Growing up, our home was a “Foodless Starvation Camp.” It was either my brother or I that coined that term at one point when we were younger, we can’t quite remember who said it first. But it became quite the household phrase.
Obviously, that is a bit of an exaggeration. I don’t recall a time when I ever went hungry. But because my mom was adamant about cooking real food, it often felt like there was nothing to eat. When you opened the pantry it wasn’t full of all the bright fun packaging of premade snacks. There were no goldfish or Twinkies or animal shaped crackers. We actually had to make our snacks and meals from scratch! gasp!
And I must confess (and I know my siblings agree) that every now and then there were twinges of jealousy when we were at our friends’ houses and they had all sorts of fun snacks. It is convenient and easy to open a pack of fruit snacks and munch!
At the time I didn’t truly appreciate the effort it took for my mom to feed three kids, a husband, and herself. It just seemed a part of life the way she cooked dinners from scratch, baked bread, and made sure we ate plenty of fruits and vegetables. But it is hard work feeding a family healthy food from scratch, especially in the fast-food, convenience-centered lifestyle of most Americans.
I know that now.
There are a few things that I learned from my mom, picked up from the many real food blogs I read, and figured out for myself that help save a lot of time in my minimalist kitchen. Many of these will also save you money too. And who doesn’t want to save time and money?
To start off this series on Saving Time (and Money) in the Kitchen here is the first step you need to take.
Making a menu plan is the number one key to running a successful kitchen.
It helps tremendously to have a plan. Time, sanity, and money are saved. There are a few ways to make your menu plan. You can plan a whole month at one time. Or two weeks. Or just one week. Set aside a small amount of time to look through your recipes and write down what you want to feed your family this week.
I’m best with the one week plan. I’m usually terrible at menu planning but I’m starting to get a good system set up. Organization and setting aside a little time on the front end really makes a difference for the week as a whole!
My week goes so much smoother when I write down a plan of what meals to eat on which days. I often include lunches for my husband in this plan as well. My brain is not very creative in the morning. I don’t want to send him with the exact same sandwich every single day and eating out is expensive.
As long as I remember to thaw the meat, the menu plan is wonderful. I’m not stuck racking my brain at 4 o’clock wondering what I can possibly scrounge together. It’s also nice to have a ready answer when I get that afternoon text from my hubby wondering what’s for dinner.
It’s really rather simple, but it makes all the difference when you have a plan.
To find out the second step in saving time in the kitchen come back next week for the next part of this series!
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How do you save time in the kitchen?
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