Making Dinner

Around here dinner time used to be a scary time.  I’d scour the pantry for some sort of boxed mix (hamburger helper, blue box mac and cheese) and try really really hard not to burn, sometimes I was even successful!  I have come a long way since the days of over and under cooked hamburger helper (sometimes so runny we had to put in bowls!).  I’ve really been making an effort to make varied and interesting dinners that we will all eat, even with a couple of picky eaters in the house.  Last night I went for a frugal classic, Beanie Weanies.  I’m sure we all remember this staple growing up!  It’s cheap, quick easy and filling.  Even when i do “cop out” and make a meal like this I do try and add a little something to it.  Last night that was mini cornbread muffins, I got the mini muffin pan for a couple of bucks at the notorious Wally World and everyone loved them.  I have also been maing a weekly meal plan to best utililize local sales, food we already have in stock and to eliminate the 5:30 everyone is fussy and hungry and I have no plan so we order takeout instead.  This weeks plan is:

Monday – Ham Steaks, homemade macaroni, broccoli

Tuesday – Beanie weanies and mini cornbread muffins

Wednesday- nachos with homemade tortilla chips

Thursday- Cobb Station subs (david’s specialty)

Friday- Chili Cheese Dogs (using up the hotdogs from Tuesday that were on sale) french fries and carrots

Saturday- Make your own pizzas on hotdog buns (using up the on sale hot dog buns from Friday)

Sunday – Spaghetti with meat sauce (using up the marinara from saturday’s spaghetti)

As you can see, often the meals all flow together.  I’ll decide on one meal and that will produce 2 or 3 other meal ideas to use up supplies and minimize food waste.  Annother thing I do to decrease waste is, if  I am making a large meal (roast, a whole chicken, ect) I will not plan a full 7 days worth of meals to allow for leftovers to be eaten or re-made into something entirely new.  I also don’t plan lunches, some meals lend themselves better to packed lunches than others, and I try to have fill ins on hand like cheese and crackers, eggs to hardboil and lunch meat.  Happy New Year’s Eve, what are you having for dinner tonight to celebrate?

Emily

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