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Resident enjoying cooking a new recipe at Olympus Willow Park in Willow Park, Texas.

PLANNING GREAT MEALS WITH INGREDIENTS IN YOUR PANTRY

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If you're looking for ways to lower your food costs and make stay-at-home meals in our Willow Park apartments, try new recipes! We've compiled a few basic tips to help you get the most from the food you have stored in your pantry.

TAKE AN INVENTORY

Go through every single item in your pantry, refrigerator, and freezer. Make a list of everything. Not only will you find expired food that needs to be tossed, but you'll also find some items that will immediately spark ideas for future meals.

SINGLE OUT THE STAPLES

When you have taken inventory with meal-planning in mind, take notice of the staples, which are must-have ingredients you can use for multiple purposes. Examples of staples include rice, beans, pasta, bread, pasta sauce, eggs, and cheese.

LOCATE YOUR FAVORITE RECIPES

Chances are that the recipes you use most will use the staples you keep on hand. Compile your top 10 list of recipes, and then go through them with your list of inventory. Set aside the recipes you can make with the ingredients you have.

GET MEAL-PLANNING!

Create a meal planning worksheet of your own, or print out a template. Start filling in the days with the recipes you know you can make. Keep in mind that you'll be using up your ingredients as you cook. If you know you're going to have leftovers, plan ahead with those in mind, too. For example, if you cook chicken breasts on Monday night, you can plan on a chicken casserole for Tuesday or Wednesday.

GROCERY SHOPPING

Now that you have a plan, and you know what food you already have, shopping should be a lot easier. Make a list of the ingredients you need, and zip into the store for those items.

Becoming a meal-planner inspires creativity, helps keep costs down, and makes shopping less stressful. Remember to stay flexible, and be able to fall back on something simple if a recipe doesn't work out.

We hope you love our meal-planning ideas just as much as our Weatherford apartments. Check out the rest of our" blog for more at-home ideas. Contact us to learn more about Olympus at Willow Park.

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