On the weekends, I like to clean out the fridge before I go grocery shopping – and while my leftovers are nowhere near as public or as famous as Suburban Correspondant’s, I must say that I can pinch a penny til it squeals enjoy the challenge of trying to use as much as I can wont throw anything out before it sprouts fuzz throwing it out. When faced with about 2 pounds of leftover grilled chicken from dinner earlier in the week, rapidly wilting celery, carrots, and onions, an opened box of chicken broth, the end of the mayo jar, and some artichoke salad – what do you do? Chicken soup and chicken salad of course!
I’ve come to really enjoy the weekly grocery trip. I try to make it a challenge to buy store brands save money, and still buy enough food to feed a hungry herd of ravenous teenagers varying amount of people on a given day, but yet only enough so that it will fit into my 1980’s refrigerator.
One of the things that has helped me over the years was the accidental find of this cookbook;
The 7-Day Menu Planner, written in 1993 by Cynthia Hizer-Jubera. She’s a “Food Stylist” and apparently worked on the movie “Fried Green Tomatoes.” I don’t think this book was a big success. It was on of the last books on a bargain table at one of those bargain bookstores, in fact I think they paid me to take it. But it has literally changed the way I look at preparing meals.
Each week has a shopping list. There are seven dinner menus each week with recipes using those ingredients. The first couple of nights require cooking or baking, but the rest of the menus build off of the leftovers generated by the meals earlier in the week. Some of them are awful a little out of the ordinary. Some of them are amazing! I don’t always stick to the schedule, sometimes I start with the general idea of the suggested dinner, and then cover it with cheese modify it to suit my family. But the nice thing is that if I buy the groceries, at least its there if I need it.
I’ve been using this poor tattered book for 10 years now. I should probably purchase a new one – maybe hard bound instead of paperback this time. The good news is that there are some available on Amazon!