Meal Plan Two

Week Two Meal Planner – soft cheese, red lentils and couscous

how to make soup

Meal planning and using a shopping list are a standard way of saving money on groceries. It’s simply astonishing how much we spend on impulse purchases without a list – the supermarkets are super skilled at making that happen!

It’s estimated that the average household throws away around a third of their weekly shop, so simply using up as much as you can will save you significant amounts of cash.

Meal Plan 2

As at the time of the latest re-price in July 2021 – you will need £17.46 in your purse at the checkout, but the amount of food actually eaten comes to £14.30. So a positively miserly 89p per person, per day, over the 8 days of the plan, including the extra, 8th, day.

First written in September 2013, re-priced annually since then. I’m so  pleased this meal plan is still pricing up at £1 a day in July 2021 – 8 years old, and still going strong!

The Shopping List

The column headed ‘left at the end of the week’ is what you can expect to have left in the cupboard. You can carry that over to next week, or use it for snacks etc, as you wish.

Priced using July 2021 you will need left at the end of the week, 8 days Jul-21
value wholemeal loaf   4 slices £0.58
35g cinnamon or mixed spice a few tsps a lot of it, depending on how liberal you are with it, 35p £0.59
a bulb of garlic     £0.39
1kg smartprice carrots     £0.43
500g raisins     £1.59
a head of broccoli, not frozen     £0.47
25g pack fresh basil     £0.55
4 lemons   1 lemon, 15p £0.59
200g salted cashews     £0.75
veg oil, 1litre 560ml 50ml, 5p £1.09
310g jar black olives     £0.49
300g value soft cheese (2 pks x 200g)     £1.50
6 wholemeal or white pitta     £0.45
500g red lentils     £1.10
2kg smartprice onions 1.3kg 470g, 33p £1.40
tin tomatoes     £0.39
Asda 92g garam masala a few tsps most of the packet,  80p £0.97
500g couscous     £1.00
1kg frozen peas 300g 570g, 38p £0.66
200g tube tomato puree 140g   £0.35
value self raising flour, 1.5kg     £0.45
granulated sugar, 1kg 230g 720g,  47p £0.65
value pasta, 500g     £0.50
6 x 7g sachets yeast 7g 4 sachets, 35p £0.52
Total £14.30 £3.16 £17.46

You will need to be accurate with your measuring with some ingredients, and can be more free-handed with others.

The Meal Plan

  breakfast lunch dinner
day 1 Cinnamon Toast x 2 Lentil Soup & Croutons, Salted Cashew Couscous,
day 2 Raisin Pancakes Salted Cashew Couscous,  leftovers from last night Pasta with Tomato, Olives and Soft Cheese
day 3 Cinnamon Toast x 2 Broccoli Pesto in Pitta Pancakes filled with Carrots, Onions and Peas in Soft Cheese
day 4 Raisin Pancakes Olives and Soft Cheese in Pitta. Broccoli Pesto Pasta
day 5 Carrot & Raisin Loaf, Lentil Soup & Croutons, Tomato Dahl and Couscous
day 6 Carrot & Raisin Loaf, Tomato Dahl and Couscous, leftovers from last night Broccoli Pesto Pasta
day 7 Broccoli pesto on toast Carrot, Lemon and Soft Cheese in Pitta Olive Drop Scones, Crispy Fried Onions, Carrot Ribbons and Raisin Salad
day 8 Toast & Carrot Jam or    Plain Pancakes & Carrot Jam  Couscous Salad (recipe coming) Cream Cheese Pizza
  Cakes & Bakes

Spiced Raisin Biscuits

Spiced Fruit Scones
Pancakes with Lemon, Sugar & Spice

Also make Caramelised Onions and Carrot Jam (recipe coming) to use through the week as desired. Keeping some for day 8, if using

Possible Swaps

  • If you can’t get cinnamon, mixed spice can be used instead
  • Instead of lemon and sugar on the pancakes, make a cinnamon/mixed spice or garam masala syrup to drizzle over, or just sprinkle on a little spice along with the sugar
  • The garam masala is only used in the Tomato Dahl, so if you have any other spices in, you could use those. GM is a versatile spice and can be used in many different things. Or buy a pot of curry powder to use in the dhal.
  • If you prefer rice to couscous, swap it out in the recipes that use it. Use brown rice for the fibre if you can
  • Sultanas are cheaper than raisins, or you might like to use mixed dried fruit
  • Any nuts can be used in place of the salted cashews. If they are raw, they will taste better if given a light toasting under the grill or in the oven for a few minutes. Keep an eye on them, they burn in a moment
  • Green olives can replace the black ones, although I  think black olives work best in the sandwich
  • Any shape pasta can be used, including spaghetti or wholemeal which will provide a bit more fibre
  • Try and get a 100g pot of yeast if you can find it. The sachets are poor value, but I’ve noticed most supermarkets are only stocking the sachets now.
  • The wholemeal loaf provides a useful amount of fibre, but if you prefer white, buy a white loaf.

Prep for the week

  • Bake the carrot and raisin loaf in advance and freeze, portioned.
  • Make the carrot jam for use on day 8, and use with the carrot & raisin loaf and scones as well if you like
  • Make the broccoli pesto in 1 batch and divide into 10 portions to be used in various recipes through the week. The small pots that come with raita in with an Indian takeaway are good for this. Or weigh the batch, divide the amount by 10 (make a note of the number) and use that much each time
  • Make the croutons and store in an airtight container.
  • Make the lentil soup and store in the fridge until required
  • Tomato dahl can be made and stored in the fridge
  • Bake the biscuits and scones at the beginning of the week to be used as and when needed. The biscuits will be fine in an airtight container, the scones will need to be frozen as they stale quickly
  • Make the caramelised onions to be used as and when during the week

What recipes will freeze?

Not many recipes freeze successfully this week

  • Carrot and raisin loaf, especially useful if portioned first
  • Lentil soup, but not the croutons
  • Broccoli pesto
  • Tomato dahl
  • Scones are always best frozen on the day of baking as they stale quickly
  • Don’t freeze the pancakes, or make them much in advance, as without egg in them, they go flabby if left. Really good cooked and eaten straight away


Day 1
Breakfast If you have bought Mixed Spice, use that here.
Lunch Use 2 slices of bread to make the croutons
Dinner I would add the nuts at the last minute to the couscous next time I made this as they went rather soft left overnight, and you may like to toast them first

Day 3
Lunch. Use salted cashews instead of the hazelnuts in the recipe. Use the Pesto recipe in 1 pitta each, 1 of the 10 portions each.

Day 4
Lunch. Use 40g soft cheese and 50g olives per pitta, finely chop half a garlic clove, if liked, or use a smear of paste

Dinner. Use a portion of the pesto each, with 80g pasta each

Day 5
Lunch. use 2 slices of bread to make the croutons
Dinner.  Use 100g couscous in place of the rice, or if you have any in, and you prefer, use rice. Make a double batch and use half at lunch time tomorrow

Day 6.
Dinner. Use a portion of the pesto each, with 80g pasta each

Day 7
Breakfast. Broccoli Pesto on 2 slices toast each. Use some of the pesto you made previously, 1 of the 10 portions each

Day 8
There should be 8 slices of bread at this point, toast 2 slices each and spread with carrot jam
Make raisin pancakes, but use the remaining 45g raisins as that is all there is left at this point. Serve with carrot jam


Weekly Meal Plan 2