Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Food & Organization

The older I get the more I love food, cooking and baking.  I never used to care much for cookbooks but now I love the big glossy ones with all the colorful pictures in them.  Remember we eat with our eyes first!  The issue with cooking for me becomes time.  I love baking so I'll always make time for baking but actually cooking meals at times can be a downer.  In order to get excited about cooking again I started taking a few minutes once a month to sit down and plan my menus for an entire month.  For some of you that may sound like a lot so try planning your menus a week at a time.  I bought this pad of paper that has the calendar outline already on it and a magnet on the back.  I write my menus for the month on it and stick it to the refrigerator. Then when the month is over I tear off the top sheet and make a new month's worth of menus.  This works great because every morning when I get breakfast I see the menu and I can plan ahead for the meal.  If I need to thaw meat out, I set it in the sink first thing in the morning and if I need to account for cooking time I know what time of day I need to start preparing the meal so I can get it in the oven at a decent time.

From my menus I then create my grocery list so I know that all the food I buy will be used for a meal and not wasted or sit in a cupboard or freezer for twenty years.  Once I have my menus selected and my grocery list made then I go through all the coupons that I've been clipping over the past several weeks and dig out the ones that I can use.  Now I'm ready to shop.

Planning ahead saves time, money and the headache of constantly wondering what's for supper.  A question I get asked a lot is what types of meal to prepare.  It seems like a lot of us eat the same ten meals over and over again so I'm constantly searching for new ideas which isn't always easy if you have picky eaters.  Some of my favorite dishes are ham balls, taco pie, beef and vegetable skillet, cavatelli, pizza casserole, meatloaf, chicken enchiladas and homemade pizza.  I will blog about these and include recipes in future posts.

So now your homework is to take a few minutes and jot down some menus for the week or month, make a list of items you need for those dishes, dig out the appropriate coupons and go shopping.  I promise with a detailed list and coupons you won't mind the grocery shopping and meal time will be a breeze!

"Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up.  A. A. Milne

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