12 December 2015

Cath's Meal Plan 13/12 - 19/12 2015

It's been a busy last couple of weeks here and I haven't posted my meal plan, but I did have one. It's on the fridge and for the most part I've stuck to it.

I did swap Wednesday's planned enchiladas for butter chicken and rice with freshly made naan and it was delicious. I've moved the enchiladas into January, the ingredients are in the pantry and they don't go off.

Another thing that is affecting my meal plan is the price of mince. Wowsers but it has gone up 100% in the last three months and that means it is out of my budget. Mince!  I was at Tasman last Monday and grudgingly bought one tray, and grumbled about it all the way home. I'll keep an eye out for a sale that brings it down closer to my price range and then stock up. There is money in the meat fund and some in the slush fund that will cover at least 30 kilos if I can get it under $5 a kilo and I can stretch that to cover mince based meals for a year, $4 a kilo would be even better.

With mince being so expensive I'll adapt the recipe for Mexican Meatballs to include some rolled oats and cut back on the mince. They'll taste the same but I'll be able to use 250g of mince instead of the 500g in my recipe.  I can then use that 250g of mince with some grated veggies and cooked rice to make the muffin meatloaves on Wednesday and I'll get two meals from 500g of mince and they'll both come in under budget at around $2 per meal for the meat component ($8/kg for mince).

Our roast beef on Sunday is from a freezer meal. Remember I explained a while back how I cook once, eat twice with roast beef and lamb? This week I just need to take the container of roast beef in gravy from the freezer, thaw and then heat it. I'll do the vegetables in the electric frypan rather than turn on the oven and our roast will be ready in about 40 minutes.  And this type of roast is just perfect for summer, no need to heat up the kitchen with the oven.

This week we will be eating:

Sunday: Roast Beef, baked potatoes, sweet potato, cauliflower, zucchini, beans and gravy

Monday: Mexican meatballs, savoury rice

Tuesday: Chicken and mushroom pies, steamed vegetables

Wednesday: Muffin meatloaves, steamed potato, beans, carrot, zucchini

Thursday: MOO Pizza

Friday: Curried tuna slice, salads

Saturday: Honey soy chicken wings, fried rice


  1. I read your blog all the time Cath, and am always pleased to find new ways to save our hard earned money! A question about mince - do you find cheaper mince has a higher fat content? My experience has been that it seemed gr easier, but I don't know if it was just the mince I bought at the time, or if it's always like it. And I'd love to know how to extend the mince with rolled oats - so much healthier, as well as stretching the budget!

    1. Not so much fat but water Lee - if you brown it you'll often find that it leaches a lot of water. I like the Tasman mince because even the cheapest mince doesn't have a lot of fat or water when I brown it. I always rinse mince under boiling water - just dump it into a colander and pour a jug of boiling water over it and let it drain.

      I've used rolled oats (not quick oats) to stretch mince since before I was married. I add cup for cup so 2 cups mince to 2 cups oats. Make sure it's thoroughly mixed and let it sit for a few minutes for the oats to soften, then mix again. The oats will have softened enough to break down and mix into the meat so they're almost indistinguishable. You may need to add an extra egg or a little stock if the oats are still dry. Makes great meatballs, rissoles, meat loaves, hamburgers and so on.

    2. Thanks Cath, I will definitely be using the rolled oats to stretch our mince :) As I said, so much healthier, not having as much meat. DH loves his meat, but really needs to cut back for health reasons, so this is perfect.
      Thanks for the advice too, about the boiling water over the mince. I'll be doing it in future!

  2. Cath i had to buy mince the other day from Aldi's as i was completely out and couldnt believe the price, almost like buying steak now. I'll definitely be shopping around from now on xo

    1. Karen we were gasping for lasagne, spag bol and rissoles. I just had to give in and buy some mince and I was muttering about the price under my breath from when I picked it up to when I put it in the freezer at home. We don't eat a lot of other cuts, rarely have steak or chops, I like to do one beef roast a month when I can get them for $6.99 - and if I get any at that price I'll be getting the butcher to mince some for me. We like mince because it can be used in so many ways. And when you can get steak for $8.99 it's almost tempting to just switch cuts.

  3. Hi Cath,
    I love your blog and your books, they have changed the way I do so many things. My 2016 present to myself is going to be a Cheapskates membership!
    I'm just interested in your butter chicken recipe. Do you use a simmer sauce or make it from scratch? I have tried a simmer sauce recently (on half price sale of course) but it was not very nice and I'd like to give a from scratch recipe a go.
    Re mince: the absolute cheapest I have seen it in months was $5.99 a kg. I've even started to contemplate kangaroo mince as it is usually less than $5 a kilo. Apparently it is quite tasty. I just have to get past the psychological barrier of eating Skippy!
    Have a lovely Christmas,

    1. Hello Peach, thank you :) I'll be looking forward to meeting you in the Member's Centre (just wait a week or so, I'll be having a sale to launch the new website ;).

      I make my butter chicken from scratch. I have two recipes: one for when I'm in the mood for cooking and one for when I want butter chicken in a hurry. They're both good and both in the recipe file.

      The one we had this week was the lazy version of butter chicken and I guarantee homemade is so much nicer than anything out of a jar, and quick and easy too. I'll post the recipe here for you, give it a try, I'm sure you'll love it.

      I just can't come at kangaroo anything but can't say I'd feel the same if I was starving but I'm just not hungry enough to eat it right now.

      A week to Christmas Eve, I can't wait!


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