Monday, January 12, 2009

Sometimes, I Like To Cut Myself A Little Slack

We eat meals made from scratch 99% of the time. Whether it's a meal that I froze earlier in the month and just pull out to reheat or something that I made in the morning to reheat at dinner time, I know it's something I put some time into making.

The biggest exception to this is grocery day. Month after month, every dinner on grocery day is taken from the freezer and shelves at the store.

Since we only shop once a month, both the shopping trip and the unloading take quite a few hours. Because I'm pretty set in my cooking habits and am used to making dinner early in the day, the thought of cooking a big dinner after grocery shopping really doesn't appeal to me. Also, usually by the time we go shopping, all of my freezer meals from the past month have been eaten. However, my family still expects to eat dinner.

So I cut myself a little slack and take some help from the store. Our go to meal is ravioli from the freezer department, a jar of spaghetti sauce, and usually a bag of frozen spinach. This dinner takes literally minutes to cook. Boil the pasta, drain and pour the sauce and spinach into the pasta pot. Heat until warm and add the pasta back in. Toss to combine and dinner's done. It's the perfect meal for this crazy busy day.

This month we switched things up a little bit and bought tortellini instead of ravioli. I forgot to add the spinach too. But it still tasted great.

Not only does this meal make our grocery day a little less hectic, it also frees up my mind while shopping and putting together plans for freezer cooking that will begin the next day. I have a much easier time shopping when I'm not dwelling on what I'm going to make for dinner that night, or when I'll find time to make it.

What is your go-to meal on really busy days like this? Also, do you lose focus in the grocery store when you're trying to plan out dinner too, or am I the only one?

Stop by Tammy's Recipes for more kitchen tips and Blessed With Grace for more Tempt My Tummy Tuesday.

And don't forget to check out some of the great posts on Blissfully Domestic's weekly round-up.

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Deanna 10:36 PM  

Oh, yes! Grocery shopping day is usually our sandwich and soup day. Too much energy goes into shopping and unloading... I agree!

Lisa@BlessedwithGrace 10:42 PM  

That really is a good idea. You are right, I am always tired and blah after unloading the groceries. Thanks for the "cutting yourself some slack" meal ideas.

Omah's Helping Hands 11:23 PM  

Hmmm, I'm a once a week shopper, but when shopping with a preschooler and a baby, I'm not in the mood for cooking a big meal. This is an excellant idea. We often do a take and bake pizza, or subs, or left overs is there are any. Salads also come in handy when using salad mix, and get some steak or chiken fahita strips frozen and cook them up quick and throw them on our salad, and wallah, a ready meal in minutes!

Jennifer 12:40 AM  

You know, if I actually start shopping only once a month it would be a great day to treat myself to my favorite mexican restaruant! I haven't been going because I am trying to save money. Shopping once a month would save quite a bit of money and free up more of my time to make money, so I think I could treat myself (and the family) guilt free.

Untypically Jia 2:45 AM  

Love this! Normally we actually eat out on grocery day, but this would be much less expensive!

Lynn 8:32 AM  

I agree. Great post. My go to meal is breakfast for dinner. I can make pancakes, waffles, or eggs and toast in no time especially if I make the batter up ahead of time.

Sherry 8:50 AM  

Grocery meal day I let the kids get a frozen meal, but that is the only time I do. :D

Melissa 10:49 AM  

This sounds very good! I have to admit on my time crunched days I tend to make hot dogs, not very nutrious I know but it is easy to cook them up & serve with a veggie or some chips and we are done. I like your idea about the frozen ravoli though, I have not bought them because I was afraid of what they tasted like, so I'm going to add that to the grocery list, my kids love pasta & it's easy:)

Brenda 12:03 PM  

I agree with you about cooking after shopping, you just don't want to work with food anymore. And what a great idea to only shop once a month!

Joey Hill 1:41 PM  

I thought I was the only one who felt that way after shopping!! It's amazing how you just want to blob, and I only shop fortnightly, not monthly!
With four teens, shopping day is pretty full on, but they help unpack, which is good.
I like your idea -
you've got some great tips.

Mrs. Mordecai 2:30 PM  

Great idea! We actually used to eat the same thing until we moved and I could no longer get cheap frozen ravioli. :(

Sundays are crazy around here, and I always make spaghetti. It's fast, easy, and cheap, and everyone loves it!

Lisa 2:34 PM  

Great ideas. We cut ourselves loads of slack in this house!

lana 5:03 PM  

great idea! I do this often and don't feel one bit of shame :-)

Suzy 6:05 PM  

My fall-back meal is spaghetti with meat sauce and ceasar salad.

Christina 7:27 PM  

I have several quick go-to meals for busy days, it depends on what it on sale that particular day. One of our favorites is taquitos from the freezer sections dipped in refried beans and hot sauce. Another favorite is pasta with jar sauce. And every once in a while when I need a LOT of slack I'll pop a frozen pizza into the oven. ; )

KateL,  12:49 PM  

My go to meal is always grilled cheese and tomato soup.

SuzeQ 2:42 PM  

Thanks soooooooo much for the post! I thought I was the only one who had no desire to cook after the headache of food shopping. Great idea and a few commenters had great ideas also.

Eli's Lids 6:58 PM  

I'll have to try the tortellini. I always have a frozen lasagna "just in case." As long as we have a side salad I feel like I have done good!

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