Meals for 2: Shopping & Cooking

After working all day, cooking can feel like a hassle, so there’s no need to make it a bigger burden than necessary. My man and I do weekly meal planning because we find that it makes life easier and keeps us from going to the store all the time, which we both greatly appreciate. Shopping and cooking for two sounds sooo simple, but I think most of my peers can attest to the fact that Mac-n-Cheese or ordering take-out is often far easier.

The Store

If possible, try to build your grocery list with the store(s) you’re shopping at in mind. We usually shop at Aldi and Kroger, because 9 times out of 10 because Aldi doesn’t always have everything we need, so our list is based on the Kroger layout. For example, all produce is listed together at the beginning followed by eggs, dairy, etc until I’ve made my way through the store. By doing this, I can easily check things off my list without searching through all the items to make sure nothing was overlooked.

With that in mind, our shopping usually begins at Aldi because it’s cheaper and if I can get the majority of my list there, I’m all for saving money. That means hunting and pecking through the list, but I still insist on structuring it around Kroger’s layout because if I only have time to go to one store, that’s the one I’m picking.

Enlist help. Shopping alone isn’t hard, per se, but shopping as a team is easier. Boyfriend pushes the cart or carries the basket, while I grab and toss things in. It’s also handy to have an extra set of eyes when you’re looking for items you don’t always purchase. Oftentimes, after loading up on the produce, I’ll send him to grab “the necessities” and meet me in whatever aisle so the trip is even faster!

The Meal

“The couple that cooks together, stays together.”

No one famous said that (I don’t think), I made it up and I want a big, wooden cutting board that says it! This is our kitchen motto. (Truth be told, on Boyfriend’s cooking days I don’t always help very much.)

Like the shopping part, enlist help: Your kitchen is a place for family. If you have kids that are old enough to help, delegate appropriate tasks to them. Cooking isn’t a skill we’re all born with, some of us have to learn.

Boyfriend is my Sous Chef. He’s learned some kitchen know-how, slowly but surely, and does all the chopping while I gather the rest of ingredients, saute, boil water, or whatever else may need to be done to prepare our meal.

Meal planning can be frustrating and seem like a chore, but the headache it saves is worth the time and effort you put into it! Plus, it’s a great way to spend time together working toward a common goal.

Originally written for the WordPress blog Taste for Two.

Featured image by Leonie Wise/Unsplash.