Those three little words can fill me with dread. We all know that making your own meals can be significantly cheaper and healthier. We also know that this takes a lot of TIME. Combine a full time job with a commute and those precious hours at the end of the day are tight. Add some kids, a spouse and extra-curriculars and you are officially behind the eight ball and wondering if Veggie Straws and some cheese will cut it.
But if you really are interested in cooking more meals at home, you can make it easier on yourself if commit to weekly meal planning. If you have a partner or kids get them involved too.
- Pick a planning day when you can sit down with a coffee and your calendar for 20 minutes and figure out your meals. It’s so much better than staring at your fridge at 6:30 at night starving and tired.
- Take stock. Look in your cupboards, your fridge and freezer and see what you already have .
- Make more. If you are boiling an egg, boil 6. Use it for lunches, salads or sandwiches. Same goes for pasta sauce, soups and stews. Portion the extras and freeze them.
- Do one big shop for staples so you aren’t wasting any time with another shopping trip.
- Keep key staples on hand. Soup stock, dried spaghetti, canned or dried lentils or beans, quinoa, canned tomatoes, Parmesan cheese, onions, garlic and potatoes and some chicken can be used in many dishes.
- Choose ingredients that are versatile. You could roast a chicken, use the meat for sandwiches, are throw it into a soup or pasta.
I’m not going to sugar coat this and tell you how easy it’s going to be. Nope. You still have to plan, shop, prepare, cook and clean. Or at least do some of this and hopefully delegate some. But you can definitely be making healthier choices and saving some hard-earned dollars too.