Keep Your Pantry Well Stocked
It seems so simple, but keeping a well stocked pantry is vital to running a great home kitchen. Some of my best meal inspirations come from casually throwing together pieces of veggies and other refrigerator tidbits with staples and key ingredients from my pantry. Think items like rice, salsa, beans, and coconut milk to get you started. Don’t forget that things like potatoes, onions and garlic should be stored in the pantry too. After all, when you purchase these items in the grocery store, they are not stored in the refrigerator.
Shop with the Seasons
I cannot emphasize this enough! Eating seasonable is great for your health and your wallet. It also gives you a head start on answering the dreaded question, “What’s for dinner?” Figuring out what is in season is a great way to find inspiration for your next meal. If you don’t know what is in season, visit farmers’ stands in your neighborhood, or ask the produce manager at your favorite grocery store. In any case, it will easy for you to tell what those items are because the prices will be lower than produce that is not in season.
Discover Meal Planning
Whether you plan your meals one week or one month in advance, one thing is for certain, meal planning can single handily save you hundreds of dollars a month. If you are pondering about what to make for dinner more than 2 times a week, then a meal plan is in order. I typically write my meal plans 2 weeks ahead allowing for 2 days of leftovers in between and a free pass if we want to order in or go out to eat.
Oh yes, a Crock pot. I have only owned mine for about 2 months now and it is already one of my favorite everyday items. Slow cookers allow flexibility and freedom that I think any home cook would find desirable. In five to 10 hours (along with a little advanced planning), dinner can be waiting for you and your family with little to no tending required. If I weren’t already married, this item would be on my gift registry.
To avoid meal time doldrums, seek out inspiration from your friends, magazines, on-line archives and cook books in order to keep things interesting. Recipes can be literally found almost anywhere you look. Consider having a recipe swap with your friends to get a dose of inspiration. Electronically file interesting recipes in your online favorites or keep a digital profile on websites like Pinterest. Written or printed recipes can be stored in a purchased recipe holder or be made using a simple 3 ringed binder. Try following these tips to not only simplify but “jazzify” what’s for dinner.