Oh what am I going to make for dinner tonight schedules and stuff

@suspenseful (40326)
Canada
January 4, 2009 9:57pm CST
When we were at my daughter-in-law's place and later at my young son and his fiance's place on New Years, I noticed that both of them have menus of what to have each day, so they will not have the same thing each night or use the same meat. Now I never had a list on the fridge, I would figure it out in my head, that if I have spaghetti one day, the next day I will have something with potatoes, and the next day I will have something with rice. And I had certain dishes to go together. For instance, sausages always went with oven fries, pork chops went with either mashed potatoes or rice, and chicken went with rice, oven fries, fried rice or curried rice, or if it was boneless, I would cut it out and put it in spaghetti sauce. etc. That worked as long as there were at least four meat products, ground beef, pork, sausage, and chicken. The trouble came when there were only three and when one ran out of the spaghetti. So when you plan your meals, do you do them in your head or make a list to put on the fridge? And do you cut down on the necessities - because of the budget like I do?
4 people like this
20 responses
@Lindalinda (4116)
• Canada
5 Jan 09
No I don't. I am retired and on a budget so I cannot afford to waste any food. When I shop I see what is on special in meats and vegetables and I buy those. Now I cook a meal accordingly. So say there is a cup of spaghetti sauce left after the first meal. The next day I either use it to make chili or shepherd's pie. Then the shepherd's pie is enough for two meals. So I freeze one portion for days when I don't feel like cooking or can't cook. Now cauliflower for instance is very seldom on sale. It usually costs $ 2.99 here at the No Frills's (Superstore). When it goes on special for $ .99 I buy a big head. The first day I break some florets off and have it as a steamed vegetable. The next day I make some cream of cauliflower soup and if there are still a few florets left I steam them together with some broccoli or I make a cauliflower gratin, meaning I put the parboiled florets in a white sauce top it with cheese and bake it in the oven and eat it as a vegetarian meal with some boiled potatoes. Now there are 2 lonely potato pieces left over. The next day I have them for lunch, lightly fried with olive oil and some chopped onions and maybe a slice of ham cut into strips. So you see with my method I could not post a list on the fridg because the centre of my goal is to have tasty healthy meals but not to waste anything as far as food or money is concerned. I notice sometimes my kids have lists posted on their fridg but they are both professionals with nice salaries. I also notice they don't pay much attention if they waste some food.
@suzzy3 (8370)
5 Jan 09
You sound like a very sensible lady and I enjoyed reading your comment.We are very careful as well as every penny counts.When there is a lot of money coming in every week it is easy to waste food,but if they did what we did they could probably spend more time at leasure or together.I was always careful as I thought but since the credit crunch I have shaved another twenty pounds of my weekly shop,the funny thing is I cannot remember what I spent it on.Only I do buy supermarket brands now ,toilet rolls I spend a £1 instead of £1.50 and toilet cleaner instead of spending £1.75 I now spend .30p just as good so thats how I shaved all that money on different things,I wished I had changed years ago.
1 person likes this
• Canada
5 Jan 09
Thank you so much for your kind comments. I like your suggestions as well. It is so amazing how much money we can shave off here and there, little by little. Keep on doing what you are doing.
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@suspenseful (40326)
• Canada
7 Jan 09
Our sons make good salaries so of course they can afford to have lists on the fridge. Us pensioners cannot. We have to make do with what is on sale. We get spaghetti sauce and will mix it with hamburger, and depending on whether it is spaghetti or macaroni, will add extra spices or vegetables accordingly. We did manage to pick up some chili con carne on sale so that will give a few more meals. I cannot have that many potatoes, so I was thinking of picking up some sweet potatoes.
@WATARIKENJI (1534)
• Philippines
5 Jan 09
I used to start it in the head and end up on the paper. Its always necessary to ot it down after figuring it out.
2 people like this
@suspenseful (40326)
• Canada
8 Jan 09
I keep it in my head, and then decide what to take out that day. I have a sort of a good memory.
@Lakota12 (42794)
• United States
5 Jan 09
No I dont make a list what ever I make they eat and we always hope it lasts for 2 nights to strech our dollar!
