My wife Valerie is a legend. Yes, I know we’re meant to say that but this time it’s true.

A few months ago she started sharing her shopping and eating plans on Facebook so that other people could see how cheaply and healthy we were able to eat.

We don’t tend to eat out and we avoid Fast Food as much as possible both for the expense and health factors. Fast food is actually not the cheaper alternative we have in our minds any more.

Also the danger of just buying a bunch of food you like is that you are likely to eat more expensively and also possibly have food that goes to waste.

So planning a menu in advance has really helped us to do both of those things really well. I have written before about how we have chosen to do one week with meat and then one week meat free so this fits well into that. Here is an example of her latest one:

Here’s this week’s edition of the weekly meal menu. Despite it being a veg week, the total ran higher than I would have liked BUT I finally included a veg lasagne I’ve been wanting to try, and I have a suspicion it’s going to go far. This week’s total: R394

Sunday: Sweet potato falafel bowl
(sweet potato, chickpeas, lemon, quinoa, spinach, avo, seeds, carrots)

Monday: Curried butternut and broccoli couscous
(couscous, butternut, broccoli, feta, mixed seeds, spices)

Tuesday: Fry’s creamy ‘chicken’ and mushroom pies with salad
(Fry’s pies, mixed salad leaves, baby tomatoes, feta, corn)

Wednesday: Black bean bunless burgers and corn
(black beans, corn, spring onion, breadcrumbs, baby tomatoes, spinach, mozzarella, onions)

Thursday: Veg lasagne
(lasagna, aubergine, baby marrows, tinned tomato, red onions, mushrooms, white sauce, mozzarella, garlic, spices)

Lunches ~ Each of these meals are enough for two for dinner and lunch the next day.

Breakfast ~ spinach and egg stuffed Portobello mushrooms; oats; yogurt and honey

Snacks ~ Apples, naartjies, banana bread

Plan Ahead

One of the big factors is being intentional in advance. So what Val tends to do on the weekend is plan the week ahead’s menu and then go shopping for it so that we are ready as we hit the new week.

This is obviously just an example to give you an idea of how possible it is. Change up things you don’t like as much with things you do. Try to come up with a balanced menu across the week (as opposed to planning individual meals – it will make eating more fun as well) and experiment with some new dishes you have never tried before.

What are some of the things you do to help keep costs down in the kitchen? Do you have any special go to meals you’d be willing to share with us? Give us some love in the comments below.

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