05 November, 2009

What’s for Dinner? Part II

Step 1. Check the sale papers for which meats are on sale that week or check your freezer for what you have on hand. I noticed that in Rexburg Broulims they have hamburger $1.99 and the rump roast, several different types, at a low price per pound right now through next Wednesday. Also scope out the veggies, pastas, sauces, condiments and other side dishes that may be on sale. They may spark some creative alternatives to the “same old-same old” standbys.

Step 2. Choose 4 or 5 meats for main dishes to build meals around. For example, a family pack or two of chicken breast will make grilled chicken breast, cold chicken salad, cheesy chicken pasta, and chicken soup. Ground beef or turkey can yield meatloaf, cold meatloaf or warm open-faced meatloaf sandwiches, spaghetti with meatballs, meatball subs, meatball pizza, sliders on the rolls you bake to go with the meatloaf, etc.

Step 3. Bearing in mind what’s on sale, what you have on hand, and what your family will actually eat, decide which sides go well with each dish. Breads can also be stretched into a few meals – grilled sandwiches, cold sandwiches, toasted for homemade croutons for salad or atop a soup, rolls as a side for one meal that can be used for mini-burgers for another meal.

Step 4. Not feeling creative? Or just simply out of ideas? Grab a cookbook or magazine off your shelf or go to one of the many recipe websites. Like this one for instants.

Step 5. When putting your 14 day meal list in order, consider which ingredients need to be shared amongst recipes and how long they will keep when prepared. If you want to grill enough chicken breast for 3 meals on the first night, plan to have the your first 3 meals include that chicken breast or plan to freeze it for later. You can eat your grilled breasts the first night, slice some cooked breast into strips for salad for the second night, and cube some for or a casserole the third night.
Keep your meal list posted on the fridge in plain sight to remind you what needs thawing and allow your family a preview of what's to come.
Meal list should include: the name of the meal, the major ingredients needed to cook it, the sides and desserts if applicable. On this web site, look at the downloadable Menu Planner in “What to cook this month”

Step 6. Create your shopping list of common ingredients needed for your simple recipes and be sure you have important staples on hand like condiments, spices, oils, butter, eggs, and milk. Use your sale papers and your coupons if you want to do this on the cheap – which is always my goal! Organize shopping list by section in the store (produce, canned goods, dairy, meat counter, frozen, etc) and be sure to bring your coupons if that’s your thing.

{Personally putting together a grocery list and doing the grocery shopping gets monotonous, make it fun! Look up some new recipes your family might like. Have a theme night such as mexican night where all you make is mexican food, or old-fashioned night, where all you make is homemade everything. GET CREATIVE!!}

1 comment:

  1. I really like the idea about getting creative with dinner. Food can be so boring and dinner is such a positive thing for families to share together. What I am going to try with my family is when we have our frequent Italian meals - we are going to dress up, talk like or play like we are Italians. This not only brings creativity but it will give everyone a little more knowledge about that culture and have a little laughs while we are doing it.