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If you've worked out your budget almost everyone's highest expense is food. Whether you go out to eat at fast food places or restaurants or you spend a lot on groceries, food ends up being one of the highest expenses in your budget. If your issue is going out to eat frequently then meal planning is the solution. It's especially important to make it a habit to meal plan during the Christmas holidays so you have more in your budget for gifts and other major expenses that come along during Christmas. An added bonus is that you'll probably be eating healthier when making your meals that eating out.
Do you know what the biggest excuse is for not meal planning? The answer is....no time. In order for meal planning to work for you the kitchen needs to be organized with all the tools you need right at your finger tips that way you are not wasting precious time. This can make meal planning so much easier. If the issue is that you spend tons on groceries then maybe your pantry is unorganized with cans and boxes all over the place. You end up just piling your pantry (sometimes buying some of the same stuff over and over) and not using half of the things you purchased because you're unable to see it all in that mess. A little organization goes a long way and helps you save time and money. The following kitchen tools below have been a great investment and has allowed me to always bring my lunch to work and avoiding the temptation of eating out.
This organizer has saved me so much time and also helps my pantry look like less of a mess. With all the cans in one section I'm able to take a glance and can tell instantly if I'm running out. I used to sift thru the cans to see what I needed and most of the time I'd end up buying too much which would only clutter my pantry and make an unnecessary trip to the store.
PAN ORGANIZER RACK
This organizer consolidates all the pans in one place and saves so much space. I'm able to fit so much more in my cabinets now. What helps me is that I organize the pans by size and when I'm ready to cook I'm ready to just pick out the one I need. What's great about this one is that it can be set up in the vertical or horizontal position so flexible to fit the space you have in your cabinet.
The Sterlite brand bins are very sturdy and an essential to keeping your kitchen and pantry organized. I mainly used these in my pantry but this really has so many uses and can be placed in any area of your house. I label my bins so that I can organize all the pasta, snacks, packets, jars, you name it. It's not only essential in the kitchen but it can be useful in any room in the house.
FOOD STORAGE CONTAINERS
I just love these! I use this to put in my flour, rice, sugar and snack. These are airtight containers so they keep your dry foods fresh and help them last longer. They are easy to stack up if you need creating more space in your pantry or kitchen counter top.You can even dress it up with cute chalkboard stickers to label each one.
This electric pressure cooker has been very popular. It's so versatile. It's able to replace pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice/porridge cooker, yogurt maker, cake maker, egg cooker, saute/searing, steamer, warmer, and sterilizer. This is perfect for the Christmas holidays when cooking for the family that has come to visit you.
Hopefully with these kitchen essentials you'll be able to make it a habit to meal plan. I understand that sometimes you come home from work and really don't feel like cooking. For this reason I've made it a habit to always start cooking on Sunday afternoon at the same time. This has been a game changer. It has allowed me to meal prep and have meals made for the whole week. I look over the weekly ad using my favorite app, Flipp, and determine what meal to make based on what's on sale. Now I don't mind eating the same thing the whole week. I make several servings of one meal for lunch and several servings of one meal for dinner. Or you can always consider freezing the extra portions you make so you can have some for another week and save time cooking.