Planning ahead is the first step to saving time and money in the kitchen because:
-you buy only what you need at the grocery store or farmer’s market
-you are more likely to eat homemade meals.
-it is less likely the food you do buy will go bad.
I’ve even noticed, just by having an answer for my husband when he asks, “What’s for dinner?” we don’t order out or go out as often. If I already have a plan to make something he likes, he quickly forgets about takeout.
Also, if I’ve already bought ingredients and/or precooked part of the meal, I definitely see it as a waste to spend money on takeout or restaurant food.
Make a list of dinners for the week. Breakfasts and lunches wouldn’t hurt either.
Plan to make enough food for leftovers for lunch at least a few days during the week.
Plan at least a few meals around similar ingredients so you can use them in more than one meal. Or morph leftovers from one meal into an entirely new one.
Make your shopping list from the meals on your list.
Wash and properly store all fresh produce immediately when you return from the store (more on this in a future post) so it’s ready to use when you go to cook.
Cook as much as you can ahead of time for the coming week. I often cook a lot of food on Saturday or Sunday afternoon and freeze and store it appropriately. Find what works for you. I will talk more about this in future posts. In recipe posts I will explain how to cook and store the food ahead too.
Download our weekly meal plan, on the Recipe page, as a guide!