My Inner Chef

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I’m not one of those women who bemoans the fact that supper is a reality that never goes away. I don’t hate to cook, I actually enjoy it. The key (that I have not yet mastered!) is planning. If I plan meals in advance and shop with a list for everything I need, I really do enjoy cooking. It’s when I don’t plan that it becomes labourious. I used to plan a week’s worth of meals at a time and shop once a week for what we need. It worked well but I just got out of the groove and I seem to be having a bit of a midyear crisis when it comes to how far our grocery money is going.

While the idea of doing a massive cooking day to stock the freezer is somewhat appealing and I do appreciate a quick no-brainer meal once in a while, most days I enjoy rolling up my sleeves at supper time and creating in the kitchen. I’m the girl who doesn’t own a garlic press and probably never will because I really don’t mind getting my hands dirty and smelling like garlic ;) I’ve been reading some things online, trying to get some ideas and found one site that talks about planning a whole month of menus at once. At first I thought that was outrageous since it seems like it would take a lot of time to plan, but I’m starting to think it’s not such a crazy idea. One big planning session rather than 4 or 5 smaller ones seems like a wiser use of time since you’ve got to get all your cookbooks out every time anyway. Make one big list and do a huge grocery shop for the month and a few small ones for milk and whatever other fresh stuff you need later on…. I’m keen on the idea, just wondering how to go about it now :) I know in theory that less trips to the grocery store means more money in the bank since you always buy things you didn’t intend to buy. So now I need an action plan.

Do you have any wise tips to pass on?
What works for you?
What makes things easier?
How do you save money on groceries?
Do you shop at different stores depending on what’s on sale?
How many meals to you plan for before you shop?
Any good, cheap recipes you want to pass on?

One Response to “My Inner Chef”

  1. Becky Says:

    I found this was more important when I lived in Waldheim… I planned a month worth of suppers and did one big trip. As I planned the meals I wrote out an exact list of what and how much I needed and we save soooo much time and money (made the trips faster too). Back then I stuck to Extra Foods due to price difference and didn’t drive around lots because that often costs more in the end.

    Life is so different for me now… I live a few blocks from a great Safeway and can now enjoy organic options a lot more. I now plan my monthly list and then go once a week. I find in the city I still don’t drive to sales, instead I have noticed my grocery has a routen of when things go on sale and so I work around it and get in the groove of hitting their sales with my menu selections. I find keeping it simple this way I have saved much money and we eat a lot more fresh goods and less packaged stuff. Even though I am in the city the ladies at the grocery know me and almost expect me like clock work on Monday mornings EARLY to avoid city rush:)

    Either way planning menus helps sooo much financially and stress wise and makes me stretch out into new meal styles and try new foods:)

    And yet, I am still a bemoaner about supper…

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