A savvy mother-to-be has revealed how she cooks as a lot as six weeks’ worth of meals for as little as 87p per portion.

Grainne McNamee, 34, from Belfast, not too way back spent two days batch cooking 75 meals for herself and her husband Ryan, which means the couple are all set for the rest of January and successfully into February. 

The savvy prepare dinner dinner makes use of a £69 hamper from a web-based value vary meat retailer and makes use of the produce to whip up meals from scratch.  

Since batch cooking, Grainne and Ryan’s meals retailer bill has fallen from £500 a month to spherical £200. 

The couple have been residing frugally for spherical 18 months after rejigging their funds to have the ability to repay £16,000 of debt in a single yr, ahead of turning into mom and father. 

Grainne McNamee, from Belfast, spent two days batch cooking 75 meals for herself and her husband Ryan, which means the couple are all set for the rest of January and successfully into February

How Grainne used her Musclefood hamper to create 75 elements of meals 
Product  Meals  Parts 
Hen breast Hen breast Hen soup / shwarma / BBQ hen stuffed sweet potato   28 
Minced beef  Chilli/spaghetti Bolognese  12 
Steaks  Fajita bowl/stir fry  eight 
Bacon  Bacon and egg breakfast muffins 
Peri Peri Hen  Peri Peri hen wraps 
Sausages  Roasted sausages with marinara 
Gammon  Gammon with pineapple salsa and veg 
Hen burgers  Hen burgers and sweet potato wedges 
Meatballs  Meatball bake 
Hache steaks Hache steak and chips 
Protein pots    three 

The tasty dishes included Thai hen soup, steak stir fry and BBQ hen stuffed sweet potato – and he or she sourced the substances from musclefood.com’s New Yr Tremendous Lean Hamper.

Grainne, who’s seven months pregnant alongside together with her first infant, outlined how planning and batch cooking meals has been financially useful to her and her rising family.

‘Planning meals each month and batch cooking them over just a few days was considered one of many first points I did after I started to repay our cash owed and it’s one factor I nonetheless do now,’ she knowledgeable FEMAIL.

‘The monetary financial savings I make are unbelievable – I nonetheless shock myself sometimes at how little I can prepare dinner dinner up a portion for, however the meals are tasty, nutritious and just about pretty much as good as one thing you’d order in a restaurant or from a takeaway.’ 

Grainne’s thrifty meal plan 


400g tinned tomatoes 29p

three small brown onions 15p

1 tsp dried basil 2p

1 tsp dried oregano 2p

1 tsp smoked paprika 2p

2 tbsp lemon juice 5p

1 tsp sugar 2p

three small purple onions 15p

three blended peppers 99p

eight cherry tomatoes 15p

6 musclefood pork sausages 98p

1 tbsp rapeseed oil 2p

1 tsp salt and pepper 2p

Sprinkle chilli flakes 1p




Alongside one of the best ways, Grainne has offer you strategies to make meals go extra along with bulking out mince with carrots and using frozen veg to pad out a dish


2 musclefood hen breasts £2.24

2 hen stock cubes 7p

250ml coconut milk 45p

Bulb garlic 17p

100g ginger 35p

three limes 60p

1 lemon 20p

2 chillies 30p

20g current coriander 15p

100g cabbage 20p

three carrots 16p

75ml fish sauce 15p

400g rice noodles £1.10

Garnish – chilli flakes 5p




The savvy shopper has moreover created a Thai hen soup (above) no matter being frugal alongside together with her money


1 musclefood rump steak £2.74

½ head of broccoli 27p

2 peppers 66p

100g cabbage 20p

1 brown onion 5p

½ bulb garlic 12p

1 carrot 6p

45ml mild soy sauce 9p

15ml darkish soy sauce 3p

30ml fish sauce 6p

45ml sweet chilli sauce 9p

125g egg noodles 29p

1 lime 20p

1 inexperienced chilli 15p

Garnish – current coriander 5p




Grainne cooks up dishes corresponding to her Mexican rice bowl with meat from her musclefood hamper and up to date substances


2 musclefood gammon steaks £2.57

½ head of broccoli 27p

½ inexperienced pepper 16p

50g inexperienced beans 18p

1/eight pineapple 13p

1 tomato 13p

1 lime 20p

1 purple chilli 15p

5g current coriander 4p

Salt and pepper 1p

TOTAL COST: £three.84



Grainne has shared quite a few money saving suggestions on her Instagram internet web page @WannaBeDebtFree


