Hello friends! What a great 19 days, right? We have been putting some emphasis on getting our lives in perspective and slowing down a bit. We have also worked through some ways to make our home comforting, a haven if you will. Next, I want to get super practical. I want to share with you some of my favorite time savers. Here’s why. By saving time in these ways, you will free up extra time for yourselves and your family. This time is not intended to use to cram more stuff in, but instead you are freeing up time in your life to CREATE MARGIN. Yes, you are freeing up time so that you can slow down and do nothing! Or invite some friends over to play games. Or spend an evening on the couch snuggling with your kids. Or watching a movie and feeling zero guilt.
We are going to start with one of our biggest uses of time in the home. The kitchen. This could be one of your favorite places (like me) or a place that is totally loathsome (several of my dear friends). If you have a family, it might take up a lot of time and you may absolutely dread the 6:00 hour. If you’re single, you might hate the fact that Hot Pockets are just so much easier than real food. If you’re busy. . .well, you get it. No matter who you are, we can work at this. I honestly can’t wait to share some of my favorite ideas!
When my kids were younger, I was really into meal planning and freezer cooking. I would also do a lot of batch cooking, as well. This saves time, money, AND is good for the environment because it uses less packaging. And, if you get the hang of it, it’s fun. I really think that you can do this no matter who you are or what your household looks like. It will help, trust me.
So, today’s challenge is this: Start to compile your favorite recipes. Now, I’m not asking you to go crazy or anything. We are going to cook ahead a little and freeze some meals. So many things can go in the freezer. Like this lasagne. You can literally make one for dinner and at the very same time make another one to put in the freezer. Baked oatmeal is also something that is really great to make ahead and keep in the freezer. Most breads freeze well, and you can freeze single items like burritos. I’ll provide some of my favorite recipes, but I also want you to feel comfortable in the kitchen. So, use your own recipes if you wish. That works for me.
After you have compiled and printed a few recipes, shop your cupboards. People, we buy so much stuff that we don’t need and sometimes already have. Look around to see if you have the ingredients necessary for some of your favorites. Then, begin to make a list of what you will need to buy. If you are feeling really adventurous, you could shop the ads, see what’s really cheap, and build your menu around that. For example, if tomato sauce is really cheap, you could make chili or pasta sauce or something of that nature. Same with meats. It’s often good to see what meats you can get on sale. But, that’s not for the weak! It takes a little practice to shop the sales and begin to build your menu.
Start to think about when you might have a couple of hours to freezer cook in the coming days. Maybe even tomorrow. It really doesn’t take long to get a little bit ahead. In fact, if you give me even an hour, I’ll take it. I’ll show you how to use that hour.
Take the challenge. Do your homework. Tomorrow, we’re going to build on this.