In today’s hectic lifestyle, it is often difficult to find time to cook at home. This is especially so if there are only 1 or 2 persons at home. With that effort, it might be better to eat out or order in. That used to be my mindset. Furthermore, I am not a good cook. I am clumsy when cooking and do not have the patience to slowly prepare a meal. That gave me even more reasons not to cook.
Even so, we all are aware that food sold outside will never be healthier than the ones we cook ourselves. At the very least, we know exactly what goes into our food. I needed a solution to start eating healthily. That’s how I started to learn how to cook simple and quick meals, just with whatever I could find at home.
As I got started, my first challenge was buying groceries.
My concerns were:
(1) Buying just enough for the 2 of us so there is as little wastage as possible.
(2) Being able to keep sufficient food at home so that whenever I could find time to cook, I would have an excuse not to.
I have went through exactly the same struggles that you go through. That’s how I came up with great grocery shopping tips. Once you get this, you will start eating healthily.
TIP #1: Categorize the types of ingredients that you need
- Olive Oil
- Soy Sauce
- Teriyaki Sauce
- Oyster Sauce
- Cajun Powder
- Some dried herbs like thyme & basil
- Tomato paste
- Chilli Sauce
(These items normally have long shelf life of at least 1 to 2 years.)
(2) Main Ingredients:
- Fish (Can be kept for up to a month when frozen)
- Seafood (Can be kept for up to a month when frozen)
- Various meat (Can only be kept for a few days)
(3) Side Ingredients:
- Sweet potatoes
- Broccoli and other vegetables
(Other than broccoli and other leafy vegetables, the others listed above could be kept for at least a week or 2.)
TIP #2: Find out the shelf life of the common ingredients
We need to identify which ingredients can be kept and which cannot. For example, fish, prawns and some seafood can be kept in the freezer for weeks. Other meats like chicken and pork can only be kept in freezer for a few days. Likewise for vegetables or sides, when kept dry, leafy vegetables can last only for a few days, but some others like potatoes, sweet potatoes and carrot can be kept longer.
TIP #3: Plan your grocery list
It is so important to plan before you start buying your groceries. Look through your list and make sure you do not have any from the list that is hidden somewhere in the cabinet.
TIP #4: Shop by category
First, buy all the condiments that you like.
Second, buy 1 to 2 meal portions of ingredients that can be kept for at least 1 to 2 weeks. Freeze or store well if you do not intend to cook them immediately.
Third, if you would like to cook meat or leafy vegetables, buy just the portion that you need on the day or maximum 2 days beforehand.
THE TIP OF THE DAY: To prevent wastage, have the habit to write down the food that’s in your refrigerator and pin on it. That would encourage you to start cooking too. 🙂
Enjoy your weight loss journey!