We all know cooking at home is better for us but it’s often a miserable chore. Cooking at home is better for our diets and our wallets but somehow the drudgery or time involved makes the effort seems monumental. Here are some tips that can make cooking at home less daunting.
Clean It Up and Keep It Clean
It’s no wonder some people hate cooking when they can’t find anything or have to spend valuable time cleaning before they can even begin to cook. Make it your practice to clean up after every meal. Put all the condiments away. Load the dishes into the dishwasher. Give the table, counters and stove a quick wipe down. This should take no more than 10 minutes each time and will save you precious time when the hordes are clamoring for a home-cooked meal.
Spend a weekend organizing your kitchen. Put the canned goods all together, the dry gods together. Put your pots and pans in a cabinet closet to the stove or hang them from pot rack near the stove. Have seasonings close to the area where you do your food preparation. You’ve lived with your kitchen; spend some time making it work for you the way it was meant to. This will make cooking at home easier to do.
Plan a Menu
This sounds tedious but can be a real time saver. Each week, plan your menu. Include several quick-to-fix meals if your lifestyle is on-the-go and several that you can take your time with. You can switch around the days, they don’t really matter. What does matter is knowing what you want to make and having what you need on hand so you can cook at home. If you do this for 4 to 6 weeks, you’ll have plenty of menus you can rotate from week to week and won’t have to repeat this step.
Clean Out the Refrigerator and Check the Pantry before Making the Shopping List
It’s a nightmare to come home after shopping only to discover that you don’t have room in the frig for all that you bought or that you didn’t buy an ingredient because you thought you had it already. Peek in the refrigerator before shopping. Toss anything that has begun to look like a science project. Check quantities of staples such milk, cheese and eggs. Check the pantry for the ingredients on this week’s shopping list and adjust accordingly.
Prepare in Advance
The night before or that morning, depending on your preference, set out the pans and ingredients that you can. Put meat in the refrigerator to defrost. Start marinades. Double check that everything is on hand. If someone has used the last of the milk, you can still pick some up on your way home from work rather than arriving home, finding it gone and throwing in the towel on your way to the pizza parlor.
There’s no doubt that cooking at home is the better way to go. Following these simple strategies can put you back in your kitchen and help keep a little more of your money in your wallet.
Source: Personal Experience