When my kids were around five-ish (and could read), we ended their nightly question of: “mommy, what’s for dinner” in a way that also helped me avoid staring blankly into my pantry or fridge wondering what to make. We bought a small whiteboard with a magnet on the back and a dry erase marker to get started with weekly meal planning of lunches and dinners. It was life changing (here’s a bit about it).
An unsuspecting benefit was that we only had to go to the grocery store one to two times each week (as opposed to the more frequent or sometimes daily trips). Woohoo! Everyone is happy about less trips to the store, especially when you have little ones who would feel like grocery shopping is one major timeout.
I’ll admit, weekly meal planning is not 100% fail-proof. Life happens. Soccer practice goes late, traffic is bad, meetings go longer than I expect, friends invite us over, or I simply don’t feel like cooking. I love to be in my kitchen cooking, but not all the time – really. When these things pop up, and I’ve planned a meal that we don’t end up eating, that means we’ll shuffle things around to feed the kids quickly and I’m often left with a random assortment of ingredients.
Like right now. There’s two cans of black beans and a can of stewed tomatoes in the pantry, half a bag of corn tortillas in the fridge and we need a slow cooker meal for tomorrow since we get home about 6:30 with practically starving kids. It’s not quite enough for a meal but pretty close, right?
Well, check out this new feature from Pinterest referred to as “clean out your fridge”. In the search bar, I entered “black beans slow cooker”, hit the little magnifying glass, and then selected to search All Recipes. I could have filtered by things like gluten free, vegetarian, etc. but I wanted to keep it simple and toss a wide net to find my dinner solution.
Seconds later…voila! Tons and tons of Pins and recipes that meet my search requirement. Love this! I could also search Just My Recipes rather than what I usually do: pull up my boards and browse for 30 minutes until I see something that sounds good. Hello, super time saver!
Guess what’s for dinner at the Rau House tomorrow night? Yep, slow cooker enchilada stack!