost of their meals by only counting the proportion of the ingredient used. For example; if you were pricing up a meal that included 1 egg, and a box of 6 eggs costs 89p, you would only include 15p in the total. Boring I know, but bare with me…..I’m not saying it’s wrong that they do this (I used to do it too, when writing newspaper and magazine articles) but I do feel that it’s misleading. You’ll see lots of food bloggers and cookbook authors (I’m not going to name them!) reeling off eye-catching figures such as, “Pork Loin, Roasted Butternut Squash and Mashed Potato – ONLY 86p per portion!!” If you’re eating on a budget, this is going to interest you, right? What they don’t tell you, is that the pork loin was one of a multi pack of 7, that they are only counting 10% of the entire butternut squash and that the mash counts as only 2 potatoes…. AND to top it off, all of the ingredients are sourced from different supermarkets to find the cheapest!! I’ve done it myself, I know how the method works – but can we please agree that NONE of us shop like this?!!
In theory, the pork loin IS only 52p and the potatoes, when you buy them in a 2.5kg bag ARE only 12p each….but what are you supposed to do with the rest of them? Even if you’re cooking for 4, that’s still a lot of leftover ingredients, that (regardless of whether you use them or not) have actually cost you £7.50…..and not in fact 86p!!
This is more an exercise in food writers mathematical abilities, rather than their ability to conjure up money saving recipes that work in the real world for real people.
So what’s the best way to REALLY save money on your supermarket shop? The key is meal planning. 7 dinners and 7 lunches, which you use as a basis for your shopping list. You need to think about recipes that not only use few ingredients, but also share some of the same ingredients. This will reduce the number of items that you buy from the supermarket as well as reducing the amount of food that goes to waste.
Is it time consuming to write a meal plan? It can be, but once you’ve written a few, you can reuse them. So, to help you on your way I’ve written a super savvy 7 day meal plan for you. 7 dinners, each feeding 4 people and the total cost of buying the ingredients? £27.59*! Now that’s what cooking for under £1 per person REALLY looks like! So that’s £27.59 to feed your family dinner – for a week!….all you need to do is sort out breakfast and lunch and you should be able to get your entire weekly food shop for under £50!!!
So what’s included? Below you’ll find a printable meal plan with any minor changes I’ve made to the recipes from my cookbook to make your ingredients work even harder and save you even more money. I’ve also included a printable shopping list, with everything you need to make the meals. All of the hard work has been done for you – so what are you waiting for?!
First you’ll need is this meal plan:
Next up is the shopping list. I shopped for all of the ingredients in Aldi, but as you can see, you can get them from anywhere and still save money. I’ve left some space so you can add what you need for lunches, breakfast, snacks etc.
I’ve added the individual ingredient prices to the shopping list, so you can get the full low down on how much they all cost *Prices are from Aldi UK, checked on 15/11/2017.
If you want to print any of these downloads, you’ll have to save them to your device first.
I would love to know what you think of the meal planner. If you give it a go, don’t forget to tag me on my Instagram
I’ve done 4 weekly meal plans now. All of the recipes from my meal planners are in my cookbook and all of them are easy, delicious family meals. All of them include a plan and a shopping list…..so that’s a month worth of dinner plans – for free! The total cost of all of the ingredients in the last two meal planners were Meal Plan 1 £31.39 Meal Plan 2 £33 and my Vegetarian Meal Plan £28.46
If you’ve not got my book yet, it’s still reduced to the super savvy price of £4.99 (RRP £14.99) on Amazon!! Click here to go to the Amazon Page