Do You Have Meals Planned if You Are Staying Your Home?

20 days ago

I make a meal plan every week, not for a certain day but meals for the week. Today I am having some of my home canned Shelly Beans, some meat loaf from my freezer and a lettuce and tomato salad. Iced tea also. Do you have plans for your meals in place?

Comments (51)

  • arcy_gw

    We are always at home. I always plan a week at a time. So yes and yes.

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  • samkarenorkaren

    I would eat a big lunch at work and have something simple for dinner. I rarely buy food so this is a shock for food and cook???? Lol

    I just bought easy things to make so no real plan for me

    SamKaren Your resident DJ

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  • Toby

    I usually don't plan more than four meals ahead since I'm typically at the store twice a week. I've been self-isolated since the first coronavirus case came to my county over two weeks ago. I made one shopping trip then and another a week ago last Thursday and had groceries delivered this past Thursday. So I am meal-planning out of necessity and it's going pretty well. I really like not shopping! I might feel differently after another two months of this as I have no intention of going into a store until the coast is clear. Even then, I think my shopping and meal-planning habits will be forever changed.

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  • Zalco/bring back Sophie!

    I am terrible at meal planning for extended periods of time. I am working on a five day plan right now and think I may just rotate that plan until further notice. I go to the grocery store every single day for something. I am definitely learning a new discipline here.

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  • Chi

    No, the grocery stores are so unpredictable right now. Couldn't find any fresh fruits or veggies a few days ago and I'm sick now so i'm not leaving the house. We'll be eating a lot of frozen foods I think!

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  • Elmer J Fudd

    No, most days are ad lib.

    In normal times, we'd eat dinner out at least twice a week, also not on a set schedule. And in normal times, we'd go to the store every other day. We'd buy what strikes us, never planning more than a day ahead (maybe other than a selection of veggies and fruit to eat over a series of days) and not keeping much on hand.

    Now, I think we'll have more inventory on hand to reduce trips to the stores but we're happier not following any kind of plan or schedule.

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  • Bluebell66

    Yes, we have meals planned but we usually operate more like Elmer. I don’t typically keep a ton on hand but did a little stocking up for the last month just in case we found ourselves stuck at home. I’m also taking this opportunity to use up some things we need to rotate out of our small inventory....a few cans of tuna, some frozen things, some canned veggies/tomatoes, etc.

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  • marilyn_c

    No, I don't really plan meals in advance, except I get to thinking about something I want and I usually end up cooking that. I made some chicken mushroom soup a few weeks ago from a recipe I got from Pintetest, and it was really good. I bought mushrooms when I was at the store day before yesterday, so I am making that today. I love homemade soup. I also will make some biscuits to go with it. Probably cheddar biscuits. Now I'm hungry.

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  • Fun2BHere

    We eat very simple meals so there's not much planning required. As long as we have access to produce and fish, chicken or chickpeas, we can make a meal. I've added some vegetables to the freezer because it's looking like getting fresh produce might be difficult. I also made some soup and froze it in individual servings. I think we are set for two weeks or so now. If we were to have to self-isolate for two months, we would have to come up with a different plan.

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  • ravencajun Zone 8b TX

    Loosely, I plan a grocery list for various options for the week. Not in any specific order. And we order in occasionally.

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  • Texas_Gem

    I've never been a meal planner but I've always had a stocked pantry.

    I prefer it that way. There is a large variety of ingredients that I almost always keep in stock and countless meals I can make from those ingredients.

    I never could understand meal planning. Maybe I'm not in the mood for spaghetti on Tuesday??

    I don't know how others do it!

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  • Marilyn_Sue

    Living where I live or anyone else that lives here, there is no food delivery. In town yes. My meal for tomorrow will be fried chicken drumsticks that I took out of the freezer and they are ready to heat, more of my shelly beans, and another something or other. Right now I have a lot of fresh produce on hand.

  • DawnInCal

    I don't go into detailed meal planning unless there is a specific recipe I want to make and then I will be sure I have the necessary ingredients on hand. Sometimes, I will plan around something I want to use up or because we are craving a certain type of food. I always have the ingredients I need to make Asian, Mexican or Indian food.

    I don't really see my planning or shopping habits changing much except that I want to use more of the things I already have in the freezer/pantry in order to reduce my trips to the store. We always consume fresh produce, but if I start noticing shortages, we may add frozen veggies to our diet. I won't eat canned veggies except for corn so if I can't get fresh or frozen, we will go without. Another thing I will start doing if shortages become the norm is to make more soups, casseroles, beans, etc., to make our food stretch further.

