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.
Black bean and corn soup
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