Thursday, March 26, 2009
I like to watch Jon & Kate + Eight sometimes. I learn alot of home management ideas from her. They have a plaque on their table. It's made of wood and the letters are carved in. It reads, "Plan Ahea". Obviously the person carving forgot to plan ahead for the "d" at the end of the word. I find myself like this OFTEN. I am discovering that planning ahead is critical in feeding my family. I have done lots of "variations" of the once-a-month-cooking. There's no way I could get a months worth of cooking done (nor would my small kitchen allow it). But, I have doubled meals to freeze one, baked ahead, and gotten better at weekly meal planning. Recently I bought 10 pounds of chicken (on sale for .99/lb) and 10 pounds ground beef (on sale for $1.99/lb). Instead of bringing it home a sticking it in the freezer (like I was tempted to do), I brought it home and cooked it all up,divided it into portions, and then froze it. Now I have enough meat/broth for about 9 meals. It only took about an hour total for all 20 pounds. And I only dirtied 2 pans! I would have spent that time worrying that I hadn't defrosted it, wrestling with the frozen packaging, trying to speed thaw in the microwave, and ultimately ending up with a mess (can you tell I've done that many times?). Now the hard part is done for chili, chicken soup, chicken quesadillas, beef stroganoff, etc. In some cases I went ahead and sauted onions, peppers, seasoning with them. These tips might not work for everyone (especially moms of nursing babies, or those with smaller families, limited freezer space etc), but they might prompt you to think what you could do to plan ahead in serving your family more efficiently in your own unique circumstances. Please add to this post with a comment if you have other tips to add that might be helpful to us.