Planning – saves money and time
Time… there never seems to be enough of it. Having three children at school, being self-employed and working from home, I find that most afternoons here are pretty chaotic. I can see why Jamie Oliver saw the niche in the market to release his ’30 minute meals’ and ’15 minutes meals’ books and TV series (if only I had the time to watch the series on TV!). I can understand why some people feel that it’s just easier to ‘cook’ a ready meal in the microwave or oven instead of having to start preparing a meal from scratch when they get home. However there is another way, there really is and I’m going to sound like a boy scout here, but it’s ‘Bi Ullamh’ or ‘Be Prepared’.
In our house, the week works best if we make the most of the weekends, in other words, taking a little time to plan the food for the week and getting the food shopping done. I always try to get the kids to help out in the kitchen where ever possible, but I know that this just isn’t possible say on a Thursday afternoon as they all have different activities on after school so I have to plan around that. By knowing what we’re eating each day, I save money as I’m not having to pop into the shops to pick up something for dinner.
I love cheating when it comes to cooking. If we’re going to have lasagne one day, then we can all get involved in making a mammoth bolognese sauce at the weekend and freeze into family sized portions. If we’re having fajitas then I know that I have to have the meat our of the freezer in the morning, to marinade it that evening for dinner the next day. Where possible we like to plan lunches for the kids (and us) too. Whether it’s making a soup at the weekend that can be used in lunchboxes or boiling up a nice ham for sandwiches.
When planning the week, let everyone get involved and have a say. Then write it down somewhere for everyone to see, on a noticeboard in the kitchen or on the fridge. It then saves being asked EVERY day when I pick the kids up from school, what’s for dinner Mum? They already know!
Do you have any time saving tips you can share?