Meal Planning

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Who would imagine that a cute little chalkboard like this could change my habits? That a mirror turned chalkboard could land on the wall and get me more organized in the kitchen. It really has!

About the time I finished this sweet thing and hung it up in the kitchen, my hubby had hinted strongly suggested that I should really start meal planning.  If you missed this little chalkboard project, go here to take a peek at how it started as an old mirror found at a yardsale.

I have always flown by the seat of my pants when it came to planning our meals for the week and that’s not particularly a good thing.   Going to the grocery store meant that whatever struck me at the moment was what landed in my cart for the week and then I would put meals together with whatever I had at home and had purchased in my grocery store run.  I can’t tell you how many times I had to stop back by the store for a missing ingredient or 2 that I was going to need for meal time prep.

Chalkboard

So, when this went on the wall, right in plain view, it seemed like a pretty good idea to start adding the menu every week, at least Monday through Friday meals.  And I have to say, it’s made my life much easier when it comes to kitchen prep and meal planning.

Now, at the beginning of the week, usually Sunday evening, I’ll sit down and go through my list of tried and true recipes that we tend to rotate on a regular basis.  You know the ones.  Those that you rely on for ease of prep and you just know that they will work and taste good.  I think I have about 25 or 30 main dishes on my list now, but I’m always looking to add more.  And the good thing is, hubby can read it too and know what’s for dinner!

I only put the main dish on the menu board and then I can add to that fairly easy, since I always have rice, pasta, and potatoes around to supplement.  And I keep a good supply of frozen veggies in the freezer for quick meals too.  Add in fresh salad fixin’s and I’m ready to go.  My trio consists of a meat, carb, and veggie.  Or pasta or soup or sandwich and veggie.  Any of those combos work for me.

Ruined stovetop

Now, here’s a strong case for never leaving a pot boiling on the stove.  Especially if you’re over 50.  I really think something happens to the chemicals in the brain after you turn 50 and you can’t keep things inside your short-term memory for more than about 30 seconds at a time.   Do you know what I’m talkin’ about??  I told my sister it’s like everything is just ricocheting around in there trying to find a coherent thought. :)

So, I left this pot to boil, intending to come right back and turn it down to LOW and do you think I managed to do that?  Of course not!  I heard my hubby rushing down the stairs telling me to check the kitchen, as he ran around opening the windows and doors to LET THE SMOKE OUT!  As I ran to the kitchen, the bottom of my stainless steel pot had melted all over the glasstop stove and left this horrid burn mark and gouges in the glass.  I didn’t even know that was possible with these glass top stoves.  The final straw was the hairline crack that started on this eye in the glass and traveled crookedly back to the other burner on that side.  So now I’m cooking on the left side of the stove for awhile.

So, word to the wise.  Don’t walk away and leave a pot boiling! I learned that very expensive lesson.  Not sure how much it’s going to cost, but early estimates are $400 just for the new glass top.  OUCH!

Do you do meal planning every week?  I’d love to hear from all of you on that subject.  How do you do it and is it working for you?

All of that to say this!  How about we do a recipe party?  I don’t know about you, but I can always use more recipes to add to my repertoire, can’t you? I thought this would be a fun time of year to drag out your tried and trues and share them with everyone.  From meat dishes, to soups, salads, and whatever else you love.  Including desserts.  My personal fave.  Let’s have a recipe party!

Spread the word!  Don’t we all need new recipes to add to the menu?

Recipe Exchange

This is the last week for the Homegood’s $100 giftcard giveaway (it ends Wednesday), so if you didn’t sign up, click here to get in on it.

And Birmingham folks, the Holiday House tickets are on sale (see post below) and I have tickets available if you’d like to go, so please email me!


- Rhoda


Comments

  1. I meal plan off and on. It really helps to get new recipes that are “tried and true”, simple, healthy, and family friendly. I’ve tried to start cooking more. It’s good for our wallet and much better for our health. Menu planning makes this so much easier.

  2. Wow – I’m so glad that the boiling pot incident wasn’t any worse than it was: a new glass top is a whole lot cheaper than a new kitchen!

    I love the recipe party idea – how fun!!

