Stress-free cooking is what we want after a big day out. We don’t want a whole lot of thinking about ‘what are we going to eat tonite!’ Here are two options that might help.
Option 1: Five Steps to Stress-Free Cooking
Because of our busy lifestyles, we mostly look for convenience and instant gratification. This applies to what we eat as well as what we do. Often, we don’t eat right and as a result, we look for things to make us feel better when all we really need is to cook a healthy meal each night. These five steps can help.
#1. Have a Weekly Meal Planner
Ready-made meal plans are available online, in magazines, and in apps. Some you pay for, like these, and some have free plans, like here. They have everything sorted but the physical food itself, mostly.
Believe me, spending time and effort here will bring enormous savings and worth every bit of taking the time out to do this.
It will be so much easier come time for cooking dinner at the end of your working day.
You won’t be opting for fast foods, and THINK there will be dollar savings and health benefits for you and your family.
#3. Compile the Shopping List
Use your meal plan and check what needs replacing in your pantry/refrigerator.
Tip: Before you go shopping do a check of what you already have stored. It will save you dollars and avoid food waste, as well.
#4. Buy Local, Seasonal Produce
This is better for your health as these food-stuffs are likely to have fewer preservatives and higher content of nutrients than those shipped in from elsewhere, especially from overseas.
Tip: Visit fruit/vegetable markets and stalls, local butchers, and fish markets to buy locally to support your community also.
#5. Always Check Best-By or Use-By Dates
When you shop make sure to check the best-by dates of products and plan meals accordingly. This will make sure you get the most value in nutrition from your purchases
Tip: Consuming what you buy within use-by dates avoids food waste as well as the hit on your wallet.
Option 2: The One Step to Stress-Free Cooking
The other option is to go for the meal kits. One benefit of this is it avoids waste because you only get in what you use — there is nothing left wilting in the vegetable tray.
#6. Get Meal Kits Sent to Your Door
You can get delivery of meals for the week (or just a couple of nights a week) in a complete kit of recipes and ingredients.
This certainly beats the “what should I get for dinner?”
Apart from eating out at a healthy food venue, this is ultimate for busy people.
The weekly dinner menu can be varied according to your needs. Most services have a weekly dinner planner.
Shopping can be made easy with home delivery, like with AmazonFresh, available in the US, for unlimited grocery delivery at a monthly rate (See it here).
In Australia, you have Marley Spoon who is an example of services offering healthy recipe and meal box delivery that include seasonal recipes and ingredients.
More Meal Planning Tips
#7. Use Meal Leftovers for Tomorrow’s Lunch
Best to store leftovers in BPA-free containers.
#8. Freeze Leftovers for Future
This is for when you don’t feel in the mood for cooking.
Make sure your freezer containers are BPA-free.
#9. Grow Your Own
Try growing some herbs, fruits, and vegetables for the convenience of fresh produce at hand.
You can have chemical-free produce if you choose to garden this way. Good no-fuss examples that I have growing include lemons, tomatoes, pumpkins, parsley, basil, and rosemary.