By Genevieve Mollitor
Cooking can be fun and delicious, especially when you get that sense of accomplishment after you’ve whipped up some mouth-watering plate of tasty goodness and you know that it was your efforts that made that creation a success. Even if some random third-party still thinks the konbini egg sandwiches taste better than yours, we all know that both you and your friends will be much more impressed and satisfied with a good ole homemade egg sandwich. So fork all those beachy food critics and make yourself a meal plan to lessen your reliance on those pricey, debatably unhealthy pre-made meals and up your cooking XP to the next level!
Making a Meal Plan 101
Let’s start with a simple 1-week meal plan from Sunday to Saturday. It’s straightforward and easily fits into the schedule of those with busy work weeks who’d rather go shopping just once a week.
- Fill out a meal plan chart. You can find some online to print off, or just draw a grid on the back of a spare piece of paper. Here’s my example below : Just think about what your plans are that week. It’s okay to add eating out to your plan, but challenge yourself to have 80% of your meals be self-made. *To all those lucky enough to get kyuushoku, enjoy it while it lasts*
- Once you have your meals planned out, the next step is to write a list of stuff you’ll need to buy from the store. e.g., bunch of 5 bananas, eggs, pasta, marinara sauce, etc. This will make your shopping experience that much easier. *pro tip: write your list out in both English and Japanese; it’ll help you at the store if there’s something you can’t find #googletranslate*
- Go to the store. I believe in you. The annoying song played on repeat believes in you. Voldemort does not believe in you…
- On the weekend (or weekday), when you have time to spare, pre-prepare anything that you think will be a hassle to prepare later in the week. e.g., cook 4 cups of rice on Sunday to save time, portion it out into separate containers or plastic wrap and freeze. You can take one portion out and pop it in the microwave for a couple minutes later in the week.
- Follow your plan! Prepare, cook and eat meals as per your chart. You’ll feel all the better for having accomplished this goal. If something wasn’t so good or took too long to prepare, then just change it the next week. Don’t let one mendokusai moment stop you on your journey toward independent cooking success.