Monday, January 31, 2011

What's for Dinner tonight?

My family and I are continuously asking the age old question, "What's for dinner tonight?".  Unfortunately, there are many days where I'm scrambling to come up with something interesting and tasty.  I don't plan as well as I'd like to and that goes for grocery shopping too.
So, I'm determined to start planning ahead and sticking with it.  I've attempted this before but I've never stuck with it for longer than a few months and never consistently day in and day out.  That's about to change.  I have a new attitude.  I'm trying hard to find a job while the kids are in school and I can't just keep winging it.
First thing I did was call out to my Twitter friends for help.  I've got a few sites I'm going to start pursuing based on their input.  I've also found a few on my own.  I will share all the goodies I find.  Promise!  After that, I sat down with my family and asked for what they wanted to see on their dinner plate.  When all was said and done I have a list 38 main dishes and 19 side items.  I'm going to continue to add and tweak.  I'm also considering trying out theme days. 
Sunday-Sunday Dinner (roast/ham/turkey breast/roasted chicken/meatloaf/etc)...but this will have to wait until skating dies down some.
Monday-Leftovers (it's a hockey practice night until mid-March)
Thursday-Quick Meal (hamburgers/hot dogs/mac & cheese/etc)....another hockey nights
Friday-Chicken of some sort (We're big on chicken)
Saturday-Homemade pizza
So, this is my start and I'm happy with it.  I've got a huge list and can mix and match things.  I need to get a calender to write everything out. I'm also shopping smarter.  I sat down for a bit this morning and went through my meal plan and figured out what I needed from the store.  Then I added staple items and things for breakfast and lunches.  When I got home from the store I spent quite a while going through the freezer and fridge and reorganizing.  Thank goodness I did my pantry and cupboards last month.  Finally, I made a list of dinner items in the freezer. Main meal items like: chicken, steak, ham, etc.  I also have one shelf dedicated to quick, convenience type foods as my husband likes to sometimes just throw something quick together.  This will be great for weekends or when we have to change up the meal plan at the last minute because something came up.  This shelf has things like: meatballs, chicken patties, perogies and raviolis, along with meals prepared ahead and frozen.  I'm trying to stay away from convenience food and steer towards healthier options but these things will be there when we need them in a pinch.  They're good go toos on hockey/skating days.  I try to buy the healthiest choices I can.
Now all my lists are made and hanging on the freezer.  I want to laminate them I think or put them in clear folders.  That's my next step, along with the meal calendar.
I hope this is not only helpful to me but anyone reading this.  I'm open to ideas if you have any and I'm always looking for great recipes to try. 

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