How to plan meals for three months in just 15 minutes

How to plan meals for three months in just 15 minutes

How to plan dinner for three months in just 15 minutes: Food writer reveals the simple technique of cutting your grocery bill by 40% and NEVER getting bored of your meals

  • Food writer Amy Sheppard, 41, from Cornwall, has explained how you can reduce the cost of your groceries by up to 40 percent and save time in the process
  • She advises dividing plans into five categories for added flexibility and time
  • Here she tells FEMAIL her simple technique for planning three months at a time.










An influencer has revealed a simple way to plan meals for three months in just 15 minutes and dramatically reduce your grocery bills at the same time.

Food writer Amy Sheppard, 41, from Cornwall, has explained how you can reduce the cost of your groceries by up to 40 percent and save time in the process.

Amy, who has 46,000 added that only 60 percent of her followers do not plan food because they ‘do not know where to start’ and wanted flexibility.

Amy spoke exclusively to FEMAIL and explained: ‘Meal planning and writing shopping lists may seem like an unnecessary task – but it actually saves you time and money.

‘It’s the best way you can reduce your shopping bill, and if you are not currently planning, you can save up to 40 per cent a week in the supermarket – crucial now that we are all experiencing an increase in food prices.

‘Meal planning helps you prepare for busy nights and means you waste less food. Each ingredient you buy will be assigned a meal. This means that you will spend up with less money (you only buy what you need)

‘It will mean you spend less time gathering dinners from a random selection of food and more time making the food you love!

Amy writes simple money-saving recipes. Her new cookbook HOB was published in June this year. It is filled with easy family recipes that do not use lots of ingredients that do not take much time to cook, and they can all be cooked on the hob – most of them in one pan.

Here she tells FEMAIL her simple technique to plan three months at a time with a few simple steps …

How to plan meals for three months in just 15 minutes

Food writer Amy Sheppard (pictured), 41, from Cornwall, has explained how you can reduce the cost of your groceries by up to 40 percent and save time in the process.

How to plan three-month meals in minutes: Food writer Amy Sheppard reveals the simple technique of making delicious dinners – without food waste (and it will reduce the cost of your groceries by 40%)

Hob: A simpler way to cook: 80 delicious simple recipes for everyone by Amy Sheppard (Bloomsbury Absolute, £ 18.99)

Hob: A simpler way to cook: 80 delicious simple recipes for everyone by Amy Sheppard (Bloomsbury Absolute, £ 18.99)

In a speech to FEMAIL, Amy revealed: ‘First, set 20-25 dinners for your two-month’ Master Meal Plan ‘(template below).

‘This should only take you 15 minutes every 2-3 months.

‘It seems like a lot of dinners to think about, but you’ll be surprised when you get started.

“Do not forget simple dinners like soup and mashed potatoes.

Think back to dinners you enjoyed in the past that have fallen out of the ordinary rotation – get ideas from the rest of the family, and add some recipes you’re going to try.

‘Once you have your list, divide your meals into these five categories –

  • Quick dinners (ready in 20-30 minutes)
  • Budget (uses leftovers, cans or minimal / cheap ingredients)
  • Weekend food (fakeaways, treats – dinners that keep you away from takeaway!)
  • Family favorites (lasagne, jacket potato, fish pie, etc.)
  • Something new (recipes you’ve found online, in cookbooks or magazines that you plan to try).

‘Once you have your main meal plan, you can easily rattle off varied and flexible’ weekly meal plans’ (template below) to suit your family.

‘It will only take you five minutes. Do you work late or do children have to swim? Use a quick dinner recipe.

‘The week before payday? Get some budget meals in.

‘Do you have some time and feel adventurous? Cook something new. It makes it really easy to plan dinner in a busy day.

‘Once you have your meal plan, you can easily build your shopping list.

‘Start by adding all the ingredients from the meal plan dinner.

“Then add lunches, breakfast, snacks.

‘Think about using recipes that share ingredients to reduce waste.

‘Consider one or two vegetarian recipes each week.

‘This will significantly reduce the cost of your store.

