Hello lovelies! Todays post is kind of off topic for me on the blog BUT it’s actually what i devote a large part of my life to exploring over at Good Housekeeping where our readers constantly ask us for tips and ideas on how to streamline their lives and homes. So i thought i’d share some tips that work and that might inspire you – maybe not to become a minimalist (i’ve definitely tried and failed that one) but certainly to feel less frantic and frazzled and overwhelmed by general chaos in your home and life (does that feeling every go away?)…if you like this post, i’ll share some more 15 Minute Tips with you…
So today we’re going to tackle…two areas of the kitchen
So, two of the areas that drive me insane in our kitchen are the fridge and the deep freeze. The fridge because i often can’t find anything, stuff goes off (and sometimes its expensive stuff like Parmesan and that really irritates me) and i have duplicates of things that i can’t use fast enough (i just counted four cucumbers FFS!) The Deep Freeze seems to be the place where my money goes to die. My father grew up in the war and had a wartime mentality of saving and stocking up on stuff and i have definitely inherited his tendency – our deep freeze is filled TO THE BRIM with food – it’s so wasteful since i don’t actually know what’s even in there. If any of these ring true for you, here are some things to try to streamline these two zones of your life.
Start by taking everything out of the fridge and chucking all expired products. Now decant duplicates (like mustards and feta) into one container and chuck or rinse and recycle jars with traces of product left in them (you’re never going to use them). OK, now you can put all your condiments back onto the top shelf or in the fridge door, wherever you like them to be.
Now, take all your cheeses and pop them into a Tupperware that’s lost its lid and pop that onto a shelf. Keeping categories of food together can help cut down on wastage and duplicate purchases. The Crazy Store also has brilliant transparent containers for sorting fridge chaos.
Now for the veggies in the fridge – how much do you chuck on a weekly basis? I am guilty of this and it really irks me – food has got so expensive lately and throwing stuff away just feels sinful. The answer is: meal planning, meal planning, meal planning. I’m repeating myself because i’ve fallen out of the habit and need some reminding myself. I’ve fallen out of the habit of meal planning and i’m looking forward to getting more organised – all it takes is 15 minutes on the weekend to plan what’s on the menu for the week – and from there you can see what you already have and what you need to buy.
So to wrap – it takes around 15 minutes to empty and sort your kitchen shelves and to repack them so you have a clear idea of what you have and what you need and it takes around 15 minutes to browse some of your favourite recipe books to plan your week’s meals. Also, by planning you will save money – by making the most of deals like the Woolies Eat In for R150 specials they have on a weekly basis (you can find these on their website every Monday morning), by planning around what veggies are in season or what meats are on special (Pick n Pay have just had a great steak special for example) – and that way you can also cook to freeze or cook enough that you have leftovers for work tomorrow instead of spending your hard earned money on convenience food while at your desk.
Sigh, the reason why i actually decided to write this blog post is because i recently found a box of scallops (which i love) that i must have bought a year ago at great expense and which we’ve never cooked. In amongst enough loaves of bread to feed a small school for a day and numerous other ‘i’ll cook this soon’ items – you know the drill. You know what 90% of those purchases filling up the deep freeze are? Impulse buys. Those ‘ooh, that’ll be nice to cook sometime this month’ buys. And they just sit there. Its such a waste of money but it’s also life clutter. it’s just too much. Again what i really believe this comes down to is planning – planning what meals you’re going to cook for the week, how many litres of milk you’ll be going through in a week and if you freeze bread – how many loaves you likely need for the week. It sounds very Betty Crocker but if you’re anything like me and are feeling a bit overwhelmed about life in general and hearing you need to go the shop again in between all the other stuff that needs to be done – having what you really need as opposed to what you think you need available to you can make a difference. And organising and streamlining something as simple as your fridge, your freezer, your desk drawer, your knicker drawer or the kitchen junk drawer in just 15 minutes can go a long way in helping you to feel in control of your life.
Shew, i feel better now. I feel like i’ve ranted at you enough! For the past two weeks i’ve been committed to emptying the freezer of the food that’s sitting in there and i’ve really made a concerted effort to shop less and plan more…i’ve managed to make a dent in some of the over supply we have except now i must dash – we’ve run out of milk and our online grocery delivery isn’t here until tomorrow 😉