The Secret to Cooking: A Full Refrigerator

Can you relate to this? You start out with the best intentions. You intend to cook. You even search the web and pick out recipes or make a list. But then something comes up. You get distracted. You stay at work late or go out with your friends. By the time you get home it is eight thirty and you have nothing in your kitchen to cook and no desire to go back out to buy groceries.

The secret to cooking is having a full refrigerator and cupboard. If it is eight o’clock at night and you walk into your kitchen to find an empty refrigerator, the chances are pretty low that you are going to cook a meal. Entropy takes overâ€"and dinner ends up a series of snacks, cobbled together from the last of the crackers you find in the cupboard and the last bit of hummus in the refrigerator.

To keep your kitchen full, you must have a consistent weekly food shopping plan. Isn’t it funny how we can plan our work weeks, our vacations, our family obligations, but somehow, we completely avoid planning in time to shop and cook?

Here are the basics to making a food shopping plan that makes cooking accessible â€"even on weeknights.

1. Create a handwritten or typed grocery list. Make a list of all the staples that you like to have in your kitchen. Also add the ingredients of your favorite recipes. You can use this list every week and keep adding to it as you learn about new foods or recipes.

2. Keep the list handy and up to date. Post the list on your refrigerator. Check off what you run out of as the week progresses. That way you won't forget those vital ingredients.

3. Plan. Pick the same time each week to make your weekly plan. Sunday morning is a great time for this. During this time, determine which nights you'll be cooking and what ingredients you'll need. Then update your shopping list for the week.

4. Shop. Grab the list on your way out the door and do your shopping between your other errands. It is easiest to pick the same shopping day each week to create a habit. Your shopping time should be reduced immensely now that you have a list and a plan.

5. Use Fresh Direct or another shopping service if you are out of town during your shopping day. If you know you are going to be out of town for the weekend or just incredibly swamped, use Fresh Direct. Your shopping list gets saved online and you can order from anywhere.

6. Always have the ingredients for a few Non-Perishable Meals on hand. For those times when you just don’t have any fresh greens and veggies in your refrigerator, make sure you have some healthy non-perishable items on hand such as canned tuna and salmon, cans of beans and healthy soups.

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About The Author, Monica Shah
Founder of Ideal Balance, Monica Shah is a holistic nutrition and life balance expert. She helps busy professionals find simple ways to eat better, exercise and find more balance in their lives. Often called "the irreverent nutritionist", Monica’s approach to being healthy is simple, fun and long-lasting. To find out more about her program and to sign up for her FREE initial consultation and FREE nutrition tips please visithttp://www.idealbalanceinc.com.