Amy reveals that the best way to plan months ahead is to list 25 meals and divide them into five categories

Amy reveals that the best way to plan months ahead is to list 25 meals and divide them into five categories

Once your plan is sorted, you can rattle off every week depending on your mood for the day

Once your plan is sorted, you can rattle off every week depending on your mood for the day

Now try her delicious recipes: Easy butter chicken

The traditional version of this requires you to marinate the chicken overnight and it has significantly more ingredients. This is not the fastest recipe in the chapter, but the practical time is under 10 minutes. It’s a quick-cooked version of a classic curry that you can put together effortlessly, even on the busiest days. This is a meal with two pots if served with rice.

feeds 4–6 | 30 min

ingredients

50 g butter

1 onion, finely chopped

750 g chicken breast, cut into mouth-sized pieces

2 tablespoons tomato puree

cooked white rice and naan bread for serving

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 teaspoon mild or hot chili powder (depending on how spicy you like it)

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon crushed cumin

2 tsp garam masala

200 g puree

1 x 400 g can of full-fat coconut milk

small handful of coriander, finely chopped, for serving (optional)

1 teaspoon ground ginger

salt and freshly ground black pepper

METHOD

  1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan with a lid, over medium heat. Add the onion and fry (without lid) for 5 minutes, until the onion has softened. Add the chicken and fry for another 5 minutes, stirring regularly, until the chicken is no longer pink on the outside.
  2. Stir in tomato puree, garlic, ginger, chili powder, paprika, cumin and garam masala. Fry for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in the passata and coconut milk, and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, then turn down the heat to the lowest setting and put the lid on the pan.
  3. Let it simmer on low heat for 15 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through, then remove the lid and increase the heat to high to thicken the sauce. Serve with rice and naan bread, and sprinkle with coriander if desired.

Great for vegetarians: Halloumi hash

In my opinion, everything tastes better with halloumi! This recipe mainly uses canned ingredients so it is not only fast, it is also a good standby.

feeds 4 | 25 min

ingredients

olive oil, for frying

1 x 400 g canned chickpeas, drained

1 onion, finely chopped

2 red peppers, pitted and finely chopped

200 g broccoli with tender stem, rough ends trimmed

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 x 567 g cans peeled new potatoes, drained and rinsed

2 x 225 g blocks halloumi, cut into ½-1 cm thick slices

1 tablespoon smoked paprika

1 tablespoon tomato puree

2 tablespoons boiling water

salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Add a small amount of oil to a large, non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add the halloumi slices when hot and fry them for 7-10 minutes, turning regularly until golden brown on both sides. Set the halloumi aside.
  2. Add onion, pepper and broccoli in the same pan. Add a little more oil if you need to, and fry over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft.
  3. Dab the potatoes dry with paper towels. Cut each potato in half, then add the halves to the pan along with the garlic, chickpeas and peppers. Fry for 10 minutes on low heat, stirring regularly and adding more oil if the pan gets too dry until the vegetables are tender and the potatoes are thoroughly warm.
  4. Stir in the tomato puree and the boiling water and season with salt and pepper. Fry for the last 2 minutes until the potatoes and vegetables are covered. Top with halloumi and serve directly from the pan.

TIP: You can replace the halloumi with goat cheese, just cut it into slices and place it on top at the end instead of frying.

One to Monday night: Leftovers of fried chicken and stuffed soup

This is a nice, thick soothing soup that uses leftovers from fried ingredients. If you do not mind a soup with a thinner bottom, add more broth to make it go longer.

feeds 2–3 | 20 min

ingredients

40 g butter

1 large carrot, peeled and cut into strips

100 g savoy cabbage, shredded

1 teaspoon dried mixed herbs

200 g leftovers of fried chicken, shredded

1 teaspoon dark soy sauce

600 ml chicken stock

300 ml whole milk

4 balls boiled sage-and-onion filling, each grated into 4 or 5 pieces

salt and freshly ground black pepper

METHOD

  • Place a saucepan with a lid on medium heat. Add the butter and (without lid) let it melt. Add the carrot and cabbage and fry, stirring regularly, for 5 minutes, until the vegetables are just beginning to soften. Add the mixed herbs and soy sauce and fry for 1 minute, then stir in the broth, milk, chicken and mince, and season with salt and pepper.
  • Bring to a boil, put the lid on the pan and simmer for 10 minutes, until the chicken is thoroughly heated. Sprinkle with extra grinding black pepper for serving if desired.

TIP: If you have any leftover fried potatoes, slice them up and toss them in for a truly magnificent dinner.

Hob: A simpler way to cook: 80 delicious simple recipes for everyone by Amy Sheppard (Bloomsbury Absolute, £ 18.99)

Advertising

.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *