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Meal Repertoires

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I don't follow the "rules" for grocery shopping. You know, the ones that say "Plan a menu for the week, and then go shopping for those items." I find that ends up being complicated and expensive. If it works for you, that's great. But I found an easier and less expensive way for me. I shop once a month. During the course of the month, I keep a running shopping list on the fridge, and as we run out of stuff, I add it to the list. It's easier to keep track of staples that way. Then I scour the paper for specials, and see what's on sale. I will normally buy meat that way, and produce, and any other things that were already on the list. I spend about $100/ month for the two of us.

As for cooking the meals, I have a repertoire of meals that I can make without a recipe. I'm always working on adding to it. These meals are tried and true, and they are fairly easy to prepare.

My repertoire:
Shepherd's pie
Black bean and corn soup
Meat Loaf
Pasta Carbonara
Fried Rice (chicken, veggie)
Stir Fry (beef, chicken, and veggie)
Rice and beans
Omlettes and Frittatas
Rice and Lentils
Honey mustard chicken
And my favorite... "Use-up-whatever's-in-the-fridge-soup"!

I also make side dishes with whatever veggies I have on hand, and add herbs/spices and butter to them to flavor them. Like Cinnamon peas, Cardamom carrots, Herbed green beans... etc.

For dessert, though we don't have it often, I make a fruit crisp, or baked pears/ apples.

So, what's in your repertoire?

(This was originally posted at my site here: http://p206.ezboard.com/bstayingathome)
post #2 of 11
If you only shop once a month, what do you do about fruit and vegetables?

post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
I buy mostly frozen stuff. I buy fresh carrots, onions, and celery, but frozen everything else.(Usually peas, broccoli, corn, green beans, various berries, and a stir fry blend or two.) It's cheaper too, and we have QUITE the limited budget, lol! The fresh stuff lasts all month without going bad.

This spring, I'm going to head down to the farmer's markets once a week. I'm not sure how that'll affect our spending yet, but I know that I can get stuff there thats cheaper than the supermarkets and fresher too!

And I'm starting a garden this spring, so that will cut down on spending, and add to our fresh produce.
post #4 of 11
$100 a month. Wow. Impressive. I"m guessing you don't have animals or bad habits. Having lots of both, I'm working on reducing my grocery expense and going to a twice a month shopping habit is how I'm trying to do it. I make the following things often:

Hoppin' John
Piccante (pasta with a smoked salmon sauce)
Gnocci Vodka
Pasta y Fagioli
Lemon Chicken
Tomato and Asparagas Pasta
Veggie Burgers with Rough Chop Guacamole
Eggplant/Chicken Cacciatore (sp?)
Squash Casserole
Fridge Pasta (lately it's been leftover pasta with canned tuna, peas, butter and fake cheese.)
Italian wedding soup
Portuges Canja (lemon/chicken/rice/mint soup)
Kielbasa and saurkraut

Looking over this it is pretty apparant I worked in an Italian restaurant.
post #5 of 11
My kids love frozen vegetables, too. They eat frozen peas, corn, and lima beans for snacks. But they also love fresh fruit: bananas, oranges, pears, kiwi, etc. I don't feel like canned fruit has the nutritional content they need, and the frozen fruit here is MEGA expensive. I also buy fresh broccoli every week for my husband's salads. He's lost 15 pounds since he started taking a salad to work for lunch instead of a pb&j!!

For a while I tried doing "big" shopping every two weeks and "little" shopping (fresh fruits and veggies, etc) on the off weeks, but I found it didn't save me much time. I shop once a week now, usually on Saturday afternoons. I know that's the busiest time, but since I go to 4 or 5 stores each week, it's too much to take the kids along so I leave them with my husband. The best time to shop is Sunday morning, but since I or my husband (or both, occasionally) go to the temple on Sunday mornings, that shoots that.

post #6 of 11
I like reading about everyones recipes they usually make. I need to find some new easy recipes, or ones that I havent thought of!
post #7 of 11
Originally Posted by Persephone
I buy mostly frozen stuff. I buy fresh carrots, onions, and celery, but frozen everything else.(Usually peas, broccoli, corn, green beans, various berries, and a stir fry blend or two.) It's cheaper too, and we have QUITE the limited budget, lol! The fresh stuff lasts all month without going bad.
I envy your shopping routine, but I'm guessing you don't have kids yet? My son needs fresh fruit and I agree with PP that canned doesn't always cut it nutritionally, and frozen is very expensive and doesn't have the variety.

I was shopping every two weeks and running to the store for fruit etc. on the off weeks, too, but it didn't save time at all. It did save some money. Right now I am back to just shopping once a week. I keep trying to cut the bill but it's hard. Even when I buy NO packaged food, mixes, junk etc. well, fruit, veggies, cheese and meat add up. It's frustrating sometimes!
post #8 of 11

i shop for dinner everyday. :
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
No we don't have kids yet. We put our frozen berries in oatmeal, or turn it into a crisp. Sometimes dh will buy apples for his lunch and those usually last a long time too. A month or two ago, we bought grapes, and those lasted us for half the month.

we are planning on starting our family this year, and once the farmers' markets start, I intend to go down there once a week, or once every two weeks for fruits and veggies. A plus: farmer's markets stuff is fresher, and so it lasts longer.

I'm not saying my plan will work for everyone, but it works for us. It will likely change a lot throughout the years. BUt I do think not having a big list of recipe ingredients does make for easier (and cheaper) shopping.
post #10 of 11
OhMel, you have some interesting sounding meals! SOme of them are things I've never heard of and have my interest peeked. I am mostly curious as to how you make Piccante? Never heard of it, but is sounds great.

post #11 of 11
I getting proud of our repetoire, only b/c it's been a rough road. We only have a small fridge, so shopping once a month would be impossible, we have nowhere to store it! LOL We are getting a freezer though.

Here it is:

-Stuffed Peppers
-Crustless Courgette Quiche
-Tofu Feta Pie
-Chicken Mahkani
-Courgette Pasta
-Indian Lentils
-Carrot Soup
-Pea soup
-Tomato Basil soup
-Chicken Parmasean
-Beef stew
-Tuna Salad
-Chicken Korma
-Coconut Indian Prawns
-Homemade Pizza
-Pasta al Thonno
-Creme Fraiche Mushrooms and Chicken
-Pasta Fagoli
-Spanish Rice Bake
-Tomato Mozzarella Salad
-Chicken Salbei
-Chicken Enchiladas
-Honey/mustard Salmon
-Baked Tuna

I think that's it. It's been hard, but we cook nearly every night. We subsisted on pre-made meals, when DS came home from the hospital...

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