  3. Hi, Rhoda! Lovely chalkboard! I found a mirror at a yard sale this summer and the frame looks a lot like yours! I was wanting to same the mirror but now I am not too sure! I really like your chalkboard idea! And it would save me the trouble of answering the dreaded question ‘Mom, whats for dinner?’…which I hear 100 time a day! – I try to plan meals. It does save a lot of $$ when food shopping if I already know what I want to fix for the week. – I can not believe that about your stove!! I would never have thought that would happen!! Ugggg…..

  4. My neighbor did the same thing, only she went outside to talk to another neighbor and the next thing she new smoke was boiling out the door!!! Lots of smoke damage and lots of cleanup!!! Yes, she’s in her 50′s. I’d like to tell you that part of growing more seasoned gets better, but……..

    Recipe party sounds fun!

  5. That’s awful (your cooktop)!! I have the smooth surface cooktop also but have never burned a pot on it. LOL I have a real fear of fire, so I’m pretty careful in the kitchen.

    I do plan meals, although not so organized as you. I plan a weeks’ worth, but not so much what we are going to have each particular night. It IS much easier to grocery shop this way. We usually eat at least a couple of veggies with our meal (or salad), and we don’t do as many starchy carbs. We also do some all veggie dinners. I love frittata – and what is funny – we are also having parmesan chicken tonight! LOL

  6. Oh, I know the the ricocheting brain syndrome BUT I am only 49…it has struck me early! I’m sorry about your cooktop! :( I, too have had a few incidents which will go unnamed because it would take way to much space to write. Looking forward to the recipe party and trying out some new foods. Donna

  7. I can’t wait for the Party. Unlike your 25-30 main dish repitoire, mine might consist of 10. Ha!

  8. Great minds think alike! I’ve been back to menu planning for 4 weeks now. Posting weekly plans on my blog with thoughts. I wrote yesterday how much easier it has made my life AND how much $$$ I’m saving! Can’t beat that! More money to buy yardsale/junk finds. LOL Love the recipe party idea! Have tried to add at least one new one weekly in my planning. We’ve had some GREAT new dishes too.

  9. Rhoda…I’m with you in that over 50 club and know just what you are talking about with the short memory…soooo glad it was only your cooktop and not your whole kitchen.

    Blessings,
    Linda

  10. Oh Rhoda, I am so sorry to hear about your “expensive” mishap, but I know the feeling of the over 50 thought process. LOL Been there. Hope that it is not as expensive as you think.

  11. I too am over 50! Here is a tip I read from the fire dept. Any time you leave something on the stove or in the oven and walk away…take a wooden spoon with you. Don’t lay it down until you go back to the kitchen!

  12. Rhoda,

    Don’t feel bad! I have done something like this twice and I just turned forty yesterday! The last time was a fire in the oven with a range I had only had two weeks! Uh-oh, what if it gets worse when I am fifty!

    Yes, I plan meals, on a good day at least. I have four kids at home so it is a necessity. I generally plan for four weeks, but grocery shop weekly or every other week. It is so nice to only have to think about it once in a while. When I go to make something off my list it is like someone else has made the decisions for me :)!

  13. I posted about this EXACT topic last week! It really does work…great minds think alike :)

  14. Rhoda, first I want to say how sorry I am for the cooktop mishap. Something I believe all cooks have done one time or another. Now to the menu board…. I love this idea and have seen it used alot around blogland. I am so wanting to find just the right frame to prepare me a menu board. I love the idea of a recipe party. I love to cook. Fall and Winter brings out my love of cooking even more because it’s a time to cozy up and stay inside. Looking forward to your party!! Thanks for hosting the event.

  15. I love the chalkboard! Sorry about your stovetop…
    Your comment about leaving the boiling water behind reminded me… let me tell you about my brief story! I was boiling a pan of water to make hard boiled eggs. I put in about half a dozen, I went across the street to talk to my neighbor just a bit… well, just a bit went to tooooo long and something popped in my mind. I gasped and told my neighbor that I was boiling some water. I ran (I could have won the Olympics, ha!) and my hard-boiled eggs have cracked/popped open and went all over the kitchen! Ugh! It smelled SO BAD that I had to keep the windows/doors open for at least 2-3 days and use room fragrance spray until I ran out of it! At that time, I had coiled stove, thank goodness (I think)!
    I want you to know, I love your blog and your great ideas!

