Meal planning on Live Below the Line makes the difference between regular (if limited meals) and a last day with only rice and bread left. And maybe not the bread.
With just a few pounds to spend, using a whole onion in recipes for the first couple of days means there is nothing left for the last couple.
I crammed a 19p lemon into the budget desperate for flavour in a mass of beige blandness, but had to remember to use it sparingly over 5
meals (juice for 2 days’ of pancakes and a pea & chickpea spread, juice & zest for lemon chicken risotto and the remaining skin chucked into the stock).
In celebration after finding the £1.50 chicken, I splashed out on a £1 pack of butter that made pastry possible. I’d intended to use it for frying food, and spread liberally on Smartprice bread.
Then I did the meal plan, realised I could only afford half a pack, and retrieved the chicken skin and fat from the top of the food recycling caddy to render it down for chicken fat to cook with. Not a good moment.
So, after tweaks, switches, bonus reduced price purchases and many calculations, this is the meal plan for my husband and I for Live Below the Line 2014:
Pancakes with lemon and banana
Cheese sandwiches with carrot sticks
Chickpea, potato and tomato curry with rice
Boiled egg with a piece of toast
Egg fried rice with mixed vegetables
Grilled herby chicken drumsticks with Yorkshire puddings, peas and carrots
Home-made bread and jam
Chicken sandwiches with pea & chickpea spread
Lemon chicken risotto with peas
Porridge with banana
Frittata of onion, peas and potatoes with bread and grated carrot
Cheese and tomato pizza
Leftover lunch: soup, bit of chickpea curry & rice or egg sandwich
Celebratory chicken & sweetcorn pie with green beans
Chicken stock with Scotch broth mix
Curried carrot and tomato soup.
Slice of bread each day, to accompany the soup or eat with jam.
The snacks should stave off the mid-afternoon slump if needed, and help stop me hovering up the children’s leftovers.
Half a fishfinger has never looked so appetising as when I’m doing Live Below the Line.
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