Getting started with setting those nutritious meals down in front of your family, can be daunting. From knowing what to buy, to knowing how to whip it up in a way that they’re going to want to eat it. The grocery store can be an overwhelming place when there are so many options to choose from. Is organic worth the extra money? What is the best meat? How do I feed my family healthy meals without spending a fortune? These are all questions I am asking myself right now. I’m digging to find the answers and will be sharing that with you in coming posts.
Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like getting started as a wife has been a lot to navigate, and that includes the kitchen. People seem to automatically think, that since I grew up in a big family that I should be a mastermind in the kitchen. Not the case. I am a mastermind at doing boatloads of laundry and getting them all folded in one day! My older sister was the primary cook, and my younger sister followed in her footsteps. The kitchen intimidated me.
I wasn’t good about jumping in on something that I didn’t do everyday and didn’t feel confident in. Since my older sister had always cooked, it was difficult for her to scootch over and give me a turn. My mom was always getting on to me about not being around to help out with dinner, but truth be told, I was folding laundry or chasing my brothers down trying to get them to put their laundry away. Eventually when I reached my earlier twenties, we figured out a system, where we each did laundry so many days a week and we each cooked so many days a week.
I never did any grocery shopping. My mom and older sister took care of it, so when I made dinner, I had to come up with a meal that I could make with whatever ingredients were there. I learned to be creative by swapping out ingredients, but that doesn’t mean it always tastes good. I was very much a throw-it-in-the-crock-pot type of girl. Turns out, my brothers didn’t like One-pot-meals all that well. I always tried to use up anything that might go to waste and make it healthy while I was at it. It didn’t always turn out so well.
Despite all of that, I am a pretty good bread baker. I used to make twelve loaves of bread every week to sell at our flower and vegetable stand. I LOVED making bread. I loved kneading the flour into the dough and letting it rise until it was perfect, and then shaping the loaves carefully so that they didn’t have any air pockets in them that would leave holes in the bread. I loved baking them for just the appropriate amount of time so that they were golden on the outside and cooked all the way through. I learned that bread continues to cook even after you take it out of the oven, so it wasn’t a good idea to try and slice it before it had cooled. This again required chasing my brothers, only this time I was chasing them away from the bread instead of chasing them down to put away their laundry.
Being from such a large family also means that there wasn’t a lot of money. From a very young age I knew that my parents didn’t have a lot of money. Through my teens and early twenties I never asked for anything, knowing that we didn’t have a lot to go around. It wasn’t until I started working at 18 that I had any of my own money to spend. I barely did anything with it though. My sister and I bought a car together and then I let the rest pile up in my drawer. I eventually ended up giving it to my Dad when we all lost our jobs running a hotel, and needed money to fix up our house so that we could move into it. All of that to say, I had a hard time spending money grocery shopping when Jake and I got married. We didn’t have a lot when we started. Going grocery shopping literally gave me anxiety.
I have had a lot to learn. I have overcome my anxiety of grocery shopping, (I know it’s ridiculous) as well as learned a few tips for saving money. I’m still working on my cooking skills. My goal is to have a handful of go-to-meals that I can throw together in 30 minutes or less (Hopefully less). I have come up with a few that we both really like, but I’m still working on a way of making my meals more nutritious as well as budget friendly. I have been doing a lot of reading and watching YouTube videos on cooking nutritious meals. I’m excited to use the knowledge that I’m gaining in my own life as well as being able to share it with others.
Yesterday I ran across a YouTube channel that I am in LOVE with, called Pick Up Limes. Here is the link to her blog, go check her out! https://www.pickuplimes.com/ Although I am not vegan, I loved watching her videos for all of the ideas on utilizing more plant based foods. I’m super excited to try out some of her tips and tricks! I’ll be letting you all know whats working for me and what hasn’t. I’ll also be talking about a few ways I’ve learned to save money grocery shopping here on my next post.
What obstacles have you overcome in your grocery shopping and cooking? What ways have you found that work well for you to get more nutrition in your meals? Let me know in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you!