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What is Convenience?

Even though I’ve had this blog going on 2 years and have eaten on a budget for most of my adult life, I’m still learning things and putting things I’ve been doing into perspective.
After working all day and coming home to cook for myself and do other things, I want to be prepared and have good food ready for me, easily. I use my crockpot a lot – saves an enormous amount of time and energy, since I just throw it in and let it cook. My baking does take time, but since I usually do that all in one day, I just have it ready for myself during the week. The other foods I cook are fairly easy and do not keep me in the kitchen for too long. As a person who loves to cook time can still be limited. And I love to eat, passionately!
But, I’m talking about convenience here, not the kind you get by buying prepared food from the grocery store; Convenience is something you do for yourself by simply knowing what you’ve got coming up and your time that’s been committed. Convenience is not a product or a brand or a stop on the way home. I have to ask myself this question: What can I do to make it easier, faster – when my time is limited? Looking ahead, planning ahead and cooking ahead are all things I have to do. When I cook, I put a couple of meals ready for work in containers in the frig and all I have to do it take them out in the morning and put them in my bag. I keep hard boiled eggs in the frig. I have a banana bread portioned out in baggies, ready for the week. In the morning I slice a couple of slices of homemade bread and pop them in the toaster. In the evening, I steam some vegetables and cook some meat with lentils or whole grains. I have fruit on the counter ready to eat. I put beans in my crock pot over night so they are ready to add to my meals if I feel like them.
I have to look ahead, because I know I’m going to be hungry. If I don’t, I’m screwed. I’m on a budget, I like to eat well and I know the food I eat is going to be coming from my kitchen, so I have to be on the ball. What is convenience? At this point it’s learning to be totally self-reliant when it comes to my meals.

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