Planning my meals is probably one of the best habits I’ve picked up. It has saved me money, time and so many headaches. When I do my food shopping, I already have an idea of what and how many ingredients to buy. That means when I come home from a day at the office, I already know what I’m making, how I’m making it and how much time it will take.
To cut down that time, the ingredients have been prepped ahead of time:
The mushrooms have been sliced and put in the fridge for Wednesday’s stir-fry.
A few cloves of fresh garlic have been minced and stored for Monday’s baked chicken legs.
The eggs have been hard-boiled for salads and quick breakfasts throughout the week.
It’s small steps like these that have dramatically decreased cooking time, allowing more time for reading, blogging and being lazy (mostly, that last one). I cherish my me time, so as much of it as I can get is perfectly okay with me.
Do you plan ahead or are you more of the spontaneous type? If you’re anything like me, you’ll appreciate the convenience of preparing part of the week’s meals in advance. Again, small steps, but they make a world of difference.
Here are some suggestions:
- grate or shave ½ cup to 1 cup (or more, if you’re feeling particularly strong) of fresh Parmesan and store in refrigerator until ready to sprinkle on dishes.
- peel/slice/chop/julienne the veggies for a weeknight stew and store in airtight bags or containers in the refrigerator or freezer.
- season a soup broth, refrigerate or freeze and reheat when ready to use.
- ready a pesto for quick and healthy pasta. Refrigerate or freeze.
- cook chicken and freeze until ready to use (cooked chicken will stay in the freezer for up to 3 months).