To make cooking during the week easier
I'll admit it, a the end of a long day I can be lazy, and sometimes cooking just isn't on my radar. We ate out far too much and wasted so much money before we realized we could make cooking during the week so easy with just a little bit of planning.
Meal planning is a must if you want to eat healthier, save money, and spare yourself the evening problem of, "What's for dinner?".
I want to share with you the top ten items we always have in stock to make cooking easy, even on those evenings after a long, stressful day.
Potatoes & Onions
These are a staple in our home. I usually have a variety of onions (yellow, white, red, and shallots) on hand for cooking and garnishing. Almost every recipe of mine calls for an onion. You can save even more time by pre-cutting your onions (slices, minced, and diced).
This is another staple for most dishes. It's an easy side for most meats and gravies that can just be thrown in a rice cooker. We like to spice up our rice with a Mexican twist on taco nights. I'll be posting that recipe soon!
Better Than Boullion
I will never buy can or box broth ever again. Better than Boullion is a
concentrated broth paste that you can add to water to make broth or to a dish for extra flavor. One jar yields 38 cups of broth. It comes in different flavors like chicken, beef, vegetable, and pork... and they have vegan options!
Sometimes getting to the farmer's market is difficult and our stock of fresh veggies is low. This is ok because we always have frozen vegetables. We have both store-bought frozen veggies and surplus farmer's market veggies we cut and froze. You can freeze fresh vegetables like peppers, onions, mushrooms, carrots, and peas!
Cooking Oils & Butter, salted and unsalted
Most recipes call for some type of oil. For us, we use a lot of EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil), however, there are many other types of oils like Sesame, Vegetable, Peanut, and Coconut. Depending on what style of dishes you cook you will want to always have oils and butter on hand. Having at least one stick of unsalted butter is perfect for any baking you'd like to do.
You will never know when a recipe will call for tomato paste and if you don't have it the dish won't happen. Womp, womp. A can of tomato paste is less than $1 and can sit in your pantry until it's called up. This is one of those items that we don't use a lot but is always nice to have waiting.
Just like onions we always have a surplus of garlic on hand. I find it beneficial to have garlic peeled and ready to go... we even buy the minced garlic (1 tsp = one clove).
We always have dry pasta in the pantry for those nights when no one wants to cook. What's easier than boiling pasta and heating up some sauce? If packaged pasta like Ranna goes on sale (BOGO at Publix) we will snag them and freeze them.
This is to accompany any last-minute pasta night... just in case.
Frozen Dinner/ Frozen Pizza
This is another backup dinner for the nights that spiral out of control. We like to have a frozen pizza on standby or a family-sized frozen dinner (premade meal or a Stouffer's lasagna). Trust me, it's such a great feeling to have these backups.
What are your must-haves in your kitchen? Leave a comment below letting me know!
I will be selecting one person from the comments below to win a sample pack of Better than Boullion. Every person who subscribed to my blog will receive an additional entry. I will be selecting the winner on September 17, 2022.
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