Recipes That Add Up

I am often looking for cooking shortcuts. Sometimes I do love to sit down with a Cooks Illustrated three page article and recipe and follow every little scientific step in order to get the best results. But, on weeknights, when I get home from work tired and want to make time for a run also, I want to maximize efficiency and flavor while minimizing the need for brain power.

For the last few months I’ve been using Cook Smarts to help me in that quest. They do such a great job of reusing ingredients or sauces in the next day or two’s meals that is has made me sorta obsessed. Fish for dinner? Make a lemon yogurt sauce to go with it and use the remainder for tomorrow night’s gyros. Had to buy a bag of carrots for a carrot side on Tuesday, use the rest of the bag on Thursday to make carrot soup. I know this isn’t rocket science… I’m not blowing anyone’s mind here, but I am admitting it is not how I’ve always thought about meal planning and I even when I have, I certainly haven’t been great about practicing it.

These days I’m trying to practice it more. More planning leads to less stress, fewer “what do you want? I dunno what do you want” conversions with Mr., more thoughtful balanced meals, and even saves a buck or two of the grocery store. All for the low low price of some weekend time for planning.

What tips or tricks do you have for meal planning, using up ingredients before they spoil, etc? Care to help a human out?