Sarah Ban Breathnach in her book Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy suggests stocking the larder in July to help bring more harmony to your everyday life. She feels that two home caring tasks that consume a great deal of energy each week are grocery shopping and meal preparation. She has created simple strategies for stocking the larder that can help us reclaim a sense of control when cooking.
The first thing we need to do is to sit down and write out our families favourite seasonal meals. Be sure to include side dishes, vegetables and deserts. Then create a master menu file. A core of at least half a dozen meals enables you to create a sense of variety at dinnertime and avoid the dreariness of eating the same thing over and over again. While planning think Home-style suppers Monday to Friday, which with planning can be easy fast and delicious. Weekends call for your favourite meal one night and a culinary feast the other. Try two new recipes a month, save them for weekends when you have more time and can enjoy the simple pleasure of cooking something new and different.
The second thing we need to do is to devise menus including breakfast, lunches, snacks & dinners so we’ll know what we’ll be eating and cooking for the next week. By writing out our meals including side dishes, we’ll avoid forgetting any necessary ingredients at the market. Decide on approximately 15 different seasonal meals and rotate them. This gives us an opportunity to control not just grocery cost but what we’re eating too.
Then lastly create a master grocery list. This task will take about an hour but will save an abundance of time in the future. Divide your grocery list into different categories such as Fresh Produce, Dairy, Meat, Fish, Staples, Paper, and Personal Care Products. These will serve as automatic reminders. Keep a copy of the master list on the refrigerator and instruct your family to mark items on the list as they use them up. Save time and money buy making a minimum of visits and try to grocery shop only once a week.
To Help with all of this she recommends the following book.
- Monday to Friday Cookbook by Michele Urvater