I don’t know about you, but one thing I’ve always struggled with is planning my meals and sticking to a food budget. I know what I should be doing to save money on groceries, but it’s just so hard!
At home, we’re both so busy! Even though we have more time at home due to coronavirus, somehow deciding what to eat and finding the time to cook has become even harder.
We’re also both trying to maintain our weight loss and build muscle, so I was thrilled to get the chance to try Musclefood earlier this month! I’ve heard nothing but good things about how it’s helped people stay healthy and feed their family good quality, lean meat.
I’ve also seen how many fellow money bloggers have enjoyed Musclefood hampers, as they have helped them save money and meal plan a lot better.
Who are Musclefood & what are the benefits?
Musclefood are a fab online food delivery service, who promote a healthy diet and lifestyle. They only provide the best, high protein meat parcels for you and your family.
There are loads of benefits to trying their service, including:
- A massive range of individual meals and meat hampers to choose from, all rich in protein and low in fat (they also do vegan meals!)
- Hassle-free order delivery service, helping you plan your meals for the whole week
- Their hampers work out cheaper than most supermarket meats
Plus loads more reasons to try them out!
This mammoth food hamper worth a whopping £79 (buy for only £59!) arrived on my doorstep on Saturday afternoon and I was buzzing! There was SO much food! My box was packed full of tasty meat, a few snacks, and even frozen ready meals.
Disclaimer! I am in no way a food photographer haha, my photos really don’t do the hamper justice!
Our Super Lean Hamper included:
- 10-12 x 200g Premium Chicken Breasts (2.5kg)
- 4 x 170g The Heritage Range™ Rump Steaks
- 2 x 175g Supergreen Stuffed Chicken Breasts
- 2 x 175g Pizza Stuffed Chicken Breasts
- 10 x 35g Low Fat Bacon Medallions
- 20 x 17g Free Range Beef Meatballs
- 1 x 200g Free Range Diced Beef
- 2 x 170g Free Range Hache Steaks
- 1 x 351 Kcal Satay Chicken & Rice Pot
- 1 x 314Kcal Black Bean Chicken & Rice Pot
- 1 x 415 Kcal Spicy Korean Chicken & Rice Pot
- 1 x 274 Kcal Thai Curry Chicken & Rice Pot
- 1 x 200g Free Range Diced Beef
- 1 x 100g Premium Pork Loin Steak
- 1 x 200g Diced Southern Fried Chicken Breast
- 1 x 200g Extra Lean Beef Steak Mince
- 3 x 38g Lean Pork Sausages
I know, that’s a lot of food! Musclefood says you can get 50 meals out of this lot, and I genuinely believe it! We still have so much meat in the freezer, including all the chicken breasts, mince, steaks, and more.
Once we had a good look at everything I used my lovely little meal planner from Poundland and got to work planning our meals! We still had a few bits leftover to finish before tucking in, so we started on Monday…
Monday – Spaghetti & Meatballs
Monday is always quite a hectic day for both of us. We both have projects and businesses we work on alongside our day jobs, so Monday is often a frantic catch-up day. Also, we like to fit in a walk or run every day after work and before we know it, it’s 7.30pm.
We decided to have spaghetti and meatballs, as it’s fairly quick to whip up. They were lovely! We haven’t had meatballs in a while as we don’t usually buy them but they were nice as a treat and didn’t feel as fatty or unhealthy as ones we’ve bought from supermarkets in the past.
Tuesday – Musclefood Pork Loin Steak
On our meal plan, I’ve tried to mix it up and as we didn’t get veg with dinner last night, I chose something simple where we could load up on veg. The pork loin steak was very tender and filled with flavour. Again, it tasted lighter and was way fewer calories than traditional pork loin steaks we’ve had before.
Wednesday – Pizza Stuffed Chicken
This doesn’t sound very healthy at all but it was probably one of the meals with the least calories throughout the week, and definitely one of my favourites! We love pizza and this was a nice little mid-week treat without the heavy calories or feeling of guilt. The chicken tasted amazing! Just like basil and margarita. We had it with a jacket potato and some salad.
Thursday – Chicken Stir Fry
I love a good stir fry! It’s so easy to make and tastes delicious. We already had the noodles and bought the veg and sauce from Aldi, so this was a super cheap meal too.
On Thursdays, we usually have something quick so I chose a stir fry, as we could just chuck everything in a pan (or wok in this case!)
