It would seem like cooking everything from scratch would add stress and hassle to my days…but in reality, it has greatly simplified my life…as long as I stick to my capsule menu!
When you cook from scratch you stock your pantry with ingredients not “food items” (prepackaged food mixes and such). The same ingredients can be combined in multiple ways to make many different kinds of food.
Knowing what ingredients you use on a regular basis (capsule menu) means that it is easy to watch for sales on these staples and stock up when you see a good price. I usually make a grocery list, but have been known to forget it at home on occasion. Because I know what foods/ingredients I buy from each store, I can easily shop through the store and remember what was on the list…I have a mental knowledge of what is in pantry and what we are running low of.
Knowing what ingredients you use often also means you can shop in bulk for some of those ingredients. You can often get better prices buying in bulk than you can from watching for sales…and then no need to watch for sales, just buy in bulk when you need to restock! I can buy 25 pounds of organic dry black beans for the same price per pound as if I bought non-organic black beans in smaller packages. The same is true for eco-farmed brown rice and a few other staples.
Buying in bulk also means always having ingredients on hand to make many of your family’s favorite dishes. It means less time grocery shopping. It means always having food on hand in case of emergencies…we may not like eating rice and beans for three meals each day, but I know that we have enough rice and beans on hand (plus other things) to keep us fed for quite some time.
Cooking from scratch and buying in bulk means that we are always ready to welcome guests into our home for a meal…just make a quick batch of biscuits, defrost some more cooked chicken, make some more rice, cut up another apple. Dinner stretches easily!
We grocery shop about once each week…a trip for fresh produce, dairy and whatever bulk purchases are running low. Under an hour from van-to-store-to-checkout-to-van. Which is pretty amazing considering how long it seems to take us to get three kids into and out of car seats! With my highly sensitive children I had a max of two stops and about three hours total (from home to store(s) to home). Now that they are a bit older, I can usually get by with three short stops…still a total of about three hours. And we can really only handle one trip to town each week.
Cooking from scratch with my capsule menu has greatly helped to simplify my life…and my grocery shopping!
Coming soon…how to make your own capsule menu!
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