“What Shall I Cook for Dinner?” Ensign, Jan. 2000, 71
I have found a sensible, easy solution to the daily question “What shall I cook for dinner?” By taking time to make menus, we always have something on hand to fix for dinner.
Make a list of the typical meals your family likes to eat. Check to see that nutritional requirements are met, and include special-occasion meals for holidays or birthdays. I came up with 21 different main dishes our family enjoys. Because some nights we eat leftovers or go out, the list really became a month’s worth of meals.
Write out the recipes on three-by-five-inch index cards. Place them into a small file box, and keep the box handy in the kitchen.
Make a master list of all ingredients needed to make the various meals. Categorize them by heading, such as meats, fresh foods, canned goods, and frozen foods. Write the list on an index card to put in the recipe file, then pull it out when going grocery shopping. It becomes your shopping list.
Shop once a month for the basic food items needed for the entire month. After checking to see which ingredients might store well, buy them in quantity when they go on sale and keep them as part of your rotated food storage. By reserving other quick visits to the store for perishable items, you may see savings in your food budget.
After you prepare your meal, turn that card around and place it at the back of the file box. This signals that the recipe has been used once that month.—Jan Whitley Hansen, Holladay, Utah