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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
So, in order to avoid McDonalds and StuffMart everyday, we know it’s best to have a meal plan . I’ve mentioned how I’ve been doing it recently  and how I (and multitudes of mothers) have done it in the past .
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.
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 we know it’s best to have a meal plan: http://www.lifeasmom.com/2008/05/meal-planning-101.html
 how I’ve been doing it recently: http://www.lifeasmom.com/2008/05/whats-cookin-at-our-house-this-week.html
 have done it in the past: http://www.lifeasmom.com/2008/05/meal-planning-1950s-way.html
 beans and rice: http://goodcheapeats.com/2009/06/good-cheap-eat-beans-and-rice/
 beef enchiladas: http://lifeasmom.com/2010/08/favorite-crockpot-recipe-shredded-beef.html
 boules de picolat: http://lifeasmom.com/2009/03/urs-freezer-friendly-recipes.html
 chicken bowtie pasta: http://lifeasmom.com/2008/09/recipe-swap-favorite-fall-food.html
 chicken parmesan: http://goodcheapeats.com/2010/02/chicken-parmesan-our-first-date-dinner/
 grilled cheese sandwiches: http://goodcheapeats.com/2010/10/grilled-cheese-sandwiches-for-busy-nights/
 grilled chicken: http://lifeasmom.com/2010/04/chicken-in-marinades.html
 caesar salad: http://goodcheapeats.com/2009/05/caesar-salad-fine-thing/
 mac and cheese: http://lifeasmom.com/2009/01/recipe-swap-comfort-food.html
 quesadillas: http://lifeasmom.com/2010/10/easy-quesadillas-busy-night-dinners-an-ultimate-recipe-swap.html
 queso fundido: http://lifeasmom.com/2009/05/queso-fundido.html
 tostadas: http://goodcheapeats.com/2009/04/simple-bean-tostadas/
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