May 14, 2008

What's for Dinner?

Here's a random idea that I discovered this week.

Scoping out the fridge and cupboards, deciding what's for dinner tonight, can be a hassle. Do potatoes go with tacos (probably not)? Would a side of rice work with beef (maybe)? So I came up with the idea of making a "menu" for the week of possible meals.

At the grocery store, I bought ingredients for about 3-4 meals that I had planned. When I got home, I created a few more new meal ideas with the leftover items that I had in the house - this part is key. Then I made a list on my computer of all of the dinners that I could make with the ingredients I had in the house (new and old), as many as I could come up with. I printed out a "menu" and put it on the refrigerator. Some days I will even e-mail Kyle the list so he can decide what he's in the mood for (he loves it and says he feels like he's at a restaurant). I just cross off the meals as we go!

It's been convenient to have everything planned out ahead of time, and I know what ingredients I have and what they will make. It's also nice because I can reuse items so I don't have to waste anything. I've included what our 'Dinner Options' menu looked like for the next several days. Of course, I made things sound a little more gormet than they really are! If you try this, let me know if it works for you!

Fish Tacos with Avocado
Southwestern Cabbage Slaw
Corn and Black Beans

Grilled Shrimp Skewers
Couscous with Sweet Potatoes

Teriyaki Salmon
Steamed Broccoli
Spinach Salad

Baked Chicken Parisienne
Sweet Potatoes

Scallops and Green Beans with Green Curry
Steamed White Rice

Spaghetti with Meat Sauce
Spinach Salad

Bratwursts/Hot Dogs
Steamed Cabbage
Cheesy Hashbrown Casserole

Pepperoni Pizza


Anonymous said...

Nealy, you are a rock star! I have such a hard time with menu planning each week, because I think I get too easily stuck in a rut. I love getting recipes off your blog. I have never eaten anything at your house that I didn't like. I am in the process of trying to do a month of menu planning so I can buy all my meat at Sam's Club at the beginning of the mouth. Should be interesting.

brianna gray said...

Great ideas, Nealy! I wish I was this organized. We usually fly by the seat of our pants and sometimes I wish I could get more organized to do something like this. Anyways, fish tacos sound tasty! We make those often and last time, Brian made a pinapple salsa to go with it. Very good! Hope you enjoy all your tasty meals!

Jana said...

Hey Nealy! I guess I've been a "lurker" for a few days but your menu idea is prompting me to comment. David and I have done the menu thing since we've been married and it definately works for us! We shop on Sundays and plan for the week (or 3-4 days depending on David's crazy schedule). We make extra for me to bring to lunch and I love not having the stress of "what's for dinner tonight."

Great Idea and I highly recommend it to others.

alan & steph flies said...

this is great Nealy! Thanks for the suggestions - I can't wait to sit down and a put together a menu. I really appreciate your blog!!!

Christy said...

Nealy, I LOVE this idea. Actually, I have been menu-planning for awhile now. I started to post a comment here but it got so long-winded I decided to write a post of my own on the subject. See my blog for more details...

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