The importance of a meal plan

Before I make my shopping list, I go through all my cupboards, the fridge and the freezer to see what I already have. This is really important as it prevents me wasting money on items that I already have but also allows me to buy new groceries to make meals which include the items that I already have.

How I come up with the meal plan

Tinned tomatoes
1/3 packet Macaroni
Instant mash
Rice crackers
Sweet chili sauce


Mince x 2
Large Chicken breast
Oven chips
Frozen vegetables (peas, corn and carrots)
Frozen capsicum

Lovely homegrown tomatoes given to me by a friend
Some homegrown grapefruits
Homegrown plums
Thousand Island sauce
Ok…. so the first thing that enters my mind is that the mince and tinned tomatoes can be cooked with onions and added to corn chips to make some yummy Nachos. I could make a big batch of tomato/onion/mince and use some for nachos and some for spaghetti bolognaise. I usually stir grated carrots through mince to give it some extra nutrients and I always buy the cheapest mince but boil it first so that fats come to the surface and I can scoop it off.

So I’ll start my shopping list with…

Corn chips
Tomato paste
Sour cream
The chicken and the frozen vegetable can be used to make a hearty chicken and vegetable pasta bake. Might need a bit more pasta though and broccoli will add folate to the dish. My vegetable bakes consist of a simple white sauce stirred through the meat, pasta and vegetables, with tomato and grilled cheese on top.


There are a few staples which are always on my shopping list;

Bread x 3
Shaved ham
Fruit (Bananas, apples, grapes – whatever is in season or on offer)
Muesli bars
Milk x 2

We usually have scotch eggs once a week so I’ll need to get the ingredients for those and I can make a nice macaroni salad to serve it with using the macaroni from the cupboard and the Thousand Island dressing.  I’ll need carrots, kidney beans and onions to mix in with the sausage meat

Sausage meat
Kidney beans

A quick look at the Pak’n’save website revels that ham rump roasts are $1.75/100g. Hopefully I could get a cheap joint of meat to roast and add some veggies to…

Ham rump roast
All those leftover vegetables would make a great stirfry!

Beef schnitzel

Add on a few consumables that I’m running low on…..

Bran flakes
Chicken sausages
And the shopping list is finished!


Here’s the final meal plan for the Frugal Kiwi Mum family!


Breakfast: Marmite toast and grapefruit

Lunch: Banana, grapes, raisins, dried apricots, rice crackers and a yoghurt

Dinner: Scotch eggs (Jack loves helping his Mum make Scotch eggs!) and macaroni salad



Brunch: Bananna Pancakes

Afternoon snack: Rice crackers, yoghurt, grapes

Dinner: Nachos and sour cream with onions and carrots in the mince. If avocados aren’t too expensive, I’ll make some guacamole.



Breakfast: Semolina and homemade plum and ginger jam.

Lunch: The boys get fed at daycare. Mark will have a packed lunch which consists of ham and pickle sammies, muesli bars and yoghurt. I usually just have a cup-a-soup.

Dinner: Spaghetti bolognaise

Breakfast: Semolina and honey.

Lunch: The boys get fed at daycare. Packed lunch for Mark. Cup-a-soup for me.

Dinner: Chicken and vegetable bake (frozen peas, corn and carrots, onions, broccoli and tomatoes)



Breakfast: Semolina and honey.

Lunch: scrambled eggs on toast for me and the boys followed by yoghurt also.  Packed lunch for Mark.

Afternoon snack: Homemade ice blocks and some dates

Dinner: Sausages, beans, mash, frozen vegetables and a fried egg.



Breakfast: Semolina and honey.

Lunch: The boys get fed at daycare. Mark will have a packed lunch which consists of ham and pickle sammies, muesli bars and yoghurt. I usually just have a cup-a-soup.

Dinner: Chili Beef stir-fry (Schnitzel). I’ll buy bean sprouts and a cabbage to add to onions and garlic for the vegetable. Leftover cabbage is versatile for use with other meals. I’ll add the chili sauce after the boy’s serves have been taken out.



Breakfast: Bran flakes

Lunch: Mousetraps for the boys. Grapes and a banana too. I often buy ½ rotisserie chicken for Mark on a Friday and drop it into him at work.

Dinner: Roast Ham rump, roast potatoes, frozen vegetables and sautéed cabbage with raisins.


You can read more about healthy meal planning here.

Munch contributor, Frugal Kiwi Mum

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