These are the general rules I abide by, and these tips help to keep the kitchen as streamlined and enjoyable to cook in as possible. Not only do these tips help to save money, but they also save you in time spent cooking. Living like this adds to health and peace, and you can pick and choose the guidelines you want to live by, and personalize everything to your liking.
1. Soups are a splurge.
Soups take a lot to heat, to prepare and a lot of specialty ingredients or herbs. Bone broths have naturally occurring MSG which can lead to migraines, as with a dairy base. My life improved tremendously after I eliminated making soup at home for the most part, even though nobody loves dipping bread in soup more than me! No microwave is necessary when my side is always rice. I still have a soup from time to time, but it’s as often as I bake: about once a month.
2. Crackers over bread.
It’s easy to overeat because sandwiches come in a specific size. Crackers encourage you to eat until you’re full. That’s what I love about eating at home: It encourages to listen to your body. No predetermined amount. Crackers are also better than bread because they don’t weigh on energy nearly as much and also store significantly longer and more compactly. They don’t require a toaster either!
3. Water over everything else.
Filtered water, no beans, no sugar, no flavor, no ice, no lemon. Wow, what a beautiful thing! So simple. So pure. No more lugging in drinks for soups and with extra sugar that we don’t need. In fact, sugar is linked to two of the biggest killers in the US currently: heart disease and cancer. Better for our health, wallet, and most of all, storage space. Tea is the next minimalist drink after water because leaves store compactly.
4. Keep smoothies simple.
Can you get all smoothies down to 3-5 ingredients? It’s worth a try.
5. Condense recipe cards.
I’d rather have 5-10 amazing recipes with one simple side like rice than many cookbooks that will collect dust and grease. When you cook similar recipes again and again, the recipe card instructions can shrink. Condensing cards makes preparing, shopping for ingredients, and drawing up shopping lists easy. When the food is high quality, you barely miss the variety. Most of us eat out of the house at least once a week, so we will still have novelty where it comes to food.
6. Baking, to a minimum.
I don’t eat bacon at home anymore, which I always fried in the oven to avoid splatters. Pork in general wasn’t worth it for me, but if it is for you, not a big deal. However, baked goods definitely weigh on mood and weight. People that suffer from depression are often told to watch sugars and carbohydrates. No sooner way to bring down mood and energy in a cubicle than to have bread at lunch.
Why not buy baked goods out if you must have them, instead of make them? I cannot tell you how great it is to never have to clean the oven, to not store many ingredients only required to bake bread. Microwaves and ovens barely used means efficient meal prep, quick cleaning, and very little kitchenware required. Baking requires so many ingredients and kitchenware.
7. Freezer goods, to a minimum.
Leftovers and mixed veg kept to a minimum is very nice. A clean freezer and fridge makes sure that nothing goes to waste. Fewer condiments mean greater health. The only thing I keep in the freezer are ingredients for smoothies and protein. Jamming the freezer full will mean a lot of freezer clean-out; things will be forgotten and containers will warp. Disregard this tip if you never have waste in the freezer or if you can already see everything easily.
By keeping ingredients few though, I don’t have to label everything: Everything gets used in a reasonable time.
Simplicity rewards in surprising ways. The closer we get to the core, the more meaningful and healthy life becomes. I call this effortless living.