Those who keep a watchful eye on where their money is spent, have long
conquered the kitchen woes. No last minute panic trips to the market. No
longer needing the "give-the-kids-$20-for-fast-food" solution. This is no longer
a problem or even a concern for the "Kitchen Master".
You too can be a 'Master Of Your Kitchen'. All it takes is a little time and
Now you might be saying "I don't have time to plan meals, let alone
control my kitchen!" That's fine. Wait until you do have some time.
All you need is just a couple of hours some Saturday or Sunday where you
can really "dive" into your kitchen.
Where To Start
Start from scratch. Clean out ALL those cupboards, shelves, racks, pantries,
etc.... At some point, you'll want to do the same to your refrigerator and
freezer. You must! This is VALUABLE storage space that will save you
hundreds off your grocery bills if they are properly put to use.
Kitchens were designed to act as 'mini-supermarkets'. Everything you need to
prepare meals your family can enjoy morning, noon, and night. Once it is setup,
you can accommodate quite a number of meals, without having to go to the
market every other day!
Once The Cleaning Is Done
Now that everything is cleaned and your current supplies organized, you'll need
to inventory what you have. What this means is to list out what you have, and
what you need to get.
Ideally, you should have at least 2-4 weeks of meals available at your disposal.
Why? This will reduce the number of trips to the market and help minimize
overspending and impulse buying.
What helps is if you list foods and meals you know your family likes (and would)
eat. These are the items you need to stock your kitchen pantry and frig with.
With this approach, you use your cupboards, pantries, and shelves to your
advantage. Whenever you come across great bargains on items you
use, buy more than usual, and store the rest. Cans of tuna for 40 cents each,
buy a lot. Boxes of macaroni and cheese for 50 cents each, buy a lot.
Sugar, cheese, spaghetti, rice, pasta, bread, meat, cereal, fruit, chicken,
sauces, canned foods, vegetables, boxed foods. These are just a few examples
of items than can be stored in your pantry, refrigerator, or freezer (depending
on what it is) for a reasonable amount of time.
You know you are running low on an item by simply opening your well
organized pantry and determining what needs to be restocked.
Planning Your Meals
Now that your kitchen has been cleaned and well stocked, it's time to put it
It works best if you plan the following days meals, the night before. This is not
hard or very time consuming. Five minutes before going to bed, simply open
your cupboards and see what you can plan for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for
the following day.
Start off just planning one day at a time. Later, as you adjust to this style of
living, you'll be able to plan the whole week just by looking at the contents
within your kitchen.
What also is a must is creativity. Try to steer away from traditional hamburger
and hot dog meals. Get creative with your meals. There are literally hundreds of
different combinations that can be made to give you and your family the variety
For example, think of all the combinations you can put together with rice or
potatoes (ie: rice and vegetables, rice and beans, rice with chicken, rice and
soup, rice with eggrolls, etc...) And that's just with rice! You have a ton of options.
Take the time to think of, or search for some.
Here are a few websites that offer a number of recipes and cooking ideas:
The whole goal of this exercise is to eliminate unnecessary trips and excessive
spending at the market in addition to creatively using what you have in your
kitchen to prepare meals for the week/month.The more times you go to the
market, the more chances you have of spending your money on foods you may
Organize and master your kitchen, plan out your meals, stock your storage areas,
and you can save $100-$400 a month (depending on your spending habits ;-)
Best of luck mastering your kitchen!
Written by Gregory Thomas,
editor of http://www.SavingSecrets.com
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