I broke down and decided to plan weekly menus now that I have a larger, more varied crew to feed. I began with this list of questions from Leila at Like Mother, Like Daughter to ask the family. I ended up with about 80 complete menu suggestions! Next, I arranged and rearranged most of them into weekly menus, keeping in mind variety in flavors, ethnicity, main protein, and cost. I now have eight weeks of menus to rotate through.
Some of the ideas will have to be shelved for an indefinite length of time due to their outrageous cost. Prime rib? I don't think so! Other ideas were too vague to be of use to me at this moment. Chinese food. That's not much help to me. Or I have no recipe at the moment. Spanakopita. Uh, you'll have to go to a Greek restaurant to get that.
Next step was to write down all the ingredients I need for all the dishes for this week. I had a very LOOONG shopping list, but, surprisingly, I spent about the same as I usually spend for the week's groceries.
So we'll see how it goes...