  16. Yes ma’am, I sure do meal plan! What I do first is look through my cabinets and freezer and see what ingredients I already have in my kitchen. Based on what I already have, I plan my menu around those pre-existing ingredients and what’s on sale or what I have coupons for. That way, I don’t waste things that I already have and I don’t waste money on excess ingredients. Next, I make my menu on the back of my grocery list and on the other side of my grocery list I write the ingredients I need to purchase from the store to complete my meals. After I go to the grocery store, I post the menu on the refrigerator so I can remember what I’m supposed to be cooking each night and so my husband won’t have to ask “What’s for supper?” every night. It works for me and prevents me from wasting what I already have and also prevents me from having to visit the grocery store for just one more thing.

    I’m excited about your Recipe Party…I’ll definitely participate in that. I LOVE to cook! Hope you have a great week!

  17. Every once in awhile I get the urge to meal plan. It winds up getting thrown off course if I have had a particularly tiring day and cooking is the last thing I want to do. I do try to plan 1-2 dinners a week that are planned and stick to it ~ this week it’s a chili recipe for a crock pot that I found from Ashlee over at the Workman Witticisms blog.

  18. I just started meal planning and have successfully done it for the past 2 months…it’s easier on the budget and on your peace of mind to have something ready in the midst of a busy day:) Love the recipe exchange idea!!
    Tamera@doubledelight

  19. Oh, so sorry about the stove top! I have only boiled things over on mine and hate the clean up, but at least it wasn’t major damage to your beautiful kitchen!
    I used to menu plan for the whole month, but have started couponing and now only do it for the week, and love it. I have an old Christmas-y chalkboard I am thinking I am going to paint and use for a menu board, thanks for the idea:)

  20. Hi,

    I like this idea of a menu party. Sorry to hear about your expensive mishap. How did you make the chalkboard?
    Is there glass in there? Maybe you could share with us how you made it. I sure could use one of those. Thanks!

    Debbie

  21. Kristen W. says:

    Hi Rhoda,
    Sorry about your stove! Just last week I woke up to realize that i had left our oven on all night at 450 degrees! God was watching out for me and my family. I’m only 49 and do stuff like this way to often!

    I love the recipe party idea, and really need to start menu planning. I do not enjoy cooking. And as a result sometimes I don’t know until 5:00 what I’m going to cook. Talk about stressful. Maybe if i planned it out I would enjoy cooking more.

  22. Oh boy! Yours is not the first glass-top mishap I have heard of. I’ve always liked them for their ease of clean-up, but I think I should stick with a gas-range for safety.

  23. Meal planning has been such a wonderful thing for us with three busy kids keeping us on the run. I have a spiral bound “Paula Deen” calender that is about the size of a day runner. Each day has it’s own space which is just perfect for writing a week’s menu down. Saturday is my planning and shopping day. I alwyas plan two extra “quick” and easy meals to keep on hand that can be used at a moment’s notice if our schedule changes. The calender is the perfect size to throw in my purse and work on while waiting on the kids or to shop from if I find myself running behind on making a grocery list. It also gives me the space that if I have a creative burst of energy that I can plan for a couple weeks time. It works really well!

    Enjoy your week,
    Jennifer

  24. Debra from Mississippi says:

    Rhonda, thanks for your post. The party sounds great. Count me in. I love new recipes that people cherish as well as depend on. I have a few of my own. Sorry about your cook top but I am thankful your house is still standing. Great blog.

  25. We’re got a cute meal planning chalkboard too. I LOVE it! It keeps me sane to have my meals planned out. I try to get them done on Sunday (before the week begins). I’ve also tried to do theme nights (mon – pasta, tues – mex, wed – left-overs, thurs – meat, fri – breakfast, etc)… that can help get my planning going to. I know I save a ton of time, energy & money though having it planned… plus the kids can just look at the board and know what’s for dinner instead of asking.

  26. I love the chalkboard – I have a large silver tray with chalkboard paint I plan to use in the same way!

    I have been making menu planning a habit, very slowly. I usually work in at least one new recipe a week and then alternate some tried and true favorites. I have been able to cut our grocery bill down considerably & my pantry is slowing thinning out and becoming more organized. What really helped me get started was looking at others weekly plans at Organizing Junkie (http://orgjunkie.com/2009/10/menu-plan-monday-oct-12th.html)

    Good luck! Happy planning!

