Plan It!: Coming Home
The long weekend was glorious! It was the perfect holiday weekend and the perfect time to celebrate my brother’s graduation. There is nothing like sitting on my parent’s back porch on a sunny day with good company and a margarita. I love getting away from normal life for a while and having a chance to just relax.
But then comes that fateful day, the day of the return home. Sure, its sad to leave, and the bus ride is a pain, but the absolute worst part of walking in the door is knowing that the fridge is empty (especially if you have done such a good job not letting food go to waste).
The last thing you want to do is make a list and head to the store on a Sunday night after a weekend away. And cook?! Forget it. But while budgets and health are always on my mind, take out isn’t always a surefire answer.
Plan a little, and only good will come.
Think about it!
During the week, it can be hard to think about Sunday night which is soooo far away. But keep that extra day when you return home in mind.
Save your leftovers
One thing I love to do is to save some leftovers (that I would normally eat the next day) from during the week to eat on the day I get back. Put a couple of burgers, that homemade spaghetti sauce, or a bowl of your favorite chili in the freezer. Just defrost and you have a great meal in a flash.
Remember those canned beans and tomatoes I urged you not to use up before you left? Now’s the time for them to shine! Frozen and canned vegetables can come in handy when you need something quick. 2 cans of beans, 1 can of tomatoes, and some frozen veggies and you have yourself chili. A can of broth and a few chopped vegetables make a nice soup. These foods provide convenience in cooking without being highly processed, yet all you have to do is heat through, season, and serve.
When in doubt, breakfast!
Some people (crazy people!) scowl at the thought of breakfast for dinner, but if its a choice between Chinese takeout or an omelette “I’ll take the omlette for $100 Bob!” Eggs and toast, yogurt and dried fruit, or some oatmeal pancakes and suddenly you have a meal you can put together in 5 minutes. And none of the ingredients will go bad after 2 days.
Days exist too
Speaking of breakfast, don’t become so wrapped up with dinner that you forget that you need food to eat during the next day, before you can make it to the store after work. Double-check that you have oatmeal and sandwich fixings before you leave, or you will find yourself with a doughnut and $8 spent on a Chipotle lunch.
I had put 2 leftover Tapenade burgers and homemade buns in the freezer and still had a sweet potato in the fridge. Tuesday repeat, with no hassle. And only 2 dishes!
Time to catch up on some sleep.