Time and time again we see posts from newbies wondering how to expose their images. A very good resource and something that will hopefully wean you from your meter is this webpage by Ed Buffaloe. His website unblinkingeye.com is a wealth of information for the beginner and serious photographer alike. Too bad we don't see Ed very often anymore but I hear he is into guns more than cameras these days.
I am sure the purists will find fault with something on the page, they always do, but for the most part it's good common sense advise.