  27. I definitely have to meal plan … I need to write down everything I need on a list because I will forget if I don’t. I write my list starting off with basics (milk, bread, eggs, etc) then break down the rest by meal. It takes a little time making sure you keep everything organized, but its worth it. I’d also love to join the recipe party. I’ve got a super easy soup that we love at my house!

  28. I am among the 50+ crowd also. AND I have days of Fibromyalgia fog…yes, it is real. Anyway, I have gotten in the habit that if leave the kitchen while the stove is on, I set a timer. With 3 or 4 timers available, there’s no excuse for me to forget a pot…unless I forget to set the timer!
    Love your menu board. I would like to make one when serving buffet style…what I do best. Christmas brunch is traditionally at our house. I have 15-20 different items, so a cute little menu board would be cute & helpful. (so I don’t forget to put something on the table at the last minute.)

  29. I love that chalkboard! I just may have to try this way of doing things.

    I have to say that I used to be a lot better with meal planning and then I had baby #5! :-) But what I did do was I would plan a menu and a list for shopping. Then put the menu up on the fridge for everyone to see. It worked great for awhile! It helped to have a plan. I went to the store less often and knew what we were having if we decided to have guests over.

  30. I love Angela’s recommendation from the fireman about a wood spoon for us over 50 people! Goodness, there are days I wonder about senility… I can fully relate to your thought process, Rhoda!

  31. Rhoda, first let me say I love the idea of weekly meal planning – never have done it, but I think your might have inspired me to. I usually “fly by the seat of my pants” as to what I’m in the mood for. Secondly, do you like your glasstop? My surface unit has coils (30 year old Jenn-Air). We have completely redone everything in the kitchen except the surface unit – which works beautifully. I think we’ll probably choose glass top when it expires. My preference would be to have a gas line run and cook with a gas top surface unit. Thirdly, I have burned up many teapots – two enamel, 3 copper (sad!), and two stainless. Now, that’s ridiculous! However, the latest one is an OXO and has a whislte – which is what I should have gotten YEARS ago! Now, if they could just put a whisle on saucepans and skillets, we’d be in business! Glad you didn’t burn the house down! My husband is afraid I am going to do that one day! Linda

  32. When I take my pan off the stove I replace it with the filled tea kettle. This way if I forget to shut the stove off the kettle will whistle and let me know to shut the stove off.

    Kay in Kansas

  33. Meal planning makes a world of difference in my life. I just love our sweet little chalk board, it is so pretty. Hugs, Bobbi Jo

  34. I am in the over 50, smoke in the kitchen club this weekend, too! Except mine was a massive boil over in the oven. All 5 of our kids, SIL, future DIL, BIL , MIL and FIL all were over for dinner and had to evacuate the house. We ate dinner outside -thank goodness it wasn’t raining! Meanwhile one of the dogs managed to knock the bread I baked off the table and 1/2 of the loaf got eatten! No wonder I don’t entertain much!

  35. I’m excited about the recipe party. :) Sounds like fun!

    Occasionally, I’ll get myself on track and do some meal planning. Usually, I fly by the seat of my pants. You’re right…it doesn’t work well. I need to sit down at the end of the week, go through recipe books, coupons, and write a list. THEN I can go (maybe without kids?) and shop. :)

  36. Sorry about your mishap! I did not know the ceramic cooktops would do that – I have one. I am 50 and I have the same issues.
    I am excited about the recipe swap. I need to begin menu planning. I just prepare whatever is on hand and make do with what I have. Hopefully the recipe swap will help me.

  37. I have been meal planning off and on for about a year. About a month ago, I decided to get serious. It is amazing how it helps with time managment.

    I love the chaulkboard idea. I had been writing the menu on the same sheet of paper as the shopping list and by the time you get home from the store with two little ones in tow, the list doesnt’ always make it home :0). So now I have to find something to make into a chaulkboard! I was just at the thrift store today too! Oh well just another reason to go back tomorrow.

    Thanks for the great blog!

  38. Thanks for the warning about the cook-top, I have one very similar.

    I’m a big fan of meal planning. It makes life so much easier. Can’t wait to see everyone’s recipes!

