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Old 02-09-2013, 05:27 AM   #1
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Grocery shopping time!

I hate trying to figure out the grocery list. My part was easy, down the meat and cheese aisle! It's the rest of the house that I never seem to figure out.

Throwing something in the crock pot is out, unless it takes 12 hours, that's how long no one is home and the crock pot doesn't have a start timer on it. And by the time I get home, I don't want to cook Plus the kids never like anything I fix in it.

The oldest has wrestling practice or meets every day, so he usually snacks before and after. The other one could live off McD's double cheeseburgers if I'd let him. As for the old man, he has banned me from making a few things, it's usually hit or miss on the spaghetti sauce (although I make it the same way every time ) I've been banned from meatloaf and anything that fits in the 'casserole' section of the cookbook

If you made it this far, kudos!
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Old 02-09-2013, 05:45 AM   #2
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During the week I keep it pretty simple for the family since I work full time and have an hour commute each way. I usually grill some kind of meat (pork chops, chicken breast, steak, etc) and I pair it with frozen/canned veggies and an easy starchy side (boxed Mac-n-cheese, instant mashed potatoes, pasta, etc). I just eat the meat and veggies and the rest of the family doesn't feel deprived. I also add a quick salad some nights. On nights when I make spaghetti or any other main pasta dish I just reheat some low carb soup from the freezer (which I make on the weekends) for me. I think it is a lot easier to stay on plan if I keep my weeknight cooking quick and easy and do the harder cooking on the weekends.
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Old 02-09-2013, 05:59 AM   #3
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Mon- baked chicken thighs (2 T butter melted, plop chicken in, sprinkle w/some garlic salt and pepper. 375, 45 min turning once). green beans, the microwave steaming kind. they get canned gravy and idahoan brand instant mashed potatoes.
Cook extra chicken for Wednesday.

Tue- pork chops in the pan. olive oil. cook chops. add onions and mushrooms and zucchini and a little more oil to the pan. Cook until done. Return pork chops to pan to heat. Cook some rice with butter and a bouillon cube in it for them. Cook extra rice.

Wed- take the leftover cooked chicken off the bone. cook some broccoli.
you get chicken tossed in a skillet with butter and hot sauce and the broccoli.
For them, mix the leftover rice, chicken, and some brocoli w/a can of cream of mushroom soup mixed w/1/3 cup milk. Heat in microwave or oven (350 30 min) If they don't like the casserole, tell them they are poopyheads because everyone likes this.

Thu- breakfast for dinner. Just like your usual but you get extra sausage patties instead of the gravy

Fri- make your own pizza night. Boboli crust for them. Meat crust for you (really thin really big burger, cooked.) add sauce, toppings, and cheese, and stick it in the oven like the boboli crust says to do.

sat-hot wings. bake. toss with butter and hot sauce. serve with celery sticks for you and fres for them.

sun- pepperocini pot roast in the crock pot if you are home. For them, boil potatoes, drain, and mix w/ a little milk, butter, and parsley, and everyone gets either salad or sauteed spinach.
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Old 02-09-2013, 06:34 AM   #4
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How come I can't think of those things? And poopyheads? Why yes they are!
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Old 02-09-2013, 06:50 AM   #5
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Gibbs about the spaghetti sauce: did you know canned tomatoes will taste different depending on when they're harvested? Summer harvest = sweeter tomatoes than the rest of the year. It can really change the taste of your sauce! (and I don't know that there's any way to tell when they're harvested.)
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Old 02-09-2013, 06:56 AM   #6
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Ugh, I hear you!!!! Dinner is so hard in my house, and I even have time to cook! DH is so picky about things, and I hate-hate-hate spending time on cooking things he ends up not liking because I could live on scrambled eggs and wouldn't even bother cooking! DS would be happy with his "mix plate" of raw foods (he loves cut up raw vegetables, some fruit, a few pieces of meat and cheese).

Thanks for the ideas, Emel! I need to get it in gear for this week.
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Old 02-09-2013, 07:00 AM   #7
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No Dottie, I didn't know that. Explains a lot!! Thanks

Did I also mentioin I hate to shop? How many women in their right mind hate to shop?
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Old 02-09-2013, 07:02 AM   #8
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If they don't like the casserole, tell them they are poopyheads because everyone likes this.

That's awesome.

And I really hate to shop too, although you'd never know it lately...

