I like having extra time to do the things I enjoy. I also like having extra money to do the things I enjoy. You too? Great.
One easy way to increase time, money and happiness is to follow what I like to call, The Repeat Ingredients Tactic.
If you’re a subscriber to my 7-day healthy meal plan program, Real Meals, then you know that I love using this tactic in our plans to keep things simple, fresh and fun.
Today, I’m sharing the 3-step process with you so that you can practice this simple tactic on your own.
And, if you like these tips, share them with your friends and feel good about helping me grow my business :)
What is The Repeat Ingredients Tactic?
Select 5 ingredients each week that you’ll use to prepare the majority of your meals. Then prepare these foods in different ways to increase variety while saving time and money.
Step #1: Choosing the Ingredients
I take inventory on the foods that are already in the house. Maybe I have a bag of frozen veggies, a freezer full of salmon fillets or a bunch of mixed greens that need to be used up. Things like oils, nut butters and spices should be taken into consideration. Everything can be used!
Once I’ve got an inventory, I move on to the first step of choosing my ingredients.
I like to separate my choices into 5 buckets and select 1 or 2 ingredients from each bucket. Here are the buckets:
- Starches: grains (rice, buckwheat, millet, wheat, pasta), breads, potatoes, corn, cereals, etc.
- Vegetables: bell peppers, carrots, tomatoes, kale, mixed salad greens, zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, etc.
- Fats: avocado, nuts, seeds, oils, nut butters
- Proteins: chicken, hemp, beef, chickpeas, tempeh, black beans, lentils, lamb, salmon, sole, shrimp, etc.
- Fruits: apples, oranges, bananas, medjool dates, pears, pineapple, strawberries, etc.
For today’s example I’m going to choose buckwheat, kale, bell peppers, avocado, chicken and apples.
Step #2: Buying the Ingredients
Bulk is better… which is why this tactic is so powerful! If you focus on just a couple of key ingredients, you’ll be able to get through a lot of your bulk purchases faster than if you just randomly buy bulk goods and have them sit in your pantry for weeks on end.
You’re now shopping with a purpose. And this feels good.
In running with our example ingredients, I buy:
- 1 pack of buckwheat groats
- 5 bunches of kale
- 1 large bag of bell peppers
- 4 avocados
- 1 large portion of chicken breasts*
- 1 large bag of apples*
* these items will last longer than one week so I know they will be part of my repeat ingredients tactic for a couple of weeks.
Remember to use your pantry items to liven up your ingredients. Things like dried spices, nut butters, seeds, nuts, frozen veggies, whatever you have on hand is fair game.
Step #3: Methods of Cooking
There are 4 main ways to prepare a quick meal using your repeat ingredients:
- Salad: add everything to a bowl with a dressing made of 1 part vinegar, 1 part oil and 1 part dried spices.
- Stir-fry: add everything to a skillet and fry with a touch of oil, garlic powder and salt.
- Roasted: add everything to a cooking sheet and roast in a 400F oven for 30 minutes. Serve with cooked starch.
- Soup or stew: add everything to a pot with vegetable broth. Boil for 30 minutes.
Don’t be afraid to think simply. A slice of avocado with lemon juice and sliced apples is a great simple snack. It uses up your repeat ingredients, is simple, and delicious.
(just look for the BIG purple button)
And now I give the floor to you… Do you plan your groceries and meals?
If so, what is your process and how long does it take?
I’d love to hear your thoughts and strategies!