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Meal Planning: 31 with 31

Posted By Jessica Fisher On May 28, 2008 @ 10:12 am In Meal Planning | 6 Comments

grilled chicken dinner couscous green beans

So, in order to avoid McDonalds and StuffMart everyday, we know it’s best to have a meal plan [4]. I’ve mentioned how I’ve been doing it recently [5] and how I (and multitudes of mothers) have done it in the past [6].

Last year I devised a different method based on putting together a “staples ingredient” list to keep on hand at all times and a list of meal ideas that use just those items.

I called it “31 with 31″ — 31 meals made with 31 ingredients. This is a great method for those who like to fly by the seat of their pants and don’t want to be tied to a specific dish to cook each night. As long as you have your staples and you know what you can make with them, you’re good to go. It’s particularly nice for summertime as it lends itself to spontanaeity.

Start small if you prefer and come up with 10 meals that your family likes. Then, make a grocery list based on those 10 meals.

Chances are they will contain some common ingredients. Keep a copy of the list in your wallet, so that you’re always prepared for a trip to the store.

If you keep your pantry, frig, and freezer full of your custom stapes, you’ll always be prepared for a quick dinner fix.

In case you want further inspiration, here’s my summertime list.

Summer Menu Ideas

alfredo pasta
bean burritos
beans and rice [7]
beef enchiladas [8]
boules de picolat [9] (Catalan meatballs)
butter and cheese pasta
chicken bowtie pasta [10]
chicken enchiladas
chicken fajitas
chicken parmesan [11]
crunchy tacos
fried chicken salad
grilled cheese sandwiches [12]
grilled chicken [13]
grilled chicken caesar salad [14]
grilled sausage/hotdogs
ground beef burritos
lemon chicken
mac and cheese [15]
marinara pasta
meat sauce w/ pasta
pasta and sausage
quesadillas [16]
queso fundido [17]
soft tacos
spaghetti and meatballs
tostadas [18]

Got a quick trick for your menu planning?

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URL to article: http://lifeasmom.com/2008/05/meal-planning-31-with-31.html

URLs in this post:

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[3] my free seasonal newsletter: http://eepurl.com/q47Vb

[4] we know it’s best to have a meal plan: http://www.lifeasmom.com/2008/05/meal-planning-101.html

[5] how I’ve been doing it recently: http://www.lifeasmom.com/2008/05/whats-cookin-at-our-house-this-week.html

[6] have done it in the past: http://www.lifeasmom.com/2008/05/meal-planning-1950s-way.html

[7] beans and rice: http://goodcheapeats.com/2009/06/good-cheap-eat-beans-and-rice/

[8] beef enchiladas: http://lifeasmom.com/2010/08/favorite-crockpot-recipe-shredded-beef.html

[9] boules de picolat: http://lifeasmom.com/2009/03/urs-freezer-friendly-recipes.html

[10] chicken bowtie pasta: http://lifeasmom.com/2008/09/recipe-swap-favorite-fall-food.html

[11] chicken parmesan: http://goodcheapeats.com/2010/02/chicken-parmesan-our-first-date-dinner/

[12] grilled cheese sandwiches: http://goodcheapeats.com/2010/10/grilled-cheese-sandwiches-for-busy-nights/

[13] grilled chicken: http://lifeasmom.com/2010/04/chicken-in-marinades.html

[14] caesar salad: http://goodcheapeats.com/2009/05/caesar-salad-fine-thing/

[15] mac and cheese: http://lifeasmom.com/2009/01/recipe-swap-comfort-food.html

[16] quesadillas: http://lifeasmom.com/2010/10/easy-quesadillas-busy-night-dinners-an-ultimate-recipe-swap.html

[17] queso fundido: http://lifeasmom.com/2009/05/queso-fundido.html

[18] tostadas: http://goodcheapeats.com/2009/04/simple-bean-tostadas/

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