One of the things I’m quickly figuring out as I get deeper into my twenties is that adulting is hard. Paying rent every week, waking up early everyday, preparing healthy meals for myself etc.
That last one, preparing meals, is one that I have always struggled with, ever since I started cooking for myself. It’s not that I don’t enjoy cooking, it’s just that it’s not something that I feel particularly passionate about, especially after a long day at work.
When I was living alone, it was a bit easier to cook up something quick and simple without much pre planning with whatever was in the freezer, or you know, just eat toast and/or ice cream (that happened, many times).
When I started living with my boyfriend, I quickly realized that my impromptu “I’ll figure it out when I get home” approach to cooking really wasn’t going to work anymore.
After a year of taking various approaches to cooking (and countless takeaway meals when we gave up trying to figure out what to cook for dinner), I feel like we have a good rhythm going when it comes to cooking.
Having talked to lots of other couples, I’ve realized that the struggle to cook quick, easy, cost and time efficient meals for two is pretty common. So here are few tips of what we have done, and what is working for us:
Have your fruit and veges delivered
We’ve been doing this for a few months now, and it’s a game changer. We get a box delivered fortnightly, and it makes such a difference coming home to a fridge full of veges. With the company we order from, you can pick and choose what veges you want on that particular week, or go with a standard box with a pre-selected range of veges. Knowing what is coming, and when, helps us to plan our meals ahead of time. It also allows us to try out things we wouldn’t necessarily buy either, like a spaghetti squash. It also works out to cost about as much as it would if we were buy to all the veges at the supermarket, but is way more convenient.
There are plenty of companies out there, but we have chosen to use FoodBox
Stock your cupboard up with the essentials
Cooking is certainly a lot easier when you have a well stocked cupboard. This may seem like stating the obvious, but it took us many, many supermarket trips to collect all the essentials. I’m talking herbs and spices, canned tomatoes, flour, butter, a range of sauces. Cooking is so much more appealing when you have all the ingredients at your fingertips.
Plan your meals in advance
I always used to hate the idea of planning meals in advance, it seemed so “adult”. It is actually a really beneficial thing to do though, because you can make sure you have all the ingredients you need ahead of time, and it takes the stress out of figuring out what to make when you get home after a long day.
Make it fun
This is a big one for me. Instead of thinking of cooking as a chore, I try and think of it as fun. If I’m cooking on my own I will turn my music up loud, sing along, and treat it as some “me time”.
Alternatively, treat it as a chance to spend some quality time with your partner. Divide out the tasks, listen to some music, have a good chat, and enjoy doing something productive together.
And lastly…here are a few of my go to meals
Here are some of the meals that have been on rotation at my place lately. Keeping in mind that it’s winter, so we are opting to make heartwarming dishes.
- Soups – Easy, tasty and they can last for several meals.
- Pies – My favourite at the moment are a good old bacon and egg pie, or a chicken pie. Again, these will last for a few meals, and are so quick and easy.
- Spaghetti bolognaise/nachos and other mince based meals. These use few ingredients (which you will probably already have in your cupboard) and always taste good.
What are your go to meals? And what tips do you have for the twenty-something couple trying to cook at home?