Laura has been working on meal planning, and it got me to thinking about…meal planning. Especially because by yesterday morning Mother Hubbard’s cupboard was bare and it was time to go shopping.
(Third month of once a month shopping, btw. It’s getting a lot cheaper now. And I really like my master grocery list.)
I have in the past, sketched out five and six week meal plans. I’ve sketched out meal plans by genre (Monday: Italian, Tuesday: Mexican, etc.) Etc. Etc. Etc. I like lists. But you know that.
It’s probably needless to say that I’ve never succeeded at my meal plans. Even with Flylady urging all of us flybabies to plan our meals and our grocery lists, I still couldn’t get the hang of it.
The biggest problem is…me. Apparently I rebel at the authority of the Plan. It’s really hard to cook something that doesn’t sound good at all.
So this is what I do now and it works for me:
I go shopping. At Henry’s, where I can buy a whole basketfull of fruits and vegetables for $25…including organic…just by shopping for what’s in season (read: lowest prices that week).
And then when I get in the car, I take out my receipt and make a list that looks something like this:
GREEN: lettuce, kale, broccoli, celery, avocados…
RED/YELLOW: carrots, acorn squash, butternut, corn, tomatoes …
FLAVORS: onions, garlic, red onion, cilantro, italian parsley…
FRUITS: bananas, apples, tangerines
DAIRY: ricotta, feta, sourcream…
And then, as I drive home, I devise meals out of what I have. My Grandma taught me that you should always have a yellow and a green vegetable at every meal, so I try and come up with things that have something from each category.
This week’s meal list looks something like this:
Tomato, Ricotta, Basil Roulade. Tomato, basil, ricotta. (New recipe, I hope I have the courage to try it!)
Mimi’s 11:29 sandwiches. Lettuce, cheese, tomato, avocado. (Basically an avocado sandwich…had it yesterday. Yummy! And, only 2 out of the 4 avos I bought were rotten. That’s a pretty good ratio for me. They were on sale.)
Split Pea Soup. Carrots, celery. (Need to decide on a rice or bread).
Lentil soup. Carrots, celery, potato, kale.
Applesauce. Apples. (Big hit with the girls last night…I didn’t even have enough leftovers for breakfast!)
Random apple recipes. Apples.
Tim’s Dill Potato Soup. Potatoes, onion, garlic.
Sweet salad. Apples, lettuce, feta.
Corn on the cob. With lentils and broccoli?
Squashes save for next week.
And then, as the week goes by, I can cook according to how the spirit moves. That is, what sounds best on which day. The theory is that I wouldn’t have bought those vegetables if I didn’t want to eat them. That’s why I always try to be at least slightly hungry when I go shopping…otherwise we don’t have much to eat during the week.