Meat-Free Week On A Budget

Meat-Free Week On A Budget

Here we will document our meat-free week on a budget.

We eat a lot of meat. Our weekly meals always consist of meat.

And we normally build our meals around which type of meat we want to use. I’m sure a lot of people do this? But can we go meat-free for a week on a budget?

We do usually eat quite healthy meals, but after eating a lot over Christmas, and noticing that we do always use the same type of meat on a weekly basis. We have come to the decision that we will try a Meat-Free week.

 

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The main reason is to consume a lot more fruit and vegetables, as I think both me and Clair aren’t consuming enough. And it will allow me to be a bit more creative with our meals for the week.

However, when I do the weekly shop I do try and cut the costs down and keep it in the budget.

Recently I have been concerned about what we are putting into our bodies. Normally it wasn’t an issue as we all live very active lives.

With all of the sports and our activities we all do, I always presumed that we “burn off what we take in”.

But learning more about our health and what we consumed, I thought it would be a good idea for us to try.

Meat-Free For A Week On A Budget

But then it comes back to, can I keep it in our budget?

So I had a look and think of what meals I could make. I absolutely dislike repetitive meals.

I like to keep it fresh and exciting for all of us.

Being quite a big family, with growing kids it’s important for me to keep to a budget.

So I went to our local supermarket and brought all the ingredients I needed for our lunches and dinners.

With the idea to use more vegetables and to please the kids.

Lunches

I like to keep the kids packed lunches interesting and change them around daily.

We used to give them the same thing every day. Which they ended up getting bored of, and even stopped eating it all.

I don’t like the thought of them not eating all of their lunch. Mainly down to them being hungry, but also food waste. I hate food waste!

This week they will be having (not all on the same day!)

  • Monday – Quorn southern fried pieces, lettuce & Cucumber Wraps

I quite regularly give the kids wraps in their lunches. I saw Quorn’s Southern Fried Pieces and “

  • Tuesday – Pizza Roll-Ups

Our kids quite like pizza. So I made up these Pizza Roll-ups. These were quite easy to make and fitted in their lunch boxes.

The kids had tomato, mozzarella and cheddar cheese. We added red onion and mushrooms to ours. 

  • Wednesday – Cheese & Tomato Pasta

Which kid doesn’t love pasta!? Ours do. When we spoke to the kids about going meat-free for a week, one of the things they wanted in their lunches was pasta.

  • Thursday – Cheese Salad Wraps

They love wraps in their lunch. Some grated cheddar cheese, lettuce, sliced cherry tomatoes and cucumber should do the trick! 

  • Friday – Left Over Vegetarian Sausages Wrap

The boys finish school early on Fridays so they don’t take a full lunch as they have this at home. They take a snack. Ivy will have this in her lunch. They normally love sausages so I really do hope they like these!

They will also have hummus with carrot sticks, 2 pieces of fruit, and a rice cake bar.

The boys will have slightly larger portions as they are older.

Dinners

As I have said before I like to keep doing different meals, as I get bored very easily.

When I was growing up we used to have meals that we used to have every week!

I didn’t like the repetitiveness. But with working parents and busy schedules, I now know how hard it can be to come up with different meals.

As you will probably notice all of the recipes I will link to come from BBC Good Food. I find when I need to use a recipe, this site is my go-to. So I thought I would use this site to see how the Meat-Free recipes match up with their other recipes.

What Am I Going To Make?

  • Monday – Rice & Bean Enchiladas With a side salad. Normally our kids love enchiladas, with a cheesy tomato topping. So removing the meat shouldn’t change their opinions. 

Here is the recipe I used from BBC Good Food.

This is a recipe for 2 servings, but I adapted it for 6 by adding more wraps and making more filling.

And I added some red onion and red kidney beans. This went down well, but if I was to make again I would try and include some more vegetables, as I feel it was just removing meat from the meal and not creating something that is unique and healthy.

  • Tuesday – Vegetarian Chilli. A Chilli Con Carne goes down very well at home. So when I came across this recipe that involves a lot of vegetables and beans, I thought I will give it a go.

I will use this recipe from BBC Good Food. 

  • Wednesday – Slow Cooker Vegetable Curry. Curry also goes down very well in our house. Even tho Ivy states her hate of chicken curry. But she does end up eating it!

I will use this recipe from BBC Good Food

  • Thursday – Vegetarian Sausage & Mash. Thursdays are one of our busiest days for us. So I always try and do a simple dinner if I can’t prepare it the night before. We haven’t had Vegetarian sausages before, so it is a great time for us to try them.

 

  • Friday – Spicy Spaghetti with Garlic Mushrooms. Pasta is well-loved by my kids. And Spaghetti more so, I would normally make a Carbonara with mushrooms and bacon. So with this recipe, I would use lots of celery, mushrooms, tomatoes and onion. And this is going to be a bit of a nightmare for Jayden who hates mushrooms & onions!

I will use this recipe from BBC Good Food

 

After School Snack

As our family lives a hectic life, and the boys don’t eat their meals till late. They normally snack on crisps and biscuits and have a sandwich before training.

And this week there will be more fruit that they love, Blueberries, strawberries, bananas and some mangos. 

Also Carrots and hummus, toasted pitta bread with melted cheese and tomato, poached egg on a toasted muffin.

Normally if there are any leftovers from the night before or from lunches, they pick at them, or if they really liked them, then they would argue about who will eat it!

 

The boys are at that age where if they are hungry they will just go and get something to eat. This is easier for me, as I don’t have to really prepare much for snacks etc. If they find something they like in the fridge, it won’t be in there for long.

 

Expected Outcome

As I said before, I wanted to do this to encourage us all to eat a little bit differently and to try and make our meals a lot more colourful.

And to try and make some changes in what we are putting into our bodies.

Also to educate our kids about food and what they put into their bodies.

If by going meat-free for a week helps and changes our eating habits then it would be worth it.

 

Are you meat-free? Are you making adaptions to your weekly meals on a budget? If so please let us know, we love hearing your stories.

 

 

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