After making out my just-the-basics grocery list for March, along with a plan for sticking to it, I spent about 10 minutes brainstorming more of the details. In this brainstorm, I just listed a few suggestions for each category. Here are my categories for items to make ahead: breakfasts, casseroles, soups, treats, and breads.
And this is what I came up with in about 10 minutes.
brainstorming breakfasts that I can make ahead
**pancakes (double batch a couple of times in the month, for the freezer)
**trail mix (easier to make than granola, but it can have granola chunks in it, if I want to add grains)
brainstorming casseroles that I can make ahead
ham and pasta with creamy sauce and green veg (broccoli?)
**ham fried rice with carrots, onions, cabbage (do 2 for freezer)
ham and potato casserole
**ham, cheese and egg strata, with bread (do 2 for freezer)
brainstorming soups I can make ahead
**lentil soup, using ham bone
vegetable-noodle with either chicken or beef
**chili con carne
brainstorming treats that I can make ahead
cookie dough for the freezer
homemade breads that I can keep in stock
**whole wheat sandwich
**scones (dough for the freezer? or baked ahead?)
Once I made my lists, I went through and double-starred two or three from each category. These starred items are the ones that I feel will be the most do-able for me, this month. From what I had planned, as was outlined in yesterday's post, combined with this more detailed plan, I now have some very concrete ideas to help me stick to a "basics" grocery list.
Avoiding Editing My Thoughts
Okay, so remember my rule yesterday, to include ideas that might not even work? That's all part of brainstorming. I probably will not make toast ahead of time.
I don't edit my thoughts while brainstorming; because if I did, the whole process would slow down and I might miss something valuable. Who knows, now that I've even thought about making toast ahead of time, I might also some day figure out a way to make that do-able and tasty.
Asking for Input
There's one last step to this planning -- asking for feedback. This is where you all get to tell me your suggestions!! My ears are open for suggestions in any of the areas of breakfasts, casseroles, soups, treats, and breads. If you were operating with a rather generic pantry, fridge and freezer, what would you add to my list? (It's usually my daughters who give me their input. Today I'm reaching out to you.)
*Wednesday afternoon I baked a ham; that's where the ham-theme in the casseroles and soup originated.