    Right now, hubby is out of town, so I am working my way through the leftovers in the fridge before making anything new. When I get done with the last of the pizza and salad, pulled pork is on the menu followed by some frozen lentil soup in the freezer. The lentil soup is kind of bland, so I think I will chop up some hot links (spicy sausage) and add it to the soup.

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  • Kathsgrdn

    I was in a hurry this morning to get to the stores before everyone got off work, so I didn't eat. I ended up buying some taco making stuff because it sounded good and I needed to use up my lettuce and cheese before they went bad. I'll be eating tacos for the next couple of days. Will probably freeze half of it, though, because it gets boring quickly.

    I'm also going to make some spaghetti sauce soon and make up some meals for work, freeze them. I still have some bean soup frozen for work meals but it's getting old now.

    While I was in Walmart I looked for frozen meals, there are a couple Amy's Kitchen brand meals I like but they had none. So, glanced around and saw some frozen lobster tails and scallops. I got a pack of each. I may have one of those for a meal tonight.

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  • Marilyn_Sue

    No, my meal planning is not for a certain day but what I will try to fix sometime during that week. It maybe I will have to get something out of the freezer and let thaw in the fridge overnight.


  • adellabedella_usa

    We have a few. Right now, I'm using stuff like cooked chicken from the freezer and whatever I think should be cooked up so it doesn't go bad.

    Dd asked to make cottage pie for tomorrow. I didn't buy any bread except two packages of tortillas so going to make a loaf in the breadmaker later. Thinking about eating some and turning the rest into French toast and freezing. Also found a version of shepherd's pie made with chicken. I may do that later this week.

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  • ediej1209 AL Zn 7

    Dug thru the fridge's freezer, found a couple of pieces of Gorton's fish that DH likes for sandwiches. So his dinner is set. A side of mac & cheese which I will share. Got something that could be either spaghetti or enchilada stuff so that will become stuffed pepper sauce tomorrow night. If it stops raining long enough we have bratwursts to do on the grill at some point.

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  • rob333 (zone 7a)

    THE meal we have planned is my birthday dinner I never got. Can't have it tonight since it's raining. Tomorrow. 1 1/2 thick, monster ribeye we'll split. Lobster tails, also grilled. Lemon poppyseed cake. And since blood oranges are in the house? Blood orange mimosas.

    Other than that, odds and ends. There's chicken, chicken and more chicken. Had Screaming Sicilian pizza the other night. Dunno. Baked chicken, chicken soup, knowing him, his favorite that he can't have at school, and he's home for spring break, fried chicken (that he makes), baked wings. Chicken. Might have shrimp scampi with gigantic fresh water prawns.

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  • maifleur03

    Any planning I do is done after I have gone to the stores. There are some basics like coffee and perhaps milk but the stores that I go to have better in store than flyer sales. My list if I make one is general, fruit, meat, cheese, some kind of veggies.

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  • Sisters in faith

    I have a list of entrees, made with different meats. I just pick something different from each category. One week it's baked chicken, that next week, homemade chicken and noodles. One week salmon fillets, the next time, crab cakes.

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  • Elmer J Fudd

    " Maybe I'm not in the mood for spaghetti on Tuesday? "

    Maybe not this week. Or this month.

    That's why we never buy more than one day ahead. We'll be doing a bit more ahead buying now but not much. We prefer fresh food and never freeze anything.

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  • foodonastump

    I realize this thread is a cross post and is reaching people from different areas and situations (thinking Harvest) but I’d just urge those who don’t stock a lot or feel the need to, to reconsider. It’s a reality check to go to the store and there’s literally no pasta, no rice, no flour, no eggs, no bouillon, barely any canned or frozen vegetables, increasingly less fresh, no canned seafood, no bread, no peanut butter, cereal limited to garbage like Froot Loops, barely any meat aside from corned beef. Getting the idea? I’m not suggesting going into panic mode, but be smart. We’ve been out of toilet paper for a while but food, that was like a flick of a switch.

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  • gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)

    I don't really plan ahead either but ad lib based on what's on hand. Typically I will have some sort of menu in my head based on what I know I have or need to get if I have a craving for. But it is never a daily thing....sometimes I can't be bothered to cook at all and have popcorn...or a PBJ sandwich, like last night :-)

    I have no issue with frozen food but have a minute freezer so there is not much in there as there is not much room. Usually some leftover homemade soup, a package of ground beef, my reserve pack of bacon and some pot stickers or other snack item. So I go to the grocer at least twice a month, more often if I need something specific. So far, stores here are perfectly well stocked with pretty much everything other than paper goods........that shortage seems to be universal and still unexplained :-)

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  • Jasdip

    I curse every time I go rooting in the freezer for something I want.....usually it's at or near the bottom.

