- Posted August 24, 2013 by
Ensure Easy Cooking by Meal Planning
One of the simplest ways to ensure easy cooking is to do a little meal planning. Don’t worry if you’re not the organized type. It doesn't take much time or organizational skills to reap the benefits of planning a week or two’s meals in advance. But what little time is spent on meal planning leads to faster meals, less stress about meal time, and more meals at home. Many people find they also loose weight (because they shop less frequently and are therefore not exposed to junk food as often). And according to the Oregon State University Extension office website, most people easily save at least 20 percent on their food budget if they plan meals ahead of time.
The first step toward planning meals is, naturally, recipes. Start by thinking about dinners, and sort through some video recipes, free recipes on the Internet, or cookbooks for ideas. When you’re just starting out with meal plans, it’s a good idea to stick to one pot meals (like many pasta recipes and soup recipes offer) or major dishes (like pork recipes or chicken recipes ) that are easily supplemented with a side of vegetables.
Notice that you’re not assigning a certain meal for a certain day – which many people find stifling. Instead, you’re just creating a list of potential meals that you have all the ingredients for. For example, if you come home from work and find you’re too tired or just not in the mood to make a certain recipe on your list, you can choose a different meal for the day that is either quicker to prepare or more suited to your appetite at the moment.
Now, here’s the really important part: Put the list of meal names and where the recipes are located in an easy-to-find location. For many people, taping the list on the refrigerator works well. Or, tape the list to the inside of the pantry door.
This process is quick and simple once you've done it a time or two, and works just as well if you’re eating specialized diet recipes or planning a huge event that requires Thanksgiving recipes. Give it a try, and you’ll be amazed how much easier shopping is and how much money you can trim off your food budget.