Fortunately, I’m able to order the organic food that I like from the co-op for pickup. I can also get food for pickup from Safeway. It has more frozen food options than the co-op; I can even get ice cream.
I’m still not going out to eat inside a restaurant. However, I have gotten a fish sandwich a time or two at McDonald’s.
I’ve also shopped a few times in person at the food co-op and Safeway. One time, I went to Costco.
Here are some tips to reduce your pandemic cooking stress:
- Plan meals for a week. Make a big potato salad or stew so you can have “plan overs,” which means less cooking.
- Buy frozen meals that you can just heat up and packaged meals, such as macaroni and cheese, that are easy to prepare.
- Freeze lasagna, zucchini casserole, broccoli-chicken casserole, spaghetti sauce, shepherd’s pie, meat loaf, and many more main dishes for a meal later.
- Find out which restaurants are still providing meals for pickup or delivery.
- Use a crock-pot for a tasty stew. Try lamb for a different flavor. Figure out how to make dumplings to cook on top of the stew for an added treat.
- Try new recipes that are easy and swap recipes with friends. Research spicy sauces and budget friendly main dishes.
- Try plant-based options such as Beyond meat burgers.
- Get family members, including young kids, interested in helping in the kitchen. There are jobs kids starting at age 3 can do.
- Don’t do stress baking unless it reduces stress.
- Try meal kits.
- Set up a Zoom date and cook the same meal with a friend.
- Determine if getting a new appliance, such as an air fryer, would be helpful.
- Look for meatloaf, spareribs, and chicken-pot pies in supermarkets where they sell the hot, baked chicken. I’m tired of the taste of supermarket baked chicken, but the other items are fine.
Best wishes with your kitchen cooking time. I hope these suggestions help.