»

# Meal Planning 101 by Rhonda Lauret Parkinson

Preparing a detailed grocery list makes it much easier to stick to a budget. But where do you begin? The best way is to start by preparing a meal plan for one or two weeks. Try to pick more than one recipe that uses the same ingredients so that you can save money by purchasing in bulk.

Let's say, for example, that you decide to cook Chili con Carne and Spanish Rice. Including both recipes in the same grocery shopping trip lets you purchase larger portions of everything from ground beef to tomato sauce.

Of course, you'll want to incorporate leftovers into your meal plan. But refrigerated leftovers have to be eaten within days, and eating the same meal twice in one week can get a little boring. Fortunately, there are ways around this problem.

For recipes designed to provide two or more servings, one option is to cook two half-portions of the recipe, slightly altering the ingredients for each half.

For example, with Chili con Carne you could prepare a half-portion, cutting the ingredients in half but otherwise following the recipe exactly. Then prepare a second half-portion, but substitute chickpeas for the kidney beans and replace the beef with ground turkey or chicken. This gives you more variety, making it easier to resist the temptation to skip dinner in favor of the snack machine conveniently located just down the hall.

When halving or doubling a recipe, it's helpful to know how to convert cups into tablespoons, tablespoons into teaspoons, and vice versa. The following table contains several conversions.

## Equivalent Measures

 Measurement Equivalent Measure 3 teaspoons 1 tablespoon 4 tablespoons ¼ cup 5 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon ⅓ cup 8 tablespoons ½ cup 10 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons ⅔cup 12 tablespoons 3/4 cup 16 tablespoons 1 cup 48 teaspoons 1 cup 1 cup 8 ounces 1 quart 32 ounces
Read More You Will Be Tested: Getting Started
Shopping

#### THE EVERYTHING COLLEGE COOKBOOK

By Rhonda Lauret Parkinson

1. Home
2. Cooking in College
3. You Will Be Tested: Getting Started
4. Meal Planning 101