Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Meal Planning and Shopping When You Are Not Home

One thing I am struggling with this month is meal planning and shopping since I am not at home three weekends (if not more) out of the five weekends that are December.

When I work as a groom, we eat out at restaurants or get take out. Nothing fancy, we don't eat at expensive restaurants~ I'm not bothered about food, it's taken care of as part of the job. The barn sitting is a different story. I am stationary in one place and food is not provided. I have access to a full kitchen and shelf space to leave groceries. I still have to shop. Last weekend I brought some leftovers, bought some food and pre-made a couple items to cook. This is sort of working out. I loaded up a cooler with food and a grocery bag with items I needed. The biggest problem is the kitchen is not very well stocked with spices, condiments, oil, vinegar, etc. The other sitter said she just eats out most of her meals when she is there. I needed to saute an onion and there was no oil of any sort in the house. I ended up using a tiny dab of butter, but some olive oil is what I really needed. I did an inventory of the common items and for this weekend, I'm meal planning based on what I have in my cupboard that I can bring to cook and based on what is at the house. I have a "lunch date" planned with a friend, so at least one meal does not have to be accounted for.

My meal planning has been all over the place. I did an inventory of my food cupboards in preparation for next week's food shop and to see what I needed for my meals and take into account that this upcoming weekend I will be gone from my home from Thursday night until Sunday night. I'm also using up what has been sitting in my fridge and freezer. I just feel like I'm shopping twice as much to cover my food needs and I feel like I still need to shop more!

Monday Dinner: Boneless pork ribs baked in the oven in the remains of leftover jar of ginger/teriyaki marinade, egg noodles and peas (I have opened bags of noodles and peas that need to be used up).

Tuesday Lunch: Left over curry from weekend on the last of the egg noodles from last night.

Tuesday Dinner: Pasta with tomato sauce-must make the tomato sauce when I get home from work.

Wednesday Lunch: Left over ribs and brown rice.

Wednesday Dinner: Veggie burgers and the last of the frozen french fries.

Thursday Lunch: Leftover pasta.

Thursday dinner and Friday lunch ?

Friday dinner: Beef curry or beef stew-depends on what mood I'm in when it's time to prepare the beef. Some sort of veg or salad (I miss my salads!)

I have nary a clue for Saturday and Sunday in terms of meal planning ......

The good thing about the barn sitting is it's in a small town that does not have a ton of restaurants so I am not tempted to go out buy prepared. So far I've resisted the 5 pizza/grinder shops. The local diner did get my business one weekend and that food was enough to keep me full and happy well past dinner time. I may sneak out for a late breakfast on Sunday so it can suffice for breakfast and lunch...may....

I'll find out this weekend if I need to work the weekend of the 20th and I can base my food shopping and meal planning for next week on that.

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