A few years ago, I made meal planning and cooking once a week a regular routine. Every Saturday morning, I would spend 2-3 hours going through my pantry, freezer, creating my shopping list and shopping so that on Sundays when I did my cooking for the week, I could save myself hours of time, stress and a few dollars by making all my meals for the week at one time.
I’ve made this my regular routine each week, and I’m always happy with the end results when I do. It feels good as a busy mom to have my kitchen clean, the pantry organized and my freezer fully stocked with homemade meals for 2 weeks sometimes a month all ready to go. Later this month, I’m making room in the second refrigerator/freezer that we’re moving into the garage ready for freezer meals I make once a month. I plan on making stews, casseroles, pot pies, calzones; all of these types of meals are perfect for once a week or even once a month cooking. This summer, I’m mixing up a bunch of marinades and freezing the meat in the marinades which will be a huge timesaver. But, more on that later.
This past Saturday, I spent the day cleaning and reorganizing my pantry and taking inventory on items I have on hands and items that I need to stock up on. Since I’ve been doing this every three months, I find it easier to manage the pantry and keep my kitchen clean. One thing the hubby and I have been talking about is preparing to move this extra huge monster of a refrigerator/freezer that we want to put in the garage. It’s been sitting out back and in order to move it into the garage, I have to wash it down and clean it up, and move a few things around in the garage. No, I really don’t want to do this, but if I do, it will be well worth it in the long run and be a tremendous help with my meal planning goal.
In some ways, I feel that this type of cooking is always an experiment as I’m applying more ways to save money with meal planning. In the past, I chose my meals based upon what my family and I want for that month rather than what was on sale at the grocery stores. You’ll see me using more coupons useage and sale items in my menus.
So, here are my goal for the remainder of this month:
- Clean, organize, and inventory the pantry ✓
- Move second refrigerator/freezer into garage ✓
- Add to my pantry and freezer stockpile (inventory) and prepare for next month’s menu and meal planning ✓