Aren’t you tired of hearing, ‘there’s nothing to eat’?
I know when I started meal planning it was something I heard all the time. Along with ‘there’s no food’ and ‘what’s for supper?’.
I had just changed jobs from a 7-7 (6-8+) to office work where I had time to plan. I decided to put into place some things that I had learned from reading American blogs such as http://www.household-management-101.com.
While this is a great source of inspiration for household organisation, some of her advice can’t be applied to South Africa. The other issue is the seasons, when she is gearing for winter, we down south are getting ready for summer.
Her first instruction in the management of your kitchen is Inventory your cupboards, fridge and freezer!
I emptied everything out of my grocery cupboards and gave them a long overdue wash. I roped in my eldest daughter to be my scribe.
To respond to the statement, ‘there’s no food’, there was plenty! The problem was that it all had to be added to make it into a recipe.
I also had to throw out a fortune of expired food. How old is it?
My daughter and I wrote down the inventory, then repacked the shelves.
Fridge and Freezer
The next move was the fridge and freezer. We unpacked everything and then wrote down what we had and threw out what was no longer safe to eat.
I sadly threw away a lot of money (food)!
Finding the recipes
Once my inventory was done, it turned out there was plenty to eat. The question was what to do with everything? Finding the recipes turned out easier than I thought.
Three websites came to my rescue. The first is http://www.myfridgefood.com you type in what you have on hand and it finds the recipe for you. The other two sites that I continue to use are http://www.allrecipes.com and http://www.yummly.com
I barely needed to go shopping! See my article. How long has it been for you?
Shopping in your kitchen
I called this shopping in the kitchen. Once everything had been inventoried and tidied away, I suddenly had enough ‘stock’ in my kitchen that I would base my meals on what I had on hand and only have to go to the store for fresh produce.
With the help of the websites, I was able to plan my meals in advance. I would write them on the board in the kitchen and direct the family to the menu for the week.
I continue to meal plan the change is that my grocery bill is down, the family have learned to check the weekly menu board instead of asking me.
They also have learnt that they need to check before taking something from the cupboard or fridge in case it is needed for a meal.
Do you know what’s in your cupboard? Is there really no food in the house or is it more a case of that there is no junk food or ready-made food available?