In the past year, I’ve gotten exponentially better at cooking. I’ve gone from a repertoire of grilled cheese and frozen pizza to … well … you name it and I’ll try to cook it. (Successfully? That’s another story. But at least I’ll try!)
We’ve had dozens (perhaps hundreds) of different main dishes, side dishes, snacks, and desserts over the past year, and our grocery bill has shown it. I’ll tell you one thing – cereal and milk for supper is quite a bit less expensive than spinach and ricotta stuffed shells or bangers and mash. In addition, I find myself making several trips to the grocery store every week, when I’d really like to spend my time doing anything but standing in a long checkout line.
To streamline, I chose our ten favorite main dishes, and I’m going to become an expert at them. I’ll stock up on ingredients (ideally at low prices on less frequent trips to the store) so we always have them on hand, and then have a larger base of recipes to choose from without having to stop at the market for eight ounces of mozzarella or a pound of ground sirloin. Hopefully, as I continue to make them, I’ll memorize a few recipes and they’ll be no problem to whip up.
Here are the main dishes we chose:
- Chicken Pot Pie
- Shepherds’ Pie
- Cheesy Vegetable Bake
- Cheesy Wild Rice Soup
- Pork Chops
Can you tell we live in Wisconsin? Pretty hearty food. Sometimes I wish we were the salad eating kind, but it just doesn’t do it for us on a regular basis. Once in a while – absolutely. Could I base my diet around salads? Definitely not. We balance things out by eating light lunches and veggies on the side.
So what do you think? Is this going overboard, or do you do something similar?