    Lisa

  39. Wow-what a kitchen testimony!
    Meal-Planning is great-I usually plan out at least 5 meals for the each week since some nights we go out. I think in my head “theme-nights” i.e. – Italian, Greek, Comfort, Mexican, Asain, Salad, Sandwich, Grilling, No-Meat night, breakfast for dinner (every other week), Curry, etc… This helps me change up the plan and the meal planning never goes stale. I just plug in the variety of types of meals for the days we are cooking at home. If I know we have a busy day or evening planned, I do a crock-pot or sandwich buffet night to relieve the stress. I work at home so I try to set the table for the evening after breakfast/or in the afternoon-helps with organization.
    I am looking forward to the swap.
    Your site always gives me sparkle to indulge in the “southern” comfort. I live in Palm Beach, FL and a TRUE FL cracker as southern as you can get, but for whatever reason the “southern” appeal is lost in our overrun area of transients from the northeast trying to get warm and retire.

  40. Hi Rhoda…….I am so sorry about your glasstop stove. My husband hates ours but I am getting use to it. In my former home…….I went upstairs one time & let eggs to boil. Forgot about them, they popped & stuck on the ceiling – ha! I didn’t know glasstops did that either…..we are going gas in the island one of these days! That is a great idea about the meal planning…….sure would help out here in the lake area as we are so far from town. Thanks for inspiring me to get a more organized approach to meal planning…….Bonnie

  41. Viictoria says:

    Rhoda, I about lost my continence over leaving a pot boiling if we’re over 50. Were you ever reading my mail. Thank goodness I’ve never done more than almost burn a pot bottom or whatever was cooking in it at the time. Can’t imagine having damage done to my stove! Bless your heart!

    And, I too, have taken shots at meal planning. These days my husband is the grocery shopper and if it isn’t on the list that he takes with him, it’s not going to get bought. And bless his heart, he tends to stick with the same thing over and over. So I have made it a point to start meal planning and making my list out very specifically so we aren’t stuck having the same boring meals over and over.

    Now, if I can just not let that pot boil over. lol! Today though, I forgot to go turn my pot of beans ON!!! It’s a little late here to start them, but I guess we can have them tomorrow night. Thanks for the belly laughs over that. Helped me remember that I didn’t turn the pot on!!!

    ~ Victoria in Texas

  42. Hi Rhoda!

    I’m gonna try to jump in on your recipe fun later this month.

    Not a whole lot of meal planning right now – I’m hit and miss with it. But I always have food in pantry or freezer ready to go, for when I don’t plan! :)

    Happy Monday!

  43. i do meal plan, but i do it for the whole month m-f, with not repeat meals. helps not to get too tired of the same old recipe. my family loves it.

  44. Ooooh, I will be over for dinner on Thursday!
    It isn’t an over fifty thing. :( I am 46, and my memory is terrible. My last kitchen disaster would make you feel a lot better about yours. It always could be worse probably won’t make you feel any better, but trust me, you would want to have an eye on me if you left me in your kitchen.

  45. Hi Rhoda!
    If a chalkboard will help me to plan better meals then I absolutely need to get myself one. I have a fetish for collecting recipes but seldom get the chance to try them out. I just love to try out a new recipe when we invite guests over for dinner. I guess you could say I am tempting fate but so far I’ve been lucky and never had a meal backfire on me.

    I totally agree that when we reach 50 the chemicals in our brains don’t function the way they used to. I find it a little scarey sometimes because I had such a fabulous memory and could never understand why hubby had trouble remembering most things. Now I totally understand what its been like for him all these years.

    I look forward to your Recipe Party and once again, TFS!
    Sheila

  46. Hi Rhoda! Oh, what a scary situation about the kitchen disaster!
    I love your chalkboard! What a great idea to post the meals for the week. Have a great evening.
    Sandra

  47. I plan my meals every week for several reasons. First of all to be organized and know what we are having when my husband asks, “What’s for dinner?” Meal planning also enables me to save money because I don’t spend so much on things I “might” make for dinner. My other goal with this is that I eat correctly and can control my weight better. I’ve learned to plan 5 meals a week because inevitably we end up eating out once or twice and improvise with cereal or grilled cheese and tomato sandwiches!

