If you had visited our house on any given afternoon during the last few weeks, you probably heard a conversation like this:
Walker: What do you have planned for dinner?
Me: Nothing. What do you have planned for dinner?
Walker: I don’t know what we even have.
Me: Well, why don’t you take a look in the pantry?
At which point Walker, who (rightly, I’m sorry to say) thinks the pantry is an overstuffed mess of condiments and baking supplies, would have ordered sandwiches or zipped out for McDonalds.
From this nightly ritual was born a radical idea: Let’s say I did a massive grocery shop, stocking up on everything we needed for dinner for, oh, a month. Suppose I spent an entire weekend day prepping and tossing together casseroles and other tasty dinner delights. Then suppose I stacked all this glorious food in the freezer, neatly labeled and waiting its turn to be heated and served. Would it save us any time? Would it save us any money? And, most importantly, would it finally put an end to the “what’s for dinner” dialog that we have had every stinkin’ night?
At the moment, it appears the answer to these questions is, “Yes, yes, and yes.” It’s only been a few days, but the shopping part took less than half the time of my regular weekly shopping times four weeks, and I spent about a third less money, so far, than I normally would in four weeks. We will need fresh milk a few times, but that should be it. The cooking part took a full day, but I think we can streamline that more, too, if we continue with this. As for the nightly meals, we have a running list of what’s available on a dry erase board on the fridge. All we have to do is allow for a little extra cooking time since we’re starting from frozen. What seemed at first to be a radical idea is shaping up to be the best idea I’ve had in a while.