Kitchen Essentials for Added Convenience
By Donna Stark
For many of us, it isn't the fact that cooking at home is complicated. It's just that we love the convenience that comes with ordering takeout. It is so much easier to answer the question, "What are we going to eat?'" when we can pick up a meal than it is for us to plan, shop for groceries, prep ingredients, and cook before and after a long day at work. But with some simple changes to your kitchen and pantry, you may be able to find the same level of convenience at home. Here's how.
Build Your Pantry
Are the shelves in your pantry filled with small appliances that don't get used instead of the essentials? If so, it's time to clear them out. Find another space to store those items and start building your stockpile of non-perishable ingredients. Take the time to think about the meals your family likes. Are you picking up pancakes or muffins in the drive-thru on the way to dropping your children off at school? Are you spending your money buying frozen, prepackaged peanut butter and jelly sandwiches? Are you ordering pasta dishes for takeout? These are all simple meals that can be made easily and inexpensively if you keep your pantry full of the ingredients. Here is a list of pantry staples that you can easily stock up on.
- Baking essentials - Flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, spices, condiments, and oil
- Breakfast essentials - Oats, pancake mix, muffin mix, English muffins, and bread
- Lunch essentials - Peanut butter, jelly, protein bars, crackers, pretzels, and single-serve fruit snacks
- Dinner essentials - Pasta and sauce, rice, couscous, quinoa, canned foods, and instant soup
Build Your Refrigerator
Now that you've got a good look at how your pantry should be filled, it's time to move on to your refrigerator! Remember though, the items you buy for this are perishable and should be used right away if you aren't freezing them. Here are some suggestions to get you started.
- Dairy products - Eggs, egg whites, butter, milk, creamer, yogurt, and cheese
- Produce - Fruits and vegetables (frozen or chilled), salad ingredients, fresh spices (garlic, thyme, basil)
- Meat - Any type of meat works just be sure to stock up by freezing it
- Extras - Hummus, tofu, almond milk, and lunch meat
Creating Delicious Meals
The options for delicious meals at home are endless when your pantry and refrigerator are filled with plenty of essential ingredients. So, start stocking up today and bring the convenience back into your kitchen.
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