Looking for tips for simplifying meal preparation? We have all been there: we get home from work or errands or getting the kids and as soon as we walk in the door, we realize we still have a million other things to take care of. It is natural to look at what you can put off or eliminate, and one of the easier tasks to eliminate is cooking; instead, grab a phone or get online and order something.
But this is bad for both your budget and your waistline. And that means you need to find ways to make mealtime easier on you. One way to do this is through careful meal preparation. Below are a few tips for simplifying meal prep and making your evenings a little less stressful for you.
Pinterest is a great place to find recipes, but if you are going to utilize it while meal planning, you need to keep it organized. A great way to do this is to give each night a theme, and then create a board for that theme. This way you can go to one board for each day to pull the recipes you want.
First, this saves food waste, saving you money. Second, it allows you to cook certain items once and eat them twice. For example, if you see a recipe that uses caramelized onions that you really like, look for another that also uses them. Then you can make one big batch, cutting down on cooking time.
Meal planning isn’t something you should be doing each day. Instead, it is something you should do just once a week. Every Saturday, before you go shopping, plan out your meals for the week, listing the ingredients you need to make them.
It can be tempting to go off script, or off shopping list in this case. But don’t. Stick to your shopping list for the sake of your budget and the simplicity of the kitchen. This will stop you from feeling overwhelmed while cooking and save you money.
These are meals that are meant to be as simple as possible, often allowing you to cook everything together at once. This will save you both cooking time and cleaning time as there will be fewer items to wash and put away later on. Another option to look into is slow cooker meals that are also one pot and take away the stress of cooking.
With these tips, you should be able to meal plan with ease and reduce your stress during the week.