Kitchen Help Wanted

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This year I’m going to try and go easier on myself…at least in the kitchen. I don’t know about you, but I am a one woman show in there. Yes, sadly my hubby doesn’t cook. So I produce the vittles for my youngans. (Don’t asked my why I just went country.) Anyhow, I have found it quite a struggle to keep meal’s ready to go in the house.  It means I have spent so much time in the kitchen cooking. Not only did this kill an entire day (when I only get two off a week.) but I was tired and annoyed by the end of it.

Enter the crockpot…ahh the magical invention that I have just rediscovered last month. The coaching group I am in created a Crockpot challenge to keep us eating healthy in December. This made me fall in love with my slow cooker.

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You can still visit it at https://www.facebook.com/groups/1210922748924847/1213137378703384/?ref=notif&notif_t=group_activity

Even though I thought I had things pretty together in the kitchen. I discovered I was doing a lot the hard way. I was trying to cook for the whole week in one day. Not only did this leave me exhausted on Sunday but I only ended up getting to two real meals. This left us with nothing I but snacks and frozen pre-packaged stuff (eww) by Wedneday.

The other problem I was encountering and still struggle with is time. By the time I get my kids from aftercare (yes, aftercare one of the necessary evils in a working mom’s world) and get home, I have literally a half hour total to make dinner. Then it’s time to get them ready to wind down for bed. It stinks! So heat and eat is the only way to go if I want to spend anytime with them.

This delemia and my newfound crockpot knowledge have lead me to the conclusion I was doing meal planning all wrong. Well, to be honest I wasn’t even meal planning at all. I was kinda winging it. So here is my conclusion. I can either start meal planning myself, which I don’t know if I can do seeing as I was not successful in the past. The other option is I can find a pay meal planning service to give me suggestions and a shopping list to go by. Have any of you used one of these services? How did you like it? If you do meal planning on your own what resources do you use?

I have a few ideas simmering right now of things I’m going to try out and will bring you more information on this in a future post. For now I would love some suggestions on how you meal plan. What shortcuts do you use to save time in the kitchen and still keep it healthy?

7 thoughts on “Kitchen Help Wanted

  1. I am a meal planner. I plan a month at a time but leave it open as to be able to switch dishes around as necessary. I generally try to stick to a slow cooker soup on Monday, a casserole on Tuesday, Meat and Potatoes Wednesday, Breakfast on Thursday and Pizza or Sandwiches on Friday. I use my breadmaker and slow cooker at least 2-3 days a week each. I tend to prep meals over the weekend and freeze the veggies for use during the week all measured out for slow cooker meals. I found if I brown meats before putting them in the slow cooker they tend to hold together better and now get that mushy texture.Also, having a timer on my slow cooker to switch from low to keep warm has definitely saved some meals.

    1. Sounds like you have things together. I really like the idea of planning a month at a time. Will definitely be looking at your site for some meal planning ideas. Thanks for the suggestions

  2. I too plan about a month ahead. I usually spend about an hour or two the last weekend of the month on this. I love my crockpot! I use it usually about 2-3 times a week.
    As for paid planners emeal is pretty good. You can customize the meal plan for what you want and how many servings you need. It will send you an email every week with the plan and shopping list.

  3. I plan by the week but I’m in a 2 person household so we’re not doing a lot of bulk shopping for produce, etc. I cannot say enough GREAT things about crockpot freezer meals. I won’t lie. They are pretty much the bulk of my diet. They’re cheap, quick, easy and usually pretty delicious! I’m a vegetarian so my diet is mostly beans and veggies but I can get 12 meals for less than $50 IF I use canned beans. Each meal gives me 4-6 servings. Using dried beans I can get about 12 meals for $35 or so. I spend one Sunday afternoon a month destroying my kitchen but it’s WORTH IT. 🙂

    1. Oh great idea to substitute beans instead of meat. Very cost effective too. Will have to look up some more crockpot recipes using beans. Great idea thanks for sharing

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