Titus 2 Mentor

cheeky200386

Well-Known Member
Cheeky I'm going to let you in on my "cheat sheet" for grocery shopping and meals. It saves me money, time and energy. This keeps my kitchen humming along and I can easily delegate so George helps me without difficulty. It's simple for both our sakes. I struggle with brain fog as the fatigue worsens thru the day.


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iPhone CHEAT SHEET:
I have a list on my iPhone in Notes of 5 categories of meats in my freezer; Sunday dinner items, chicken, pork, fish and ground beef.

In each category I list 5 stupidly simple "recipes" that I usually have the fixings for on hand. My pantry & spices are pared down for simplicity as well.

Plus 5 extras that don't fit in any category but I make regularly. That gives me 30 options.

Those "recipes" are like the ribs I'm making tonight. Pork ribs. Seasoned salt, pepper. Bake on a foil lined tray at 400. Done.

I pull something out at 9am (or pm the night before to thaw in the fridge when I worked shifts) and I know what I'll do with it. I can change my mind if I feel like it. If I'm really tired, I default to "plop it on a foil lined tray and bake at 400" which just happens to be the ribs tonight.

Stupid simple.



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MENU PLAN:
I ear mark 5 meats in the freezer and those 5 veggies (see below under online grocery shopping) for 5 meals plus a couple of leftovers. Counting on the fingers of one hand! Keeping it simple!

I call it my 5&5 menu because it's a list of 5 meats and veggies that I can mix and match and pull out whatever we feel like. Keeps it flexible. Add a carb for the carb eaters, and it's DONE!

I HATE menu plans. Too much like a straight jacket. This works because I'm not locked into ground beef on Wednesday when I might prefer chops. Why 5-- because usually that leaves room to finish the leftovers and maybe have takeout for fun. Or go out. It stays flexible.

My Sunday dinner is my Roast something that gives me leftovers for Monday when I'm usually doing the change of sheets, towels and main laundry. It's a "company" type meal. Roast beef, Pot roast, Ham, Lamb chops or roast and Steaks on the BBQ. Green salad usually as a veggie side. I wash and chop a 3 pack of Romaine lettuce into a big dollar store salad bowl "keeper" with a lid. It goes for 2-3 days depending on the company on Sunday.



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FREEZER:
I am limited to the small space in my fridge freezer.

When I make an online grocery order for George to pick up, I cast an eye on my categories so I can spot which of the 5 I'm running low on. Ditto my simplified pantry. I think about lunch fixings too-- we do a lot of canned salmon & tuna salads, cheese and cold cuts from Costco.

If ground beef is on sale for example I might pick up one or 2 chubs and cut it into 1to1&1/2 lb chunks and flat pack it into a medium ziplock freezer bag.

Flat packs thaw best and take the least room.

If he goes to Costco and I am low on pork chops he picks me up a boneless pork loin and I cut it up into chops and a roast and flat pack the chops. Saves money.



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ONLINE GROCERY SHOPPING:
Online orders save time, energy and money. I don't complicate it. If I need ground beef and it's not on sale, I buy the ground beef anyway. The savings come from me not being in the store -- the online shopper sticks to my list. George picks up the order or if he goes to Costco for me, he sticks to the list. If they are out of something, I substitute from what I have on hand.

I have a veggie list that consists of topping off my onions, potatoes and carrot supply plus 5 other veggies of whatever looks good this week to get us thru a week. I always have a jar of sauerkraut in the fridge from Costco, and some tins of beets for emergency veggies.

Top up the fruit in the fruit drawer, the bread or bagels for George, butter, cheese, cold cuts, eggs, milk and orange juice and I'm done with groceries for another week.



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FINAL THOUGHT:
What this does is it gives me options-- I don't HAVE to follow my 5&5 plan if I don't want. But I know I have everything I need for a week without hitting the store again. I always have extra meats in the freezer and I always have my carrots, potatoes, onions and sauerkraut on hand if the 5 meals aren't lasting us the whole week.

Your meals, and recipes will naturally be very different but this is just an example for you or anyone else short of time, money, or energy to keep on rolling with regular meals. Pick and choose any strategy that resonates with you.

Love
M
This a brilliant strategy. I need to organize my weeks better to have consistency in planning. Right now Mike helps me season the meats in the morning and then I cook everything after my last client in the afternoon. We try to have enough for 2 days to save time.

It's ok but I like your simplified version better. We just started simplifying our seasonings too because we don't have a lot of kitchen space since we share with my mom. Thankfully her and I cook for each other too, which helps.

Thank you for sharing this cheat sheet. I will definitely incorporate it into what we're doing. Automating it will definitely go a long way.
 

athenasius

Well-Known Member
This a brilliant strategy. I need to organize my weeks better to have consistency in planning. Right now Mike helps me season the meats in the morning and then I cook everything after my last client in the afternoon. We try to have enough for 2 days to save time.

