Don’t know about you, but when I get home at the end of a day, the first thing I reach out for, is my supper. I try to make it a point to have food ready in the fridge, cause otherwise I nibble until supper’s ready. I’m OK if I’m out and about, but when I get home, I’m starved! From experience, I know this is especially true of young children as well.
How do you get supper ready ASAP?
1. Get organised – plan your meals: everyone has their own way of planning meals. You can use a physical calendar, a diary or an app. Go with whatever works for you; the secret is, do not leave meals to chance. Make time once a week or once a fortnight to plan your meals. If you don’t, the likelihood is you’ll go for take-outs which are less healthy and more expensive.
When planning your meals, choose simple recipes. Look at your diary and check what commitments you have after work; plan meals to suit your timetable.
2. Shop wisely: keep a well-stocked store cupboard with basics such as rice, pasta, canned tomatoes, olive oil, beans, tuna, grains and pulses, onions, garlic, salt, pepper, spices and herbs etc. Save time on shopping by getting the non-perishables in bulk and fruit, veg and fish once a week or as you go. Save money by preparing meal plans round produce in season; it tastes better and is less expensive.
3. Have theme nights: make your life easier. Work with theme nights – pasta nights, chicken nights, fish nights, soup nights, etc. – and rotate every couple of weeks to keep the meal plan varied and interesting. Ask your family for suggestions when you’re preparing your meal plan. Involve your kids and try work around meals suitable for the whole family.
4. Be flexible with your meal plan: do not be hard on yourself. Be ready for the odd night when you do not feel like preparing what you planned. Maybe you left work late and could not stop to get that last minute ingredient. Never mind … if you have a well-stocked cupboard, you can always whip up something quickly – a plate of pasta, an omlette with homemade potato wedges and beans or a green salad with canned tuna. You can also swap the menu from another day, unless you have leftovers to save the day.
5. Batch cooking: over the week-end, when you have a little bit more time on your hands, prepare what you can – tomato sauce, soup, casserole, pies. Cool the food completely and put it in the fridge or freeze for another day.
Cook ahead – prepare your meals one or two days in advance. It avoids you having hungry mouths waiting for supper when you get home and allows you to enjoy preparing family meals. Cooking ahead also allows you to have a day off, every now and then, when you can put your feet up and relax with your family.
If you’re always rushed off your feet when you get home, give these tips a go – you have nothing to lose. Organise yourself and draw up a meal plan. Look up some simple recipes and shop for the ingredients. Stock up your cupboards so you do not have to run to the shops every day. Make allowance for when things do not go according to plan and prep food ahead so you make time for yourself.
Go for it and let me know how you get on …
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