Menu planning day. Without a family to feed, life is so much simpler in a lot of ways, but more complicated in others. Gone are the days when I had to scan the kitchen to make a grocery list as the cereal and ice cream disappeared quickly....now we are fortunate if the ice cream makes it to the bottom of the container without developing a beard like Rip Van Winkle, and the cereal is used up before it goes stale. Even my Skinny Cow bars get ice crystals before we can eat them. The trick is to keep the "regular" supplies, and still add enough frills to keep life interesting.
I read somewhere the other day that people usually eat the same 25 things day in and day out. Not so in our house. We are "foodies" by nature, and the thought of having one sort of cheese is unthinkable! Our frig is always stocked with plenty of vegetables, our freezer with meat - although that is one area that I notice I am using the same items over and over. Keeping staples in the house means we can exist for quite some time without going to the grocery store for things other than fresh produce and dairy. So. Here is my list of things we always have on hand, hence, always eat and can't live without:
chicken, breasts, skinned
Pork, sausages "Bangers"
frozen fish portions, breaded and plain
grape seed oil
frozen peas, mixed veggies
beans, all varieties, canned
corn, creamed and niblits
frozen spinach pizza
Canned tomatoes, diced, sauce
Canned fruit, peaches, pears
carrots - ever since that email about "baby" carrots, I use the organic large ones for everything!
variety of fresh produce, seasonal - cauliflower, broccoli, celery
frozen oven fries
All sorts of baking provisions, although I rarely bake. Craisins, dried blueberries that I do use for salads, coconut - that sort of thing.
PC white macaroni and cheese in a box
Pickles. Olives, beets, dills, sweet mix, black olives. LOVE my pickles!
cheese,Feta, Boursin, shredded mozzarella mix cheese, Parmesan and cheddar slices
dry cereals - Always Shreddies, usually three other varieties as well. That is how many Tupperware Cereal containers I have!
canned salmon & canned tuna
crackers (quite a collection at present!)
Beverages: Tea, coffee, hot chocolate,Chrystal Light,Orange juice, V8
I am sure there are quite a few more items, condiments and such, but that is pretty much what I use to make our daily fare. It is really quite amazing when you think that with these few ingredients, you can make a new dish everyday for a year, without repeating, if you so desired. There is such variety at the grocery stores compared to when I was growing up. Now here is something to consider. Broccoli was something new to me in my teens. Yep. If it wasn't grown in our garden, it wasn't on our table at home. We didn't live in the country either. My mother stored and canned enough vegetables from our garden in the city to keep us through the winter. We didn't eat a lot of pasta or rice, but garden potatoes were a staple. It makes you realize just how lazy we have become over the span of fifty years. When I was young? all the mothers had gardens, but now? The odd person has a tomatoe plant on their deck. Yet, our houses are bigger, and more well equipped than at any other point in history. Perhaps this latest recession will force a sort of household economy on us that time has eased. Nah. It is too much effort! LOL I think gardens are gone to most people, gone the way of the u in neighbour, labour and favour. Sigh. The only thing you can be sure of in life, is change.