A peak at our week long menu

Warning: If you are hungry, look away and come back after you have eaten something.

We are pretty frugal as a whole. We dont have cable, expensive phone plans, an intimate relationship with all the take away places around here and so on. There is one thing we have not skimped on here and this is grocery shopping. Still, as we are now trying to save up cash for the possibility of making our dream trip, I am trying to see if I can bring down the food bill a bit lower. The last few weeks the only thing that I have done is reduce the shopping to once a week. This has two possible positive effects on the wallet – brings to a minimum the impulsive buying of extras that sit at the back of the fridge until you find them all moldy and liquid (yes, I have had things like that there), and it forces me to be a bit more creative with the ingredients the last one or two days of the week and use up what I have around the house. This approach also has one other very welcomed consequence: I have to go shopping only once for the week and this is like a breath of fresh commercial free air for me.

For those of you that are as curious as me, I took a shot of every dinner meal we had last week. Those are not staged at all, so excuse any mistakes that would be obvious to a food stylist.The menu had a few new meals in it, as we had a flip through some magazines and the kids and I picked some things that seemed interesting. We like to do that some weeks – food adventures are fun.

So, on a budget of AU$250 for the week, for all meals and no eating out, here is the dinners we enjoyed:

Monday – Tuscan Chicken

Chosen by Little B.

Tuesday – Japanese Teriyaki Rice

I believe I chose that up at the last moment.

Wednesday – Fresh Veggie Noodle Soup

This is a regular in our house. I make the chicken stock and then cut up a bunch of veggies and put them in our bowls just before pouring in the noodles and broth. Yum.

The stock from this was used in two of the dishes that follow.

Thursday – Swedish Meatballs

Chosen by a few member of the family.

Friday – Grilled Veggies Warm Quinoa Salad

As chosen by me.

Saturday – Spicy Apricot Chicken

Served on brown rice and chosen by Miss Fab.

Sunday – Chili and Olives Fussili

A regular in the house, plus very convenient for an end of week choice.

Three weeks down the road of once a week shopping and we are doing great. I was hoping that we could manage on AU$200, but that would require a lot of change to our menu and not for the better. I think $50 per person, per week, is not too bad. Or maybe I am just kidding myself.

In regards to our dinners, the final verdict on the new meals is – Swedish meatballs rock! I fell in love with the quinoa salad, but I was the only one. The rest of the family just ate it, I looved it and bored everyone with my odes of joy. The apricot chicken was a bit too sweet and the rest were not impressive enough to enter our regular dinner selection.

If you want any of the recipes, let me know.

Peak over ;)