Aussies are cooking at home more


Government orders to practice social distancing, work from home, cancel social outings and the shut-down of eateries, has meant Australians have been cooking at home more regularly. To complicate the matter, it has been recommended to send just one household member to purchase household groceries, and aim to do so only once a week, to help reduce congestion within the supermarkets. Until social distancing measures are relaxed, we'll need to quickly adapt to these new practices.

That mad rush to the supermarket just before dinner, was a normal reaction to the busy lives we led just a few weeks ago. A last-minute decision on 'what's for dinner?' could result in a quick meal coming together on the back of a flat-out day. What once seemed like a normal way to cope with our busy lives, now seems like a privileged way of living. These days are different. We'll need to plan-ahead and be organised with the ingredients we need for the next 7 days so that we aren't congesting the supermarkets at rush hour. It's certainly not a bad behaviour to get into anyway. Meal planning helps us feel in control of the week ahead, it helps our families eat regular meals at appropriate times, it reduces food waste within our homes and helps us eat the meals that leave us feeling more satisfied, maybe even saving a few dollars from the many convenient 'fast-food' options. 

One of the silver linings of spending more time in our homes, is the reduced amount of commute time. This leaves us a little more time than usual in the evening to plan and prepare a more thoughtful meal for ourselves and our families. So what are Aussies cooking right now? It appears the cheaper meats and meat alternative foods have featured in comfort meals recently in Aussie kitchens. Beef mince in pasta dishes, whole chicken roasts, chuck steak in casseroles and pies and legume beans in soups and curries. Aussie are also taking to home made bread and baking cakes more than usual.

The challenge at the moment, however, is how do we make sure we head to the supermarket just once a week, rather than making the numerous trips that was possible only a few weeks ago. Planning the meals for the week ahead could be one way we organise the shopping list so that we end up eating delicious, satisfying meals that can bring us pleasure in the absence of the many other stimulating occurrences that we enjoyed in our lives previous to Covid-19. 

So why don't you have a go at meal planning this week. Check out the fridge to find what's lying around and see if you can integrate those foods into the meals you have been wanting to tuck into at home.