150g rice 15p

2 blended peppers 66p

eight mushrooms 32p

10 cherry tomatoes 20p

1 small purple onion 5p

1 tsp smoked paprika 2p

1 tsp paprika 2p

1 tsp oregano 2p

1 tsp cumin 2p

1 tsp dried coriander 2p

1 tsp chilli powder 2p

1 musclefood rump steak £2.74

2 limes 40p

½ avocado 28p

2 tbsp bitter cream 10p

Garnish – current coriander 5p

Salt and pepper 1p




Grainne’s steak fajita bowl with rice costs merely £2.70 per head 


1 sweet potato £1.12

1 musclefood hen breast 81p

2 tbsp BBQ Sauce 5p

1 tbsp goats cheese 20p

Garnish – purple onion 1p

Garnish – lettuce 5p

Garnish – current coriander 5p

Salt and pepper 1p




Grainne’s BBQ hen sweet potato costs £2.30 per serving 


2 musclefood hen breasts £2.24

1 tsp paprika 2p

1 tsp smoked paprika 2p

1 tsp turmeric 2p

1 tsp garlic granules 2p

4 tbsp rapeseed oil 8p

1 tbsp lemon juice 5p

80g quinoa 52p

1/three cucumber 20p

½ inexperienced pepper 15p

¼ purple onion 3p

4 lettuce leaves 3p

1 wrap 11p

1 lemon 20p

2 tbsp bitter cream 10p

10 cherry tomatoes 20p

Garnish – current coriander 5p

Salt and pepper 1p




The savvy dwelling prepare dinner dinner has nonetheless been able to create an array of meals along with BBQ hen and steak stir fry


6 musclefood bacon medallions £1.28

6 eggs 95p

2 mushrooms 8p

5 cherry tomatoes 10p

30g frozen peas 3p

½ inexperienced pepper 15p

Salt and pepper 1p

three lettuce leaves 2p

Garnish – chilli flakes 1p




Grainne makes breakfast muffins with bacon and eggs, costing 87p per serving

The mum-to-be has been able to make 75 meals that will remaining her and her husband Ryan for over a month

Alongside one of the best ways, the frugal dwelling prepare dinner dinner has picked up hints and strategies to help her reap the benefits of out of her meals.

However she has moreover offer you just a few of her private, which she shares on her Instagram internet web page @WannaBeDebtFree. 

Grainne said: ‘I on a regular basis bulk up mince to make it go extra by together with grated carrot. It offers a nice sweetness and is an effective means of getting just a few of your five-a-day. If I’m cooking a kilo of mince, I’m going so as to add a kilo of grated carrot.

‘Including frozen veg is one different good tactic to bulk up a dish. I on a regular basis add it to chilli, spaghetti Bolognese and any pasta dish. Half pasta and half frozen veg is the ratio I work to. Frozen spinach is one different good vegetable in order so as to add and low-cost to buy.’

Grainne used musclefood.com to create her meals. Since starting batch cooking, Grainne has saved £200 a month on her meals bill

Reminding those that they should think about portion dimension when attempting to avoid wasting money, she added: ‘It can be important to take a look at portion sizes. 

‘One respectable sized hen breast can merely feed two for those who add quite a few veg and completely different substances. Once extra, which implies you’re stretching the meat extra and getting further in your money. 


1. Leftover night – Each week I try what we’ve left inside the fridge and use all of it up. Typically the meal will probably be barely odd nevertheless I check out it as a free dinner. Previously I might need ended up throwing these away.

2. Stock – Look by your cupboards recurrently and do a list. That method you’ll know exactly what you might need by the use of retailer cupboard requirements, herbs and spices. Additionally confirm your fridge and freezer.

three. Meal plan – Make time to meal plan and be life like about what you eat. In completely different phrases, don’t forget the treats. For occasion, I preserve a packet of biscuits in my desk drawer so I’m not tempted to go to the shop to buy a chocolate bar. That could save 60p a day which over a working month works out at £12.

4. Breakfast and lunch – When meal planning, think about breakfast and lunch and consider to take lunch to work. A meal deal will set you once more spherical £three a day or £60 a month. That is a gigantic saving to most likely make.

‘I preserve the worth down by being repetitive with substances after I’m meal planning. For occasion, if I buy a bunch of current coriander, I would like to make use of it up so will make sure it appears in quite a few dishes.

‘When you’re starting meal planning for the first time, there are a few straightforward pointers to adjust to to make sure you get most likely essentially the most out of your substances.’

Conscious that the thought of batch cooking might take some getting used to, Grainne insisted that it’s life-changing. 

‘It would possibly most likely seem daunting at first nevertheless for those who start to see the monetary financial savings you make, it’s most positively worth it,’ she said.

‘You do should make the meals tasty, with quite a few choice, and fascinating or the hazard is you’ll return to shelling out on takeaways.

‘The important issue to recollect is by procuring spherical and purchasing for respectable substances in bulk from retailers like musclefood.com, you’ll be capable to prepare dinner dinner successfully on a value vary.’

In an interview with The Irish Solar, Grainne revealed how she and Ryan have been able to get married totally debt free.

‘Our journey to alter into debt free hasn’t been easy, nevertheless it’s positively been worth it,’ she admitted.

‘Ryan and I obtained married remaining yr with no debt, and we’re now saving rather a lot money every month that I can really afford to solely work two days each week!

‘This gives me time to deal with my Instagram weblog and I even wrote a e book in December remaining yr, known as Get Out of Debt: An Eight-Stage Technique to Pay Off Debt and Repair Your Funds for Good.

‘Folks often suppose that residing frugally means being miserable, nevertheless I’m the happiest I’ve ever been.’


A believer in doing the impossible, Martha is a graduate of science from a renowned university and has experience in writing and exploring various cultures around the world. Her thesis on cultures, interpretations and business linguistics has been shared and quoted widely by local and international newspapers for various research articles. She currently explores the different dimensions of media, entertainment business with her writing.

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