One of the ways I take the annoyance out of the meal-planning/grocery shopping routine is with Meal Cards. I’ve been using these for a few years now and they have really helped me out. I’ve mentioned them before but I thought I’d take the opportunity to introduce the idea on it’s own today.
I’m not a really creative food person. I don’t have the envious talent of finding things in the pantry and creating something new and fantastic on a whim. It just doesn’t come to me. (That’s why I like RecipeZaar) I am a decent cook though. I just need to have a good idea.
Enter- Meal Cards. Here’s what I do: I write the name of a meal I know our family likes on the top of an index card. Under the name of each meal I write the ingredients needed to make it and where the recipe is located (online, cook book). Then, each time I think of another meal we like or we try a new one that we end up liking I add another card. They are like recipe cards but easier. I’m sure you could do an easy version of this in a spreadsheet. I just like the ease of being able to grab an index card right out of the box the moment I think of it.
So, when I sit down each week to do my menu planning I grab this little stack of cards, pick out some meals, check the listed ingredients and add the ones I’m lacking to my grocery list. It’s like it does the thinking for me. I don’t have to look up each recipe to see if I have all the ingredients because the information is all right there.
Here’s that Shepherd’s Pie recipe that Kelli asked for
Why I do what I do ~ I had to make a trip to the grocery store tonight for a forgotten ingredient (it happens to the best of us). It was just Chloe and I. We began walking through the parking lot when Chloe froze, began to tremble and pointed ahead saying, “Mommy, save it” in the most desperate tone. Frantic, I looked ahead in the busy parking lot and saw nothing. A little panicked, my eyes open a little wider, I ask “Save what?” She hoarsely responded, tears filling her eyes, “my grape.” I peered about 20 feet ahead of us and saw a small grape, gently rolling through the parking lot away from us. Holding her hand I gracefully chased it down and ‘rescued’ it. She stopped and looked at me. “I need it,” she whimpered. I looked at the grape, to say it was caked in dirt would be an understatement. I told her it was too dirty and I’d have to throw it out but I’d buy some more in the store. That one just wasn’t good for eating anymore. She began to cry right then and there, not the bratty-child cry (we all know that one), she began to cry the broken-heart cry. I melted. I rubbed the graped on my jeans, put some spit on it, rubbed it again, wiped it with my shirt until it looked shiny again and handed it to her. Her eyes lit up, she ate it and I prayed she wasn’t ingesting motor oil. Go ahead – judge me. There are worse things Have you liked Domestic Cents on Facebook yet?