I used to meal plan really well, but such planning took a couple days. The last few months I have just made a general list, sometimes mental only
, and went from there. The results, you can imagine, was a lot of random missing ingredients, and a way blown budget. Another aim is to maximize my purchases to supplement my pantry. We never really run out of food, but I would like to contribute more to our reserve in light of the current economical uncertainty, even if it means changing the way we eat.
I like to do one major shop at the beginning of the month, with a couple supplemental shops for produce, dairy/eggs. I am looking for input with the meals I have listed to be able to buy a bigger cut or package of one meat to spread out over additional meals, or using a meat as a more equal component of a meal rather than the center piece iykwim. I am also looking at shopping tips for this, such as better ways to buy bulk, or items that can be purchased in a greater quantity that may not seem as obvious.
-No HFCS (avoided at all costs)
-No MSG (aaac)
-No artificial colors, flavors (aaac)
-No Nitrates/Nitrites (avoided as much as possible)
-No Transfats (not as militant about this. For example, will use Crisco brand shortening as I cannot afford Spectrum all the time)
-No Sodium Benzoate (avoided as much as possible, especially with a citric acid combo)
-No Preservatives (avoided as much as possible)
-One family member cannot have any dairy, so meals that are easily substitutable, or easy to do separate. (We DO NOT sub cheese as the only cheese subs without any dairy taste like toes)
-I am a pretty good cook and am willing to try most anything. We do nearly all bread from scratch, except occasional artisan breads, but am eager to attempt.
-We enjoy deserts, so inexpensive ideas much welcome.
These are the types of things that we typically eat in a month, and are on my tentative meal list. (I mostly have the main dishes listed. Would love for input on sides) :
3. Tacos (usually shredded pork)
4. Chicken Parmigiana
5. Macaroni and Cheese (homemade)
6. Chicken fried steak
7. Breakfast for dinner (waffles/pancakes/eggs and bacon/sausage) We usually do this at least twice per month
8. French Onion Soup
9. Potato Soup
12. Fried Rice
14. Beef in mushroom sauce
15. Wonton Soup
16. Pot Pie (usually chicken)
17. Pasta Carbonara
18. Pork Chops in adobada
20. A big sandwich (usually with a soup)
21 Frijoles Borrachos
22. Hobbit Pie
23 Pad Thai
24. Cabbage rolls
Any suggestions, substitutions, input of all kinds is VERY much welcome.