06 June 2014

Meal Planning Made Easy (er) - Part 2

Yesterday, I shared my why's, how's, and a FREEBIE for meal planning with ease. Say what?!? You missed Part 1? You may want to read this first, but then again...maybe not, and so by all means, keep reading :) Here's the menu I shared with you yesterday.

Today, though, I'm sharing a quick, easy, and a total DUH as far as what to do with your food once you've shopped and have it at home. 

Normally, and mostly, I get home, and as fast as possible put food away so that I can park it on the couch, play with the dogs, or eat something, because ya know - am I the ONLY person who goes shopping STARVING?!? Such a bad idea, but it's what happens, folks.

Anyway, what I should do all the time, but can only admit to do about 50% of the time, is going ahead a prepping a few things that will make my life so much easier, and will help eliminate food that goes bad before it gets eaten.

First, are the grapes. (Side note: my grandpa always says he has to "shell" them, which actually consists of plucking them off the stem, however, I like the way it sounds, and also say "shell the grapes"). They come on stems, and if I don't "shell" them, they usually don't get gobbled up. Lame, but it's true. It's like the extra effort to required is just too much, and they don't get touched.

Anyway, shell those babies. It'll take less than two minutes. Then, put them in an open bowl (the paper towel underneath is also a grandpa thing - not sure why, but I like it), and stick them in the fridge. Seriously, they'll be gone in like two days. I tend to grab a few each time I open the fridge. Maybe not the best method for healthy eating, but it keeps me from hitting that HANGRY point, and going postal on something not so healthy.

In unrelated news, this totally adorable teal/turquoise/aqua (could someone please tell me the difference???) colander from World Market, is the perfect size to rinse fruits and veggies. I don't have to pull out the HUGE colander, and it's cute. 

Next, up I make a quick fruit salad (strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries). Really the only work involved is cutting up the strawberries. But, like the grapes, if I don't do it immediately, they sit in the fridge, and go bad before I get to them.

Once upon a time not so long ago, I sprinkled sugar all over my fruit salad - it's got fruit in it, so it's still healthy, right? What a horrible logic...recently, I discovered that a little fresh lemon juice on top brings out the natural sweetness, and becomes a perfect sweet treat for after dinner, or a quick snack.

Annnd...this is the point where I realize that I chose a too small bowl. Ugh.

Bowl switch...and lemon juice squeeze. Also, I have a thing for kitchen gadgets.

Sometimes, I'll put a little bit of honey on the fruit once I have it in my bowl. I'm scared to try it on the entire salad because I'm afraid it will just make a mess.

Anyway, while most of our groceries come from Publix, we get a few odds and ends at Costco. One of those is our meat. It's typically cheaper, and I'm able to portion it out, freeze it, and then use as needed. One of the meat items we get from Costco is ground beef. They have it offered in patties for the same price/pound as just a big hunk. I get the patties, because I can put two patties in a quart-sized baggie, and it's about a pound, which is what most recipes call for. Easy, and so worth it. 

Most of these quick tips are probably things you're already doing, they were "duh" moments for me, and on the off-chance that any of you were struggling like I was, I thought I'd share!

What is your MUST-DO grocery tip? I'd love for you to share in the comment section!

Happy Summer, Eating, and Planning!


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