2 people like this
@mtdewgurl74 (18122)
• United States
5 Jan 09
I used to make a list along time ago but now I don't. Nowadays We usually go by what we feel like eating that day or time. Thank goodness for the invention of microwaves so I can defrost/dethaw meat in just a few moments. We don't have meat with every single meal. like when we have vegetable soup and or fried potatoes,beans, macaroni and cheese( or macaroni and tomatoes) and corn bread. I guess I am lucky that he is sometimes satisfied with having just veggies sometimes. Someitmes when we have a meats dish it will last two meals so that helps out with the budget alot. I quit doing the list when half the time I wasn't fixing what was on it...I should start back though and make it as a menu of what is available to cook like meats,pasta dishes,rice dishes, veggies and side dishes so I won't have to scrouge around in the cabinet everyday saying hon..what do you want for dinner and here him reply I don't know what's in there..lol
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@suspenseful (40326)
• Canada
5 Jan 09
I like macaroni and cheese sometimes, but it does not love me. Now if there were a low cal way to make it, I would be happy. I do make a lot of spaghetti, chili, macaroni casserole, but I depend on the rice, spaghetti, potatoes, sweet potatoes to balance it out so I like to have a different meat with a different side dish.
@mtdewgurl74 (18122)
• United States
5 Jan 09
Well Macaroni and cheese just loves me to pieces and won't leave me alone..it just lovingly clings to every hip and thigh I have to my discontent. But nothing a few days of exercising might help in getting rid of it..
1 person likes this
@suspenseful (40326)
• Canada
6 Jan 09
That is why I do not like macaroni and cheese. It tends to go places I would rather not have to it.
@Barb42 (4225)
• United States
5 Jan 09
I don't plan much at all. There are only the two of us at home, and our taste changes from time to time. We can eat leftover for days on end, and no problem! And, when I cook a good meal, we really enjoy it. I had a roast, potatoes and peas yesterday. There is enough for dinner tonight. But, it was fellowship last night at church, and I brought home enough barbecue and potato salad and cole slaw for a meal. So I won't have to cook today at all. We love beef and chicken and I can figure out lots of ways to fix it without cooking the same thing every day. But, when I cook, we always have enough left for at least one other meal.
@suspenseful (40326)
• Canada
7 Jan 09
Last week, my husband persuaded me to make his form of chili stew. Now his form contains potatoes and I cannot eat potatoes, and he had them put into individual containers and not only that, he figured that they would go bad so we had to have two one day, two another, -so for four days straight we had this blasted chili stew with potatoes. So what I did this week, was to make real chili with the stew and omit the potatoes, and I made half. But he had two servings so now I have one left, and he can have his sausage and potatoes, and I will have the chili.
@Barb42 (4225)
• United States
7 Jan 09
Well, my roast and potatoes ended up for 3 meals instead of two. So tonight, I'm making chili. And that will last for a couple meals or maybe 3, according to how much we eat tonight. I bought a chicken today, too, so I could make chicken and dumplings, something different for a change! I get so tired of the same things. I hadn't made a roast in a long time, so that was definitely good.
1 person likes this
@cher913 (25895)
• Canada
5 Jan 09
i know what you mean! i am now back into the fun schedule of kids going to school, making lunches, and planning for supper...yuck! sometimes, i do plan the week of meals and while we go to a butcher, we get large pieces of meat for not that much money. i buy soup bones and roats from the butcher and am usually able to get a couple of meals out of each thing.
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@suspenseful (40326)
• Canada
8 Jan 09
When our boys were small, we would use the ham bone after finishing off the ham to make bean soup and we used to beef bone to make beef soup. We used to go to the butcher when we first got married and moved to Saskatoon, but we stopped it after finding it was more expensive.
@sweetlady10 (3620)
• United States
5 Jan 09
I make my dinner or lunch just randomly, there are no menu around the week. When I go for shopping at that time I come to an idea what kind of food I am going to make. So, the coking goes around the food available in my fridge.
1 person likes this
@suspenseful (40326)
• Canada
9 Jan 09
I often wonder how some people can have so much money that they can put a menu down on the fridge and then go and buy the stuff while the rest of us have to make do with what we have available. Like today, I thought I brought up chicken thighs, but then I found it was pork chops, so I had to forget about the curried rice and just go with regular rice.
