I need extremely basic help with meal planning and grocery shopping.
October 4, 2012 3:45 PM Subscribe
I need extremely basic help with meal planning and grocery shopping. I don't even know where to start. I have a psychological block against cooking to the point where actually I'll forgo eating if it's going to be more difficult than microwaving something.
posted by desjardins to Food & Drink (67 answers total) 60 users marked this as a favorite
Long version: I was raised by a mentally ill parent who was unable to properly care for me. The vast majority of my meals were cereal, fast food, hot dogs, mac and cheese, and potted meat. The only thing my mom "cooked" was fried chicken. I really had no idea that this was abnormal. In college, I lived in the dorms and everything was prepared for me. When I moved out, I mostly bought packaged, microwaveable foods or ate in restaurants. When I was single (or when my husband's out of town), I often either forgot to eat or became paralyzed at the thought of making something.
Bizarrely, I am not even a little bit overweight and I don't have diet-related health problems. I eat a normal amount of food when it is served to me. So, my health isn't a dire emergency, although y'all would probably be disgusted if I detailed my average diet. I don't have any allergies or other restrictions, nor does my husband. There are things we refuse to eat (me: chili, him: mushrooms) but they're easy to work around.
My husband and I spend absurd amounts of money on packaged foods and eating out. I'd be okay with spending the money, but I don't even feel like I'm eating well. My husband likes to cook, and he's good at it, but all too often we default to the same 3 or 4 meals. (He'll ask me "What do you want for dinner?" and I will literally have NO IDEA AT ALL so he'll say "how about chicken with pasta again?" and I'll agree.)
I get extremely flustered when I try to cook because everything just seems to be happening SO FAST and I'm going to burn and ruin everything and what's the point let's just eat energy bars instead.
We have a normal amount of kitchen space and appliances and I wouldn't hesitate to buy more stuff if I felt confident that I'd use it. We live in a medium-large city and have access to many different stores. Let's ignore cost as a concern for right now, although saving money in the long run would be great. We don't have any kids to feed.
I would like to get to the point where I can:
1. Make a decision about what to eat
2. Know how to prepare it
3. Have the appropriate ingredients on hand
4. Not waste food (it gets forgotten about and/or goes bad)