Eating at home is a win-win for our pocket and our health. Most people have busy weeks with full-time jobs and a house to take care of, plus family, hobbies and social life. We can’t do it all, right? Take a look at these tips to decrease the amount of time you spend in the kitchen and learn how to cook less.
Buy groceries once a week at max
It takes 1 to 2 hours to do a grocery shopping trip. You have to drive to the store, walk on every aisle, wait your turn to pay, drive back home, put your groceries away in the fridge or pantry plus maybe a quick clean up of the old stuff in the fridge. Save time here and only go to the store once a week. Better yet, do it every 2 weeks!
Plan your meals for the week
- Use a method called “Shelf cooking”. Take a look at your refrigerator first and see what you already have. Write down all the meals you need through the week and start assigning food items to each meal each day.
- Next, take a look at your pantry. What can you add to the meals that you have planned? Don’t forget to check the expiration dates on the items and use first what is closer to expire.
- Now, what are you missing to complete the meals for the week? Write down those items on your grocery shopping list and buy them in that week.
- The good news here is that your bill will be probably a quarter of what it usually is just buying the few things you need to complete the meals for each week.
- With the rest of your weekly allowance for groceries (Check out my Budgeting 101 post!) buy items that you regularly buy, but the only condition is that they need to be on sale. The goal is to buy at least 2 items or up to 5 depending on the shelf life (toilet paper, pasta, pasta sauce, cheese, frozen veggies or fruit, peanut butter, rice, flour, coffee, etc)
- Repeat this Shelf Cooking method every week before grocery shopping.
Batch cooking does not mean spending half a day cooking
Choose a day in the week when you usually cook and cook more! My biggest recommendation is to invest in an Instant Pot or a Slow Cooker, if you already have them, great! While you are cooking the regular meal, spend a few more minutes prepping ingredients to throw them in the instant pot and continue with the regular meal. There are so many online recipes for instant pot meals that require less than 5 minutes of your time. Remember to double the recipe ingredients to have twice the amount of meals (or triple! Just make sure you don’t reach the max limit in the pressure cooker). Save some of the food in a small container to eat tomorrow and put it in the fridge. Freeze the rest to use throughout the week.
Repeat this as much as you can
You’ll find yourself one day with a freezer full of homemade meals and probably needing to cook only once a week.
Alright! Take back your time and spend it on things that make you smile and happy!