Table of Contents Hide
A MUM-OF-THREE has revealed her top meal prepping hacks – which could save you time and money.
Harriet Shearsmith, 32, an author and content creator, makes interesting meals for just 80p per serve and has shared her tips with us.
Author Harriet Shearsmith manages to feed her family for just 80p per servingCredit: Harriet Shearsmith
The mum, who lives in Malton, North Yorks, with her husband Alan, 36, and kids Reuben, 10, Tobias, eight, and Edith, six, cooks many of her means in a pressure cooker – which she saves saves her 30 to 45 minutes every day.
Everything from curries, stews, soups, rice and pasta dishes are given the pressure cooker treatment.
Among her favourite recipes are a £6 chicken casserole (£1.20 per person), mac n cheese costing £4 (80p per person), or a pasta dish costing £6.
Harriet shares her tips with Fabulous…
Harriet advises you look at the week ahead and work out exactly who is going to be at home and what time frame you haveCredit: Harriet Shearsmith
I never thought that I would be a meal planning mum, always one to wing it and decide on the spot, work out what we fancy and just do it.
Then my kids got old enough to go to school, join a million and one after school clubs and turn into hungry monsters when they set foot out of the school gates bellowing “What’s for dinner?!”
As soon as they laid eyes on me.
Meal planning has been one of the absolute BEST things I’ve done for my sanity as a mum, not only has it saved me a bunch of time and effort but it’s also saved me money, and who doesn’t love that?
Here are my top tips for making meal planning work for you.
1. Think about the who, then when
I look at the week ahead and work out exactly who is going to be at home and what time frame we will have.
That after school football training on a Tuesday means that I need something either in the pressure cooker whilst we’re all out or something snappy and quick like a Chicken stir fry with noodles.
Harriet’s book ‘Mummin’ It’ is available at Waterstones nowCredit: Harriet Shearsmith
2. Check your cupboards and then get searching
Random shaped pasta, seasonings that you forgot you had and tins of chicken soup from that time you were feeling under the weather can all be used as ingredients to feed the family and make a tasty meal.
Tinned soup is a brilliant, cheap base to a chicken casserole – simply throw in some garlic, salt and pepper, chopped veggies and serve with rice or mash.
Harriet said leftovers are a great way to save money and cut down on wasteCredit: Harriet Shearsmith
The mum swears by doing Meatless Monday once-a-week or buys items that can go in a pressure cookerCredit: Harriet Shearsmith
3. Trade-in meat once a week to save cash
One of the most expensive things on my shopping list is always meat.
We do a Meatless Monday once-a-week and go for something like a classic mac n cheese.
If you wanted to take it further, look at what meats you’re buying and see where you can make small changes.
Chicken thighs cost much less than breast and are brilliant in a slow or pressure cooker, while mixed beef and pork mince works great in a Bolognese sauce.
I sometimes scour the reduced section in the supermarket and freeze any meat I pick up, then plan my weekly dinners around that.
The busy mum lives in Malton, North Yorks, with her husband Alan, 36, and kids Reuben, 10, Tobias, eight, and Edith, sixCredit: Harriet Shearsmith
4. Leftover lovers
Whether it’s using up leftovers from the night before for lunch or using them as a part of the next meal, leftovers are a great way to save money and cut down on waste.
If you’re using boiled potatoes for dinner one evening, save any leftovers and use them in a Spanish omelette for lunch the next day, all you need is two eggs and seasoning (costing about 35p).
Or use your Sunday roast leftovers – adding some rice, chopped veggies, garlic, ginger and soy sauce for an easy chicken rice.
For more tips on how to make the best out of meal planning, check out my book ‘Mummin’ It’, available at Waterstones now.