31 Aug

Written by Lizzie on August 31, 2013



When you’ve got little ones to feed, the food shop can get rather pricey. Eating a balanced diet is hard and if the price-tag of oven chips and fish fingers is all too appealing, but what you really want is fresh ingredients which you can cook from scratch, I may have something for you. Using one of our current codes, I’ve worked out a plan to feed 2 adults and 2 kids for a week, pudding and all, for little more than £40. Plan ahead and you’ll have 7 main meals, 2 lunches and 5 desserts within reach, so get that apron on!

Offer: £10 off all First Orders over £50 at Ocado (valid until 31/8/13)

Shopping List

Fruit: Essential Waitrose Unwaxed Lemons 4 Pack, Waitrose Granny Smith Apples 4 Pack, Essential Waitrose Home Ripening Peaches 4 Pack, Ocado Blueberries 250g, Ocado Raspberries 225g

Veg & Herbs: Essential Waitrose Cucumber, Ocado Red Peppers 3 Pack, Essential Waitrose Carrots 1kg, Ocado Shallots 300g, Essential Waitrose White Cabbage 1kg, Essential Waitrose Little Gem Lettuce 2 Pack, Waitrose Garlic 3 Pack, Fresh Mint Waitrose 25g, Ocado Basil 31g, Ocado Thyme 30g

Meat: Essential Waitrose Chicken Thighs 800g, Ocado Lean West Country Lamb Medallions 375g, Essential Waitrose English Smoked Lardons 200g

Dairy: Essential Waitrose Double Cream 600ml, Essential Waitrose Low Fat Greek Style Natural Yogurt 500g, Essential Waitrose Free Range Eggs 9 Per Pack

Store Cupboard: Cirio Chopped Tomatoes 400g x 2, Napolina Cannellini Beans 400g, Essential Waitrose Mayonnaise 250ml, Bart Harissa Paste 82g, Essential Waitrose Fusilli 500g, Waitrose Love Life Wholewheat Cous Cous 500g, Ocado Seeded Wraps 8 Per Pack, Ocado Bake at Home White Baguettes 2 Per Pack

Freezer: Granelli Chocolate Dairy Ice Cream 1L, Birds Eye Garden Peas 400g

Total = £50.66
With discount = £40.66

Monday: Marinated lamb with lemon couscous and cucumber mint salad.
For Dessert:  This week you’re gonna get your 5 a day! Grab yourself an apple.

Take your lamb medallions out of the fridge and allow them to rise to room temperature. Mix a little greek yoghurt (just enough to coat the meat) with a teaspoon or so of harissa. If you have smaller kids, tune this to your taste, this stuff can be spicy! Rub the meat all over with your spicy mix and leave it to really sink in for half an hour. Take 2 medallions out, cover the other 2 and return them to the fridge – you’re gonna use them on Wednesday! Chop the 2 lamb pieces into chunks. Cook your couscous to packet instructions and when it’s done, squeeze over the juice of half a lemon. Add salt and pepper to taste. Chop your cucumber and mix with a handful of chopped mint. sprinkle over a little olive oil if you fancy it. Fry your lamb pieces in a hot pan until medium rare and plate up. Mmm Mmm!

Tuesday: Baked chicken thighs with pasta in a creamy sauce & braised cabbage
For Dessert: Stewed fruit with sweetened yoghurt

Chop 2 cloves of garlic and 3 shallots roughly and scatter them in an overproof dish. Do the same with a handful of thyme. Place your chicken thighs in the dish skin side up and use 100g fusilli to fill the gaps. Use an Oxo Cube from your store cupboard to mix 200ml of chicken stock and stir in 200ml of double cream. Pour the mixture over your chicken. Season with salt and pepper and place in a preheated oven. When it’s done the chicken should be crispy on top and succulent in the middle (make sure it’s not pink!). Heat what’s left of your stock in another pan and add half your white cabbage, shredded. Let it simmer away until the cabbage softens but still has a bit of bite.

For afters, heat 200ml of water in a shallow pan with a tsp of caster sugar. Add your peaches (cut roughly in segments) and half your berries. Cook on a rolling simmer for a few minutes until the water evaporates and the fruits give way under gentle pressure. Enjoy with a couple of spoonfuls of greek yoghurt, stir in a little more sugar if you fancy it!

