Preparing meals for the whole family is an extensive task. You have to juggle the wishes of your family members, try not to repeat the same three meals over and over, and make everything right on time. During the lockdown, most families are spending all of their time at home. Parents are working from home and children are being homeschooled for the time being. That means more work, as the meals that they ate at school or work have to be prepared at home. We will give you tips on how to effectively organize your weekly meals, with no hassle.
Organize Your Pantry
This is the perfect time to go through your pantry and freezer. Most people tend to stock up on forgotten small amounts of frozen food, or nearly-empty bags of pasta in the pantry. Use this free time to go through every shelf in the pantry and corner of the freezer, and see if everything is still edible. Remove everything that has expired and reorganize the remaining food. You can put all the small amounts of pasta or rice from multiple bags into one jar. You may also have some frozen food that will save you the hassle of preparing a meal from scratch.
Create a Meal Plan
The most time and cost-efficient way to prepare your meals is to create a meal plan. After you have organized the pantry, write down the stocked food you have and see if you can create dishes from it. Maybe you will create a new favourite dish for your family. Making a meal plan for the week, or two weeks, ahead will save you so much time and mental effort, and keep you from repeating the same dishes. Try to incorporate as many ingredients as you already have to cut down on cost when shopping.
If you are okay with having the same dish a couple of times, why not repeat it. You can double your meal plan and prep so it spans over two weeks. This will cut the time and cost of prepping the meals. If you want to cook all the meals for two weeks at once, you can store the “leftovers” in the freezer and heat up in the days to come. If you buy in bulk, you will also save money.
As the days go by, you will probably have some leftovers in your fridge. Choose a day that works for you, like Sunday, when you will only eat the leftovers you have. This will save you time from cooking, and you won’t throw away food. Tons of food is going to waste every year, so eating leftovers is a great way to reduce wasting food. You will have a good meal and save money and time.
During the lockdown, taking a quick trip to the grocery store is not always an option, and it can happen that you don’t have the ingredients you need or a replacement. Ordering groceries, like fresh produce and quality meat online, is an easy and safe way to stock up while being safe and following your lockdown guidelines. The groceries can be delivered to you or you can pick them up in a reserved pick-up spot. It’s a very helpful way of shopping while staying safe.
Make it a Family Activity
Many families are quarantining together, and while there are many things to do at home, days can get boring and repetitive. Try involving your family in meal planning and preparations. This way you can include everyone’s meal wishes, and they can chime in with a meal example. Preparing a meal is a great family bonding activity; just make sure kids don’t handle any sharp objects.
Meal plan and prep is a great way to save money and time while having a delicious and nutritious meal. Planning and using the ingredients you already have will help you organize your weekly meals without a lot of hassle. Make it an activity and encourage everyone in your household to participate.