It could almost be a full time job managing a real food kitchen. It takes time to cook things from scratch and serious planning to make sure a well balanced dinner gets on the table every night. Nobody’s perfect (or at least I hope not, that way I can feel better about the times I eat store bought frozen pizza), but by managing your kitchen you will be able to do all this more easily.
I want to introduce a new post category I am going to be writing on called The Homemade Kitchen. I hope to create a conversation and share ideas on how to make this whole homemade food thing happen since it’s not easy. (Funny how homemaking skills have become a lost art, but that’s a post for another day.)
I have over time learned some tricks to make eating real food easier, and I am sure each of you have something to share too, so please do so in the comments section!
For the first few posts, I thought we could talk meal planning. I don’t know about you, but it is really important for me to plan my meals in advanced; otherwise, I am left with incomplete meals missing key ingredients when I go to cook. Those are the weeks where we resort to frozen pizzas or spend money out at the Thai place down the street. There are various methods you can take to planning (some of which I will share in the next The Homemade Kitchen post), but for now I want to talk about shopping your pantry pre-planning.
This is an important tip to managing a real foods kitchen that I only started doing recently, and it has already made a difference. To ‘shop your pantry’ means taking assessment of the foods you currently have in your kitchen and planning meals using those ingredients. I have found by doing this, I always save money at the grocery store, because obviously I already have some of the ingredients purchased. Just this past weekend, I found soba noodles, polenta, and bulgar wheat that were just sitting around needing to be used. By planning meals around those items, my grocery bill for the week went down $70 from average.
Don’t forget to checkout your refrigerator and freezer too. I learned from my mom to clean out the fridge before I go grocery shopping that way there is room for all the new food, but it’s also an effective way to access what items need to be used up in meals first and make sure to not double buy things you already have. Other benefits include not wasting food, which in turn translates into saving money (it’s all about saving money over here). I have been known to buy cucumbers, when I have two on-the-verge-of-going-bad-because-I-never-ate-them-last-week cucumbers in my crisper drawer already. Checking the freezer, I find frozen hamburger buns or a bag of mixed veggies that can be used for meals.
If you don’t already shop your pantry, I challenge you to give it a try. You will surely waste less food and save a bit of money. Let me know in the comments section how it turns out for you and what you found!
Also, a HUGE congratulations to Allison, who is the winner of the Ninja Kitchen Giveaway! I know you are going to love it, and I’m excited to spread some blending joy! I just found out too that you’re getting a package that is a step up from mine with a $119.80 value, so enjoy! I’ve got more giveaways lined up for the next few months, so hopefully everyone will get a chance to be a winner!