How I Do It.

Normally I would not share these secrets... but since we are such very close friends... here are my tricks to getting a healthy family meal on the table seven five four days a week.

Chicken Noodle Soup

FROZEN:

- I buy frozen fruits and veggies. These come in ever so handy. I do try to get fresh fruits and vegetables, but because we only grocery shop once a week, and I am not so great at the whole menu planning thing, the frozen subs are a must. At any given time I will always usually have in my freezer: chopped onion, chopped green pepper, peas, green beans, carrots, corn, mushrooms, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries.

- I buy meat in bulk and then freeze it in smaller portions. This is also super helpful because it saves money (buying in bulk) and keeps me from having to run out and grab various meats when I feel inspired to cook. At any given time I try to have the following meats in my freezer: chicken thighs, turkey thighs, ground beef, meatballs (beef or turkey), fish (usually an inexpensive whitefish), chicken fingers, and often a whole roasting chicken.

Blueberry Applesauce Pancakes

CANNED & JARRED:

I keep an assortment of canned or jarred goods on hand too. Specifically, black beans, green beans, peas, corn, garlic, diced tomatoes, chicken and rice soup, cream of mushroom soup, water chestnuts, mushrooms, artichoke hearts, spaghetti sauce refried beans, coconut milk, applesauce, peanut butter, olive oil, mayonnaise, ketchup, vinegar, jelly, soy sauce and salsa.

Spicy Vegetable Curry

DRY GOODS:

Every meal needs its starch, so I keep these around because they don't go bad quickly: pasta, rice, dry potatoes, Bisquick (or similar pancake type mix), couscous. Seasoning is also SO important and I use these: italian dressing seasoning packets, curry powder, beef bouillon cubes, chicken bouillon cubes, Aunt Cora's Soulful Seasoning, salt and pepper.

STAPLES:

The more perishable goods (not including fruit and veggies) I religiously keep around are: milk, eggs, sour cream, vanilla yogurt, cottage cheese, shredded cheese, an onion and bread (often times I'll keep a loaf in the freezer so I know I won't run out).

Chicken & Rice Soup Casserole

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If you keep the above items on hand (most of which do not spoil quickly, and many of which will keep in excess of six months), you will always be able to whip up a meal to suit nearly anyone's tastes! Also, these are all foods that take little or no preparation and go well in crock pot or casserole dishes.

So, there. You have my secrets.

Originally posted here.

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