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New to this - any tips to help while I'm starting out?

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
DF and I just (as in Saturday) moved into the house we bought in January and have been renovating since closing a few weeks after that.

I'm in the final month or so of my current job (18-hour days for the government) before I start a new job for one of my favorite non-profit legal groups which will allow me to actually be present for my coming child (I'm due in January!).

Anyway, until now DF and I have lived in separate apartments - in two different boroughs no less - even though we have spent nearly all of our off time together. It's a relief to finally live in the same place, but because of our jobs and different apartments even though I love to cook we pretty much eat out all of the time.

I want to change this, but have no idea about where to start when it comes to meal planning. Are there any tricks that you have learned along the way that have been especially helpful? Any definite no-no's I should know about?

We bought an standing freezer for the basement, but it was on back-order so it's not in yet. It should be delivered in the next couple of weeks, so I want to freeze things but beyond soup I don't really know what does well when frozen and then thawed. Also, what do you think the best containers/bags/whatever are to freeze things in?

Thanks!
post #2 of 3
I like to freeze in glass bakeware. Lasagna, enchiladas, shepherd's pie... Also, waffles and pancakes can be frozen in bags or stacked in glassware with lids. Summer fruit freezes well in bags for smoothies. Break it up first if it's something like bananas or peaches.
When you have time off you can prep produce like wash and break up salad, chop broccoli and cauliflower and mushrooms. If you are working a lot and have a rice cooker or crockpot that helps. I turn the rice cooker on as soon as I get home and when it comes time for dinner I cook up veggies and things and add the rice for fried rice. I also like to make quesadillas with added ingredients. They are quick and easy.
post #3 of 3
I'd start by making a list of everything you like. Then plan from that. That's how I started, but now it's morphed into me stocking up when things go on sale and planning from what I have in the house. I think I started planning a week at a time and now do a month. Plan for leftovers. Like if you make a roast, have sandwiches with the leftover meat the next night (or whatever). Shop in season and shop sales and you'll save alot of money. And when you're completely stocked, dinner will be much easier, even if you don't plan.

I freeze in plastic. I know it's not that popular, but glass scares me. There's a huge thread here about freezer meals, but I stick with breads (bought really cheap on sale), meat and whatever produce I can get my hands on during the summer. We've still got a couple bags of fruit and some veggies from last summer.
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