Sunday, November 16, 2008

Cooking at Home

I haven't been cooking actual meals too much lately. The biggest thing for me is I have to plan what it is I am going to make, so I can buy the things I don't have on hand to make it.
I haven't done any meal planning ahead of time for a few weeks now, and this means if I don't stop at the grocery store on the way home, nothing sounds good and I don't think I have the fixin's I need to make anything worth making. It's a vicious circle and I'm trying to get out of my rut.
When I take the time to come up with a plan, we eat home meals that I actually enjoy eating. Otherwise I make Dennis steak or chicken and I have a bowl of cereal. I am so sick of cereal! On the upside, we are saving money by eating at home, either way.
I found this video and bookmarked it because I thought it would give me the structure I needed to follow an actual plan.
According to the video, the secret to meal planning is to keep an inventory of what you have on hand so you are only buying what you need at the grocery store for your meals, and you pick recipes from your collection of recipes that include things you already have.
This is My Grocery Inventory it took about an hour and a half to do, but it went really fast. It was kinda fun and I get all excited anytime I start making a spreadsheet. Simple pleasures, lol. I have the inventory hanging on my fridge now.

So now I have to come up with the recipes I will be making. Now I know what I have and it should be easier to pick recipes that will be yummy and inexpensive! I'll pick just a few to start with and I'll do whatever grocery shopping I need to fill in the gaps.
Since I buy stuff that is on sale and then sometimes forget what I have and don't use it. For example, I won't be buying any French's French Fried Onion Rings for awhile. I still have plenty in my pantry from last year around Thanksgiving. I noticed on the can that they suggest using it as a coating for chicken. I thought that sounded good "Crispy Onion Chicken" and I have PLENTY of chicken.
I will probably check the meals Trish has made lately and her recipe blogs to remind myself of things I was going to try...
I even found a website, that lets you type in ingredients you have on hand and suggests recipes as you go... Coolio!

What's in your Freezer and Pantry???


David said...

Hi. I stumbled across your blog tonight. I was doing the "next blog" search. Yours was the first blog in english that I stopped at. Very refreshing design. I need to redesign mine. I stopped to read because you were talking about cooking. I used to cook alot. Not much any more. Tonight I had a can of campbells mushroom soup for dinner. I added some sauted garlic and onions, salt and pepper, and some cheddar cheese. It wasn't too bad.

I read some other posts of yours too. My wife and I are looking at the Dave Ramsey system. I heard him on the radio about a year ago. We are trying to get out of debt. We will get there before I retire in ten years. We just have to stick with it.

Well, not much else to say. I like the design of your blog. Nicely done. Keep at it.

Trish said...

Wow! That's a great inventory!
I keep a pretty detailed one of the meat we have in the freezer. It's not in a fancy spreadsheet tho. I should really learn Excel, huh?
I just type one up and keep it in the kitchen. As I buy marked down meat I add to the list. And as I use things I cross them off. Every so often I re-type the list. Not as efficient as your inventory will be I'm sure.
I do meal planning in fits and spurts. In the past few months I have mostly been shopping the discount baskets at the store and then planning meals 3 or 4 days in advance based on the treasures I find there.
Alot of people I know make a list of 10 or 12 tried and true meals and they stock up on all the necessary ingredients for those meals so that they always know that there is something on hand.
There are so many ways to handle it. I guess the key is really just to HAVE A PLAN.
Oh! Do you like to do crock pot meals? I have a few that we use over and over again. I'm making one of them tonight. Maybe I'll blog about it. You'd like it. Sweet potatoes! YUM!!

Trish said...

Tagging you!
See here for details

The big plunge...

Starting Weight 193.8
Week 1 194.2 - +.4
W- 2 190.2 - -4.0
W- 3 186.4 - -3.8
W- 4 186.2 - -0.2
W- 5 184.0 - -2.2
W- 6 184.5 - +0.5
W- 7 185.0 - -0.5
W- 8 183.2 - -1.8
W- 9 180.0 - -3.2
W- 10 183.2 - +3.2
W- 11 179.0 - -4.2
W- 12 177.1 - -1.9
W- 13 175.1 - -2.0
W- 14 171.6 - -3.5
W- 15 169.9 - -1.7
W- 16 168.4 - -1.5
W- 17 165.4 - -3.0
W- 18 161.9 - -3.5
W- 19 165.4 - +3.0
W- 20 163.0 - -2.4
W- 21 165.8 - +2.8
W- 22 162.0 - -3.8
W- 23 159.8 - +0.4
W- 24 158.0 - -2.7
W-k 25 156.4 - -1.6
W- 26 154.3 - -2.1
W- 27 153.9 - -0.4
W- 28 152.0 - -1.9
August 30, 2009
W- 29 149.9 - -2.1
W- 30 147.7 - -2.2
W- 31 147.1 - -0.6
W- 32 149.5 - +2.4
W- 33 151.3 - +1.8
W- 34 150.2 - -1.1
W- 35 150.8 - +0.6
W- 36 150.3 - -0.5
W- 37 149.1 - -1.2
W- 38 149.8 - +0.7
W- 39 150.1 +0.3
W- 40 156.3 +6.2
W- 41 153.3 -3.0
W- 42 152.6 -0.7
W- 43 152.6 -0.0
W- 44 150.7 -1.9
W- 45 152.4 +1.7
W- 46 153.0 +0.6
W- 47 152.3 +0.7
W- 48 150.1 -2.2

W- 49 147.5 -2.6
W- 50 146.3 -1.2
W- 53 151.0 +2.0
W- 54 149.3 -1.7
W- 55 144.9 -4.4
W- 56 144.1 -0.8
W- 57 140.0 lbs. Goal!!!!