forum: Food & Drink

#1 Mon 20 Aug 07 1:35pm


Member since Mon 20 Aug 07



I'm new here and I don't quite know how this forum thinggy works!

The problem is, I don't know how to shop for food and plan quick, healthy meals for my family.... I know it sounds odd! 

I grew up in a grocery store, where each meal and the ingredients were taken off the shelf and were always fresh, so we never found food in our fridge going out of date.

The problem is now, I work long hours each day, I shop very randomly (because, growing up, I wasn't used to the discipline of weekly shopping), I sometimes go six weeks without shopping, by this time we are eating beans on toast and cereal!!  I also, buy too much fresh food and I have to throw some of it away as it often goes out of date.  Also, the problem with this is; I buy vegetables, which we all love, but run out of them too quickly, or they go out of date.

"This sounds simple to solve", I hear you saying, "shop once a week".  However, my random shopping regime, coupled with having no idea what to buy and how to plan our meals for the week, is proving a nightmare.

I don't know how I manage it but somehow my fridge/freezer is full, with nothing to eat  oops

I am not looking to be a whizz in the kitchen, just to start off with some good down-to-earth cooking.  I want to implement something sustainable into my daily routine from now on. Perhaps when I get to grips with with a routine and good home cooking, I can look to become more ambitious  big_smile

Can anyone help me, does anyone have an idea of the basic essentials for the cupboard, what should I buy, when should I buy and some recipe ideas?????


Thanks to anyone who has any advice  thumbsup

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#2 Mon 20 Aug 07 2:08pm


Forum super champ
Occupation avoiding housework
From The land of song.
Member since Tue 04 Oct 05


I am a hopeless planner of meals but I keep a good stock of what I think are 'basics' in the house..
tinned goods.. I don't buy many things in tins realy.. but tinned tomatoes I class as a good standard basic as they can be added to all sorts of things, made into soup or pasta sauce .

so I have ..tinned tomatoes, coconut milk, Jolly Green Giant crisp sweetcorn, a few tins on beans and tuna fish/salmon. The odd tin of peaches or pineapple, a couple of tiny tins of tomato puree, the odd in of soup.

I usually have jars of jam/jelly, marmite , chutneys, redcurrent jelly etc... that sort of thing, ketchup things like that , sundried tomatoes,olive oil .
I also have a few jars of  sauces , curry/sweet and sour/pasta  sauce etc.. I am not a great one for using jars of sauce , I prefer to make things from fresh, but my family find them useful.

I like to have some dried herbs de provance and I have a good selection of curry spices.Pepper and salt ( I like the Maldon salt for most things as I find we use less.

I keep in a veriety of different flours and sugars.As we make bread we always have dried yeast in as well.

I have some dried pasta, but again now I have learned to make it I prefer fresh pasta.

Fresh Veg, Salad, fruit, eggs, butter,cheese, meat of fish ,I like to buy frequently, I am lucky as I live very near the shops,so I shop a little several times a week.( but when I lived in a more rural type area I had to think about things a bit more).
Amounts of shopping just come with practice.

The basic pantry things I might do on an internet shop , or go to the suppermarket every week or so when things are running low.
I only have a small freezer and like to keep some icecream etc. , frozen peas, croissants, a little bit of meat..maybe minced beef ,some sausages and bacon, or a chicken. I always have some frozen peas and occasionally out of season some broad beans.
The freezer ends up being eaten up towards November time as I use  the space to get things ready for christmas, prepreparring the stuffing , mince pies etc.

Don't worry we have all at some time had a freezer full of stuff but nothing to make a meal with... likewise with a pantry full of stuff!

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