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I am TERRIBLE at planning meals...

Any suggestions? I always go shopping, buy a ton of stuff, then get home and realize that I have very little to actually make into meals. What are some things to buy that are interchangeable and can be used to make a lot of different things?


Asked by LovingSAHMommy at 1:09 PM on Aug. 11, 2010 in Food & Drink

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Answers (13)
  • If I said it once I said it, 1000 times, I only but what is on sale, it is usually your best bet for a good deal, I find a deal and buy in bulk. --LOL
    That said I get the area shoppers and look at each store, to see what they have on sale, I pick the one with the most stuff i want and go from there. I mentally go through what I have, what we haven't eaten in awhile and go from there,
    My stales include
    pasta, rice, beef/chicken bullion, onions and onion soup powder, cream soups, beef, chicken, tuna, hotdogs, canned beans,dried beans, canned tomatoes, and tortillas,
    And may I say stews are the best thing to make, you use lots of veggies so it is healthy, hearty and cheap, and left overs for at least two days.

    Answer by blue_glass_mama at 2:11 PM on Aug. 11, 2010

  • Maybe you should plan full dinners before you shop, write down a list and shop by your list.

    Answer by BobbieJo286 at 1:16 PM on Aug. 11, 2010

  • Ground beef, chicken, pasta, flour, rice, veggies. All of those are pretty interchangeable.

    Answer by mommy11260 at 1:10 PM on Aug. 11, 2010

  • I think we could live for 2 months off just the food I keep on hand.

    Keep stock of the following items.
    potatoes, pasta, tortillas, rice, beans, bread
    onions, garlic, salad fixings, broccoli and some cans (corn, green beans)
    lunch meat, cheese, salsa, condiments
    spices, boullion, BBQ sauce, spagetti sauce, milk, eggs, butter, olive oil, chili fixens
    Keep gound meat (beef, chicken or turkey) in your freezer and you will ALWAYS have meal.

    I buy meat in bulk when it is on sale and freeze that too... but if you just keep the few things mentioned above in stock at all times, then you could make a full meal at any time with any piece of meat and little planning.

    Answer by Niki_sd at 3:23 PM on Aug. 11, 2010

  • I only go grocery shopping on sundays. I LOATHE grocery shopping. So I plan the entire menu for the week. Sunday-pot roast. Mon..-use the extra pot roast to make shredded beef enchiladas. Tues.-bbq bacon chicken. wed.-manicotti thurs.-blt's. fri.-chicken parmesan. sat.- date night out, or spaghetti. sunday- Lasagna. Or if I really don't feel like cooking one night, Leftovers! haha! everyone's favorite...
    That's this weeks menu anyway. But my family is at work, & in pre school during the day. So, I just need to worry about breakfast items & dinner. So I stock up on produce for the week, & a few snacks, & add some side dishes to dinner. I can spend between $50-80 bucks for a weeks worth of grocerys. And I don't coupon clip.
    Also, buy in bulk when you can. When there's a good deal on something, buy a few of them. Then its in your pantry/food storage for later. Gotta love food storage!

    Answer by Ellie19 at 3:29 PM on Aug. 11, 2010

  • im the same as you i do to the store and then come home withough anythign complete lol. so what i started doing is make a lil calendar thing that says what i will cook everyday that way i bring all the ingredients for everything i wll do. it cuts down the cost of all the extra stuff to

    Answer by Alejandra10 at 5:08 PM on Aug. 11, 2010

  • Interchangeable ingredients ( or pretty close)

    meatloaf-salisbury steak
    spaghetti-chili (if you have beans on hand)
    broccoli bake (with the stovetop stuffing)- chicken divan-
    Oven fried chicken-baked chicken

    There are many combinations, as long as you keep the staples on hand, rice, pasta, potatoes, and tomato sauce, canned soups, frozen veggies, you can be flexible. I also plan a menu, and buy according to the ads, then I keep on hand all of the staples (stocking up of course when they are on sale) and can be pretty flexible if my mood or time schedule changes. Now I'm cooking healthier, and I will admit it's a little harder to be flexible, but the more used to my new menus that I get, the easier it's getting.

    Good luck!

    Answer by ohwrite at 6:45 PM on Aug. 11, 2010

  • I started backwards. I wrote down our dinners for two weeks. For the third week, I used every other meal for the first six nights, and added a new recipe for the seventh. I base my grocery list on just the ingredients I need to complete my meal plan (now all meals and snacks) for a week.

    I have built up a sizable list of meals, and still have a large set of "to be tried"

    Send me a message if you would like some new recipes!!

    Answer by rkoloms at 9:08 PM on Aug. 11, 2010

  • Now I am at the point where, if I don't write a meal plan and a shopping list, I would be lost at the grocery store.

    Answer by rkoloms at 9:08 PM on Aug. 11, 2010

  • Look at the sale ads and make a menu based on what is on sale

    Answer by fryshannon34 at 12:53 AM on Aug. 12, 2010