Last edited by Avy; 02-09-2013 at 07:04 AM..
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Old 02-09-2013, 07:07 AM   #9
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No Dottie, I didn't know that. Explains a lot!! Thanks

Did I also mentioin I hate to shop? How many women in their right mind hate to shop?
I hate to shop, too, but I'm also a bit of a control freak and like to select my goods personally, so I refuse to outsource it.

You, on the other hand, might consider it from an opportunity cost perspective. If you hate the task, can you justify spending your personal resources on it? Would the time be better spent in other ways? Grocery delivery, online ordering, etc......might work for you.
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Old 02-09-2013, 07:39 AM   #10
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My slow cooker is sometimes on for 12 hours...on low ...it works out well.
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Old 02-09-2013, 02:07 PM   #11
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hate it but planning helps...

Ugh. Sometimes I enjoy cooking (used to LOVE baking, 'til I cut back on baked goods), but mostly it's such a chore, and grocery shopping is sheer drudgery. My method used to be I'd buy what looked good or was on sale at the store, then find I didn't know what to do with it once I got home. This ended up with a lot of spoiled meat/veg, either from sitting too long in the fridge while I tried to figure out what to make, or stashing stuff in the freezer where I ended up throwing freezer-burned items away a year later. So I changed tactics.

Finding recipes: This takes a bit of time initially, but eventually makes your menu planning, shopping, even cooking, easier. First, find and print out or photocopy a bunch or recipes that appeal to you and match your cooking expertise/tolerance. This is probably the most time consuming step as you build up your repertoire, and eventually pare it down to favorites. I love the looking more than the cooking, and have found some great recipes on this forum, Allrecipes, Linda's low carb, Your Lighter Side, LC cookbooks, etc. Don't worry initially if you think your family wonít like some of them. Lots can be modified (my kids HATE the texture of onions, so I never cook with them, but will sometimes cook them on the side for my husband and me). Plus, as time goes on, you might find your family like some things that are different from the norm or just a different way of preparing old favorites. Also, take some of your favorite higher carb recipes and decide how you can low-carborize them. We love meatloaf, but my old recipe used bread crumbs and oats. I now use the Atkins Meatloaf recipe and make "minis" which my family enjoys, plus they're easy to make and quick to bake. After 2 years on LC, I've become better at figuring out how to rid recipes of extra carbs, but I still look to the experts who are much better cooks than I am.

Creating monthly menu templates: Next, find on your computer a printable calendar template w/months and squares for days of the week, one month per page. Print these out and you'll use this monthly calendar page to plan your weekly menus before shopping, and based on the stack of recipes you've printed/revised. By the time you get to the end of the month, you can look at all the stuff youíve made thru the month, and it will prompt you what you and the fam espec liked, didnít etc., and will help you with future weeks. I bought an inexpensive large plastic portfolio type expandable folder with lots of pockets to organize my recipes and monthly templates. I stuck in it a couple of cheap lined notepads, a pen and ERASABLE mechanical pencil, and I can just grab this and go anywhere to plan my menus.

Planning the week: The day before I make my big grocery shop, I go thru my folder of recipes, set aside the ones I might make, then make my ďto make the week of XXXĒ list. From that list, I then fill in the squares on my calendar and prepare my shopping list based on the recipes Iíve pulled. When I get home from the store, I look at my calendar to determine which of my meats I need to just refrigerate and what can go in the freezer for a few days. I only do a big shop about once every 1.5 to 2 weeks and I only have the smallish freezer at the bottom of my fridge. So for now, itís not an option for me to buy, say, sides of beef or huge meat packs. So 2-week at a time meal planning helps keep my freezer from becoming too full. We live in a rural area quite far from a major grocery store and I don't work near one, but my husband will grab some recipe perishables, extra milk, etc., on his way home from work throughout the week.

Combining business and pleasure? I have to admit that I donít enjoy this meal planning and list making business. Sometimes Iíll pack up all my meal planning paraphernalia and head to a coffee house, rewarding myself with a cup of coffee and a few chapters of a favorite book after Iíve done the deed. I really have to psyche myself up for it. But I know that this time spent planning will make my whole week go so much more smoothly and less stressfully. ĎCause who needs that stress after youíre already exhausted from work, a busy day with the kids, etc.