Wednesday: Marinated lamb in tortilla wraps with homemade slaw & roasted peppers
For Dessert: Meringue with fresh berries

Get the extra lamb from Monday out of the fridge. Slice the second half your white cabbage and grate 3 carrots. Mix the veggies together and add 3 tbsp of mayonnaise from a jar. Season to taste and set aside. Slice 1 and a half red peppers and place on a baking tray. Glug some olive oil over them and sprinkle on some seasoning. Place in a preheated 180C oven and cook for 10-15 minutes or until the edges turn black. Cut the lamb into strips and fry in a pan. Warm 4 tortillas and assemble your wraps with a leaf of little gem lettuce, lamb strips, roasted peppers and top with homemade slaw. Wrap up and wolf down!

Use a simple recipe (I like this one from Delia!) to make cute, individual meringues. Scatter the remainder of your berries on top and drizzle with a little double cream. Heaven!

Thursday: Fusilli with peas, pancetta and roasted peppers & a dash of cream
For Dessert: Lemon & thyme sorbet

Tonight’s is an easy one! While your pasta cooks, fry 3 chopped shallots with 2 cloves of garlic in a frying pan. Once the shallots have softened and are starting to turn translucent, throw in half of your lardons. Fry over a medium heat until cooked. Drain the pasta and mix in the contents of your frying pan. Slosh in a little cream (just enough to coat the pasta) and squeeze over the juice of half a lemon. Season to taste and plate up!

You’ll need to make tonight’s dessert in advance. The plus point is it’ll keep for a month, so make a bit extra if you like and call on it when you’re in a pinch. Heat 1 cup of lemon juice over a medium heat and dissolve 100g of caster sugar into it, stirring gently. Drop in a bunch of thyme, remove from the heat and cover. Leave for 2 hours to infuse. After the break, add another 1 cup of lemon juice and drain to remove any thyme leaves. Pour into a plastic container and transfer to the freezer. Rake the mix with a fork every 45 minutes until loosely frozen. Cover and eat when suitably firm.

Friday: Chicken & cannelloni bean stew with couscous
For Dessert: Eton Mess

Add your chicken thighs to a saucepan and fry lightly until about halfway cooked. Chuck in 3 whole cloves of garlic, a tin of cannellini beans and a tin of chopped tomatoes. Mix up 300ml of stock and pour it in. Finish up with a handful of basil up. Place it in a medium oven for an hour to an hour and a half, until the chicken comes away from the bone. Make up some lemon couscous the way you did way back on Monday. Serve up and tuck in.

This dessert’s a bit of a cheat. Smash up any left over meringues, whip up any remaining cream. Chuck in any remaining fruit and mix it all up. You’re done!

Saturday Lunch: Spiced Carrot Soup with bread
Saturday Dinner: Oven pizzas and ice cream to finish

Peel your carrots and chop them into chunks. Shimmer in a pan with chicken stock, and chuck in any other veg you may have lying around. Shimmer until the veg is cooked through and blend. Add your remaining thyme, stir in a tbsp of harissa paste and leave on a low heat to reduce. Serve up with a splodge of yoghurt in the centre to balance the spices. Oven bake one of the baguettes and dip away!

Dinner’s an easy one today – it’s Saturday, time to party! Whack in some oven pizzas, slice up some little gem lettuce (revive in ice water if it’s a little wilted) and dress with oil and vinegar. Scoop out that choccy ice cream for pudding!

Sunday Lunch: Chicken Salad with tortilla wraps
Sunday Dinner: Baked Eggs with Pancetta and a side of bread

Today is all about using up the bits and pieces! Use what’s left of your little gem and rip it roughly into a bowl. Grate a carrot or 2, shred up left over chicken and dress it with herbs, olive oil, vinegar or mayo to perk it up a little. Bulk it out with leftover tortillas.

For tea, fry 2 shallots with some garlic in a large frying pan. After a few minutes chuck in some lardons. Once they’re done, pour in a tin of toms. Add some basil or some thyme – whatever you have left! Season with salt, pepper and a little Tabasco sauce if you have it. Stir in half a tsp of sugar to take the sharpness out of the tomatoes. Crack 4 eggs into the pan, making sure each is a few cms apart. Watch as the egg whites cook and then spoon out onto plates. Chow down with a hunk of warm baguette. And if there’s any left after the pizza party, have a little taste of ice cream before bed…

So there you have it, how to eat a balanced diet and never go hungry on less than £50 of groceries a week. It pays to shop around and supermarkets often have great deals and codes to help you get more for your money. Meal planning will stop you from trawling the aisles after work, panic buying each meal individually. It could save you a small fortune! Check out our Sainsburys, Tesco and Asda pages regularly for easy savings.

Can’t wait to try this out? Give it a go and let me know how it went! Send me your own meal plans too, over on Twitter @LizzieShopScoop

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