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Kitchen Helpers

on February 23, 2014

Meal planning, grocery shopping, and cooking take up a pretty serious chunk of time every week.  To make things a little less hectic and a little more enjoyable, I have a few helpers around the kitchen that keep everything running smoothly and to take up less time.

First, I do meal plan.  I try to plan at least 2 weeks at a time (and this dictates my grocery list).  Read more about that process here.  But, I also try and post those meal plans in the kitchen so I know what’s coming up each day and can make sure everything is ready when I get home from work to rock and roll.  I found I have saved at least 1/2 an hour each night by prepping ahead of time.  I used to have a fridge sticker with days of the week from the Martha Steward line at Staples to post our meal plan, but over time, it got to looking a little gunky and I decided to retire it in favor of something a little prettier.  I took a free printable from online and adjusted it to fit my needs.  Then, I put it inside a frame and attached a dry erase marker at the top with a velcro dot.  This little guy is on a very narrow piece of wall next to our pantry.  I like it’s placement because it cuts down on the fridge clutter and is right next to where a bunch of our meal supplies already live.  Now, I can keep track of our meals for two weeks in style!  I also love that I can erase things and move them around, because if your life is anything like mine, sometimes we have to alter plans.  I already know we have all the ingredients for everything on our chart, so making adjustments is no big deal.

Sorry for the glare!

Sorry for the glare!

There are also some very awesome products that help the cooking process go much smoother in our house.  I’ve used each of these for over a year and LOVE them!  I used to prep vegetables for our dorm in college, and I learned very early on that I am not really a big fan of cutting certain ones.  So, I was super excited to discover these two sweet items.

1)  Frozen Chopped Onions.  You don’t have to have fresh onions on hand OR have to chop them into tiny pieces.  Need I say more?

There are other brands out there that are just as good, and we pick up whatever the grocery store we are visiting happens to keep in stock.

 

2)  Already Minced Garlic in a Squeeze Bottle.  I LOVE this stuff, because I use garlic a ton in my recipes.  I love that I can just grab and go with out having to have fresh garlic or a garlic press (which I have never owned) on hand.

This is the brand I use, but I am sure others are just as good. I know this company also offers an organic version if that suits your needs better.

Is there anything you use to make meal planning and prep easier around your house?

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