I’ve already written about how taking breaks every hour is important as a writer and how meal-skipping is unhealthy, so what about using your break between assignments to prepare dinner?
Homemade meals can be quick, healthy and easy with a few tips and pointers I’ve picked up from being a work-at-home, stay-at-home mother and wife.
I Break for Food Prep
During one of your earlier breaks, chop up your vegetables, prepare your sauce or put your meat in a marinade (be careful not to over-marinate and follow the marinade directions). You can even break this prep time into different sections throughout your article writing for shorter, smaller breaks.
Crockpot meals are easy—so easy you throw all the ingredients in, turn it on and walk away. Several hours of slow cooking later and you have a delicious meal ready to be served. Crockpot liners are even available in the store, providing a lift-away solution to keep your pot clean!
Make sure you vary your ingredients and spices, though, because feeling like you’ve eaten the same meal for 3 nights in a row is not fun. Look for great crockpot recipes online and change it up:
- Cook meat in a flavorful sauce
- Allow soup to simmer all day to absorb flavor
- No-hassle pasta (but, beware, dry pasta will absorb a lot of sauce in the crockpot!)
Meal Planning–Or Not
Here’s where you’ll have to figure out what works for you. Surprisingly, I’ve done three methods at different times and they have all worked great for me:
1. Plan then Shop – Pinterest boards or recipe websites, find your inspiration long before you hit the store. This method will help you get exactly what you need, but may cost a little more in the process. You won’t be able to easily know what prices will be exactly, although if you were hoping to save you could always check out your local store’s ad online and base your recipes off of the meats and vegetables on sale that week.
2. Buy the Essentials – I use this method most of the time; stock up on ingredients for meals we eat on a regular basis and only buy special ingredients if I happen to find something I want to try. I always have pasta, rice, beans, and meat on hand, for example, as well as sauces and other staple items. Fresh fruits and vegetables depend on sale prices that week and most meals are planned the day I make them.
I buy more than I need when something is on sale and then have it on hand for the weeks when it’s not. This method does require you remember prices and don’t mind a bit of stocking.
3. Shop, then plan – Just a bit more structured than #2, this method requires you to have many spices and sauce options on hand, but still allows you to plan it out. You can buy the meats or vegetables that are on sale and then when you are home, make up a list of the meals for the week. You can also use your phone in the store to search for recipes and double-check your ingredients.
The Professional Writer Experience
This process will get easier as you go. Freelance writing is a great way to earn money and learn new things; managing your life around content writing is not difficult, but may take some time. If you are feeling at all overwhelmed, check out the writer forums and see what other authors are doing to manage their time.
Alethea M is a corporate blogging guru and freelance writer for WriterAccess. She often uses interesting facts from her article research to impress friends at dinner parties. Her husband is her biggest fan — though this may be because her writing income allows her to share in bill-paying each month.