Monday, April 13, 2009

30 meals: Step1

Someday I will enjoy cooking.


Someday I will baste and sauté' with feeling and pleasure!



But right now there are 4 little ones underfoot and a kitchen table covered in art projects, homework, and spilled honey from breakfast.

It's 5:00pm and one of my girls is complaining of a growling stomach and begging for cookies while the other is whining about having to come inside and help set the table. Meanwhile I'm frantically scanning the pantry and fridge for clues of what to make for dinner. I finally spot the spaghetti sauce and start to cook only to realize that we are out of pasta... grrrrrr all the while nursing my baby and yelling at my toddler to leave the dog food alone... I just love dinnertime.

Sound familiar?

I'm always up for new ideas that will make dinnertime run more smoothly especially if those new ideas save me time and money too!
So when my mom shared a new idea with Melissa and I that promised these results we were all ears and now we want to share this idea with YOU! (Because we are ALL about sharing)

INTRODUCING...
THE 30 MEALS PLAN!



Okay, this is so simple and yet SO BRILLIANT!
The idea is to find 30 meals that your family loves MOST and compile those meals/ recipes so that they are easy to access. Then make a master list of all the ingredients you would need for all of those meals so you can keep your cupboards (and food storage) stocked so that on any given night you can pick a meal and whip it up in a jiffy or plan a week-month at a time... easy peasy!

The beauty of this is you still have a great variety (or if you are like me, more variety) and you can shop the sales, stock up on those ingredients, and make less trips to the store which saves me lots of time and $$$$ since I can never stick to my list. Plus no kids complaining, " This is gross"... you know everyone will be happy!

So if you want to join us then...
HERE WE GO:
STEP 1:
If you are like me then you use a lot of the same recipes over and over again. I have several cookbooks and recipe boxes full and over-flowing but honestly I make maybe 15 of those recipes on a regular basis so the first step is to find 30 recipes your family LOVES. I obviously picked all 15 of our "standard recipes" and then we have been making a new recipe every night to start building to 30 meals.
We get most of our recipes from Kraft foods because they are SOOOOO simple and my kids like 9 out of 10 of the recipes. I also use ward/ neighborhood cookbooks and recipes on the Internet. Every night after the meal we go around the table and vote yes or no whether or not to add it to the list.
There you go, start compiling your 30 meals and we will be back soon with Step 2!

PS we would love to hear your thoughts about this. Are we the only ones that think it's brilliant?!?


and Photobucket

38 comments:

Pixeltrash said...

Yes, the masterlist is a great idea! I guess I already have the book of recipes because I print them and put them in binders as I make them and as everyone likes them. Most of mine are from www.epicurious.com. I will play along because I like the idea of making a masterlist to have on-hand for shopping!

mysteryhistorymom said...

Genius! I love this idea and will start getting my recipes together!:) Lori

Controlling My Chaos said...

I've been working on my own version of this for over a year now with my recipe cards. I only make a recipe card if I love the recipe. I detest having to wrestle with cookbooks. My goal is to menu plan a month at a time, but I'm still building up my "keeper" recipe collection and not quite ready for that yet.

Kari @ Ucreate said...

What a great idea! Count me in :)

Missy said...

Great Idea....I absolutely hate cooking and anything to do with a kitchen so naturally I loathe dinner time.....thanks fo the idea...this will make it easier and tastier for dinnertime at our house...

Robin and Don said...

I'm on the same page. I have been working on compiling my recipes for a while now and put them all onto a roladex to sit on the kitchen counter. That way I can DI all the cookbooks that I keep for that one recipe. I am also including simple meal ideas, not just the main course. Don and I are trying to eat just 500 calorie meals so we are including nutrition info as well. I did our food storage buying based off of these meal ideas about 3 years ago and it was so easy this way. Plus, we really eat our storage and we rarely have food go bad in the fridge. It has been a huge saver with Don's applications and interviews these last several years. Great idea! I cannot wait to see the next stage.

Jeanie said...

yes, yes BRILLIANT. I love this idea, and I am in!

That Girl said...

We do the voting at our house too. Usually everyone has to like it for it to be made again.

Rebekah said...

You two are SO FUNNY! I'm glad you are so "Human"! It makes me feel better about me...

Family said...

This is brilliant! I can't wait to read about step 2 and the rest :) Thanks for sharing!!! You are awesome!

daring one said...

It is a great idea. The "what" is the killer. I've tried to make notes or check marks on our favorite recipes in our favorite cookbooks but then I still have to flip through every page to find the good ones. I may have to do this.

Bobi said...

This is the best idea ever. I can't wait to get rid of the bulky cookbooks that have two recipes that I like in them.

Shaila Creekmore said...

To some degree I do this, but I'm not nearly this organized about it. I love the idea of putting all the recipes together. I've been trying to do more meal planning, but so far I'm not that good at it.

Kelly Jo said...

this is totally brilliant. And, I like the part about keeping a list of those master ingredients so you always have them on hand. Very clever and that might be my weekend project if it is raining as predicted. Thanks!

KC said...

I just stumbled on your site and am so glad I did. I can't wait to get started on, like, everything here. You guyls have some great stuff!

SHERRY ZEHNER said...

Count me in. After I spent over an hour in my pantry looking for my son's favorite dump cake recipe, I know I need to organize. I just added your button to my website yesterday. Hope you two will have time soon to visit me: http://clayclothandclover.blogspot.com

Crafty Mom said...

