I've had to budget for food for a long time now. Seems like if you want to buy garbage, it's much much easier to stay within budget than if you want to eat healthy. A pack of biscuits can be as low as 30p but you couldn't buy a pack of fruit or vegetables for that price. What's up with that???
Anyhow, when I first saw Sian's Plan http://siansplan.com/ I thought; "this is good, but it'll be a pain in the butt to use". I don't think I could have been more wrong.
First of all, let's talk price: £3.99 a month for a year's subscription or £5.99 per month. Let me tell you now, it's worth it for the hassle that this site SAVES you! She's even offering 25% off the quarterly plan until January 31st. Just enter JANPLAN at the checkout. That's 3 months for £20....
You sign up, go through the recipes (you can even search by ingredients - amazing) and pick which ones you want to cook for the week. Sian even colour codes them for you (from the site)
Red day recipes are main meals under 35 minutes and provide 4 portions. They use healthy cooking methods and healthy ingredients.
Green day recipes encourage you to use leftovers. This saves you money and reduce food waste. All green day recipes can be made using Sian's Store Cupboard ingredients but are designed to be flexible so you can throw in any leftovers you have. Like red day recipes, they are under 35 minutes and provide 4 portions.
Blue day recipes tend to take longer than 45 minutes (eg. Lasagne, Stews) and make at least 8 portions. So on a blue day you cook double what you need. This gives you a day off from cooking (white day).
Some days we can't or don't want to cook. There's nothing wrong with that. On a white day you may reheat a blue day meal or even eat out
I picked 4 reds and 1 green for the week.
Spicy Sweet Potato Wedges
Quick Spaghetti Bolognese
Chicken Fajita Wraps
Creamy Garlic and Chili Chicken with Rice
Winter Vegeatable Lasagna
Once you've picked your recipes, it asks you if you want to "generate your grocery list". OMG, this is the best feature I have ever seen!!! You can pick which supermarket you want the list to be sent to (for instance, I picked Tesco) and there it was. I mean everything on the ingredients list of every recipe I had in my meal plan....there....easy as that.
All of the things that I needed, in order, in the search section one by one of my shopping basket. This way I could pick exactly what size, quantity etc of everything I needed.
Side note - the total came to less than £50 - Yay me!
I cannot emphasize enough how EASY this process was. Really worth every penny for the monthly subscription.
So, I started with the spaghetti bolognese. It was simple to make, much cheaper than the jar sauce I would normally get and I had tons left to freeze.
Now, I have to tell you, I'm really not a food blogger. I don't know how to stage a photo to make the food look as appealing as possible and to be honest, I did forget to take pics alot of the time....
I loving "borrowed" this image of the spaghetti bolognese from the Sian's Plan site.
I promise, mine did not look as good as this!! :-)
Chicken Fajitas are always a favorite in our house and we always go for the packet spice pack so I was slightly worried when I saw the DIY version recipe.
Quorn "chicken style" pieces vegetarian subtitution
I may or may not have had a 3rd...
They were amazing!!! I'm never going to buy a packet mix again!! Im a convert...DIY all the way :-)
I could have taken a million pictures and described every recipe but that's not the point. The point is, what Sian has done with this site and the plan is truly amazing. The thought put in to the recipes, the ease of use and the healthy factor is the best I have seen. You can really use your money to its full potential in your food budget. More importantly, my fridge and cupboards were filled with fruits and vegetables and we were happy and full.
I'm making the wedges as a Friday treat tomorrow night and the lasagna for the weekend. I can't wait. Everything is super easy, healthy and fresh.
Please go and pay the site a visit at the very least! Check it out for all it has to offer. Guaranteed not to disappoint! You can also find Sian's Plan on Facebook and Twitter www.facebook.com/siansplan www.twitter.com/siansplan.What will you do to make your life easier in 2014??Sian’s Plan