@cynthiann (18629)
• Jamaica
5 Jan 09
When all of my children were at home I was organised and had meals planned but when I was working too, we had someone employed to cook and tidy the house for 5 days a week and I really only cooked at weekends. My husband looked forward to this as he preferred my cooking. Employing a 'helper' is the norm for working Moms and it does give someone a job in a country where unemployment is high. I was never home before 7 pm anyway and could not start cooking at that time. Now, I only have someone for one day a week to give the house a deep clean and to look after my clothes for work as I work 2 jobs. I no longer do menus and my son is the one who usually decides what is to be cooked and he mostly cooks or the children's babysitter. Again, I am back to only cooking at weekends. In other words, no I am not organised but we have cut down a lot of meals provided because of extremely high prices for the purchase of food.
1 person likes this
@suspenseful (40326)
• Canada
9 Jan 09
In Canada, unless one is rich, we have to do it all ourselves. So I have been doing things in my head and since I have a good memory I can usually vary the meals so we do not have the same meat or chicken or side dishes twice in a row. I used to make double the quantity so in case we went out and did not get home until an hour before dinner, we could just heat it in the skillet or put it in the oven or microwave. But now there is just two of us.
• India
5 Jan 09
It is always a good idea to plan what to cook each day so I don’t waste time thinking and rummaging thru my brain and the fridge. However, I do it while shopping on Saturdays for the entire week. While buying veggies and fish, I always work out what I a going to make which day. It also saves me a lot of last-minute panic … like you know I want to cook a particular dish and the announcement has been made and at a vital moment, OMG I am just out of a most important spice!
1 person likes this
@suspenseful (40326)
• Canada
5 Jan 09
I go by what is in the house. And what is on sale. And that depends on what we will have to eat that week.
@chulce (1540)
• United States
5 Jan 09
Great question. For me, I used to set up a weekly menu. I thought at first, it would save me time and I wouldn't have to stand for several minutes in front of the freezer or pantry trying to decide what to do. I noticed that I actually spend more money this way. Now, I simply just decide what to make. A few days later, we have a leftovers night. If this doesn't get rid of all the leftovers, I see what is left and try to come up with something unique with the left overs.
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@suspenseful (40326)
• Canada
5 Jan 09
I guess it depends on what you can afford. I have to decide what to make for dinner tonight. I was thinking of mac and cheese, but then I do not dare, so I guess it will be macaroni casserole again.
@ronaldinu (12454)
• Malta
5 Jan 09
I am more the organised type than my wife. We have a total different system. She usually buys the same usual stuff of groceries from the supermarket. I have made a menu of about six weeks, trying to vary food. However she finds it hard to stick to a menu. I do believe sticking to a set of menu, will help you to buy less unwanted food that gets rotten and thus you save money. (c) ronaldinu 2009 - the more people I meet-the more I love my dog
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@suspenseful (40326)
• Canada
5 Jan 09
My husband goes shopping with me because I do not have a license. and it is too cold here for me to walk all the way to the store. So we have to buy what he wants almost, and anything extra I pay out of my own pocket. We sometimes gets short because we buy on sale. I would like a menu but I have a husband who thinks cheap is better and that makes it hard forme.
@jesbellaine (4157)
• Philippines
5 Jan 09
Hello There! Well, I don’t really have the problems with that just yet since I am still living with my parents and my Mom do all that stuff like last night. A friend of mine was visiting last night and I don’t have in mind what to have for dinner. I asked mom to cook dinner for us and she just think what to cook, she checked the fridge then decided to cook “siomai” for our dinner and “chicken steak” but whenever we have some visitors or guests coming, she usually grab a pen and paper to enlist all the food that she can cook, most importantly, she can budget it especially if we are on tight budget. Thanks for the discussion! Happy Mylotting and have a great day ahead! Cheers!
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@suspenseful (40326)
• Canada
5 Jan 09
I usually think of things in my head and I decide by what we have in the house and what we have in the house, I do it by what was on sale that week. And when we are short of money, we sometimes do not get what we like.
