Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Now that the shopping's done, what next?

Well, this month I worked out about 10 days of exact pre-planned meals. The rest of the month, I will work with what I bought on sale. As you know, that will be lots of chicken, potatoes, and carrots- hee hee.

I still have leftover ground beef from last month's shopping. I also bought several different cuts of beef and some ground buffalo. (Can't wait to try that!)

When I first bring my meats in, if I have bought a big quantity, I will separate them into ziploc bags by approx. what we will need per one meal. If I have time, I cook some of it up. Boil chicken and shred; then bag up by about 3 to 4 cups each bag. This will make quicker meal time prep in the long run! If I've brought in ground beef, I will brown some of it up with onions and drain and freeze up about 2 to 3 cups per bag. That way, I can lay it out at breakfast for lunch or just drop the bag in hot water and have it thawed in no time!

When putting up any canned foods, if I end up with more than fits on the allotted space on the shelf, it goes into "food storage". (Which is simply the space under one of the boys' beds downstairs. Brandy has spurred this trend. I have several flats/cases of food down there now such as cream of ? soups, tomato sauces, canned beans, etc. The kind of things that would make it easy to whip up something in a pinch and/or if electric were out, could be heated by other means, easily. ..A big snow here would mean power outages for days.)

The next thing that needs to be done within one or two days is an inventory of what fresh fruits and veggies I bought. Those will need to be cooked according to the storage life. Squash will have to be cooked before cabbage. Grapes will have to be eaten before apples. Bananas before raisins.

As I plan my meals, these will be worked in first.

If I've brought in nuts, I may want to soak and dry them as per NT. If I've bought a bunch of cabbage or beets, I may need to go ahead and make kvass or kraut.

If I've bought any convenience food, a note is made on my menu plan about it so as to keep it for a day later in the month when we might have a doc or dentist appointment.

If I've bought a bunch of milk, I may want to go ahead and make yogurt, buttermilk, and kefir. But honestly, I usually do this right before I go shopping to move out milk for fresh.

If I have a set menu plan (all meals mapped out) I will go through (if I didn't do this while making the meals out) and mark the meals that need to be cooked first. Meals with zucchini, parsley, special herbs, beets, greens, brussels, green onions, etc. Also, if the garden has any food ready, it must be worked in, frozen, or stored in the fridge.

If I do not have a set menu plan(this month only has about 10 new meals planned out), then I will make brief notes of what I bought (fridge first) and plan meals around those. I will work through 'favorites' and new recipes, based on what I have and map out a plan. I will do this each weekend usually but sometimes I will do this right after shopping so as to make any notes of things that may need to be picked up on the next run for milk or eggs. :-)


The Prudent Homemaker said...


Do you have a way to cook in a power outage?

My husband wants to make a solar oven for us (since we get sun all year round here).

But since you have snow, which also means a cloudy day, and I know some people (not here ;) ) get snowed in, or stay in from ice storms, they would need something else to cook indoors. I'm curious to hear what you are using or planning on using.


Donna said...

I don't right now.
Many years ago, we had a Coleman stove - for camping.

My oldest DS is supposed to get one! I am hoping so. With the mild summer that we've had I am concerned about the winter.

When my oldest was a baby, we had that bad blizzard here. Normally, I love snow- but that year, we lost power and it got down to 40 degrees in our apartment and no way to get warm or heat food.

But my thinking is; If I had some canned food, I can at a minimum build a fire and heat it outside!