You shouldn't have to cook for reals every night. Sometimes, you need a night off. I mean, cooking is a blast. You need a break sometimes from even the most fun things, right?
So, when planning your grocery shopping for the week, keep a couple of things in mind. You might have left-overs. Those are either your lunches or your dinner another night. Also, just fit it into your plan and budget to have one dinner out a week. It doesn't have to be fancy or expensive. Just give yourself a night off.
Finally, I'm a huge fan of the kit. OK, "huge fan" may be overstating. It's like saying I'm a huge fan of Hugh Grant. I'm going to let you work that simile out for yourself.
Anyway, those large bags of pre-frozen dinners are a decent way to take a night off from real cooking. They are not terrible nor expensive. You normally pour them into a skillet, stir and simmer for ten or so minutes. When making your meal plan and grocery list (which is what you should be doing), plan for five meals at the most.
Things that I always keep in my pantry...hmmm..that word sounds dirty. I'm going to make it a euphemism for my underwear. So, when I say "I always keep pasta in my pantry" I'm going to be giggling (manly giggling) inside.
Anyway, there are things you should always keep stocked in your pantry:
cans of different beans, especially black beans
pasta (manly giggle)
tortillas corn or flour or both
frozen ground beef
frozen chicken breasts
There, that's my very basic grocery list. I could live off that list for a while and make about thirty different things. Without any sort of plan, that's breakfast lunch and dinners with sides for a week. Of course, replace anything frozen with fresh if you know what you're doing and have a plan.
Again, that's a totally generic list that I could wash rinse and repeat if I had to. But we are way may creative than that, no?
I think everyone should have a Red Ryder bb gun. They're very good for Christmas. I don't think a football is a very good Christmas present.
There are football players who are very good at the game. They can throw a ball 80 yards or hit the hole in less than a second. These players are put on TV and make millions. They have cool nicknames and groupies of which I am damned well jealous.
There are professional chefs working in fantastic starred kitchens. They can whip up amazing souffles with sea foam and tempura battered charm. These chefs are put on TV, and they make millions. They have cool nicknames and groupies of which I am damned well jealous.
Then, there is us. We are the whiffle ballers of cooking. We go 7 for 10 in the slow speed batting cage. We burn about 20 percent of the world's grilled cheese sandwiches.
I've tuckered out my sports metaphors for the day.
We chop and stir and sizzle for the love of the game. Oh, and because if we don't eat, we'll probably starve to death. Though, I'm not sure I've ever truly sizzled. That sounds fabulous, of which I am not.