Stock Up For Simplified Meal Planning

Monday, October 10, 2016

The titles of spouse, parent, employee, and homemaker can bring along endless to-do tasks. I’ve mentioned in many of my articles about meal planning, but I wanted to share some tips on making the planning and preparation easier.

In our house, we have an upright deep freezer in the basement which has helped out in a pinch on many occasions. Take this past weekend for example. My husband was sick and wanted soup so he checked our freezer and we had some chicken thighs and frozen corn off the cob. He combined those with some ingredients from our pantry and made chicken tortilla soup. Knowing I was going to write this article, I took the time to somewhat re-organize our freezers so we could find what we had. Being able to see what we have and need makes planning much faster, not to mention saves us time and money. My next goal is to make a list on a dry-erase board to keep on the freezer of the items we have so we know when we are getting low.

Pantry _blog

If you have the budget, I highly recommend stocking up on items you use frequently so you aren’t caught in a bind for dinner and order out. Every year, we buy either a quarter or eighth of a cow and split it between family which saves us money in the long run. We also stock up on other meat, vegetables, and canned goods at the whole-sale store and farmers market. Having a well-stocked pantry on a variety of ingredients can come in handy in a pinch for dinner. Some of the items we keep in our pantry are diced tomatoes, tomato sauce and paste, Rotel, pasta, and soup stocks. Next month I’m going to write about homemade food staples like spice mixes, soups, etc. Those are all things we use often and it’s nice to know they are made from scratch without additives. One thing we use a lot is canned cream of mushroom which I’ve seen recipes for making that homemade which is much healthier. I’m excited to try it!

Using what you have on hand and stocking up on items you use frequently can be a great way to simplify your meal planning so you and your family can enjoy quality family time with a home-cooked meal!

Cassie Kupsky  Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, Personal Trainer
Greater Green Bay YMCA