Monday, January 4, 2010

what's for dinner

It has been brought to my attention that I am no Betty Crocker.
My husband does most of the cooking in our house. I am not complaining.

Here's the problem - we eat the same rotation of food all the time. And that isn't saying much. We are two of the pickiest eaters you will ever ever meet.
Considering we have a fresh little mouth to feed, who will eat anything you stick in front her, we need to change up the rotation. Add some pinch hitters into the line up.....

(enough with the baseball analogies. i don't really even like baseball.... anyway)

A few of the other mommies and wives that I know meal plan. I always thought it looked like a lot of work, so I didn't do it. Am lazy. But now, I feel like it is a lot of work to think of something to make for dinner every single day and figure out if we have whatever I need to make said dinner. Cereal it is.....
I would like for the peanut to try everything, and hopefully like it too. Then she won't live the life of a picky eater like her parents. (is a pain in the arse) I have been enjoying trying things with her, and, surprise! I like (some) of it. Except green beans, still not a fan.

Back to this idea of meal planning. I have gotten some ideas of where to go for good, healthy, EASY recipes. But how do I know they will taste good?
Give me your favorite's!
And, if you meal plan, how do you do it? Weekly? Every two weeks? Based on grocery store adds? Coupons?
Do you have a separate calender? I use google calendars, but I know I won't look at it enough to use it for this. I need these things in my face. Or I will eat cereal. Again.

Pour on the ideas/tips/tricks etc. I promise to share with the group.
annnndddd go!


Tricia said... will plan a week's worth of meals at a time for you, all while reducing your grocery bill. It's really cool! For example, if you shop at Wal-mart, that is an option, then it gives you 5-7 recipes (you choose) and creates the grocery list with prices! Everything I've tried has been pretty good, and REALLY easy. I don't use it on a daily basis cuz Joe does most of our cooking as well, but it really is a nice idea for recipes at least. It costs $5 a month I believe, but is made up with the savings at the store!

The Red Headed Mama said...

I just started meal planning (again) and did my meals for 2 weeks.
I use Google Calendar for this, it's on my iGoogle, so everytime I check my mail, I see it. Plus, Jared can check it from work. If it's a new recipe, I put the whole thing in the description so I have it in one place.

I can email you my current list (or post separate as this is already a book!) If it helps, it only takes me about 45 mins to find the recipes, get them on the calendar and then make the grocery list. And it's only that long b/c I usually find too many recipes I want to try. LOL. I went to the store (marc's and GE) yesterday and spent just under $100 on meals for 2 weeks, which is actually only 8 meals b/c we'll be gone a few nights and then will have leftovers 2 nights. I also stocked up on things like shredded cheese (2% milk) lunch stuff and the staples, milk bread eggs etc.

I spend less and eat so much better when I plan meals. Let me know if you want the list/recipes. A lot are from the boards :)

The Red Headed Mama said...

Oh, I should mention...going by grocery store ads is usually a good idea since the meat is the most expensive. We don't need to buy meat since you know, we're crazy and bought 1/2 a cow and a whole pig, so I don't do that. I clip coupons but always forget to use them! I need to get better about that. A lady at Target the other day saved $103 using COUPONS!!!!!!!

renee said...

i do meal plan. i write it in my date book...since it's not like i have meetings to put in there lol. and i do it weekly. i go to the grocery store on friday evenings (yes we need his paycheck in THAT night lol). so i plan for the week in advance. depending on what it is, there is usually enough leftovers to have it a second night so i usually am cooking about 4 nights a week (sometimes more). and you KNOW that i'm a picky eater, but i have definitely expanded on it since having kids, b/c i really don't want them to turn out like me lol. anyway, the other day i started a food blog. (just click on my about me it's called i swear i CAN cook). so in the near future i'll be adding some recipes that are our faves and since we are picky and you've known me since 3rd grade, you'll know it's info you can trust lol ;-) :D
btw my fave thing to add to just about anything to spice it up is pesto! like you could use it on pizza crust instead of sauce and put chopped cooked chicken on top and top it with mozz and parm. delish! :D

Danifred said...

I have 3 tips. 1st, I LOVE because it has different categories to select from (make ahead, etc) and you can include the ingredients you have and a recipe will kick out.
2nd, I've found that buying meat (pork tenderloin, roasts, chicken) marinating them (even in those little packets of Grill Mates) and then freezing them is perfect!!! I take it out of the freezer, it's marinated and ready to go and stick it in the oven. Then, I just need to make a side (rice,pasta) and a quick veggie.
Doesn't always work out the way I've planned, but I do have better luck planning weekly menus so that I at least have an idea of what we're having for the week.

andrea said...

stacy - i would LOVE if you sent me your stuff, anywhere to start is awesome. and, seriously, $103 dollars in coupons?? holy crap am I impressed.

Renee - I look forward to checking that out. and, I seriously LOVE pesto - i am def. going to try that pizza, it sounds delightful.

Danifred - that is the best tip ever to marinate and freeze! will be doing that.

thanks a million ladies

Anonymous said...

Dinner at Mom's/Grandma's is about as much as you plan!!!!!! You know I will always feed all of you! Especially G! LOL!

Kara said...

As a culinary graduate, I should have some pretty good sound advice here, right? .... sure.. anyways.. my advice as a mom on the constant GO is that when I grocery shop I don't necessarily "meal plan." my Idea of a well balanced meal is a protein a starch and a vegetable. so what I will do is buy the family size of meats (which is usually cheaper in the long run) of pork chops, ground turkey (which is cheaper and better for you) chicken thighs (cheaper than breasts) and stew meat for the lazy days. then I will buy the vegetables.. either frozen or fresh.. zucchini and squash, broccoli.. etc. then I buy noodles or potatoes for the starch. this gives you a wide variety of options of what to cook when you are in the mood for a certain "something." say I want.. panseared pork chops with roasted potatoes and steamed broccoli. or I want baked chicken with mashed potatoes and cheese baked broccoli.. the possibilites are endless.. if you want more recipie ideas let me know! good luck : )