Over the last year I’ve been trying to improve my weeknight meal & food shopping organisation. In the course of trying to better plan out my meals & become more organised, I’ve noticed that during the weeks I get it right, I’m significantly happier & far less stressed. Even though I love cooking (& I’m pretty good at it), there’s something stress inducing about the evening meal especially when you get home late, you haven’t got anything planned & only have 45mins to feed & bath a toddler & get him into bed before he has meltdown & the whole evening turns into a total shitshow.
Anyway like I said, to avoid this I started getting a lot more organised, doing the shopping every Saturday morning, spending an hour or so on meal prep on the weekend & having everything ready so that cooking the weeknight meals wouldn’t take more than 15-30mins. Last year it worked well because I largely stuck to meals I regularly cook & didn’t need recipes for. This year I wanted to branch out a little more & try out some new recipes. I also want to get better at eliminating kitchen waste, trying to pick recipes that utilize similar ingredients for the week or month to minimize the amount of leftover, half used bottles of random stuff in my fridge & pantry. I’m hoping that documenting what I do here will help keep me accountable & maybe even help others out who are trying to do the same thing.
Each week I’ll post a list of meals that I’ll be making. I’ve established a rough set of guidelines for recipe selection;
– Each week I have to use up something that has been sitting in my pantry for a while, for example an old pack of rice noodles or can of beans
– Each week I have to use at least 1-2 sauces/pastes etc that are currently sitting in my fridge
– If I have to buy a new sauce or paste for a recipe, I need to find recipes to use it multiple times that month
– The recipes I pick each week should use up any fresh produce I need to buy, for example if a recipe calls for half a bunch of parsley, then I need to make some other things with parsley that week or find a way to preserve it for use another week.
I’m on maternity leave for the first few weeks of this year so will have a more time than usual to plan & prepare meals, but at the same time I really don’t want to be spending huge amounts of time prepping the weeknight meals so hopefully I can develop some good habits over the next few months that will carry me through the rest of the year.