Meal Favorites

It’s true that we here at “Getting Real in Your Kitchen” don’t meal plan in the normal sense of what you would probably consider meal planning to be.  Here at “Getting Real…” we do pantry planning.

In a nutshell, we make sure that our pantries are always stalked with what it takes to make at least 5 of our favorite meals.  When it’s time to make that weekly grocery list we always refer to our master pantry list as our guide.

But I also keep a master meal ideas list as well.  Sometimes I just go blank when it comes to thinking of meals, so I keep a running list of my family’s favorite and easy to pull together meals.  I’ll look at that with the master pantry list when I’m making my grocery list.  Just in case there is something from the master meals list that I would really like to have that week, but I don’t have all the ingredients for, I can easily grab whatever I might need when I’m at the store.

And I also like to cook and try new recipes.  I like to search the web and read food blogs and I like to flip through cookbooks.  When I see something that catches my eye I like to print it out and stick it in my “recipes to try” file folder.  Or if it’s from a cookbook I will make a note of what it is and where it is and stick that in the folder.  Then when I’m preparing the shopping list for the week I look through the folder to see if there is something new I would like to try.  I usually try only one new recipe a week.  I like to rely on my go to ideas the rest of the time.

Now if I really like one of the new recipes, I’ll add the name of that recipe to my go to list and file it in the appropriate folder. Then I will make a note of what folder it’s in. 

My file folder names match my magnet.

I also like to include a dessert folder, because what is life without a little bit of dessert every once in a while?

Grocery List

Just to review, we use the following resources to plan meals/make lists for the grocery store:

For those of you who prefer to be paperless, you can always create a meal planning folder within your computer documents.  Included in here could be your master panty list, your favorite meals list, and your fruits and vegetables list.  And you can also create a “recipes to try” folder in your favorites and save them there.  Or better yet, you can create a “recipes to try” Pinterest board and pin them. 

I’d like to share with you all a sample of my master favorite meals list.  Just to give you some ideas.  Keep in mind that this list will not always stay exactly the same.  During the course of your life you will walk through many different seasons and as the seasons of your life change so will your tastes and the amount of time you are willing to be in the kitchen each week.  I suggest that you reevaluate your list at least twice a year.  And you might want to go through your recipes periodically and purge the ones you are no longer using.  I find that it just keeps things so much easier when you are not always faced with so many different choices.

I hope that I have been able to help you simplify the process of meal planning and grocery store shopping!

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