I am So going to do this!!! This is exactly what I need! I'll be linking to this on my blog, too! This is definitely a brilliant idea. I just discovered your blog and I love it. Thanks for all your great ideas!

C and Co. said...

We do this in our family and it works amazingly!! I, however, HATE grocery list making so I bought all of the ingredients to each recipe and put them in my pantry. Now, if I use something from my pantry, I write what I used on my grocery list and voila!! each week I have my grocery list already made because I am just replenishing my stock!! I have worked up to having 3 months on hand. It takes all the hassle out of creating that dreaded grocery list!!

Amy said...

My situation is different because it's just me and hubby for now... but my husband has a strange work schedule so it makes dinner time really difficult. We eat breakfast and lunch together but then he's off. So, usually it's just me for dinner- but I want to make something so he can take it for his dinner.... AND then I always have a hard time with making too much. So, even though I haven't yet, my plan is to start making my freezer my friend. I do a lot of bulk shopping for meat and stuff at Sam's Club. I figure if I cook some chicken, shred it up and put it in the freezer in "portion amounts" I can pull it out and use it for dinner one night and it's there quick and easy. Also, I can brown my ground turkey with some onions, stick those in freezer bags... same idea. This is the plan- we'll see how it goes. Having the recipes to go along with it is a great idea! Coming over from UCREATE sorry for a long comment- I'll be back to visit!

Lorie said...

THat is a great idea. I know I always spend less and dread dinner time less when I have a plan for dinner.

Marcy said...

Simply FAB idea. We OFTEN have nights like you described as I try to get dinner ready. Sometimes it is just putting a bunch of stuff together and hoping it tastes good.

I am gonna start compiling NOW.

Sarah said...

Genius! I'm in and I'm posting about your idea on my blog right now! Love it!

-Sarah from Create Studio
www.createstudio.blogspot.com

Mel said...

Brilliant! I will get my binder together tonight and start gathering the recipes. Master list of ingredients...Amazing!

The McGraths said...

This is how I have my food storage set up, but It never dawned on me to use it on a daily bases! DAH! I'm so getting started! Thanks a bunch, your MOM is totally brilliant! and you girls are so pretty!

Monica said...

No, you are not alone in your thoughts. This is brilliant. I can't wait to start!

Lacie E. said...

I love this idea! Now we just need a forum to share out master lists right?

myonlysunshine said...

Ok, so I've looked over this post several times and thought, "Nah, I don't use recipes. I cook on the fly and throw in whatever. This wouldn't work for me." Then today I see the post about the shopping list and think, "You know, I do need to buy the same things for the things I like to make but I never seem to have one of the second things I need." So I've decided I'm in. I may not have recipes written down for most of the things I make, but that doesn't mean I couldn't have recipes written down for the things I like to cook. Also, it wouldn't kill me to have more than 5 or so Go To Meals. I'm going to start today and Hopefully post to my blog as I figure out how it goes. Thanks for sharing your ideas with all of us. You are two very smart chicks.

Patti said...

I had this idea a few years ago and asked my extended family if they wanted to play along. I gathered up all our favorite recipes and compiled them into one cookbook. Now we have a family cookbook that holds not only our own favorites, but also those of our siblings, kids, nieces, nephews, parents, etc. It's the cookbook I use more than any other because all my favorites are in one place!

JOY said...

I've started one of these - thanks for the motivation to update it and start using it again!

msbits said...

Wonderful! I love this idea! Thanks! Would it be okay if I linked to your 30 meals posts? I love a sharing great ideas! :)

KatieJ said...

I loved this idea and FINALLY got going on it- I'm loving all my laminated recipe cards! You can see my finished product here: http://wannabecrafter.blogspot.com/2009/10/recipe-cards-another-free-download.html

A Touch of Country said...

great idea and you posted some yummy recipes. Thanks!

Hugs,

Natalie

Alvin said...

(alvins wife) this is what I need, I could sob with releif at finding this, baby number 3 is 5 weeks old and half the time we only have peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.. this is the answer!!

Sparrow's said...

I have most of my favorite recipes typed up & every time I want to make something I print off a new copy because I can never find the other copy I printed off. Every time I go through my cupboard I find about 3 of each recipe. :p I need to do something like this to save a few trees & me the cost of printing. :) My problem is that I just can't seem to find time to get organized. I too have 4 small kids under foot, maybe at night once they go to bed I can figure this out. Do you have any extra tips for an extremely unorganized person like myself?
Piehay at ymail dot com

April said...

been wanting to do this...even started a list a few times, but never followed through because I felt overwhelmed. Thanks for sharing the steps. This is perfect for me! new follower!

Caryn said...

What a grat idea. I am going to get my list started. I am all for making meal time easier so I can have more time for family fun.

Tracy said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE this idea. It is EXACTLY what I've been searching for, I just didn't know it! I got started on it right away and found that I needed 4 30 day plans. 2 for winter and 2 for summer. Lot's more crockpots and chilis in the winter and more grilling and salads in the summer. Thank you thank you thank you. (Not to mention I emptied 3 shelves of cookbooks and recipes I had gathered!! GONE, gave them to my babysitter!)

Sherrie Hunt said...

Robin, I would love to see your 500 calorie recipes. I can whip out 30 meals pretty fast...but I'm trying to plan healthy. I have no idea what they are and I'm new at trying to eat healthy.