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Category: Kitchen: Frugal Tips

Related Links:  | Recipes | Frugal Tips | Barbecue | Dessert | Fruit | Homemade |
 | Meal Planning | Meat | Organization | Sauces | Veggies |

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The Kitchen, the Heart of My Home

By Crystal Miller

I think of the kitchen as being the heart of my home. This is because I know that food has an important role to play in the lives of our families. They can be blessed by the many ways food and eating is a part of their daily life. Nothing warms the heart of a husband like the smell of dinner cooking as he walks in from a hard day's work. I love how a meal can call the family together for a time of sharing and discussing life. There is something so wonderful about the smell of bread, muffins or a cake baking in the oven. And who can deny the satisfaction of sitting down with the family all present and enjoying a pan of homemade lasagna, salad and fresh bread!

Food can build traditions and memories. It has its' own seasons and familiarities such as barbecues, pot lucks and picnics in the summer, or slices of cold watermelon on those hot summer days. Or hot bowls of soup and fresh bread or a warming stew in the crock pot for the fall and winter months. How about the memories of cold winter evenings spent with cups of hot cocoa?

Food is a wonderful way to help and reach out to others and bless them in a meaningful way. It may be a meal given to a new mommy or a sick friend. Or maybe your neighbor who has had a rough day and you would like to help them in a meaningful way.

I have a large family and can spend a lot of time in my kitchen cooking and baking for them. I could be discouraged by the amount of time but rather I look at time spent in my kitchen as a challenge to be embraced and as a way to tremendously bless them. It is a challenge to prepare 3 meals a day to a hungry family and to do it in the most nutritious and frugal way possible.

Over the years I have found a few tools that allow me to better accomplish this wonderful goal for my family. I do know that it takes good planning and thought to be able to do all that I desire. If you would like a little assistance in making your kitchen the heart of your home perhaps some of my tips may help you.

*Plan Meals - it is very important to plan out menus in advance. It may be just a few days or it can be a couple of weeks in advance. But, try to always know exactly what you are making for the next day. Keep your meals simple and use common ingredients.

*Make A Master Pantry List - once you develop simple meals with common ingredients you can stock up your pantry with these items. Keep a running list of these items and how much you have on hand. Try to buy these items when they go on sale.

*Make a Master Grocery List - this takes time in the beginning but saves you tons of time later on. Make a list of the common weekly and monthly items you buy. Keep it on your computer. When it is time to grocery shop simply print the list and circle needed items.

*Keep a price sheet - know what you are spending on food items. Using a small notebook jot down prices as you shop and then keeping a master list on the computer. This is a must for the budget!

*Use The Freezer - I can't say this enough. Even if all you have is the one above your fridge. When you cook a meal try making a double batch and freeze one for the next week or for that new mommy or neighbor or for you on a stressful day when nothing went as you had planned. This will prevent you from running out to fast food and deli foods.

*Keep The Kitchen Clean - It is so much more motivating to work in a clean kitchen rather than a cluttered one. Clean up as you work.

Crystal Miller ( mailto:crystal@thefamilyhomestead.com ) is a mother of 8 children and enjoys her God given role as wife, homemaker and mother! She has a homemaking and country living web site called The Family Homestead http://www.thefamilyhomestead.com and has a free monthly newsletter called Homestead Happenings. You will find sign up information on her website.

 

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Category: Kitchen: Frugal Tips

Related Links:  | Recipes | Frugal Tips | Barbecue | Dessert | Fruit | Homemade |
 | Meal Planning | Meat | Organization | Sauces | Veggies |

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