For this, we just used one chicken breast each. It looks like a lot but that was genuinely a standard portion…
Friday – Musclefood Beef Heritage Rump Steaks
Friday night is usually our treat night, and there’s nothing better than a nice juicy steak really is there? We both like ours really well done (as in no red in sight!) and these were the best steaks we’ve had in a while! Can you believe these were also just 215 cals per portion??
Saturday – Pizza with Meatballs & Chicken toppings
Saturday was another busy day for us. We’re doing a lot of DIY in our flat at the minute, like everyone else in lockdown! By the time we got home and painted, cleaned up, etc. it was like 8pm.
We stuck a couple of frozen margarita pizzas in the oven and fried up the rest of our meatballs and added some chicken to go on top of each one. They didn’t stay on very well, obviously haha! So we ended up just picking off the toppings and tucking into them first.
Sunday – Musclefood Hache Steaks
Sunday night we usually have a traditional-ish Sunday meal so meat and veg are often on the menu. These hache steaks were so filling and only 268 cals! They’re made from mince steak and include lovely seasoning – they’re almost a bit like burgers. I would definitely order these again!
What else did we eat?
I cannot stress how much food you get in this Musclefood hamper! As such, we used some of the meat and meals for breakfast and lunch.
Breakfast fry up
Sunday morning we had a lovely fry up, using the bacon medallions and sausages – both of which were way less fatty than traditional options!
Lunches & snacks
We enjoyed using up single items in the pack like the Musclefood Southern Fried Diced Chicken and cooking them to chuck in a salad for lunches. The ready meals were also perfect for popping in the microwave for a quick lunch!
On top of all the food, we also got these two extra snacks, which were actually really nice and also low calories, and obviously, packed full of protein!
Is Musclefood worth the cost?
The big question! Is it worth it? Absolutely!! While £59 sounds like a lot – if you think you can get 50 meals, that’s just £1.18 per meal. That’s definitely worth it when you consider the quality and leanness of the meat. Plus the calories per portion are way less than the meat in most supermarkets. Musclefood also says they are £6.87 better value than Tesco!
If you’re single or a couple like us, the £59 super lean hamper is a lot of food for just two people! Especially if you don’t have space to freeze a lot of the meat, as some items expire quite quickly.
Top tips for meal planning
As you can probably tell from my post, we live quite a fast-paced lifestyle so having a meal plan has definitely helped us stick to a budget and plan meals.
If you’re time-poor and want to avoid spending money on last-minute takeaways or hate wasting food you never get round to eating, here are my top tips for meal planning!
Invest in a meal planner
First things first, a meal planner is key to helping you map out your meals for the week. As if you need an excuse to buy new stationery, anyway! As I said, I bought mine from Poundland but here are some of my favourites online:
Get the family/roommates involved
If you live with other people, get them in on the action! Everyone has their personal favourites, and a meal plan is to help the whole household save money and reduce waste. This also takes the pressure off one person doing all the hard work and planning.
Stock up on staples
Do you have various pasta dishes throughout the week? Love a range of herbs and spices on your chicken? It’s really handy to stock up on staples like:
- Sauces, herbs & spices
- Pasta & rice
- Beans, chickpeas, etc.
- Frozen vegetables
In general, think about things you can use multiple times and with a longer expiry date to help you plan meals.
Keep a food diary
Some meal planners also have a space for a food diary, which is a great idea to weigh up what you buy versus what you actually eat. You’ll start to notice patterns, like nights you want something quick or at what point your cravings for a treat start to kick in.
Make it fun with theme nights
Get creative and give yourself something to look forward to during the week like Taco Tuesday or Pizza Friday! Whatever you like, plan for at least one treat on your meal plan.
Plan for leftovers
It’s always worth thinking about leftovers and cooking a little extra to cover a couple of nights. A little strategic planning goes a long way! Say for example you cook a whole chicken on a Monday, that could provide meals for the next two to three nights.
Keep it simple
It’s great to try new recipes every now and again but it’s easy to get carried away. Stick to family favourites or start small with trying a different pasta sauce or veg combination. Are you really going to cook that fancy vegan pie? With a zillion different ingredients? Didn’t think so…
Plan for lazy nights
Give yourself a break one or two nights by including quick and easy meals that take 30 mins or less to make and serve. Pretty much all our meals took under an hour and we kept it nice and easy with things like pasta, rice, and boiled vegetables with a meat staple.
This post was in collaboration with Musclefood, where I received a hamper to review. This doesn’t influence my opinion of the product or service in any way. This post also contains affiliate links, where I receive a small commission if you decide to purchase a product or service, at no extra cost to yourself. Please see my disclaimer for more details.