The Meal Plans

Weekly meal planning

This government report says that average spend per person per week on food and drink eaten at home was £24.92 in 2011, or £3.56 per day. This is £1299 a year per person. Spend £1 a day and it is £365 a year per person, a saving of £934.40 per person per year.

This means that a family of four would save £3738pa. This kind of figure would make a significant difference to sorting out any debts, or it could pay for a decent family holiday or maybe a significant dent in a deposit for a house, or it could buy a decent car…. Or what else? What could you do with nearly £4,000? And don’t forget, this is without earning or saving a single penny extra!

The meal plans for 2 people have enough calories for 2 adults, 2000 and 2500 per day. There are three meals per day, plus some cakey extras to fill hungry moments, and just because cake is lovely to have. It is disproportionately important to have something nice to eat if you are skint. If you don’t need that many calories, I’m sure you are used to the amounts that you need and can adjust things accordingly. Many things will freeze, so you could make the 2 portions but split into, say, 3, and freeze the extra for another day. I’ll leave that part of things to you, only you know what you need.

All the plans are within current Govt. guidelines for healthy eating and most contain significantly more than 5 a day. If there are 4 of you, buy 2 lots of everything on the 2 person plans. If there is 1 of you, spread each day over 2 days, and if you have one, make use of your freezer for the fresh stuff. Each meal plan is completely self contained, they provide everything you need for a week, excluding tea/coffee. I don’t assume you have anything at all in your cupboards, except salt and pepper. Recipes usually include many suggestions for additions and variations, so if you have a larder, you can ring the changes.

If you already have some of the items in your larder, oil and sugar perhaps, can I suggest that you use the money that would have been spent on those things to buy a spice e.g. cumin, turmeric or ground coriander, or a piece of fresh ginger (which can be grated and frozen) or a jar of ginger and garlic, or perhaps a pot of growing herbs; basil, coriander, mint or thyme; or a bottle of lemon or lime juice, which keeps for ages. With things like that in your larder, the options for flavouring your food are that much greater. I offer some variations in each recipe that you might like to try if you have the ingredient(s) available. Don’t forget to check out the price per 100g, those little jars of spices are the most expensive options.

You can, of course, change the meals around to suit yourself, combine the shopping list of ingredients in any other way that suits you, add extra ingredients that you may have, just use one of the recipes, leave out anything you don’t like or need or change anything else that you see fit.

If you do use anything from here, I would love it if you let me know how you get on.

If you shop at the price point given, of course, it doesn’t matter where you get it. I give as much detail as I can, to enable you to get as much value as you can while doing your shopping. If you don’t have an Asda near you, or whichever shop I use for the particular plan, the budget supermarkets all offer good value. Look at the value ranges of the big supermarkets, or try Costco, Morrisons, Lidl or Aldi. Markets are a great source of cheap groceries, always worth a look.


Meal Plans – 7 days for 2 people 

Meal Plan 1, based on red lentils, chick peas and bacon

Meal Plan 2, based on soft cheese, red lentils and couscous

Meal Plan 3, based on chorizo, chick peas and dried mash

Meal Plan 4, based on butter beans, oats and parsnips

Meal Plan 7, based on minced beef, bacon, red lentils

Meal Plan 8, based on chicken, peanut butter, coconut

Meal Plan 9, based on  tuna, ham and cheese

The No Power Meal Plan, based on tuna, beans, peanut butter. This plan is for 2 adults with no access to power for cooking, refrigeration or heating of water at all

Meal Plan 10, based on sausages, sardines and soft cheese

Meal Plan 11, based on a whole chicken, bacon and lots of vegetables

Meal Plans – 7 days for 4 people

Meal Plan 12, based a whole chicken, bacon, sausage and lots of vegetables

Meal Plan 11, based on chicken, mackerel and cheese

Easter Meal Plan – 7 days for 2 adults & 2 x 7 year olds. £1.27 per day

Easter Meal Plan, based on a leg of lamb

Christmas Meal Plans – around £10 a head for the week

Christmas 2013,  eating during the festive week, around £1.30’ish per person per day. The Meal Plan can also be used at any time throughout December and January

Christmas 2014, based on roast pork, stilton and mince pies. Costs £19.46 at the checkout, £15.70 worth of food used, so £1.12 per person, per day, although you may use the spare food during the week. The Meal Plan can also be used at any time throughout December and January

Christmas 2015, some lovely people at the Guinness Partnership got in touch and I worked with them to write a plan for this year. It came out at £1.38 per person, per day.  The veg were reduced during Christmas week by the supermarkets, so it worked out even cheaper than that! Bargaintastic! Guinness seem to have taken the post down which is a shame, the principle would still work.

Christmas Meal Plan 4. This is more or less the same as the 2015 plan, working out to £1.67 pppd as at November 2018. Again, the veg will probably go down considerably in Christmas week, so will work out even cheaper!

Entertain 6 people to a 3 course lunch for £10 – as featured in The Sun

Vegetarian Christmas Meal Plan.  Eating during the festive week for vegetarians, around £1.55 per person per day.  Can also be used at any time throughout December and January

Valentines Meal Plans 

Can also be used for any celebration occasion.

Valentines Day 2014, Starter, smoked salmon and crispy toast. Mains, a warm salad of asparagus, bacon and egg. Pudding. a chocolate heart with bottled cherries and double cream. £1.84 a head.

Valentines Day 2015 Starter, Raw carrot, apple and cashew soup. Mains, a trio of tapas, patatas bravas, spinach dumplings in tomato sauce,  lemony butter beans with a touch of honey.  Pudding, lemon cheesecake. £1.76 a head.

Vegan Valentine dinner, Starter, Black olive and tomato tapenade tart to start, with a little side salad. Mains, Lentil Nut Loaf with sweet potato chips and mixed veg. And to finish, a self saucing chocolate pudding. The whole meal is £1.35 a head. 

Meal Plans, 7 days for 1 person 

Meal Plan 5, based on Brie, chicken and eggs

Meal Plan 6, based on oats, pepperoni and eggs

Meal Plans, 5 days meals for 1 person for £5

LBLUK 2014, red lentils, bacon, soft cheese

An alternative basket 1, eggs and Brie

Alternative basket 2, pepperoni, wedges, soft cheese

8 days meals for a family of 4 for £28

I came across this blog, where a family of 4 live on £1 a day each for a week. I thought it would be helpful to include it here as the author has included exactly what they bought, and all their meals, day by day.  I don’t have a name to give credit, so if anyone knows who the author is, I’d be glad to add it in.


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