A few quick & easy meal ideas: Some super easy and quick weeknight dinners are baked chicken tenders (bathe in mayo/ranch dressing combo and roll in parm cheese); boneless pork chops rubbed w/dry HV Ranch dressing mix; spaghetti and meatballs (you can use store bought meatballs but these can be carby, or make a big batch of your own on the weekend, bake and freeze): Philly Cheese steak sandwiches with raw shaved beef; Bone-In Pork Chops simmered with black soy beans and salsa, just to name a few. Sunday dinners can be more elaborate but not really a lot of effort. A white meat turkey roast in the crock pot is as easy as opening the package and popping it into the crockpot for part of the day (oh, Reynolds Crock Pot liners are worth every penny in less clean up time). Peel and mash potatoes, mix up an easy batch of stovetop stuffing, make packaged gravy, frozen veg and cranberry sauce and itís Thanksgiving any time of year. Or try High Temp Eye of Round: take a 3 lb eye of round beef roast, rub with your favorite seasonings, roast in screaming hot 450 oven for 21 mins, turn your oven off, and take out 2.5 hrs later. 2 mins to get roast in the oven, and abut 3 hours later, the most amazing beef youíve ever tasted. Use non-stick foil to line your roasting pan and clean upís a breeze.

Helpful tips: I plan my menus with these points in mind:
- plan the easiest stuff Mon-Thurs.
- for variety, try not to have the same meats 2 night in a row.
- make Fri nights a "Leftover" night, or, if your kids are old enough, a "fend for yourself" night.
- Saturday nights are nearly always hotdogs and mac & cheese or beans, or hamburgers/fries occasionally.
- Sunday is usu. something that takes longer in the oven or shorter than work days in the crockpot, and often a "2-fer" meal, w/the basis for a 2nd easy meal later in the week. Big cuts of beef and pork do well in the crockpot for 10-12 hours. My crock pot has a timer that will click down to low after the programmed time. Itís worth it to get one of these for under $50.
- ALWAYS put your meat packages in large zip lock plastic bags and label with the cut of meat and date. That eliminates dripping in your fridge and helps you determine whatís in the freezer later on.
- Plan ahead if youíre thinking about pizza or fast food for a certain night. On these nights where you're bringing fast food home, if the place doesn't offer an LC option, ALWAYS make sure you have something LC on hand, like a frozen or pckgd dinner and veggies, or leftovers. This also allows you to find coupons, if possible, for fast food places. Or find an option that your can LC customize, like bunless burgers. Itís such a relief to look forward to a week that includes a Fast Food/Takeout Night. No cooking Ė yay!

Keep in mind I rarely clip or use coupons, nor am I a super careful sales-only shopper. But I have found Iím saving money on groceries just Ďcause Iím cooking more versus frequently buying take out and Iím wasting less of the food I buy. Hope some of this helps.
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Old 02-09-2013, 07:09 PM   #12
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My Mom used to ask us to write down a list of things that we WOULD eat.... without putting dessert or snack items; it had to be actual dinner foods.
Perhaps your family could do the same for you, and then you could take some ideas from their lists.

Also, how about enlisting THEIR help in making some of the dinner stuff?? Perhaps if they learn how much work it is to prepare the food, they will be more willing to eat it instead of just complaining about it.
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Old 02-10-2013, 02:11 AM   #13
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Throwing something in the crock pot is out, unless it takes 12 hours, that's how long no one is home and the crock pot doesn't have a start timer on it. And by the time I get home, I don't want to cook Plus the kids never like anything I fix in it.

What about getting one of those timers for lights then just set it for X-time and plug the slow cooker into it. It'll come one whenever you want it to, when the 'timer' tells it to.
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Old 02-10-2013, 03:35 AM   #14
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I hate to cook! On Sunday, I try to prepare things for the week and freeze them. I have made a crockpot lasagne using cauliflower as "noodles" which was great and froze well. I make hamburger patties from ground beef and freeze them- who doesn't like a burger if I'm feeling really ambitious ill make a "pizza" and freeze that. Planning is key and if your DH is not happy with your cooking and bans you from making certain meals- hand him an apron!!
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Old 02-10-2013, 04:32 AM   #15
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I will tell you a story about when my old friend Paul was a boy. He's from Belfast.

Paul was one of 7 children, from a working class family.
His mother never varied her meal plans. The vegetable might be seasonal, or it might be whatever was best at the market, but the meats never changed.

Sunday was roast lamb.
Monday was lamb hash
Tuesday was pork steak
and so on. I remember Friday was fish.

Every meal was served with boiled potatoes, or spuds as he called them ('spoods' is what it sounded like when he told this story in his charming accent. I loved to hear him talk.)

One day Paul had a spaghetti with meat sauce meal at his friend's house. He suggested to his mother that she make it for the family sometime. The mother did not take kindly to having her meal plans critiqued, but Paul didn't take the hint and kept pushing for spaghetti.