  48. No meal planning here! I don’t complain – one of the few perks of being single! One day that will all change and I’ll have to take on your advice and plan away! I LOVE the chalkboard idea too. Super-cute. What time is dinner?! I’ll be there in a snap! I’m in the B’ham area, you know :-)

  49. Rhoda I am so sorry about your cooktop but so happy it wasn’t more serious..I am also very forgetful, and like your reader Beckie I also have chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia and some days it’s all I can do to remember to get out of bed.
    In the 32 years we have been married and especially when our sons were at home, I tried off and on to do meal planning,i am not very good at it. I am going to give it another whirl since we are disabled and on a real fixed income! I love the chalkboard, neat! Great idea..now would that work with a glass picture frame too as opposed to a mirror..I am guessing the chalkboard paint would work on regular glass too.

    Rambling, so sorry..and yes, recipe exchange. I always need ideas, easy things that can be broken down to meals for 2..

  50. Great idea Rhoda…I would love to join your party. Who couldn’t use a new recipe :)

    Not really into menu planning….we kind of fly by the seats of our pants. Hubby is easy to please so whatever i make is Aokay with him.

    Sorry about your glasstop, that stinks !!! Check out Ikea everyone is talking about them :)

    Have you ever walked into a room and just stood there not remembering why you were there ??? That’s always fun !!! Love this aging thing….

    All the best,
    Kathy :)

  51. What a fun way to let everyone know what’s for dinner!

  52. Sorry about your mishap. I left a pan of grease on the stove once and it caught fire, lot’s of smoke damage. I was only in the 7th grade. It’s so easy to get distracted and forget. Thankfully it worked out well in the end and my mom got a kitchen redo that she had been wanting anyway.

    I do some meal planning, but not regularly. The budget is very tight right now so I’m trying to use what I have in the freezer and pantry. It definitely makes a difference when I have a plan and know ahead of time what we’re having for dinner. It’s one less thing to have to think about!

  53. Eek! I have a crack in my glass stove top as well. I have no idea how it happened either. I wonder if my 15 year old daughter knows and she’s just not telling me.

    And re; the meal planning, I need a serious kick in the rear on that one! haha

  54. I am picturing a healthy handful of M&Ms squished between two slices of soft white bread for your Friday meal. Am I close?!! Can I come for dinner?

    Tracey

  55. Hi Rhoda,
    Thank you so much for your sweet visit this evening. It’s always nice to hear from you. I did remember when you won the rug from Darlene as well! I just love yours with the Zebra print. It’s fabulous! She does great work.

    I’m so sorry about you stove top! Yikes! That is so expensive.

    I’m glad Iwas able to get to your blog this evening. I had a very hard time getting it to open lately. I’m also happy to have found a new follower button for you. ~Whew! I just can’t navigate my blog surfing without one. Thanks for putting a new one up for us.

    ~Many blessings, ~Melissa :)

  56. I would love to start meal planning. I bet I would spend a lot less time in the kitchen and grocery store. I think I may have to try it! I think it’s cute hanging up there in your kitchen too~

  57. Rhoda I couldn’t get you blog feed when I followed with your new follower box. Hmmm.. I’ll try it again soon. ~Melissa :)

  58. Love your menu board. It is adorable and so useful. I have not been doing much cooking recently, but I’m like you, I usually just fly by the seat of my pants when deciding what to fix for dinner. I need to do more meal planning each week myself. We will be eating at home more now that winter is around the corner. I like to hibernate in when the weather is cold and eat at home. A recipe swap sounds exciting! I love getting new recipes. Love & blessings from NC!

  59. So sorry about your stove, I’m 50 and almost did the same thing last week. My 88 yr. old neighbor called to say her dog had just passed away, so I ran out of the house with a pot of pasta cooking. When I got back, I had a very burnt pan of pasta, but fortunately no stove damage.

    NOTE: I do know that if you take the lid off a hot pot and lay it on a glass stove top, the moisture can make a suction and cause the glass to crack.

  60. Vickie H. says:

    Rhoda, I am very worried at the prospect of you trying to cook on the part of that cooktop that is not cracked. I don’t believe that it is safe to try to use your stove right now. You might GOOGLE “danger in cracked ceramic cooktops” and see what you get! Might be much safer to use the microwave until you replace it. I am not a fan of them anyway….when I get the chance, I am replacing mine with gas burners! Too unpredictable for my taste when it comes to cooking temps! Good luck!

