I love cooking and always have. But having children means it usually has to be on the table 5 minutes ago and generally needs to be fish fingers, chips and peas to win them over. Unfortunately for them, their mother is stubborn and I still try to cook a variety of food for them. I thought I would write a list of the things we do to keep home cooking as cheap and easy as we can.
1. Slow cooker!! We bought ours in Tesco over 10 yrs ago for about a tenner and it’s still going strong. I am scared of buying a newer or better model in case I ruin a good run of slow cooked meals. Especially on my work days we love these. For the kids I generally keep it to slow cooked hams, joints and chicken dishes but for my husband and I we make soups and curries with leftover veg for lunches and child free meals!
2. Plan. I know there is a bit of resistance to meal planning on the whole not having time front but really it takes me minutes. I don’t plan in loads of detail but it really helps work out what comes out the freezer and also maintains variety. If I am feeling kind I try to remember to ask for requests too!
3. Bulk cook. So as I said I love cooking, if the kids are playing nicely or my husband takes them out I do find myself drifting into the kitchen watching YouTube videos and making food. I occasionally will do a whole bag of potatoes worth of mash and shove that in the freezer or make the kids meat and fish balls to freeze. I may be weird but I find it relaxing. Less relaxing washing up though!!
4. Use the day. So I don’t know about anyone else but in our house 4pm is apparently the time when mummy is needed for full body hugs and generally be the entertainment! Therefore I have learnt to prepare and chop etc as much as I can at any point in the day. When I am feeling on it, I have even cooked the roast veg at breakfast!! Maybe that’s a bit ridiculous but you get the gist.
5. Pressure off. So I always think that for every few days of getting fresh homemade food on the table there is room for pasta, pesto and sweetcorn or fish fingers, chips and peas!! Another easy one is microwaved rice egg fried. Basically whatever I can get on the table quickly is sometimes all that is needed and if I can throw some cucumber sticks on the plate then I am winning.
What do you do to make cooking easier?! Any favourite recipes?