Planning, prepping, cleaning. Three easy steps can make your kitchen a more organized and efficient place. With the family jotting grocery items or menu favorites, efficiency is a cinch.
1) Start a grocery list. Keep a notepad on the fridge and train every family member to jot down any item once they’ve used the last of it. A magnetic notepad on the fridge is a lifesaver. If someone uses the last paper towel or drinks the last sip of milk, they write it on the list. I also use a Target list, for school supplies and other household items that need to be replaced.
2) Do a weekly menu plan. Shop once a week. This saves time and money. If you are afraid that you can’t predict what you will be hungry for on Thursday, remember that you can always make substitutions. This plan saves you from making extra stops at the grocery store. It also gives you a sense of control and freedom from the pressure of trying to make these decisions at dinner time.3) Cook ahead and freeze. Double a recipe and freeze one. If you are making a pan of lasagna, why not make two and freeze one? It’s so nice to have a few “back-up meals” waiting in the freezer.
4) Do advanced prep work. Perform simple tasks like chopping vegetables or browning hamburger when you have a few spare minutes. This speeds up the process when you are assembling dinner.
5) Clean as you go. Keep a sink full of hot sudsy water and wash dishes while you cook. Staying ahead of the mess makes cleaning up after dinner a breeze. Plus your kitchen doesn’t look like a disaster zone.
By Karen Henke www.come2order2day.com