Far be it from me to sell myself as a cook. But over the past several years, I've gotten so much better. My family is the biggest test and they seem to enjoy almost everything I make. And I enjoy making it. That's even better. You know I make it simple. But it has to be delicious, too. So here are a few things I do.
I've automated my shopping list. We have variety, but the easier I make my shopping, the better. I actually have a computer print out of my shopping list. And yes, it is arranged according to the layout of my grocery store. It goes a little bit like this:
Produce: apples, oranges, clemetntines, grapes, blueberries, strawberries, bananas, lemons,
potatoes, onions, garlic, spinach, lettuce, celery, carrots, snap peas
Deli: ham, turkey, cheese
Meat: chicken, beef, pork roast
Down the aisles: beans, rice, barley, pasta, pasta sauce, oatmeal, bread, soda, coffee
Dairy: milk, eggs, butter, yogurt
And here are some things I always have on hand. Soup starters/bases. I get mine from Penzey's spices. I always have at least a dozen spices on hand, too. This isn't a commercial for Penzey's, but I do love their freshness and variety. These spices are also one of my favorite consumable gifts to give.
I clean and cut up fruit and veggies as needed. If it's ready I'm not tempted to run to the store for a less healthy alternative. When I make salads and soups I just combine already cut up ingredients. It's basically effortless. When I buy meat I buy big. I'll bake ten chicken breasts at once and add to soups, slalads, casseroles or sandwiches. Same goes for the beef. I'll brown up five pounds and freeze in portions appropriate for meals I make. And ditto for the roast. Put it in he crock pot and eat it for Sunday dinner. Shred the rest and have sandwiches or freeze it. We eat a lot of salmon, too. A little lemon, a bit of dill and we're set.
If I can do this, you can, too. We have cut back on fat and sodium. We hardly eat anything that is processed or has preservatives. Our recycling bin is less full. Bonus.