One guaranteed way to save money that I’ve found recently: make your kitchen a place to enjoy being.
I’m a lazy person. I’ll admit that straight away. I’ve put off cleaning and organizing the kitchen for a long time. Since it was dirty and cluttered, I didn’t want to be in it. It was hard to move around, hard to find things, and it made cooking a pain. If cooking was hard, do you think I wanted to do it? No way. That means I was putting off dinner til the last minute, and then giving in and ordering a pizza. Or Mexican. Or whatever.
The last two weeks I’ve done three things that have totally turned that around.
1. Plan to Eat*
Plan to Eat is a website that lets you input your week’s recipes and automatically generates your shopping list. The integrated calendar allows you to schedule meals, add notes, and move things around as needed. I’ve tried several different meal planning websites, but this is the most flexible, and best-suited to our current needs.
Through today, you can get a years’ subscription for $19.50 – that’s 50% off!
I’m a gadget lover – always have been. This week, with some of my Christmas budget, I bought a new blender/mixer for the kitchen. I’ve needed one for a while, and have been putting it off. After buying this little gadget, I immediately went home and started chopping onions and other vegetables! When I have tools that make my job easier, I enjoy doing it more.
3. Making the Kitchen Easy
After putting it off for years (literally), I buckled down yesterday and reorganized the kitchen. Thinking logically about how things should flow, I put all of the “mixing” (chopping, stirring, blending, etc.) stuff together, all of the pots, pans, and bakeware in one area, and all of the serving dishes in another. This has made moving around the kitchen so much more enjoyable!
These three things combined ended up in a very profitable weekend that saved our family lots of money and time. I cooked and prepped all of our week’s meals, and they are in the freezer ready to go.
This Cheesy Ham & Potatoes Recipe was super easy to put together the night before and put in the crockpot in the morning. Enjoy!
Course: Main Course
- 5 lbs russet potatoes sliced thick (apx 1/4 inch)
- 12 oz ham cubed
- 1 lb cheddar cheese shredded
- 1 can cream of chicken soup
- 12 oz sour cream
- 1/4 c. onion diced
- salt pepper & seasoning salt to taste
- Layer in crockpot in this order, 2-3 layers depending on size & shape of crockpot: potatoes, onion, seasonings, ham, cheese, soup & sour cream.
- Cover & cook on high for about an hour, then turn to low & cook until potatoes are tender, 5-7 hours
(Note about freezing the night before: I put the potatoes in a gallon-sized ziploc bag, and added just enough water to cover them so they wouldn’t turn brown in the refrigerator overnight.)
*Affiliate link – see our Technical Stuff for details.