Well, we have done the first week of following Thrifty Lesley’s meal plans and recipes in order to slash our grocery costs. We started with the Week One meal planner:
Day 1 – All good. Loved all the food. Skipped the lunch because we had some various leftovers from the weekend and last night’s dinner. Dinner was the chickpea crumble, which was amazing, but the portion was so large, I actually thought Lesley has made a mistake on measurements with this one. My plate was almost overflowing with food. I think a whole tin of chickpeas is probably too much. Anyway it was delicious, and I didn’t need supper and woke up the next morning not feeling starving.
Day 2 – Nice, easy, quick breakfast. For lunch we did the Lentil soup and added a few seasonings, herbs, spices, etc. to it. The portion size this time seemed way too small. I was feeling very hungry within a couple of hours, so I made the scones from the ‘cakey extras’ recipes. I changed them slightly to swap 50g of the flour for some ground flaxseed and nut mixture just for a more healthy nutritional balance. I also had lots of random dates to use up, so I swapped half the raisins (I only had sultanas anyway) for chopped up dates. The scones are amazing, really easy, and quick to make. I ate one with a thin layer of tesco hard goat’s cheese that I had left over, just to limit the sweetness of the scone a little.
Day 3 – all went fine
Day 4 – all went fine
Day 5 – only did the breakfast, as we are off to visit family for a couple of days. So far, so good on the meal plans. They seem pretty good overall, and I am not craving any food that I would normally be eating. The only thing that I would probably have to change is the ratio of protein:fat:carbs as the protein is usually very low in the meal plans, at only around 9-10%. I also would prefer to get more calories from good fats (butter, olive oil, goose, duck, beef dripping, etc.) and reduce the carb basis a bit – fat is a lot easier for the body to burn than carbs and is better for the skin and digestion.
Day 6 & 7 – we did these when we got back from visiting family. We had to change a few things around a bit, but still used the ingredients we had bought for the Thrifty Lesley meal plans. The sweetcorn fritters were really good – and I don’t even like sweetcorn! We skipped the wedges and made kale chips and peas to go with it instead.
Conclusion – Thrifty Lesley Meal Plan Week 1
The first week of our self-imposed ‘how to cut your grocery bill in half’ challenge seemed to go pretty well overall. Just the occasional thing that didn’t seem quite right with the portion sizes (one was way too small, one too big), but they were easily remedied. I really think this is a great meal plan to save money with, without compromising on taste. The good thing about it is that Lesley constantly mentions ways to tweak things and encourages you to add whatever other fruit or veg you’ve got to hand, or helpful alternatives and alterations to the meals.
We spent under £25 on food, and have loads of stuff left over – all non-perishable. This is a huge win! We would usually spend £40+ depending on how many visitors we have (we usually have a lot of people over for lunch/dinner on any given week). So, a saving of £15+ since we have food going forwards to future weeks.
We are just about to start week 2, as we were away again for a while at the York FI/PF Bloggers Gathering and seeing family again. Fingers crossed, the second week will be as good as the first!