Grocery Shopping List for Fast Weeknight Meals

Elizabeth - posted on 03/12/2013 ( 8 moms have responded )

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Ladies! I am a working mom, wife-to-be, new home owner, and a student! I still have to provide healthy dinners and lunches for my family on a regular basis. What kind of items should I be buying when I grocery shop?

I feel like I need some basic meal starters for sure like onions, garlic, ground beef, some canned soups that can make a good meal base, tomatoes, salad fixings, frozen veggies (fresh spoils too quickly and I like to stock up)... okay so I get all of these things right, and then I read all of these recipes online that call for sherry vinegar, marmalade, whiskey, molasses, all these things I wouldn't typically buy but they look delicious.

Can I get some suggestions for cost effective, fast and efficient meals? Otherwise we are going to be eating Hamburger Helper and steamed broccoli or Bertoli frozen pasta bags for two and salad every night! I don't know how much more pasta I can take! I got some big thick pork chops on sale and now I have no clue what to do with them because they're intimidating and seem like a lot of work.

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Deanna - posted on 03/22/2013

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A simple recipe

Chicken
Dried garlic (enough to your liking)
Dried onions
Bbq sauce (whatever kind you like, or you can make your own)
Salt
Bread crumbs
Pepper

Pierce chicken with fork. Marinade chicken in sauce for at least 1 hour, 24 is best. Drain excess sauce and put in the spices and onions, mix. I usually mix in a large Ziploc to make it easier and cleaner. Put chicken in casserole dish. Add a quarter cup of water to dish. Sprinkle crumbs on top. Add lid or tin foil on top of dish. Bake at 400 for 30 minutes (boneless) or 45 minutes (bone-in).

[deleted account]

I plan a menu for the week before I go shopping. It takes a little time up front (I usually spend about 20 minutes total planning my menu and writing out my shopping list), but it saves me a TON of time on weeknights and at the store.

So, first off, I check out what I've got on-hand that might spoil soon, and I try to plan recipes that use those ingredients. Then I just add the missing ingredients to my shopping list. Last, I run through my "pantry basics" which are things that I always keep on-hand, but only use a tiny bit of at at time, like soy sauce, honey, red wine/sherry vinegar, whiskey & brandy (for cooking, you can buy inexpensive ones--it cooks out, so don't waste your good brandy for cooking, save that to drink and buy a small bottle of cheap stuff to cook with). If I'm low on anything, I add it to the list.

Also try to keep leftovers in mind. For example, I know a small block of cheddar makes 2 cups of shredded cheddar, but most recipes only call for one cup, so I might pick two recipes that use cheddar cheese, OR some recipes are very easy to double, so I might just double one and have leftovers the next night.

Btw, here are a couple of good pork chop recipes that are very easy
Garlic Pork Chops--EASIEST RECIPE EVER!! Serve with a side of baked potatoes, steamed veggies, or sauteeed asparagus.
4 Pork Chops
1 Can Campbells Golden Mushroom Soup
1/4 cup water

Heat a dab of olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat.
Add pork chops and cook 10 minutes until browned, then set aside.
Pour off fat, then add soup & water.
Bring to a boil, return chops to pan, reduce heat to low, and cook about 5 more minutes, until chops are no longer pink.
(I like to garnish this with sliced green onions, but you don't have to if you don't have any)

This one is also easy. It does have a few more ingredients, but most of them are staples that you will keep onhand.
Polynesian Pork Chops--Serve with instant rice and Asian veggie medley (you can find it in a bag in the frozen veggies section)

4 pork chops
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 medium onion
1 can Golden Mushroom soup
1 can (8zo) pineapple chunks
1/4 cup water
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 Tablespoon honey
Sliced Green Onions.

Season the pork chops with garlic powder.
Heat a dab of olive oil in a skillet. Add chops & cook until browned.
Add onion.
Add soup, pineapple with the juice, water, soy sauce, and honey.
Heat to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook about 10 more minutes.
Garnish with sliced green onions.

Belinda - posted on 03/12/2013

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I found that using my Crock Pot for quick family meals has been really helpful. I'm on maternity leave but I have little time to cook or prepare meals. It's easy throw ingredients together, turn it on and leave it for a few hours and then dinners done. I have a Crock Pot cookbook that's really helpful for ideas and I use online recipes websites (AllRecipes.com is great for slow cooker recipes!). You can use the pork chops that you have, throw in condensed soup or tomatoes or whatever, have a vegetable on the side and dinner is done! Hope it helps, goodluck!

Belinda

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Elizabeth - posted on 03/27/2013

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Nancy that sounds delicious and actually includes ingredients I have on hand. I love meat loaf! That is probably one of the things I miss the most about living with my mom.

Elizabeth - posted on 03/14/2013

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Thank you so much Belinda, I will take your advice!

Omg Kelly, that recipe sounds amazing and totally doable! You ladies are great! :)

Belinda - posted on 03/12/2013

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Thank you!

Yes, that's for my blog that I just started. I hope that's ok that I posted it (it's BRAND new, haha).

Oh I see what you mean. The recipes do range from between 4 hours to 8 hours. Since my husband is home during the day most of the time, I usually ask him to turn on the Crock Pot so that it would be done by the time I get home (but don't have raw meat sitting in there for long, of course!). That's about all that I can think of. I rely on those frozen pasta meals myself!

I also like to buy things that are quick to bake in the oven, like chicken or fish. It's healthier and faster than frying. One recipe I like is for Parmesan Chicken, it bakes really fast in the oven and you don't need that many ingredients. Allrecipes.com has some great quick meal ideas too. (I sound like a sponsor, but I'm not haha. I really like that website.)

Elizabeth - posted on 03/12/2013

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Belinda: Is that the link to your blog at the bottom?

Here's my only problem, I work full time so I would be away from the crock pot for like 9 hours! I'm afraid I will burn down the house.

Congrats on the new baby!!!

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