Do you ever feel that the 24 hours is just not enough? There are so many deadlines at work, so many projects to start, gym membership that’s getting old, let alone the whole household and cooking. With our busy schedules, it feels that life is too short to spend cooking. The busy schedule easily pushes us to make not so budget-conscious food choices. The money used on snacks-on-the-go or pre-cooked meals can easily be saved with some simple steps. Try these out and start boosting your budget as well as saving time to do other things in life that really matter.
1. Plan it!
Planning is definitely not my strength, however, I noticed fast how much time I could save by making an easy rule to simplify weekly shopping and the overwhelm with the recipes. Start to make a weekly plan that includes one main dish suitable for you for each day of the week. For example: Monday casserole, Tuesday fish, Wednesday pasta, Thursday chicken, Friday meat, Saturday soup and Sunday free. Adding two veggies to each, you will have your weekly shopping list ready every week without extra time planning it.
[A note from Lacy: If you’re looking for more meal planning tips and ideas, be sure to check out my meal planning ebook!]
2. Bulk it!
Whatever it is that you do many times a week, try to bring the tasks together. For example, once you start to peel carrots, peel and cut for the whole week, or cut onions into small bags and freeze them for future use. When cooking, try to extend the foods to 2-3 meals. For example rice, you can have with a chicken sauce, but also prepare for a salmon pie or a tom kha gai soup. Each minute you can save from reoccurring tasks counts.
3. Freeze it up!
I feel like I’m cooking for an army – I use big pans and trays, and I really do prepare each meal for 20 people! The thing is, even though we can’t make it even through half the food in two meals, I have frozen up the rest in small portions. This way I will have to cook only every other day AND there are hardly ever leftovers in the kitchen.
4. The renaissance of NO!
Do you ever feel that you are cooking 5 meals for one dinner; kids all demanding differently cooked veggies and one eating meat, the others not. It is up to you! Simply serve the foods that you cook and let them choose. Once they know what you are up to they will eat rather than starve. You can always put different seasonings and sauces on the table, so everyone can spice up their own food.
We busy women do have a lot on our hands, however, it is not important who does it, it is important it gets done. Instead of leaning into fast foods, ask for help. You can ask to share lunches with your neighbor or once the kids are older, getting them to take part in the tasks. For the shopping, get a local farmer to deliver weeks’ worth of fresh vegetables to your door. And “chi-ching”, another minute saved for time to spend earning.
Eat & Enjoy! Life is really not too short to spend cooking, there are just other things that need to fit in as well.
Mirkka Schaller is the founder of SwissHealthCoach and loves to show women how they can reach the body they always wanted without calorie counting or gym memberships. It’s not over yet! You can start your fabulous body by signing in on her newsletter and free tools at www.swisshealthcoach.com/fitandfabulous. Plus, Mirkka is setting up a free webinar on The 10 Ways to Eat Yourself Thin—to share the know-how of 20 years of emotional eating and how to get over it.
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