Meal Planning Part 2 - Getting Organized to Cook at Home & Start Meal Planning
Hi there! Thank you for stopping by to catch Part 2 of our series on Meal Planning! Last week in Part 1, we chatted about all the great reasons to start meal planning!
This week, let's chat about getting organized for meal planning & cooking from scratch at home.
I know it's cliché but it's true: "Failing to plan is planning to fail." ~unknown author
The key to eating great meals at home is in the planning. Before you even START trying to plan out your meals, it's important to get you kitchen organized for home cooking.
"What does that mean?" you ask! Well, let's say you craft up an epic plan for meals this week, and then find out you don't really have the essentials in your pantry or the right tools in your kitchen to even make those meals. Wouldn't that be a big disappointment!
So let's talk about three areas to get organized for home cooking and planning for great meals at home:
- The Pantry
- The Fridge & Freezer
- The Kitchen Tools
I'm not talking about keeping an overstocked pantry. But I do think there are key ingredients to always keep on hand. Those ingredients will be the foundation for a lot of the meals you'll put together and will help you on those days when you forgot to pull out meat to thaw.
For us, there's probably about 10 to 15 items we always have on hand. We can make a 30 or 40 different meals from combining these pantry staples with a meat and a side of vegetables. Feel free to go with the same list as us or adapt to your preferences. But don't forget to add the item onto the grocery list anytime you use them so you ensure you will restock the pantry.
The Fridge & Freezer
Same goes for the fridge & freezer. You will find meal planning a whole lot easier if you keep a few things on hand. Then when you sit down to meal plan, you can survey what you've got on hand and can start the brainstorming based on what you've already got.
We like to keep a few staples stocked at all times. We use them commonly in many of our meals and it's easiest to just have them on hand. Here's a quick list of the top items we always have in our fridge/freezer:
I gave you a run down of our MUST HAVE kitchen essentials in a previous blog post over here. Head on over to check out the deets there. A quick list of the things we use almost every day in our kitchen:
- dutch oven
- wood cutting boards
- sharp knife
- cookie sheet
- wood spoons
- cast iron pan
- meat thermometer
- slow cooker
Cookware definitely feels like it follows the 80/20 rule! I am sure that I use these 20% of every kitchen tool we have for 80% of the cooking we do! I can whip up almost any meal with just these 7 essentials.
Thanks for sticking around to find out about how to get organized in your kitchen to get ready for meal planning for home cooking. Next week on the blog, we'll get into the nitty-gritty of how you can meal plan for success!
Stay tuned for Part 3 next week!
If you live anywhere in Alberta, pop on over to check out the Farm Box subscription from Lazuli Farms. You get a variety of pork & beef selections shipped right to your doorstep from the farm! Having a freezer stocked with high quality meat is a step towards creating great meals at home! Scanning the freezer at meal planning time will help you to plan for the week!