While it can seem like it is getting harder to get a good deal at the supermarket amid current food inflation, there are still essentials that can be picked up at a bargain rate. Asda released a Just Essentials range, which promises to feed a family of four for less than £20 a week.
The seven-day meal plan was introduced to help ease cost of living pressures, with prices for groceries starting at just 16p. The range, which was first launched last year, has been well-received and won ‘Own Label Brand of the Year’ at the Quality Food Awards.
You are reading: Taste-testing Asda’s Just Essentials 7-day meal plan for £20 which ‘completely changed tea time’
Megan Shaw, journalist at Leeds Live, gave the recipes a taste-test as she wanted to see how this cost-effective meal plan would fare in her household of four.
Megan started: ” The supermarket giant states the only things customers will need in their cupboards already to make use of the Just Essentials family weekly meal plan are oil, salt and pepper. This terrified me a little, I won’t lie. I’m an avid seasoner and I like my food to be flavoursome.
“I was also apprehensive about the tinned veg and the jar sauces as I prefer to make things from scratch ideally, and would always opt for fresh produce usually. But equally, I’ll try anything once, so tinned potatoes, come at me.”
Asda’s Just Essentials meal plan includes the below evening meals:
- Monday – Sausage and Mash
- Tuesday – Fish Biryani
- Wednesday – Fish Pie
- Thursday – Bacon and Pea Frittata
- Friday – Tuna and Tomato Pasta
- Saturday – Chicken Stew and Rice
- Sunday – Chicken Pasta
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“The meals are not too dissimilar to the meals we would usually eat as a family. Megan said. “First up we had the sausage and mash, which was a hit with everyone. The tuna pasta bake went down a storm too.”
Megan said that a nice change was sitting down as a family and enjoying a meal, which she says is a rarity in her house as her children often eat earlier than their parents.
She joked: “there’s always usually somebody upside down on the sofa while I’m trying to shovel in another mouthful of beans – and that’s just my other half!”
While the meals were going well, she admitted that she wasn’t sticking to recipes by the letter, as some meals needed a little extra.
“I must admit I did feel the need to ‘spruce up’ a couple of the dishes with some staples I already had in the cupboards,” She said. “Including spices for extra flavour, dips and I included side salad with some of the dishes as the meals began to feel quite carb heavy come mid-week.
“Also, for transparency, my children think a pasta dish being served without garlic bread is illegal, so just to note this wasn’t included with the deal.”
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“Overall the meals were nice and I wouldn’t turn my nose up at trying them again and the kids certainly enjoyed them,” Megan concluded. “Generally, I’m not the most organised of people, in fact I don’t think I’ve ever made or stuck to a seven-day meal plan in my life.
“I’m more of a ‘see how I feel on the day and wing it’ kind of person, but I weirdly enjoyed the structure.”
She said that the meals are a great option for families looking to cut costs, the meals are tasty, nutritious and the portion sizes were more than enough to feed a family of four.
It also helped her realise that she spends “way too much” on the food shop and there are some ways to be much more savvy by planning ahead.
The seven Just Essentials recipes are available to buy online on the Asda website.
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