How often do we have to race home from work puzzling over the proper dinner to please the hungry family? We drop in at the supermarket, take instant noodles and rush on, consoling ourselves with the thought that we would spend more time on cooking the next day. Does it sound familiar? Certainly. Nevertheless, the problem is easily solvable. Scheduling breakfasts, lunches, and dinners for a few days (or weeks) ahead, you will not only save time, energy and finances, but also your nerves.
Prepare a varied menu
First, you need to search for your favorite recipes in cookbooks and make a list of all those dishes that you can cook. You can also easily add the dishes that you haven’t cooked, but that you are sure your family will like.
It is convenient to list the dishes according to the following categories: “breakfasts”, “soups”, “pastry” and so on.
When the list is ready, compose a small menu out of these items – first course, second course with a side dish and a salad, and a desert (yes, just like in a school canteen). If you want, you can add some homemade pastries and even a couple of special treats to the list.
Thus, you will soon have a list of 10-15 different breakfasts, lunches, and dinners at hand.
The pros and cons of this system
The principle of long-term planning has been used by many housewives.
Making up the family menu once, you will no longer have to puzzle over what to cook for dinner. You will only need to look at your list.
Include all the dishes that you can or would like to learn how to cook, and you will get a considerable number of items. If you follow the menu, you will be surprised how diverse your diet becomes. By the way, your family will also be pleasantly surprised at not having pasta three times a week.
With a ready menu, you will know exactly what products you need for cooking. So, once in the store, you can easily refrain from spontaneous and unnecessary purchases. It goes without saying that you can greatly save the family budget.
This menu allows you to save time as well. Looking at the list, you immediately remember things: for example, to defrost the chicken.
Cons of a ready menu:
It is extremely difficult to give up the old way of planning and to switch to a new menu.
This uncompromising system may seem boring, as it excludes spontaneity and a sense of novelty.
You can not always buy the ingredients for the meals that you have planned for a specific day. Then you need to adapt the list, swapping its points.
Do you think it is boring? Do not worry! If you have inspiration, you can put all your culinary plans aside and arrange, for example, an evening of Italian cuisine. A ready menu will come in handy just in those days when you are in no mood to invent something new.
Indeed, a pre-prepared menu will greatly help in optimizing the process of cooking. You do not need to think what to cook in the morning, or rush to the store for green peas, which you lack for a salad, or throw away the products, which you haven’t used in time.