talk about it more

a virtual baby book

When she was two, Fiona regularly said "Talk about it more!" to express her desire to know more about whatever we were discussing.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Planning is key

Ian and I keep talking about making a real-live budget, and part of that plan hinges on me making a menu so I can do a better job keeping grocery spending in check. It sounds relatively easy to sit down, figure out what we like to eat, figure out balanced, healthy meals on a weekly basis using Sunday sale ads as a seasonal springboard-- perhaps with a couple freezer meals and meatless meals thrown in for good measure-- and make a streamlined grocery list based solely upon that plan.

Then I started thinking about what I actually MAKE. Hmmmm. Why am I coming up with a blank? I asked Fiona, "What do I make that you like to eat?" She thought about it for a moment. "Annie's mac and cheese," she said. And I mean, that's ALL she said-- even with further prompting. Something tells me that this menu thing is going to be painfully arduous. Annie's mac, anyone?


At 3:29 PM, Blogger library chicken said...

Do you really need to plan a menu? Why not look at your past grocery bills, see what you regularly spend, and see if that is affordable? You can go with that amount, or decide it needs to be somewhat smaller. Why kill yourself to come up with an "Official Meal Planning Weekly Menu" that you probably won't follow?

At 8:24 PM, Blogger Sucero said...

It isn't easy, but it makes life so much simpler to have a menu. We have decision making difficulties at our house so it is nice to say "oh, look today it is Annie's Mac & Cheese and look tomorrow it is Annie's Mac & Cheese and oh, on Thursday we get to have Hops". It is the variety that keeps us happy.

At 10:22 PM, Blogger Teresa said...

I went on a Bisquick menu spree, followed by a couscous menu spree, followed closely by tuna one (which is not something Robert seems to care for, but didn't stop me from sticking it in front of him for two evenings in a row).

We have a cookbook that Dennis likes called Saving Dinner by Leanne Ely that has weeks' worths of recipes with grocery shopping lists. It seems to contain fish for more meals than I care to have, but that's just me. We also have a gift subscription to Cooling Light that has some good recipes that we have tried and added to idea list.

At 1:19 PM, Blogger Deborah said...

Try making the Annie's go further by adding extra milk and extra shredded cheese. We make Trader Jo's Organic Shells and Cheese at our house, and it's pretty dry without my adding extra stuff. Might also try sneaking in some broccoli florets or ground cooked meat or tomatoes for added nutrition.
You have my sympathy. The nights a week that I work late, the kids just don't eat much besides chicken nuggets and peanut butter.

At 10:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with the Library Chicken. Weekly menus never get followed at our house. I'd rather just have a bunch of ingredients to draw from, so whichever of us is cooking has a toolbox of ingredients, if you will, to offer some scope to creativity. To facilitate that, we made a master grocery list using Excel. We put in *everything* that we buy regularly, with the store we buy it from. Each week we mark all of the items we need or want, and filter the list so only the marked items display. Having a list has really helped us control grocery spending.

At 2:18 PM, Blogger Jenn said...

I don't love menu planning, but I LOVE the amount of time it frees up for me. I started with a meat "beef" (what do I know how to make -or what do I like- with beef?) and assembled recipes in page protectors in a 3-ring binder. I also love the free magazine from called Food & Family and regularly tear out pages to add to my page protectors. Any way you do it, starting is the hardest part. It can seem daunting, but it's something you do (cook) alot, so it's not too tough if you break it down.


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