    • I don’t think they are as hot as a more traditional stove. I wish that I could get my husband to get me a gas stove but he has an irrational fear of it (or me) blowing the house up!

  61. I try to plan according to what is on sale or what I have in the freezer. We try to have at least 1/2 a cow in the freezer (we buy black angus from a local farmer)
    I have 2 standby menu plans…Menu A and Menu B – This is for weeks that I don’t want to think about setting a menu. I have Shopping list A and B to match. Takes the guess work out of it when I am super busy. Normally on Sundays I make several meals and freeze them to have for the week. I am attempting to OAMC (once a month cooking) not sure how it will work out!
    Blessings to you

  62. I’ve been writing down a list of the next several meals I can/want to make on a list on the fridge. It helps so I don’t have to think about it each day! I’m not real strict on the day or order, but just make sure to have ingredients on hand for those meals. It’s working well.

  63. Yes…I make a meal calendar for the month. I do my grocery shopping off that calendar. I sometimes stray a bit from my menus but not too much. At the beginning of the week I look at what I have for produce etc and whatever other fresh meaning produce items I have and finalize the weeks meals.
    It has cut down on my grocery shopping bills as well. I also watch the weekly circulars and the week I do my “big” shopping I go through all the ads for their weekly specials. yes, its a bit more driving but everything is within 5-7 miles of my home. Its worth it when store a has whole pork loin for 1.49 lb, whole beef tenderloin for $5.99 lb and cheese is 10/$10 I stock up. Its well worth the few minutes of quiet time in my car.

  64. Recipe Party? Sounds fun!!! I’m sending over a link to my absolute favorite-ist (LOL) chicken recipe. The women’s ministry director at my church got the recipe from me to serve at last night’s ladies event (300 ladies) because I served it to her and she fell in love with it too. Hope you will like it as much as me!
    http://sweetjeanette.blogspot.com/2009/08/cheesy-sun-dried-tomato-stuffed-chicken.html

  65. Oh, forgot to mention, that I do meal planning and freezer cooking too. I have a form on my computer for planning out the meals on one side, and the other has the space for grocery list. (would be happy to e-mail it to you if you’d like). I love taking advantage of Buy One/Get Two meat deals at Albertsons. Hubby is a steak lover, and they do (often) specials on their petite sirloin steaks. I’ll buy a bunch, pack 3-4 in gallon size ziplock bags and pour in our favorite marinade (Allegro) and freeze. When we’re ready to grill out, I put them in the frige to thaw and while thawing they’re marinating! Yum!

    sweetjeanette.blogspot.com

  66. I’ve done meal planning for years and it has really helped with budgeting and also with not staring at my cupboards trying to decide what is going to be for dinner. I figure out what meat is on sale that week and go from there (meat always being the most expensive for us). It all goes on the big family calendar so I can easily see it. We don’t always cook each meal on the day it’s written but at least I know what is in the house to cook.

  67. Oh Rhoda,
    How awful. I hope it’s not more expensive that you’ve estimated. I know what you mean about our memory after 50.

  68. one of the BEST stove top cleaners I’ve run across is liquid bar keep friends. http://www.barkeepersfriend.com/ This is NOT an info-mercial for them – it is just the only thing I’ve found to work well…..don’t know if it will fix this but…….worth a try. I works FABULOUSLY at cleaning the copper bottom pans (found that out by accident yesterday!) & the stainless kitchen sink – yep that too. I plan to do a blog post about it someday!!

  69. Sorry Rhoda. I have a similar story. I left my treasured LeCreuset tea kettle on the stove top while I got too absorbed in my millioneth viewing of It’s A Wonderful Life. What a mess…melted teapot…luckily, I old stove suffered no damage. My dear son bought me a new tea kettle with a whistler but I never will live it down and each Christmas season when It’s A Wonderful Life airs, again and again, my dear children like to remind me of my mishap :)

    Count me in for the recipe party.

    Blessings!
    Gail

  70. Hi, Rhoda …

    Your Recipe Party sounds like fun and I’d love to participate.

    I can’t count how many times I’ve let pots boil over on my induction cooktop, but (so far) I’ve always managed to catch them before I ruined my pots, or worse. Have you checked with someone to be sure it’s safe to continue using your cooktop like it is?

    I’ll look forward to linking to your Recipe Party later today.

    Sincerely,

    Janie

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