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Old 03-22-2006, 12:31 PM   #1
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Trouble figuring out what to make for dinner

I am just curious if anyone else does this. I often times have trouble figuring out what I should make fo dinner. I go to the supermarket and start wandering around trying to find inspiration. I go to the meat and produce dept and look to see what looks good and hope that I get some ideas.

Does anyone else do this?

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Old 03-22-2006, 12:33 PM   #2
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I do this sometimes (and it makes me crazy). Something has to "sound good" or I won't make it for dinner. I hate it when I'm sitting at work at 3pm thinking "what am I going to make for dinner"....it drives me crazy! I try to plan my meals out in advance of the week so I dont get stuck ordering pizza (I order pizza when nothing sounds good).
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Old 03-22-2006, 12:41 PM   #3
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i do this every time i go food shopping. the next week's meals are based on a combination of what's on sale, what looks good/fresh/or seasonal, and finally what things i've learned or recipes from here that i want to try out.
unfortunately, i often shop when i'm hungry, or with my stomach as it were, so i frequently buy more than can be logistically made in a few days.
many times i have to freeze stuff just because there was no time to cook, and we end up getting take out. i need a few more hours in every day.
which admin do i see about that?
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Old 03-22-2006, 12:43 PM   #4
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Story of my life, I am terrible of planning the menu. I wish I could learn how to plan. We have friends, this couple, wife plans menu on Sunday morning for the whole week and then goes to store and buys everything strictly according to that menu. I don't even know what to make tonight.
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Old 03-22-2006, 12:48 PM   #5
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We actually make a menu for the forthcoming week, and base grocery shopping off it. Friday evening has been grocery time, but with a forthcoming (non culinary) job change for me, t'will likely change to Saturday AM. Sadly, that's when the rest of the world seems to want to shop as well . . . . .
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Old 03-22-2006, 12:57 PM   #6
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i've found tuesday or wednesday mornings, at about 8am, are the best times to go food shopping. the shelves are fully stocked after being restocked throughout the day on monday. also, deliveries of out of stock items have come in, so you get your pic of everything.
and outside of tough old ladies with low centers of gravity and good boxing skills, the stores are pretty much empty.
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Old 03-22-2006, 01:02 PM   #7
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For us (well, me) I like Saturday shopping. I hate the crowds, but at both the grocery store and Sam's Club, it's sample day! YUM!
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Old 03-22-2006, 01:09 PM   #8
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lol, i know about sample days at costco.

little cups of yogurt, fried fish, ravioli, burritos, quiche, fruit cups, candy, cheese steaks, breaded chicken, juice, and pie.

i send the wife for seconds of the good stuff!
i can't wait to teach my son to limp and cough, and with big sad eyes, ask the ladies for thirds...

who needs lunch?
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Old 03-22-2006, 01:19 PM   #9
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Supermarkets give me anxiety/panic attacks. I do my ordering on line. When and if I go into one, I always have/had a list. The list consists of the things I need/staples, basics - meat, poultry, veggies, etc., - and ingredients I want to try for a new dish from recipes that inspire me. I am very organized... so I make lists and plan ahead when I can. Without a plan/list, I find, I over buy - when I don't have a list - i.e. what looks good at the moment, or impulse purchases leads to overspending. Supermarkets are set up to attract the buyer into making unnecessary purchases - i.e. if you go in just for a carton of milk, it is placed at the back of the market -- stratagy being - one must pass thru all the aisles to the back to find what one needs/wants/staples & shoppers are enticed by other products.

I also get familiar with the aisles in a frequented favorite market, & don't go down aisles that are of no interest/ingredients not on the list. That leads to more impulse buying.

The checkout stand will also entice people with candy, magazines, etc., hoping you will buy buy buy. As much as I love the supemarket , I want to get in and out. Never go in hungry!
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Old 03-22-2006, 01:19 PM   #10
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I do get ideas from the market for dinner that night. It's an impulse thing for me. I also take note of what is in other shopping carts so I can see if I should go back and get that too.

As I said in here before, when contractors were here for an estimate on my kitchen floor, they looked inside the pantry and asked, "is this a kitchen store"? I could go for 14 years and never buy a thing more and still be able to make all of our meals from what I have on hand. But, it could taste a bit stale.
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Old 03-22-2006, 01:22 PM   #11
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DGS is about to go for his spring break visit with his dad so our family is eating together tonight. I've just made the cake, but don't know what the meal will be. He is a chocoholic so I made a chocolate cake with chocolate bits, chocolate pudding, sour cream. It also has a chocolate filling and frosting with toasted almonds. I have to make something good to go with all that.
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Old 03-22-2006, 01:24 PM   #12
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All the time GB. I love cooking but.. really trying to figure out what to make for dinner 365 times a year is a chore...
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Old 03-22-2006, 01:37 PM   #13
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GB:

I have a similar dilemma with a difference. You wander around the supermarket trying to come up with an idea for dinner. That's primarily because you shop daily.

On Saturday morning, I flip through my cookbook and any new recipes I want to make and decide on some of the things I might want to try. I shop to that list.

Then, during the week, I stand in front of the freezer and try to find the ingredient that makes my mouth water for that day.
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Old 03-22-2006, 02:23 PM   #14
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Some days I stand in front of the freezer - what falls out - that is what we have for dinner.
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Old 03-22-2006, 02:29 PM   #15
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Also, beware of those free cheese samples. Go directly to the salad bar or the hot deli take out counter. Do not pass go & collect $200.
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Old 03-22-2006, 02:48 PM   #16
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I make a menu for the week. I base some ideas on this forum (what others are having for dinner), and other times just look through my list of recipes, and sometimes based on what is on sale at the grocery store.
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Old 03-22-2006, 04:03 PM   #17
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Wish I was organized enough to plan and shop for an entire week - 'twould make daily life simpler. Alas, I'm not that way.

Usually we eat something fairly mundane most nights of the work week and I branch out on the weekends when I have time to think about it and perhaps even read up on something I haven't tried to make before.
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Old 03-22-2006, 04:11 PM   #18
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Have the wife/gf/bf/roommates or whatever buy some "mystery" stuff at the store then bring them home for you to make a dish out of it. My roommates and I would do that every so often while at WCI and some of the dishes turned out to be really good stuff.
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Old 03-22-2006, 04:20 PM   #19
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I plan a menu for the week based on what is happening - traveling husband, mom and dad for dinner, etc. Then I scan the grocery ads and decide what will be for dinner every night that week. I keep a boiler plate grocery list in the computer and it is very easy to update. On that list is also my weekly menu and a list of foods I have in the freezer (ie, 2 - 1 lb. packages ground beef, 1 pot roast). I usually go to the market Friday mornings and get what I need. However, I have been finding myself making a few run-in trips for a couple of items - fresh meat or things like that. It gets me out of the house with the baby (he gets sooooo bored in the house during these drab winter months ) for a quick trip without spending too much money.
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Old 03-22-2006, 06:59 PM   #20
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Only two of us here and we hate cooking meals for two, they are usually so limited.

So buy real food quantities, and that means we often have many leftovers.

Will often make two entrees and alternate them during the next week or so.

But we often just go to the food stores, farm stands, etc. and forage.

It is a lot of fun and we often find something we had not had in a while.

Particularly fun in the late spring and fall when all sorts of neat things we have not thought about in a bit show up.
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