Thursday, December 15, 2011

Eating Out of the Pantry & Taking a Stab at Menu Planning

I'm not a great cook.  Sufficient yes, but I'm definitely not whipping up any gourmet dishes.  Over the course of our married life I have to admit that I haven't put much effort into making supper & have often found it easier to grab take out than sit down and think about deconstructing recipes.  I am such a model homemaker.

 Before our holiday travels we planned on eating from our pantry.  I bought $50 worth of produce & perishable items, but beyond that I planned on eating from the pantry.  In order to make this work, I actually did menu planning.  Long touted as the frugal grocery shopper's best friend, I have avoided planning a menu like the plague.  I still didn't do it properly--I didn't plan it around sales, I didn't really stick to it (I mainly used it as a guideline) & I only did it one week at a time, but I found it totally helpful.

By planning menus around what we had in the pantry & what perishables needed to be eaten I was able to tackle dinner every night without so much as a batted eye lash.  As of today I have successfully made two weeks worth of home cooked meals as well as enough chili to take to a church carry-in & to freeze for after Little Baby.  I know some people can do this easily, but for me, this was a huge milestone.

In addition to the deliciousness, by planning menus no food spoiled & we were able to eat on a very small amount of money.  I hope to add more recipes to our rotation shortly, but for the meantime I've been able to come up with a month's worth of meals with minimal effort.  I definitely think that I'm going to be using menu planning in the new year.  Hopefully it will be a way we can lower our grocery bill & get dinner on the table!    

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