A full WEEK OF FOOD on a BUDGET (part 1)

(Approx. reading time 2 mins 8 secs)

This shopping list is an example of how my shopping list works in real life. I bought all these things on a Monday and used it to feed my family of 4. All the food was made exclusively with those ingredients and nothing else.

This time around I went to my local Aldi, and buying enough for 4 people (including breakfast items that I don’t use for meals) and the basics was all under £50. My husband and I eat all meals at home, my children eat all meals except for weekday lunch (one has school meals, the other one takes a simple packed lunch usually made out savoury muffins, veggies, and fruit).

I chose this week to show how the shopping list works because I had just emptied the kitchen for a cleanup. The only foods I had were the mayo, the red lentils, and the seeds (which I incorporated into the list) and oil from the 10 basics list.

On this post I’ll share what we had for snacks and puddings, and the things we ended up not using, and on the next one, I’ll share all the recipes (with pretty bad photos!)

Shopping list

  • 10 basics
  • Fruits
    • Mango
    • Orange
    • Strawberries
    • Mixed frozen berries
  • Vegetables
    • Mixed greens (watercress, baby spinach, rocket)
    • Corn (frozen)
    • Green cabbage
    • Carrots
    • Salad tomatoes
    • Frozen broccoli
    • Mushrooms
    • Cucumber
  • Proteins
    • Red lentils
    • Canned tuna
    • Basa fillets
    • Beef mince
  • Starches
    • Potatoes
    • Rice
    • Egg noodles
    • Wraps (herbed)
  • Herbs and spices
    • Ginger (fresh)
    • Garlic (fresh)
    • Green onions (fresh)
    • Basil (fresh)
  • Acid
    • Balsamic vinegar
    • Pickles
  • Heat
    • Wholegrain mustard
    • Sweet chili sauce
  • Umami
    • Miso
    • BBQ sauce
  • Salty
    • Anchovies
    • Olives
  • Creamy
    • Mayonnaise
    • Mild cheddar cheese
  • Crunchy
    • Sesame seeds
    • Flaxseeds

I had no plans whatsoever on what I would be cooking. We came up with the ingredients based on the few things I had left and what everyone fancied while at the supermarket and what was on sale.

Snacks and puddings

  • All the fruits: sometimes I will bake with fruit, but most often than not we eat them as fresh fruit. I keep a very large fruit bowl in the kitchen that everyone has access to throughout the day.
  • Some vegetables: carrots, tomatoes and cucumbers are a regular snack for my children and myself. Instead of having crisps or biscuits while we watch telly, we often grab one of these 3.

I used, but didn’t cook

  • Broccoli: I just cooked it in the microwave for a few minutes and add some salt. We kept it simple.
  • Cabbage: I used half as slaw, the other half was boiled. My daughter and I absolutely love boiled cabbage!
  • Pickles and olives: used as sides mostly.

Things I didn’t use

  • Red lentils: I only used them once. I’ve had them for a while and I’ve been trying to find uses for them. I was planning on making a dip, but just didn’t get around to it!
  • Mustard: somehow I didn’t use it a lot, even though I love it. But it did work really well in a cottage pie I made!
  • Miso: another mystery. Usually, we use it a lot and it should’ve been a given with the noodles and greens. Yet, somehow, I just didn’t get around to using it at all.
  • Sweet chilli sauce and mayo: I actually finished both of these! I had only a small amount of each left, and the goal of adding them to the list was to finish them. So, goal accomplished!

Not too bad! And the 3 things I have left will keep for a long time.

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