Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Dinner again?!?

So, when we last left off, I was actually managing to get dinner together, but it still confused me. Narrowing down what we were trying to do (come up with plan, make it healthy and on sale if possible) made it a lot easier.

On Sundays during lunch, we would look at the sales fliers, clip some coupons and then talk about what we wanted to eat. I pass the flier over to Mark, he looks at it, says "Oh, ____ is on sale, what about _____?" (For some reason, only I get ridiculously stressed out/confused over meals).

Once we plan the weeks dinners (throwing in a few ideas for lunch and breakfast for extra credit on occasion), I make a grocery list. One of the things we had to tweak was when to plan for...I prefer to grocery shop during the week (on my way home from work--or at least I did when I was at the Old School). So I have to promise to shop on Monday, when I already work late because the Recycling Club meeting is that day. Ugh. So we are trying Wednesday to Wednesday with moderate success.

I think the big thing that has really helped us is making a shared calendar in Google for meals (I know. This whole thing is ridiculous, and it feels even more absurd writing it out. It's nice of Mark to humor me, no?). We spent maybe 20 minutes going through and putting meals on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays (over planning doesn't go well--we don't know what will come up, and then we shop for--and waste---food for meals we don't end up eating). We filled in the whole month either with favorites we already know or a quick perusal of magazine recipes I'd clipped (I love cooking magazines). Now we can just check in and say, "Still good with x, y and z?" and change one if we want.

It's also finally gotten us to try some of the things we thought sounded good, but never do because we always revert to something we already know, like the Scallop Risotto we made for Valentines Day.

Hopefully this will keep for working for us me. Mark was volunteering at church on Sunday, and I was supposed to figure out dinner. He told me to make whatever. And I worked myself up and could not figure out what to make. I spent twenty minutes walking from my computer in the living room into the kitchen to look in the fridge, then pull my recipe file, then look stuff up on the computer. I almost called Mark. And then I reminded myself it was just dinner.

How do you get dinner on the table? Do you find it to be way harder than you thought it would be?

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