I requested some help in this post.  I don’t know if anyone was aware of my desperation, but the responses were such a burden lifter.  Each response brought me back to reality and though I was not requesting moral support, I felt so supported and validated.  I also have come away with the encouragement and faith that I can do it. There was such a wealth of information, I’ve compiled the information into a handy, little document and will share the information with you in the next post because this one is dedicated to rambling about my progress.

The key point for me was consistency. I have to go beyond doing something once or twice cause I’m feeling “kitchen smart” or cause I got a lot of something on sale. I love meal planning. Heck, I taught a class on meal planning. I think I looked at it as more a self challenge or a categorizing activity than a planning activity. I used meal planning to help me determine which recipe to try. I’ve never thought of it as something that saves time, but something to help avoid asking myself what’s for dinner. To hear other people say that planning meals actually helps save time and to realize the daze I’m in when I don’t plan a meal gives me a new perspective. I also learned many great new techniques for streamlining my meal preparation.

Many responses had a common ending that was something like this: “let me know if this helps.” You We all take for granted the knowledge we have that can benefit others.  Something as simple as browning two pounds of meat or cooking two chickens instead of one was revolutionary (oh, aha, duh). So, yes ladies it all helped a ton! Thank you.

So meal planning instead of meal organizing/recipe strategy changes the way I shop for groceries and how I spend the time just after supper.  For example, I bought four bell peppers on sale instead of one–to chop and freeze. Last night I browned three pounds of ground beef–one for supper and the other two to freeze. I made extra sauce–some for supper and the rest for homemade frozen pizzas. I’ll also pre-make a Quiche and a pot pie. I’ve integrated ideas from Once a Month Cooking, my new knowledge, and using existing knowledge and skills on a more consistent basis.  My goal is to do a monthly meal plan with themed nights, but still shop weekly/biweekly.  I’ve also realized that if I get really good at preparing stuff in advance I can still prepare the kinds of foods I like to prepare for my family.

So, look for the list later today or as a part of tomorrow’s post.  Thanks again, and if you haven’t had a chance to give any tips, it isn’t too late. Don’t think it’s too simple to share because someone can benefit. Do you have any meal planning/kitchen time saving tips?

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