Over the years I learned different tricks on how to meal prep and how to make sure no food spoils or gets forgotten about.  Here are some cost and time saving tips and tricks for keeping your kitchen practical and functionable. 

Make a list!!!

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The first thing you should do before stepping foot into a grocery store is make a grocery list.  I know some people that go into a grocery store and just figure out what they want for dinner right then and there.  I can’t operate that way lol.  By making a list you’ll not only stick to it (hopefully 😆), but any leftover food you have you will know where you are going to use it.  For example, say I need a handful of spinach for a recipe.  Well when you buy spinach it’s bigger than a handful, so you need to have a plan on how you are going to use the remaining spinach so it doesn’t just wilt in the fridge.  

Plan your food menu around sales at the grocery store

When it’s time to go grocery shopping, I start by looking at the sales ad and plan my meals around that.  I am certain I’ve save so much money over the years by doing this, and the more you grocery shop, the more you’ll know your prices and know what the good deals are.  Another thing to keep in mind is understanding seasonal  fruits and veggies.  In the winter the berries, melons, and corn are priced high, but the apples, pears, and squash are priced low since they’re in season.  Paying $4.99 for a watermelon in the winter is asinine since they are at least $2 cheaper in the summer.  

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Prep your food the same day or a day after you go to the grocery store

This will help to preserve you food and keep it fresh longer.  I cut up any strawberries for yogurt parfaits, cut up celery and carrots to dip in hummus, or take spinach and separate the stem from the leaf and put the leaves in a ziplocked bag.  WASH THE SPINACH WHEN YOU ARE READY TO USE IT, NOT DURING PREP!  The spinach (or whatever leafy green you are using) will get slimy and go bad sooner if you store it wet.  I will also cut up broccoli, green beans, brussels, etc into pieces and store them in a container with just a liiiiitle bit of water to keep them fresh.  I take the time to do this because if the veggies are stored in the fridge as-is from the store, they tend to go bad a lot sooner, but it also saves me time during dinner prep, because one less veggie needs to be chopped, it’s already done.   

Use storage containers for an organized pantry

It’s also important to have a storage system for your dry foods too.  By storing your food properly, not only will they last longer, but you will be able to find your food easier if it’s stored in clear containers.  

What tips and tricks have you learned during your cooking career? Leave a comment below and tell us about it!