I cannot stress enough how Taking the Time is so important to getting the most out of your budget. Good home cooking is all about time.With kids and work schedules it’s important to be able to have that time to prepare and allow food to cook. Adjustments can be made that can make your life easier – and I know because I use them as much as possible, myself.
The time after you shop is so, so important. I call this my prep time. I come back with all my good stuff to my shiny little kitchen (LOL, I know the dishes are clean) and take everything out of the bags and put everything into its proper place.
I know I’ll be using the produce I’ve just bought, so I chop onions, slice or grate carrots or whatever’s in the bag. Wash all fruits and vegetables and divide into containers for work. Cut up broccoli and chop the stems. Slice squash or melon in half and scoop the seeds out. In other words have foods ready to eat or ready for the oven or the pot for weeknights when your life will be filled with family and other activities. Or, do as I like to do and cook for the week while the oven is on baking bread or potatoes, or a pasta dish – in one fell swoop!
Taking the time after you shop is almost a guarantee that nothing will be going bad. To make food ready to go and look appetizing is just as important as shopping well and can literally make or break your food budget. And you have to be disciplined about this after every time you shop – trust me on this one! Get into the habit and you’re set to start the week off right. Do it and then forget about it once and you’ll be sure to find out just how important it is in your life.
Another thing, keep your containers – all of them! I keep all the tubs from cottage cheese and yogurt, etc. and I use them for prepped veggies and leftovers. Utilize what you have – all that you have – to make your life easier without a lot of expense.