One day Paul and the rest of the family were called to the supper table.
The usual Tuesday pork steak was on the table. The mother got a pot from the stove and dished out some horrendously overcooked, undrained, unsauced, unseasoned spaghetti noodles onto everyone's plate. It was a starchy, runny mess. And there were no spuds with the meal and no one could leave the table until they cleaned their plates.

No one dared say a word to Mama about it, but after supper, the kids all went outside and the brothers beat Paul up. He never suggested spaghetti again.

My point in all this is, maybe get the family's input about what they like, and set up "Chicken Monday" "Taco Tuesday" etc. and then find a low carb plate that works well to cook along with the family's carb-style meal.

Good luck. It's really easy once you find your groove.
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Old 02-10-2013, 03:37 PM   #16
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Awesome ideas!! I especially like the light timer. And yes, the kids help decide what to have, usually pizza, something deep fried or McD's LOL
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Old 02-10-2013, 06:15 PM   #17
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Another family friendly idea is to do a taco bar. Taco meat. Taco shells. Lettuce, tomatoes or pico de gallo salsa. Avocado slices or guacamole. Sour cream. Cheese. You make a salad for yourself. The rest of the family can make their own tacos.
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Old 02-10-2013, 07:25 PM   #18
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I only cook for 2, but my hubby is pretty picky. I plan recipes FIRST... before I ever set foot in the grocery store. I always have my husband weigh in on the recipe-choosing part (you can do this with the whole family maybe?). We also have 5 or so recipes that are tried-and-true, and we mix those in throughout the week. Each week we will try 2 or 3 "new" recipes. I use Pinterest a lot to find recipes, and we pick out a couple that we like and put them in the dinner queue. We also go out to eat about once a week. Breakfast and lunches are FFY (fend for yourself). I don't buy anything at the grocery store unless I know it is going into a recipe, or will get eaten on its own. Otherwise, I run into the issue where it goes bad before I figure out what to do... such a waste

I like grocery shopping, but I really don't like cooking. However, with my wheat allergy and low carb -- we have to make homemade meals each night. I guess I will eventually learn to love it - I hope!!

ETA: I saw someone posted about taco bar... that is our fave!!! We do "taco" night about twice a week because we both really love it!! Chicken or ground beef with homemade taco seasoing... add the fixin's!!!
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Old 02-10-2013, 08:00 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emel View Post
I will tell you a story about when my old friend Paul was a boy. He's from Belfast.

Paul was one of 7 children, from a working class family.
His mother never varied her meal plans. The vegetable might be seasonal, or it might be whatever was best at the market, but the meats never changed.

Sunday was roast lamb.
Monday was lamb hash
Tuesday was pork steak
and so on. I remember Friday was fish.

Every meal was served with boiled potatoes, or spuds as he called them ('spoods' is what it sounded like when he told this story in his charming accent. I loved to hear him talk.)

One day Paul had a spaghetti with meat sauce meal at his friend's house. He suggested to his mother that she make it for the family sometime. The mother did not take kindly to having her meal plans critiqued, but Paul didn't take the hint and kept pushing for spaghetti.

One day Paul and the rest of the family were called to the supper table.
The usual Tuesday pork steak was on the table. The mother got a pot from the stove and dished out some horrendously overcooked, undrained, unsauced, unseasoned spaghetti noodles onto everyone's plate. It was a starchy, runny mess. And there were no spuds with the meal and no one could leave the table until they cleaned their plates.

No one dared say a word to Mama about it, but after supper, the kids all went outside and the brothers beat Paul up. He never suggested spaghetti again.

My point in all this is, maybe get the family's input about what they like, and set up "Chicken Monday" "Taco Tuesday" etc. and then find a low carb plate that works well to cook along with the family's carb-style meal.

Good luck. It's really easy once you find your groove.
GREAT story and clever advice!
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:46 PM   #20
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Another family friendly idea is to do a taco bar. Taco meat. Taco shells. Lettuce, tomatoes or pico de gallo salsa. Avocado slices or guacamole. Sour cream. Cheese. You make a salad for yourself. The rest of the family can make their own tacos.

This is a great idea. When I was a kid we always had a taco night. My mom likes anything crispy/crunchy so she always made hers by putting the ground beef on the plate, then shredded cheese, tomatoes, shredded lettuce on top and we had, and still have, a home made taco sauce made from canned salsa but tweaked. She almost always ate the hard fried taco shell strips separately, With the taco salad. It's just the way she liked it.

Without the taco shells it's really good too.
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