@riyasam (16582)
• India
5 Jan 09
i try to cut down ,when we donot have any guests.i donot have the habit of preparing a list but i do make them in my head.here,the main dish is rice related products with non-veg as a side dish. belated happy new year
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@suspenseful (40326)
• Canada
5 Jan 09
And Happy New Year to you and yours as well. We seem to plan our meals as to what we can get on sale. I do things in my head and since my husband's stroke, have not had anyone over. We've been over to their place.
@dragon54u (31383)
• United States
5 Jan 09
When I had my sons living with me and before, when I was married, I wrote everything down. I had to because that was how I shopped. First I'd look at the sales and make menus from that information then plan the meals and take the menu with me when I shopped. I don't plan anymore, it's just me and I eat when I feel like it and whatever I want. Lots of frozen dinners and easy stuff.
1 person likes this
@stephcjh (32385)
• United States
5 Jan 09
I make the list out in my head but it usually changes from day to day. When the day gets here, we decide what we want to eat.
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@suspenseful (40326)
• Canada
5 Jan 09
We buy things on sale, and some weeks the ground beef is a good price, so we buy that, but when we do we do not have enough for the other meats. It is all right when everything is on sale, but if it is, we go without.
@agrim94 (3811)
• India
5 Jan 09
Well when ever you have a family of your own then you have to share everything and every burden with ur spouse and have understanding how things would have to be worked. so if they had it on fridge then it means they know before hand may be a week ahead planned what they would have on a particular day. Nothing wrong with planning and this saves lots of time and men's questions of whats in dinner today and not same again.. And yes if you are short of money then you have to budget and squeezing every penny from everywhere helps. So 4 meats are not necessity and 2 meats or even if ur not daily meat eater like me vegetables would do fine which cost much much less than meat in India.
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@suspenseful (40326)
• Canada
5 Jan 09
Our vegetables are not that cheap because in winter we have to import everything.
• United States
5 Jan 09
I plan a menu every week and then shop according to my menu. Amazing how much money you buy and how well your able to budget. As for not having the same meat day after day it dont matter to me I could eat beef every day of my life. Chicken for me is a nice change as I dont get much chicken and Pork my family hates it I love it. I do the menu in advance that way if the kids dont like what we are having at home they can make plans to eat at a friends house or deal with what we are having. My daughter helps me plan the menu and for her its a good thing as we are able to have more things that my kids will eat. I have been told by there friends that they like to come to my house and see whats on the menu that way they can see what nights they want to eat over.
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@suspenseful (40326)
• Canada
5 Jan 09
I love chicken and I love beef but not so much fond of pork. In fact, I have to disguise it so it does not taste much like pork. We shop according to what we can afford and that makes menu planning rather difficult, unless you can plan according to budget.
@blackbriar (9126)
• United States
5 Jan 09
The way I plan my meals is.. Open freezer/fridge See what we have to eat Cook whatever we agree on lol Simple as that! I always make sure we have plenty of ground beef and turkey in our freezers. It's a main staple in our household.
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@rusty2rusty (6768)
• Defiance, Ohio
5 Jan 09
I plan my meals out when I go grocery shopping. I don't place something in the cart unless it is for a meal. I have always done it this way. I not sure why I have never jotted it down on paper. I guess it helped if for some reason I am not in the mood for something I can always create something else real quick.
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@suzzy3 (8370)
5 Jan 09
When I go to the supermarket I have a rough idea what we need to buy.My son does not like meat.My husband and I do so we can have what we like giving my son the veg or chicken nuggets or pizzas sounds boring but he is fifteen and as long as he eats his fruit and veg and drinks plenty of fruit juice.We like chicken,beef and lamb so we eat that mainly.stews casseroles ect are our favourites but we always have a roast dinner and spaghetti bolagnaise which he will eat,cheese and potatoe pie and bacon he will eat that as well now so it makes it easier.I don't buy food to throw away so we are very careful and only choose what we will eat,so avoid waste.In answer to your orignal question I do'nt plan as such,I decide out of what we have in the fridge ,what we had yesterday and go from there sounds a lot like you.I must admit they do sound organised don't they maybe we should take a leaf out of their book ,if I can get that organised.HA HA
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