In this post I share how I planned and prepared meals and food for a week for a family of 6 (consisting of myself, my husband and our four children).
So, here’s everything I did in a day (and a bit of the next day) to prepare meals and food for the family for a week.
- I planned the main meals for every day for a week (breakfast, lunch and dinner) using a wonderful weekly organiser. Breakfast was very easy to plan for, as Aqil (the hubby) and I currently have smoothies for breakfast, and the kids usually have cereal on the weekdays. Lunch is also pretty easy to plan for, as I just have to think about sandwich fillings for the kids during the week, and the weekend is perfect for pizza muffins and toasties for lunch. Dinner time is what I actually had to rack my brains for, and I attempted to include a variety of curries and other meals. Below is the actual, real, no-lie, plan of meals for a week:
- I then wrote a list of ingredients required for every meal, and from this list, I compiled a shopping list, which also included general groceries and stuff for the kids’ lunchboxes.
- I did my weekly grocery shop at Aldi and Asda, spending approx. £45 at Aldi and £35 at Asda, totalling less than £80. I did have a few groceries at home so did not do a complete weekly grocery shop, but it would have cost no more than an extra £10 if I did. The reason I shopped at two different supermarkets was because I wanted to do the bulk of my shopping at Aldi as it is much cheaper, however there are some groceries that I couldn’t purchase at Aldi, for example, halal meat.
- Once I had done my shop and put everything in it’s rightful place, I peeled and chopped like there was no tomorrow.
- For three curries and a biryani, I sliced 8 onions, chopped 16 tomatoes, and quartered 1.5kg of potatoes.
- I fried the onions in 1 cup of oil until soft and brown. Yes I know 1 cup of oil is A LOT, but don’t forget it’s for 4 dishes, so a quarter cup of oil for each dish, which is still slightly too much come to think of it! Haha.
- At this point, I soaked 2kg of rice in cold water to remove starch. The rice was for the biryani, and for the curries throughout the week, to be kept in the freezer until required.
- For the lamb & potato curry and the chicken curry, I used the same base of spices and salt. I used 1 tablespoon of garlic and ginger paste, half a tablespoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of ground cumin, 1 teaspoon of coriander powder, 1 teaspoon of garam masala, 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder, half a teaspoon of red chilli powder.
- I prepared the two curries simultaneously, splitting the fried onions equally between four meals. I used approximately 500g of chicken and lamb. As well as the onions, spices and salt, I added 4 chopped tomatoes (from the 16 I already chopped) and half a cup of low fat natural yoghurt. I added some of the potatoes to the lamb curry.
- I then prepared the chicken biryani, using just under 1kg of chicken. I used a biryani mix in a packet (I normally use the Laziza brand), and the only additional ingredients were 1 tablespoon of garlic and ginger paste and 1 cup of low fat natural yoghurt. I also added some potatoes and tomatoes. I used 750g of basmati rice (from the rice I had soaked in water earlier). I combined the rice and chicken for the biryani and popped this in the fridge to be consumed the next day.
- Next, I prepared the mince meat for kebabs and the kofta curry. I used ~800g lamb mince, and I added the following ingredients: 1 grated onion, 1 grated tomato, 2 eggs, chopped coriander, 1/2 to 1 cup gram flour, 1 tablespoon garlic and ginger paste, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 teaspoon red chilli flakes and juice from 1 lemon. I mixed everything together, then used half the mix for kebabs and half for the koftas. I part-baked the kebabs, enough to be able to freeze them without them breaking, and fully baked the koftas.
- I prepared the kofta curry using the fried onions, 4 chopped tomatoes, some potatoes, 1 teaspoon of garlic and ginger paste, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of garam masala and half a teaspoon of red chilli powder. Once the koftas were baked and the potatoes were soft, I combined the koftas with the curry.
- Next, I prepared the fish and potato pie. I used ~500g of frozen broccoli, carrots and cauliflower, 500g frozen white fish fillet, 500g potatoes (unpeeled, sliced), 150ml double cream, 150ml passata, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon basil and 1 teaspoon ground black pepper, and topped with grated cheese.
- I had prepared the meals for the week in one day, and I popped everything in the freezer except the chicken biryani which was to be consumed the next day.
- The following day, I prepared tuna and chicken sandwich fillings for the kids’ lunchboxes for the week.
- I prepared a tuna, sweetcorn and mayo filling using 4 tins of tuna, and used 2 tins of tuna for a tuna, cucumber, cheese and mayo filling.
- For the chicken, sweetcorn and mayo filling, I used ~300g of chicken strips. I cooked the strips in 1 tablespoon of oil, half a teaspoon of salt, half a teaspoon of red chilli powder and 1 teaspoon of garlic and ginger paste.
- I put the fillings in the fridge for use throughout the week.
Although it is a lot of work to plan and prepare a week’s worth of meals for a large family, it is definitely worth it and so much easier than thinking about what to cook daily. If you’re scared at the thought of preparing meals for a week, start off by preparing meals for two days, so that you only have to cook every other day.
I hope you found this useful, and all the best with your meal planning/prepping 😀