A new school year has just begun, which for me means a “new year”. Before the chaos of a new school year starts I like to make sure that I am organized – including in the kitchen and at meal times. Kristina LaRue from Love and Zest recently posted about how she meal plans and I thought it was a great plan!
She shows and tells how she uses her Google calendar to plan and how she makes notes in the calendar, like what she needs from the grocery story for that week or what she already has at home. One of my favorite tips she gives is that when she gets inspired for meals throughout the week she goes ahead and adds it to her calendar. I love this idea because with sites like Pinterest, it is so easy to find great meals that I want to cook but rarely plan to.
Meal planning is not only a great way to organize, but it can also help you stick to a healthy eating plan. If you plan your meals ahead of time and go to the grocery store with a list, you can minimize your fast-food frequency and eat more meals at home. Even if you’re in a hurry, meal planning can help you plan quick and healthy meals on the go.
Meal planning takes organization, which is vital in the kitchen. I recently organized half of my pantry by purchasing a set of slender containers which I filled with some staple foods I always keep in my pantry. Oats, rasins, flour, and gluten-free pasta noodles are now neatly placed in colorful containers in the center of my pantry. Now every time I look in there I love how neat and clean it looks, as well as a constant awareness of how much I left of certain foods. Keeping your pantry, and fridge, organized can save time and money, and for me, an organized kitchen makes me happy!
Being organized and able to clearly see what you have and do not have in the kitchen can save you time when you are searching for that one ingredient that always seems to be hiding in the back. It is also important to make sure your food is up-to-date and nothing is expired or ruining while waiting to be devoured. A great tip to prevent that is to try and keep the oldest foods up front so you use them first, before they go bad. This prevents food waste, but more importantly your money.
Having an organized kitchen and an organized meal plan can relieve some cooking-related stress. I will be taking Kristina’s advice on this one – when I get inspired by a meal I will plan to actually cook it and have an organized meal plan to match my organized kitchen!
What do you do to keep your kitchen and meals in order?
Love and Zest is a blog written and maintained by Kristina LaRue, RD. Kristina is one of Around the Plate’s Nutrition Experts and is a member of thePlate Community. As a nutrition expert, Kristina shares recipes, life experiences, and nutrition tips on her blog, Love and Zest. Find other nutrition experts, recipe gurus, and healthy eating champions on our community blog network.