the suicide hour

Ahh, the familiar question: “What’s for dinner, and when is it?” This signals the beginning of what is known in my house as the suicide hour! Everyone is hungry, and we don’t know what we want to eat, but we want it NOW!

A wee bit of planning on a regular basis can nearly eliminate this phenomenon. Once a week, check the refrigerator and pantry to see what is ‘in stock.’ What do you already have on hand that can be used in the next week? Keep this in mind. Then, typically at dinner, I ask my family what they would like to eat this next week.

I make a complete list of the menus. Be sure to round it out, including sides, breads, condiments, etc. A side benefit to this strategy is “You chose it, you eat it!”

Use your plan of meals for the week to prepare a shopping list from the menus.


When making my list, I like to group items together that are in the same section, like dairy or produce, so I don’t forget, miss an item, or have to run around the store several times to complete my shopping. Clip any coupons you want to use to the list.

You may want to do some ‘planovers,’ recipes you cook once, then utilize the planned leftovers to prepare another dish. I like to make a planover at least once a week, to carry over into future weeks, from the freezer.

I like to post my menu list on the fridge. When the suicide hour hits, I get out my magic wand, point to a menu, know that I have shopped for it, have everything on hand, and everyone is in agreement! YIPPEE!!

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