    Now I'm thankful I have a full freezer. I went to the store today just to see what it was like, shelves, were pretty much empty and the meat was pretty much gone, but there was lots fresh produce. I was surprised. The flour was empty, are there that many bakers?

    So I have plenty on hand to eat out of the freezer and pantry, and I have my normal supply of toilet paper, which is also plenty, without hoarding.

    My habit is to cook something large on Sunday and have leftovers for a day or two, staggered days. I really dislike cooking something fresh every night.

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  • Bookwoman

    I went to the supermarket this morning and there was plenty of food, and even some toilet paper, paper towels, etc. The only thing they were completely out of was anything used for disinfecting. It was about three times more crowded than usual for a Monday morning, but people were smiling and talking to each other (at a distance) in a way they don't usually.

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  • Ladydi Zone 7A NW BC Canada

    When I cook meals like spaghetti, chicken cacciatore, chili, lasagna, hamburgers or a ham roast (pea soup), I'll triple the recipe so I can freeze a few for future meals. We also have a soup & sandwich supper at least once a week. A bag of frozen perogies, a couple steaks and a few frozen pizza when they go on sale for $2.99 ... good to go. The only food I will only cook fresh is fish. If it was just me I could happily eat a big pot of homemade soup every day but SO likes his meat, potatoes & vegs (a 'real' supper according to him). Now that we are retired & older we often only eat once a day. We'll make out just fine with this self seclusion stuff going on.

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  • lisa_fla

    I usually go every couple of days because I use fresh vegetables and prefer the meat fresh but have bought meat to freeze in case we get sick and quarantined. Due to the current situation I’m trying to go once, maybe twice a week in order to replenish fruit. There are so many unknowns right now. The news is saying there could be much more corona cases coming. I’m going to keep up with weekly shopping vs using all of the stuff in the freezer. My store had many empty spots in the store but the produce section was fully stocked. Forget paper products, soaps, and even the laundry detergent was significantly less. Lucky for me 3 -4weeks ago I placed a Target order for TP buy $50 get a $15 GC. There was no corona in the US, or if there was it was on the west coast. I was out and I buy that in bulk and put it in the garage. The same week I had bought napkins and a Kleenex from BJs. I already had a lot of paper towels. It turned out to be good timing. Hopefully with stores closing early they will get stocked more. Our news had a list of items today that recommended to buy now in case a family member gets corona-Tylenol, thermometer, robitussin, vaporub, humidifier , I found all of the meds at the grocery store but very low stock.

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  • lisa_fla

    I never did answer the question-meatloaf tonight, corned beef and cabbage tomorrow, boneless chicken Wednesday, baby back ribs Thursday, hopefully pizza and wings delivered Friday ( frozen pizza if closed), more chicken Saturday, Steak Sunday. If my daughter stops by, I’ll switch out a meal for tacos. Wow, I never plan that far ahead. I usually make whatever I feel like or what someone requests.

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  • Judy Good

    I am really good at using what is in the house for a meal. I hate to shop, so I do not go often. When I do, I buy what looks good at the time. I try to have all the staples in the house. I can serve a meal in no time at the spare of the moment.

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  • artemis_ma

    I always flub at meal planning for the week. I'm only one person; I don't need to do that. I'll be cooking as usual, and after now subscribing to Misfit Market (due to folks talking it up on this forum), I will even have fresh veggies and more fruit than I normally eat. Not changing my order to weekly, either.

    I do have ideas around what I will make in a week, or at least within the next few days. I'm making a Greek stuffed eggplant later today, with béchamel sauce. My milk is telling me: Use me or lose me...

    There's always plenty of food here... I just got in half a lamb from a grass fed farmer (ordered back in January, with me telling him then that I'd pick it up early-mid March at my next book club meeting in his neck of the woods.

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  • blfenton

    I don't menu plan either. I generally have on hand lots of pasta and rice which I do now so that's good. When I shop it's mainly fresh fruit, fresh vegetables and fish/meat. And then I just cook whatever it is that I fancy for that night.

    The only thing I make sure of is that there are leftovers for Wednesday as I'm out that night and DH can warm them up.

    We never eat out so at least I don't have to go through that withdrawal.

