How to Create a Capsule Kitchen
I have been known to spend 45 minutes in the grocery store just to get so overwhelmed that I have to leave my cart in the aisle and head back to the car! Yall I am not even joking - this is horrible right!
For my entire adult life, my process for getting food into the house looked like this;
plan a menu
create a list of all ingredients needed from recipes
see what we have on hand
take the list of needed foods to the store
spend $250 or more each shopping trip
end up tossing half of the food away because we didn’t feel like eating those recipes that week
This worked for a long time because I had time! Time to plan a menu, time to write out 750 ingredients (not really that many but some times it really did seem like a lot), time to inventory my house before going to the grocery, and even time to actually go to the grocery. Thank the Lord for online ordering!
About the time Brody started kindergarten and our evening started to fill up with sight words and ball games, spending time doing menu planning and grocery shopping went out the window. So, I had to figure out a better way to get nutritious foods into the house… and that’s when it hit me!
A few years before this, I had stumbled upon the concept of a capsule wardrobe and loved it. Why could the same principals not apply to my kitchen and my grocery list?
Take a second to really think about what you buy week in and week out. Meat, produce, pantry staples, spices, and some odd and end items!
Creating a list of nutritious foods that the family likes and I am comfortable cooking without a set recipe - it couldn’t be that hard. So, I gave it a try!
I started with creating a list of all of the foods that we eat and that I feel comfortable cooking. i thought through meals that I cook on a consistent basis and that I don’t really need a recipe to create.
This took a little bit of time and some communication with the family. We sat down and discussed our favorite foods, meals, snacks, and drinks. We talked about eating at home instead of eating out and how we could ensure that coming home to eat was just as convenient as running through the drive thru.
After this discussion I simply created a list of all the ingredients that we would need to have in the house to produce the meals and snacks that we had discussed. I then broke that list down into sections; proteins, pantry, fridge, and produce. These categories work for how I grocery shop and bulk order things. You may find that you would like your lists broken down a bit differently and that is okay. Remember, the point of creating this capsule kitchen is simplicity for you - so do what works best for you!
It took several attempts, and I am not certain that we have it “just right” yet, but it has really made a difference in our lives. Here is a peak at our current list…
So, is a capsule kitchen something that interests you?
do you often lose things in your fridge, end up tossing out of date items before you can use them, or even standing in the door of the fridge asking yourself what in the world you are going to fix for supper?
If you know these to be true of your kitchen experience, i urge you to give this a go. it quite possibly could change the way you view grocery shopping and cooking - I know it did for me.
how do you need to get started though?
gather up your family and talk about meal time. Ask questions like
what are your top three favorite meals that we eat at home?
how many different ways do we know how to cook xyz and what spices/sauces/food items are necessary for each way?
how do we actually use the food items in our kitchen now?
What are we constantly running out of?
What items do we typically allow to expire before being able to use and why?
Be sure to write these answers out and use them to help you curate your capsule kitchen grocery list. this is just your starting point - you can always tweak and twist things as you see them not working for your family.
Once you have created your own capsule kitchen grocery list, you are ready for the next step.
Taking inventory of what you already have on hand.
This may take a bit of time the first week or so, but as you begin to use this list for grocery shopping you will notice that it takes less and less time.
Simply take your list to the kitchen and go through each area - marking off things that you do not need to restock. For example, I stock up on frozen chicken breasts once a month and thus do not need to buy those each week. i simply mark them off my list and move on to the next item.
If you find a recipe that you are wanting to try and you do not have all of the ingredients in your capsule kitchen stock, simply add it to your weekly list. if that recipe becomes a constant, you will want to add those additional ingredients to your capsule kitchen grocery list.
I hope you find this concept of a capsule kitchen as thrilling as i do! I am all about anything to make the tasks of daily life simpler. Please keep in mind that this is simply a starting point. not everyone’s kitchen, cooking, baking, ect. will be the same, so building a capsule kitchen that meets your family’s needs is the key to making this work for you.
if you are interested in learning more about creating a capsule kitchen or simply want to chat about making some changes to your current kitchen routine reach out to me! leave a comment here or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
And be sure to sign up for my newsletter to stay in the know about all things purely nutritious. my next blog post will be filled with my favorite brands and companies that i use of the regular to make this capsule kitchen of mine going!
Until next time,
bye for now!