{Meal Planning} Budget friendly meals

This post is sponsored by Nuffnang

I have mentioned before that I am trying to reduce our grocery bill, which is working well.  Last week I put the challenge to you to raid your pantry and create your meal plan around food that has been hiding.  Today I would like to share with you some tips on meal planning on a budget:

  • Meal Plan – Planning your meals at the beginning of the week and doing one shop will save you wasting food and impulse buying.
  • Plan your meals around weekly specials at your local grocery store
  • Place your meal plan on the fridge so your family can help you prepare dinner if you are running late home, saving them from ordering takeaway.
  • Create a shopping list from your meal plan and stick to it!
  • Always have a few fast and simple meals in the pantry or fridge for nights you don’t feel like cooking.  Eg, Ravioli and pasta sauce, cold meat and salad, frozen fish portions with vegetables or eggs on toast
  • Double the quantity of a casserole, freeze left overs and plan into the following weeks meal plan
  • Meals don’t have to be extravagent, a simple lamb chop with salad is really scrumptious
  • Buy meat in bulk, freeze in meal portions remembering to write date you froze it on bag.
  • Buy chicken breast fillets from deli, then slice and cube rather than purchasing it precut
  • Grate your own cheese storing in plastic container in the fridge or if you don’t use quickly freeze it.
  • Use stock cubes instead of purchasing liquid stock
  • Purchase home brand where you can, most taste the same just different packaging.  If you are sceptical, try it just once remembering you can always go back to your preferred brand.   
  • Grow your own herbs, I grow parsley, spring onions and chives which are the most used in our household

Quick, budget friendly recipe for $10

My kids do karate after school 2 nights a week.  On these day’s I prepare dinner before picking them up from school and put the finishing touches when we return home from karate, usually heating up while they are in the bath.

I recently made Vegetable and Beef Pastries which I found in the Coles Video Cookbook

  • I made the mince mixture following Curtis Stone’s instructions
  • This recipe is really versatile, can use any vegetables you have on hand
  • Cooled for 15 min then placed in the fridge
  • When I got home from karate I put the pastry sheets on the bench to thaw
  • Unpacked the kids sports bags
  • Completed the rest of the recipe, popped them in the oven
  • Put the kids in the bath
  • After 20 minutes they were ready!


The Coles video cookbook has helped me find and create some tasty and easy meals.  The video clip Curtis Stone prepares for each meal is really handy, like having him my own personal TV Chef at home, I can pause him to complete the step, then play to continue.  If I want to rewind back a step it’s you easily use the buttons provided to navigate to certain points.

Other Coles Video Cookbook Favourites

Fettuccine with Chicken Meatballs

view more recipes here 

 What are your budget meal tips?



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TracyandAndrew Morcom on Facebook October 3, 2011 - 6:37 AM

I have started in the last month or so making double batches of meals for the days I am too busy or can’t be bothered cooking. Only hassle is we do not have a microwave so I can not afford to forget. Otherwise I have started to develop recipes that use canned tuna or salmon

Trish October 3, 2011 - 9:47 AM

I will have to check the Coles site out now for some inspiration thanks Katrina.

Tara @ Mum-ments October 3, 2011 - 10:47 AM

ahhhh good Ol Curtis hehe It helps working for coles that I can grab his recipes whenever i have a shift and they are so easy!

I budget and meal plan just like you do it works fabulous for us

Dan Gar on Facebook October 3, 2011 - 2:45 PM

I cook at least a double batch of most dinners and then freeze the excess in a foil bbq oven tray, then you just pull them out of the freezer and straight into the oven for a quick and easy meal!

Jodie - Muddled Up Mumma October 3, 2011 - 3:04 PM

I am up for any excuse to see pics of Curtis Stone… oh and the recipes are pretty good too! Am definitely going to give those pastries a go.

Kirsty @mummytofive October 3, 2011 - 7:59 PM

Ooh they look so yummy!! I love the Coles website!

Nikki's Kitchen Tools & Treats on Facebook October 4, 2011 - 5:46 PM

ooh yum as always… and beautiful children by the way Katrina!!

busymum October 9, 2011 - 2:37 PM

love your ideas. I’m a shiftworker so always freeze leftovers so hubby can just take out the freezer for his dinner (he also works shifts). Prepare for the week of school by making cakes or pikelets and freezing individual portions, that way kids have yummy snacks for school and I know whats in them. A homemade batch of pikelets cost next to nothing to make and is made with love 🙂

Adalita October 9, 2011 - 3:10 PM

I make my own pasta sauce with homebrand tinned tomatoes, and puree, I then add vegetables and whatever meat I want to the sauce. It is even cheaper with the homebrand or coles pasta.

Monique September 9, 2012 - 10:02 PM

Thabks for the great tips! I’ll definitely be putting them into action 🙂 thanks 🙂


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