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  • floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

    I don't plan either. I always have all the staples in the house plus eggs, dairy and vegetables. The freezers contain bread, milk, home frozen meat, berries from the garden, some empty pastry cases and some frozen casseroles. Other than ensuring one small portion of protein (meat twice a week, cheese occasionally, fish at least once p.w., eggs once p.w. and pulses three times), one small portion of carbohydrate (rice, pasta, barley or other grain, potatoes) and two or three portions of vegetables for each supper there's no fixed plan. We eat one 'proper' meal a day. I don't use recipes. I think what's in the fridge and build from there. There are rarely any leftovers except when we have a joint on a Sunday and then there's always one or two further meals made from that. So lack of planning doesn't ever equal waste.

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  • Judy Good

    There are rarely any leftovers except when we have a joint on a Sunday and then there's always one or two further meals made from that. So lack of planning doesn't ever equal waste.

    This made me giggle.

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  • Elmer J Fudd

    "Joint" is British for roast, the traditional family meal on Sundays.

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  • chipotle

    I typically plan for 3 days in advance. Switched to a weekly mode for now. Visits to the farmers' market help with the planning.

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  • floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

    I was totally aware of the double entendre when I wrote 'joint'. But I decided my audience could probably cope with it.

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  • seniorgal

    What are pulses??

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  • carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b

    Beans & peas

    And I don't ordinarily plan ahead either. I have a repertoire of dishes and try to have what I need for them. I like to try new things as well. Right now I have more than enough in pantry & fridge to make do for 2 weeks, plus fresh tomatoes, herbs & greens from my garden.

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  • WalnutCreek Zone 7b/8a

    I have always meal planned. When my kids were at home, I planned breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Now I just plan dinner. Meal planning helps so much when grocery shopping. I am not wedded to the meal plan and am flexible about sticking to it.

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  • AJCN

    We planned a weekly menu when we were both working full-time, but after I went part-time, I got more relaxed about it. Now we semi-plan. We scratch cook almost everyday and always have a well-stocked dry pantry and freezer, and a small herb and veggie garden. But I love going to the grocery store and/or farmer's market for fresh things like produce, meats, fish, etc. We have a vegan in the household, so I go to the grocery for mushrooms, tofu, polenta, etc. We grow lettuce, brussels sprouts, chives, other herbs, onions and potatoes, but in-between seasons we buy them. I miss going to the store for fresh things; we've been using HEB curb-side pick-up lately, and it is a very good service, very convenient. After this virus is over, I will be very happy to get back to in-person fresh shopping. I was that Mom with 4 kids (1 - 7 years old) in the grrocery store every few days. They are teenagers now, and I still love taking them, and they like it too, especially the farmer's market. I loved taking my kids to the store when they were little; they learned their colors, numbers, how to read "high fructose corn syrup," how to use coupons, how to find things, what is good food and what is not food, etc.

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  • docmom_gw

    I see comments have slowed down in the last few days. The situation in the US is getting serious (about time), but it seems as if food supplies continue to be adequate where I am. I am home alone, while my husband got stuck in Minnesota. Hopefully, his flight back on Monday will go as planned.

    We always have rice, beans and pasta on hand, and vary the sauce, depending on our mood. I get frustrated at how fast fresh produce gets old. But, now I have a compost pile, so it’s not as bad as before. I made a fantastic lettuce, cabbage, carrot, cucumber, red onion, sweet pepper salad a few days ago, that I have been eating twice a day. I took some homemade chili out of the freezer yesterday, that’s delicious. I seem to tolerate repetition and left-overs better than my DH, who won’t eat the same thing more than once. I think we should all be thankful to have any food on our plates, let alone a cornucopia of choices.

    I hope you all continue to survive and thrive wherever you are. If you can, please make any random comments, if only to provide some human “contact” for one another.


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  • itsmce (zone 6b, Kansas)

    In 'normal' times, I'm not really a meal planner. More of a fly by the seat of my pants kinda cook. Frequently, dinner is determined by what I find in the mark-down bin in the meat counter. I have a well-stocked freezer. I tend to buy things when they're on sale and stash them in the freezer. Many of our meals over the next month will be from the freezer protein source. We're still eating peas that were frozen from last year's harvest. Similar broccoli was depleted a couple weeks ago.

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  • naturegirl_2007 5B SW Michigan

    docmom, your human "contact" comment encouraged me to post.

    I meal plan in a general way. I know what foods are on hand, should be used soon, etc. and have ideas in mind for coming days. As the day unwinds, I'll choose one for that day. We eat small amounts of meat with lots of veggie sides, or veggie meals with beans or other protein. There are assorted portioned meats in the freezer - 2 meals per portion. Cook once, eat twice is our motto. We'll eat the "easy" meat two or three days later. Repetition isn't a problem.

