Now on to my tip of the week- have a p-day! Missionaries do it, so why don't we? Preparation days are a life saver for me. I usually make them the same days I go to the grocery, but sometimes that doesn't work. Preparation days are when I get all of the food I have bought and divide it into individual portions. Now if you are rich, maybe you can afford all of the pre-packaged individual sized things...but for those of us on a budget, we know it is better to buy in bulk. It also leaves more room to consume more food than you should.
So here is what I do...one day (usually per week...at least for the produce) I take the time to cut and bag everything up. I cut celery, carrots, bell pepper strips, cucumbers, etc. and place individual portions in baggies and keep them in a bin in the fridge. Then I do the same with my fruits- grapes, strawberries, etc. and place them in another bin or basket in the fridge. I do it again with pretzels, animal crackers, etc. and put that bin in the cupboard or pantry. It takes awhile to get all of your baggies made, but then your life is heaven.
I can roll out of bed just minutes before my husband leaves for work and make a quick lunch- all I really have to do is make the sandwich! I grab one item from the veggie bin, one from the fruit bin (where I also keep whole apples and things that would go bad being cut up in advance) and one thing from the bin in the cupboard. A yogurt and a napkin and my work is done!
This also works out really well for myself...anytime I want a snack I can get just the amount I need. Because really, would you feel worse putting your hand back in the chip bag one more time or having to go get a second baggie out of the bin? I can almost always limit myself to one baggie of whatever it is I am craving. And I more often pick and fruit or veggie for a snack when they are all ready and waiting for me. (It also makes cooking a cinch too because my veggies are already pre-cut!)
So take some time to have a preparation day and see if it saves you time (and worries) in the long run!