Monday, November 7, 2011

Cooking on a Budget - Part Seven

Time to actually cook!

We've talked about planning meals based on your grocery ads and coupons to get the most for your money, and we've talked about stockpiling items you know you will use.  We've talked about organizing your pantry and your recipes.  Now it's time to begin!

I only have a few tips....most of which, always keep it simple!  Don't get stressed or you'll never enjoy cooking.  Let it be fun and hopefully a family time.

  1. Read through your recipe all the way first.  Be sure you have all items on hand and accessible.  If possible go ahead and measure things out first into prep bowls, so when the time comes to add, it's all ready to go.
  2. If there is something you don't understand about a recipe, look it up before you begin.
  3. Be sure you have bowls, pots, pans and utensils at the ready.
  4. Be sure that whatever cooking apparatus you are going to use is in working order....stove, oven, crock pot, etc.  
  5. If the recipe calls for preheating, do it!  Yes, it really does make a difference.
  6. Clean up as you go.  People get discouraged about cooking because they leave all the dishes to do after you eat, and that can be a big pile.  Start a sink full of water and wash those prep bowls as you go in between steps.
That's really about it!  I know that some of you are completely new to cooking, but just start there.  As you get more familiar with the way your stove, oven, crock pot, etc works and how food interacts with other foods, you'll become a pro in no time.

As you get better at all these things, you'll be planning meals maybe for two weeks at a time, planning leftovers, and planning new meals FROM your leftovers.

I hope you enjoyed this brief series about cooking on a budget.  There will be more tips to come about leftovers, price comparison, and meal planning, so stay tuned.  And let me know if there is something specific that you'd like to see on this topic.

Until Next Time.....

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