Friday, July 17, 2009

Part 2: Time-Saving Tips When Cooking From Scratch


Part 2: Time-Saving Tips When Cooking From Scratch:

1. Make a Meal Plan:
This is huge when cooking from scratch! Some people like to make a monthly meal plan, but personally, I like to do it week by week. That allows some flexibility, because as you all well know, life can change quickly. I only plan breakfasts and dinners, because lunch is always leftovers, sandwiches or salads.
2. Make the Meal Plan Match Your Schedule: When I’m making my meal plan, I pull out the family calendar. This greatly helps me in planning my meals because I know when I should pull something I’ve pre-made out of the freezer or if I have time to cook something new. Get in the habit of checking your Meal Plan before you go to bed each night so you can pull out what you need for the next day from the freezer and let it thaw overnight. Very important if like us, you choose not to have a microwave!
3. Schedule Time to Cook: I only cook new items maybe three times a week. I usually pick a morning or afternoon that I have free and do as much as I can during that time period. Remember if you’re cooking a lot at once, you don’t have to make it very often. If I have time to cook a new meal, I’ll make a ton of it and freeze it in smaller increments for when I don’t have time to cook. This keeps us from going out to eat and saves us lots of money! You’re probably thinking, “But I don’t want to eat such and such that many times!” Pretty soon you will get enough leftovers in the freezer that you’ll have a great selection in not time. For example, I usually have at least four different types of soup and several casserole dishes to choose from on hand.

4. Don’t Get Overwhelmed: Remember ANYTHING you are doing differently is better than what you were doing before. Don’t compare yourself to other healthy eaters. You have to pick and choose the things you feel are the most beneficial for your family. You can’t do it all! Trade with other people who are interested in making something you don’t want to do. Add new things as you have time or interest. Don’t force yourself to make something from scratch if you really aren’t interested in doing it. You’ll burn yourself out. Start with baby steps, eventually, you'll look back and be surprised at all the things you cook from scratch!

5 comments:

Stacie, A Firefighter's Wife said...

I loved all of these suggestions! Great posts, Jackie.

Timmy's Girl @ Luv My Quiver Full Of Arrows said...

I just wanted to say that I loved the comment you left on Natalie's blog concerning the Q and A. I may not agree with Chris, but did fully agree with your stance on how you are handling your hubby's thoughts on this. What a blessing you are to him. I also thought it was so great how we could all discuss this so lovingly.

xoxo, Veronica in CA

Cat said...

Great ideas for "Scratching" it, Jackie! I used to get with at least one other gal a couple times a year to get ideas for meals. We forget seasonal cooking too. I mean, who cooks a meatloaf in the summer??? It is too hot for the oven. Other, quicker meals are for summer. Also, for dessert I used to make "Summer Pudding" which was a crisp on the stove in a pan with sweetened dumplings on top instead of crisp in the oven.

Cheesemakin' Mamma said...

I grill A LOT in the summer. We've got a side burner on the grill and it is quite useful for when you don't want to heat up the house. Thanks for your comments, everyone!

Cat, can you post that sweet dumpling recipe?

Cheesemakin' Mamma said...

Another summer cooking tip - use your slow cooker. I have an outlet outside where I set it on a box and plug it in so it doesn't heat up the house. The smell tantalizes the neighborhood!

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