Have you ever been in the grocery line at 6 PM with a full cart of groceries, still not certain what is for dinner? I've been there, and I am sick of the wasted time and money. I am on a once a week shopping kick- I invite you to join me!
1. Plan your meals around your schedule, fasting/feasting times, possible guests. "P's W"- you ask- "Aren't you forty; don't you know this already?"....well, no... Leila of Like Mother, Like Daughter recommends planning all three meals for every day. I'm slowly getting there.
2. Do 'save a step' cooking- again, advice from Like Mother, Like Daughter (just go there- link to the right under 'eclectic links')- basically, if you have meals planned, plan to cook twice (not once a month- who really has time for that? or the freezer space? not me!) what you need- chop and brown ground beef, onions and peppers for today's spaghetti sauce and Thursday's chili. If you plan your meals, you will know if the extras need to be frozen or refrigerated.
3. Bring one child shopping as a helper. I alternate my 2 big girls for our early Saturday morning shopping trips. We go to coffee and four stores from 7:30 to 9 and then make a big late breakfast. I like bringing one child for a little bonding and comparison shopping learning time; also, I can keep her engaged while we are waiting at the check-out to keep her eyes away from the tabloids.
4. Hide your ingredients. Just because you bought it doesn't mean it is fair game to eat today! I'm not his mother, but I do let my husband know which essentials need to stay uneaten for my meal plan to work. I am also trying to buy official snacks and goodies for him to bring to the hospital so he has something to munch on besides vending machine fare. This week, he has Coke Zero, sunflower seeds and Trader Joe's sesame seed sticks to take to work.
5. Have a few essentials in the pantry so you will never need to shop more than once a week. Flour for emergency bread and chocolate chips for emergency cookies, etc, etc
6. Freeze a gallon of milk. Take out a little to allow for expansion while freezing. Then, when milk gets low in the fridge, take out the frozen one to defrost slowly in the fridge.
7. Have a big box of dried milk on hand (or if you can handle the taste- cans of evaporated milk)- going out for only milk turns into time, gas and money wasted. Who among us only buys milk when only milk is on the list? Not me, I assure you. I have also been using milk powder instead of formula if my bigger-than-average two year old needs something in the night (yes, it should be water- I'm just not ready for the three nights of screaming when we do this change)
--- and why is milk so essential? Well, I need it in my morning tea.
and a bonus quick take-
Stop wasting food! In the old country, my mother-in-law doesn't have a garbage disposal, so they don't throw out any food. You finish what is on your plate, beginning with smaller portions than typical American ones. Then, leftovers go into the fridge and are not forgotten. Any scraps like peels and cores are saved to bring to great-grandmother's pigs. Bones and random yucky meat stuff are saved for her dogs and cats.
Well, I don't have pigs or dogs and our cat refuses any table food. Our townhouse is too small for composting. I do have a freezer and fridge where I can save bits of meat and veggies for mystery soup and bits of fruit for mystery smoothies.
find many more quick takes at conversiondiary.com