With a little bit of time, effort and some awesome ideas from yours truly, you can have a home cooked meal every day of the week. Some of you may be cringing at “time and effort,” but unless you can afford a personal chef, a home cooked meal is not going to magically appear before you.
Here are five steps you can take to help keep your fridge stocked with prepared home cooked meals. I like to refer to these steps as operation prep and store or OPS.
Step 1: Plan your meals for the week if you can. Get out your pen and paper and start scribbling down meal ideas or visit tyme2eat.com for some great recipes!
Step 2: Clip coupons and scour your weekly ads! This helps you save money and time when you know what stores actually have what you need.
Step 3: Hit the grocery store and prep your ingredients when you get home. This is where the time and effort come in to play. Once you’ve created your grocery list, hit the store and get to shopping. To save yourself time and money, stick to what’s on the list. When you get your groceries home, start prepping and cooking up your meals for the next few days or the week.
Step 4: Store your meals. After you’re done cooking, pack your food up in tightly sealed Tupperware containers or plastic freezer bags for easy access and storage in your fridge, freezer or cupboard.
Step 5: Keep a well stocked pantry. This of course will be an ongoing process as you start to expand your recipe ideas you will collect more pantry and refrigerator items. Here’s a short list of some items that are good to keep on hand:
Variety of spices and herbs
Condiments; ketchup, mayo, different kinds of mustard, relishes, vinegars, tapenades and marinades.
Oils; Sesame, olive, coconut, vegetable, sunflower, grapeseed, etc.
Grains and rice
Dried pastas and noodles
Canned fish such as tuna, salmon, smoked oysters, anchovies, sardines etc.
Broths; chicken, beef, vegetable
Sauces; soy, fish, oyster, Worchestershire, tomato, etc.
Preserves and jarred fruits and veggies; olives, pickles, peppers, onions, hearts of palm, artichokes, peaches, pears, tomatoes, etc.