It's ok but I like your simplified version better. We just started simplifying our seasonings too because we don't have a lot of kitchen space since we share with my mom. Thankfully her and I cook for each other too, which helps.

Thank you for sharing this cheat sheet. I will definitely incorporate it into what we're doing. Automating it will definitely go a long way.
It'll work great with your pre seasoning that Mike does, because that is exactly how I do things as they thaw after 9am. I get as much prep done as possible including marinating chicken thighs in their freezer bag with lemon juice, olive oil, and oregano for the Lemon oregano, potatoes, olive oil and chicken bake.

I thaw things on a big dinner plate to catch drips and I shove it back in the fridge when it's most ways thawed. That plate catches any marinade or meat juices that slide out of the arrangement.

Once you figure out your 20 -30 simple "recipes" it becomes clear what you need to stock in pantry items and spices.

It's not really changing what you already do, just adding a layer of auto pilot.
 

athenasius

Well-Known Member
:offtopic sorry
but @athenasius , were you taking some of your leftovers for work lunch or were you using separate food for those times?
Yes to both.

When I was working, and had 2 kids and a husband eating those meals I purposefully doubled them. George hates sandwiches and always wanted leftovers for lunches. I did the same. The kids preferred sandwiches. If I could get another meal out of it, I did and then George had to put up with Tuna or Salmon salad sandwiches, or garlic coil and cheese or egg salad or peanut butter and jam. Those were the options.

So cleanup meant putting leftovers aside for me and G, and making school lunches for our son and daughter before I quit nursing to homeschool them in grades 7 and 9.

Homeschool years I fed them leftovers or Tuna/Salmon salad plus bread, soup, and or cheese and cold cuts such as our garlic coil sausage which I think is called Polish sausage south of the border.

I used to cook with beans and lentils so I often had crockpot chili, lentil soup, or hummus but since the allergy none of those and no peanuts, or green peas or beans. There were a couple of years when I went vegetarian-- exploring veganism before getting very sick-- so I would freeze a block of Tofu in marinade and fry strips of it, plus make the usual vegetarian meals.

People who aren't allergic have more options.
 

athenasius

Well-Known Member
I just made a summer version of my super simple cheat sheet. Trying not to heat the kitchen up while providing dinners.

One of my Sunday dinners is ready cooked ham from Costco served cold. With Costco potato salad, boxed green salad and watermelon or Jello for dessert. Cool, no cooking and company friendly. Not bad nutritionally either.

Leftovers are ham sandwiches, ham and eggs at breakfast or a Bisquick Impossible Ham and Cheese Quiche which is easy to make and bakes fairly quickly.-- I can make that in the morning and serve it cold at dinner. So easy, makes it's own crust sort of, tastes GREAT cold!

Steak, a rack or two of pork ribs depending on the number I'm feeding and lamb chops on the grill round out the Sunday dinner specials. None heat up the kitchen. No stews, roasts or pot roasts till fall weather.


Week days: hot dogs, Smokies, Italian sausages, Bratwursts. BBQ out on the deck.

Costco frozen beef, salmon and chicken patties for burgers. BBQ out on the deck or fast fry in the kitchen.

Ready cooked bbq chicken from the store -- serve as is or shred into a cold chicken salad

Taco salad with ground beef taco mixture, Nacho chips, full fat yogurt or sour cream, grated cheese and salsa on greens. (box of pre washed ready to eat green salad)

Quick fry pork chops (I pound the frozen boneless loin chops I cut from a whole pork loin (Costco) into a thin flat chop that fries fast. Dust it with flour and it turns into schnitzel and it's delicious.

Minute steaks-- the tenderized ones are quick and delicious. Same with Chicken breasts. Pound flat, dust with a little flour, season, and fry fast in olive oil with a little salt and pepper.


For veggies --lots of cucumbers, tomatoes, boxed washed green salad and other fast cold raw veggies and dip-- costco has nice veggie dips. bagged baby carrots, broccoli and cauliflower I wash and cut up with cherry tomatoes.

Costco sauerkraut is nice cold.

I often cook a veggie one night, then cut up the leftovers and marinate them or put mayo on them as a cold salad the next night.

Starch-- potato salad in buckets from Costco, home made pasta salads. Microwaved baked potato topped with full fat yogurt, the rich creamy kind.

I justify the extra costs of store bought potato salad and box salads or pre made frozen beef, salmon or chicken patties by reminding myself its way cheaper than going out for takeout, and a lot cooler and easier in my nice air conditioned apartment than sitting in a hot car, lined up outside McDonalds pick up window.

I'm good at justifying my choices. :biggrin

Just keeping cool in my hot little corner of BC :lol
 
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Everlasting Life

Through Faith in Jesus
I forgot canned tuna and canned salmon salads. Those work as a nice cold protein dinner option. So does cottage cheese, but George hates it so that is for me with canned pineapple or other fruit while George enjoys a can of baked beans which I can't eat.

Have you ever had canned pinapple with cottage cheese? So tasty to me!
 
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