My Batch Cooking Shop

If there is one thing you need to know about me and shopping, it’s that I really dislike it. I usually get it done on a Sunday, as I find it easier to meal prep and get my lunches together with fresh ingredients – we all know the midweek struggle when your 500g pack of *insert any meat* has a use by date of yesterday and you’ve got nothing to pair it with.

I use a weekly planner that I stick on my kitchen wall, I find it really helpful as between Jamie and I, we have a heavy workout schedule, so it’s handy to pre-plan when we will need a quick meal. I then correlate the use by dates to each day in the week, this helps me know what I need to freeze and what I can keep in the fridge. Easy peasy. We do grab some bits and bobs from the local shop by our house, though we tend to go late at night and grab anything reduced to make some quick meals.

This one is from the guys over at CGD London. I bought The Life Plan Kit back in January, it comes with the weekly planner, a pen and 2 different types of book planners. They’re worth checking out if you’re trying to get your sh*t together!

As I’m doing a bulk cook this week, I’ve bought extra turkey mince and also a pack of mince beef. I use OneNote to track everything that I have in the house, so I knew that I didn’t need anything like chicken or sausages, but I knew we needed some extra meat and cupboard bits like stock cubes. I try not to over buy when I shop as it seems pointless having things sat in the cupboard or freezer for months on end, instead I tend to run things down before topping them back up again.

Meat

  • 2 x Unsmoked Back Bacon – £1.89 each
  • 500g Beef Mince – £1.49
  • 2 x Turkey Mince 500g – £1.89

Frozen

  • Frozen Smoothie Mixes – £1.79
  • Frozen Mango – £1.49
  • 2 x Frozen Mixed Fruit – £2.39
  • Frozen Lentil Mix – £1.49

Cupboard

  • 4 x Tuna in Spring Water – 79p each
  • Aldi Chicken Stock Cubes – 36p each
  • Apple Sauce – 39p
  • OXO Cubes Beef 18pk – £1.39
  • Olive Oil – £2.89
  • Wholegrain Mustard – 35p
  • Raw Apple Cider Vinegar- £1.99
  • 2 x Chicken Curry Tinned – 85p each
  • 2 x Milk Chocolate – 30p each
  • 2 x Dark Chocolate – 30p each

Fridge

  • 4 pints skimmed milk – £1.09
  • Sunflower Spread – 69p
  • 2 x Lighter Mature Cheddar Cheese – £1.79 each
  • Cherry Tomatoes – 75p

Other

  • 12 Large Free Range Eggs – £1.69
  • 5 x Garlic – 39p
  • 5 x Banana – 65p
  • Coriander Plant – 49p

£40.70

When I do a shop like this, my kitchen gets so messy. I would reccomend setting aside a good couple of hours and recruiting anyone who lives in your house with you to help you clean as you go.

To begin with, I made a turkey mince mix that you can use for burgers, meatballs, meatloaf or even mix back up for a quick bolognese or chilli. I use quite a few mixes of flavours to help bring out the full potential of this lean meat, but I’ve never really found anything that it doesn’t mix well with, you can find the recipe here. I also made 3 days worth of lunches (I’ll cover why I only make 3 days worth in my meal prep posts), using a new frozen mix I found in Aldi with lentils and veggies. You can find the recipe for that one here too.

With the mince beef, I made a veggie packed spaghetti bolognese that made a meal for both Jamie and I, then 2 small lunches for me on Thursday and Friday. As the mince was a higher in fat than what I would usually get, I chose to cook this on Wednesday as we had a pretty jam packed couple of days with high intensity cardio, so the mix of fats and carbs was just what we were needing to recover. I decided not to record this one as I’m sure you’re all pretty clued up on the family classic, so I’ll keep it brief and give you a post on my quick weeknight sauce instead a bit later on.

The mince alone was 1255kcal, so once I’d added all of the veggies, made the sauce with our cherry tomatoes and chucked it over some pasta for our post workout meals, it was a pretty high kcal meal. My personal preference on beef is for it to be a lot leaner, and even though this was a really enjoyable meal, I probably won’t be rushing back too quickly to buy it. For a lot of meals like spaghetti bolognese, I’ll usually use frozen Quorn Mince, but Aldi was totally wiped out of this when I shopped.

With one pack of bacon, I made us some delicious toasties filled with gooey cheese. As we had a busy weekend out with friends celebrating a birthday, we wanted to try and keep our costs down on eating out, so we split the pack between ourselves and had it as a brunch before we went out. It kept us full pretty much all day, and costing us around £1 each in total to make, it was a definite bargain over anything you could buy out and about.

With the second pack, I prepped some bacon to go with my eggs. I usually mix up 2 eggs the night before in a tupperware tub and add in some chopped red pepper and a dash of milk to stretch it out a bit, then while I’m making my brew I zap it in the microwave for a few minutes, but this week I decided to make a crust-less quiche – essentially a giant egg cake – and used some leftover mushrooms, courgette and onion. I added in some nutritional yeast instead of cheese, then sliced it up ready to take to work. It didn’t last as long as I had hoped, potentially due to the yeast, so I did have to waste a slice *sad music plays*.

2 of my bananas went into Overnight Banana Bread Oats, (keep an eye out for this recipe) and the rest have been pre-gym snacks for in the car. I still haven’t tried any of the frozen fruit mixes, but I’ll probably pick up some extra bananas to throw into these, so I’ll let you know what I think of those when I get round to them.

I channeled my inner child and used the dark and milk chocolate bars to make some little crunchy cakes from some cornflakes that had started to go a little stale. After melting the chocolate, I added a little butter, cinnamon syrup and some marshmallows before chucking in the cornflakes and leaving them to cool.

To finish the round up of this shop, we come to the coriander plant! I harvested this the day I bought it and froze the crop. The packets on these supermarket plants suggest that you have to throw them away after a certain date, I find this absolutely insane. If you keep watering your plant after harvesting and make sure that you prune it properly, it’ll keep growing back, and it’ll grow back quick. This is exactly what I have done with this plant. Admittedly, I find them harder to keep alive than any plant I’ve ever owned, but don’t let this put you off. If it does die, it’s still cheaper than buying it already harvested. I made us a quick chilli with my turkey mix, chucked some of the frozen coriander for s fresh twist, and still had some left for another day.

Let me know what you think about my batch cook shop in the comments, it would be great to hear how you guys do yours!

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