Sunday 12 January 2014

Thrifty Meal Planning

It was recently said to me that it seems that all I do it eat cake, based on my saying that at the start of a few blog posts. The best time for me to blog is when all is quiet and I'm never going to pass up the opportunity for a cuppa and something sweet. So, from the comfy new wing chair where I'm sitting with a cup of tea and yummy shortbread biscuit (naughty) I have logged in to tell you all about my thrifty meal planning.

I've realised for a while that although we are very good at cooking in batches and freezing home cooked meals, there is probably (definitely) room for improvement. With ever rising food bills and soon 4 mouths to feed I had a think about the best way to do this. I'm not coming to you with a ready made meal plan but my intentions following a fairly successful day on the food front.

Having decided that there is most certainly something in the concept of having a roast and using the meat through the week, I headed off to the supermarket to purchase a chicken. Now, my issues with this are a) it wasn't free range and b) I didn't go to a butcher. Like a lot of people I have a reason behind both of these things but I will put this on my list of things to do better. I really don't like buying not free range and I much prefer the idea of using a local butchers.

I used the whole chicken (which cost £5) to make a roast dinner for the three of us (two adults and a 2yo) which consisted of roast chicken, (stuffed with garlic and onion and seasoned with sage) honey roasted parsnips, carrots, broccoli and roast potatoes. I removed the remainder of the meat from the chicken (pictured in a large dinner plate sized bowl) which will be enough to make at least two more meals this week and possibly a chicken sandwich or two for lunch.
At this point I decided that you must like chicken to cook like this!

I then put the chicken carcass with the garlic and onions in a crock pot with a carrot and onion, meat juices, water left over from the vegetables and water to fill to pan and brought it to boiling point. I the left it to simmer until it had a nice colour. I think it was on a low heat with a lid on for 1.5 hours. once strained, I filled up three old plastic soup pots with stock. I will freeze two of these and use another on Thursday to make a soup. We usually eat a light tea on Thursday after Hubby B has finished at tennis.
I don't yet have any particular plans for the chicken which I'm aware isn't very good planning but I'll keep a note as I go along. My intention is to total up the ingredients and create a relatively cheap shopping list. Wish me luck! Oh and please comment with any simple chicken recipe ideas!

Mrs Crafty B


  1. We have done the same, providing David leaves the plate of meat alone we will be enjoying a chicken asparagus and leek pie and a chicken mulligatony soup. I've not tried this soup before but I had lunch at Sainsbury s last week and I'm trying to replicate it .

  2. I've just looked this soup up and it looks good. I might try this one next week. I'm thinking chicken, leek and celery soup. Someone has just suggested on my twitter feed that I try risotto and I have the right rice for this but your pie sounds good too! I wonder if I can make it stretch.

  3. Curried chicken fritters. Make a yourkshire pudding batter with a teaspoon (or more) of curry powder, and with baking powder. Then add bits of cooked chicken. Drop spoonfuls into hot oil, making sure you have room to turn them over as they cook. They go golden and crispy. I guess if you had rice, naan bread, mango chutney or chilli dipping sauce you might even turn it into a meal.

  4. I am VERY interested in this idea! Thanks Maureen.

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