Tips for Efficient Meal Planning

shop purposefully

 

Hard work, innovation, discipline… they all lead to increased earnings and worth, but the hallmark of all social and economic growth is efficiency. And as much as we need efficiency in the workplace, we need it in the home – especially in the kitchen.

How do we prevent food from being too much and going to waste on one hand, and from not being enough on the other? How do we shop, cook, and eat efficiently? How do we avoid clutter, confusion, and indecision? Can we comfortably go on a trip, not worried about the things in our fridge?

Consider the following wise tips to help you with these questions and more.

 

1.    Always source recipes, and create a place to save them.
Cooking routine meals can become boring, so it’s a good idea to search the internet, join social media groups, or call friends while generally inquiring about new things. You will get many scattered ideas so, store them properly for when you have to expound. Do whatever works for you and don’t get caught up in a system. Whether an app, a notebook, or whiteboard, just use whatever works best and most easily and can hold your scrap books, new ideas, and specific names of particular items you ran into at the supermarket.

2.    Ask your partner, family, and roommates what they like to eat.
This might sound obvious, but it’s easy to get caught up in your week and forget to ask your household what they would like to eat. You get extra inspired, too, when you feel like you’re cooking a meal as a gift — trying to please and delight the palate of someone you love.

3.    Start a calendar.
Now that you’re getting inspired in what to eat, start a calendar of what you’d like to cook over the next few days or few weeks. It can be as organized as a Google Calendar, with notes on each day for that day’s menu. Or you can just jot notes to yourself in the corner of your laptop screen. The important thing is to write it down. This will leave you feeling excited about coming days and cooking some interesting meals.

4.    Kick-start the night you want to have with the right meal. 
If there is a Tv show that your household loves to watch together, there will be specific meals that heighten the experience. It applies too for when you just want family time; then a meal that takes longs to eat will work best. Whatever the case, anticipate your night, and set it in motion with the right meal for dinner.

5.    Shop purposefully.
A lot of people who seem to have success in the home, and in meal planning shopped very purposefully. They looked at their recipes and made a shopping list. Some of the meal planning and recipe-saving services let you do this easily, extracting ingredients from the recipes you have saved. And if you’re sending your help out to the market, they have a concise list of the things to buy. Yeah, that simple tool will make delegation efficient.

6.    Attend to newsletters and questionnaires from the markets you shop at.
Every day, new consumer-oriented businesses are opening up, and the competition is getting tougher. Thankfully, competition is good for you – the customer. By filling out forms and questionnaires from the places you shop, you give them personal information that will help them serve you better, so that they can retain your patronage. If you constantly buy chicken, for example, there should be special packages with which to treat you from time to time, to make your shopping experience richer.

7.    Prep food as soon as you get back from the store.
Wash and dry lettuce. Chop onions. Wash, drain, and stir-fry vegetables. Stack up glass containers of prepped ingredients in the refrigerator and bask in your own awesome preparedness.

8.    Plan for leftovers.
As much as possible, do not let leftovers be an accident. Plan for them. If you do not mind eating food you made on Sunday for the rest of the week, you can make meals with the extras that will see you through the week. If you’d rather eat freshly cooked meals every time, then always restrict them to what you can consume at once. In any event, have a place to send the leftovers you do not need, ie, a dog.

9.    Don’t overstuff the refrigerator.
It’s easy to think that anything you won’t use right away can go in the freezer (or fridge), but an over-stuffed full freezer can get overwhelming. Also, things get hidden in the back or lost beneath ice. Don’t let things go bad. Keep your fridge airy and light, with a sensible, realistic amount of food in it. Keep a list nearby of everything in the fridge, especially leftovers, as a visual reminder of what remains to be eaten or used. If you must stuff anywhere, let it be your pantry.

10.  Lastly, plan your travels with your refrigerator in mind.
Mind the number of days you will be away for, and gradually deplete your refrigerator stock in the days leading up to your trip. If you arrive on that day with an empty refrigerator, you’ll sure feel like you won a game. As for the when you return, you can plan to cook if you get in early, or eat out if late. Having your shopping calendar handy, so that you get what you need on your way back if possible. The day after your arrival may be a Sunday, and your avenues for shopping may be limited. On the day of your trip, switch of your refrigerator (to conserve power), leave it ajar and, off you go. Safe trip!