Thursday, October 25, 2012

Blank Meal Plan Day

One of the things I like to do when I am making my meal plan is to leave a few days blank through out the month.

There are several reasons for this:
* Sometimes I don't feel like cooking and we just have a sandwich and some fruit for dinner.
*Or A meal turns out to make double the amount I anticipate and we have that two nights in a row instead of just the one night on the meal plan.
*Or we are invited out to have dinner with friends

If I had made a meal plan for those days I would have been left with unused food in my fridge and pantry, so this way I keep the clutter and unnecessary buying down to a minimum.

If however none of those things come to pass and we are home and needing dinner I am planning ahead to challenge myself. You know how you look in your pantry and see that odd jar of something and think "I know I bought that for some recipe and never made it.....but I can't remember what I was going to do with it". So your pantry fills up with these odd bits and pieces that you never actually use. With the blank meal plan day I am issuing myself a challenge. I am challenging myself to fly by the seat of my pants and use up what I can find in the freezer or pantry. It cuts down on the clutter and over stock in my pantry and freezer, keeps my grocery budget down as well, and lets me get creative and come up with something I normally wouldn't have thought to make.

Tonight while I was scrounging around in the bottom of my freezer seeing what I had available I found some of my grandmothers spaghetti sauce that had gotten buried and forgotten. Paired up with the spaghetti noodles I bought months ago in bulk and we are good to go for dinner. Technically this meal didn't cost me anything for this months meal planning challenge since the spaghetti sauce and noodles came out of the grocery budget months ago when they were prepared and stocked up. However I hate when I read a blog and the blogger does that to me. I want to see the costs, all the costs, even the ones that were incurred months ago while doing a stock up. After all I can't get a clear picture if I don't have all the numbers....apparently I like numbers....who knew?! So in an effort to show all costs I will record it in our end of week breakdown.

I would say tonight will be a nice easy night in the kitchen but I have a lot of bulk cooking to do instead of dinner cooking. I need to make bagels and waffles from scratch tonight for the rest of the month. Having dinner already done does help though!

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