    With the uncertainty now, I have strange food thoughts. I will stare at the food in my pantry even though I know what is there. I know there is plenty and that I know how to use it. It is not a fearful inventory at all. Perhaps seeing and planning how to use the food I have is one of the few things I have some control over now. I have made rough estimates of the calories and protein in many things and know how many days of food needs that would satisfy. I did this kind of calculating awhile back for a "food experiment - what do you really need" game. It was a fun game I got into and enjoyed at the time. Little did I guess it might be an important skill before long.

    I'm enjoying homemade quick breads, sourdough bread, and early spring finds that overwintered in last year's garden. I'm growing sprouts, making corn tortillas from masa, and refried beans with garlic and onions. This week I'm starting more seeds for the summer garden since our May trip is off and I'll be able to care for transplants.

    Best wishes for good meals for everyone, whether you plan a lot or a little.

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  • Lynda Radke (USDA 9b, Sunset 23)

    We grow 95% of our produce, so our meal planning generally revolves around what is ready to harvest. We buy meat when it is on sale and keep a stocked freezer, as well as a stocked pantry. Tonight we made sushi. We live in a coastal tourist area, and our local seafood provider put out the word that they had excess and were delivering. I imagine that their restaurant customer's cancelled orders created excess inventory. We were more than happy to take some of it off their hands.

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  • rob333 (zone 7a)

    We planned, bought the materials which were delivered and made a ChikFilA copycat. AWESOME!

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  • donna_loomis

    DH does all the shopping and keeps the freezers and pantry well stocked. He also does the weeknight cooking (or did before they shut California down) and I cook on weekends. We "shop" what's in the freezer, supplemented by fresh fruits and vegetables.

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  • annie1992

    Family, friends and neighbors teased me about being a "prepper" because I raise our own beef and chicken, have a big garden and like to can. They are now oddly quiet about it, LOL. They've also become strangely silent about my "labor intensive" home grown shelled and dried beans. Yeah....

    I plan meals around what produce is in the refrigerator that needs to be used, how many eggs the chickens laid today, whether I've unearthed a couple of packages of venison from last year, what I need to cook for my 84 year old Mother, I cook meals and "deliver" them weekly. Tonight I made chicken and noodles for Mother, a batch of cabbage rolls, some deviled eggs, broccoli cheese soup and dark chocolate raspberry muffins. Elery and I had chili and I put every vegetable in the refrigerator that needed to be used in it, as I always do with chili. Tonight it was carrots, celery, onion, butternut squash, corn, two kinds of beans, a couple of quarts of home canned tomatoes and half a jar of salsa from the fridge. I should have made homemade tortillas, but instead I canned chicken stock because I "found" a couple of chicken carcasses from past roast chicken meals.

    Naturegirl, I have already started the hot peppers and I have my lights set up and seeds and soil ready to go, I'm going to start tomatoes, eggplant, sweet peppers, cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli next week sometime. Elery and I are building removable "hoop houses" for the tops of two raised beds that just don't get enough sun for strawberries and I'm going to plant some spinach, lettuces and mizuna, maybe some bok choi, gotta get my head start on gardening before my 100 strawberry plants and 3 sweet cherry trees arrive! I'm sorry your trip was cancelled, though.


    Marilyn_Sue thanked annie1992
  • Elmer J Fudd

    There haven't been food shortages reported so I wonder if you're reading more into these encounters than is there? Minor inconveniences, yes, but there's plenty of food in the system for now and stores seem to be restocking daily. At least in my area.

    Marilyn_Sue thanked Elmer J Fudd
  • DawnInCal

    Good for you, Annie! I like to be prepared too, although I don't raise any of our food. When hubby teases me, I respond with "better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it." That applies to things other than food as well.

    I have a plan for the next few days. Tonight it's bbq burgers, oven fries and salad, tomorrow hubby is going to smoke salmon fillets to go with spinach and mushrooms and probably rice pilaf. I used a coupon I had for a free package of pulled pork so we will be having pulled pork and coleslaw on Wednesday. The pulled pork will make two meals which takes us into Thursday. After that, I'll decide what to make next.

    Marilyn_Sue thanked DawnInCal
  • nicole___

    I restocked my bread baking supplies. There seems to be a temporary shortage....and....some stores have put away "bulk" goods. ie: Safeway will let you buy a box of doughnuts, but not a single one.

    Bread rising in the Zojirushi. 100% whole wheat.

    Marilyn_Sue thanked nicole___

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