The most important aspect of cooking is to know what you’re making and where to find the tools to get the job accomplished. The best way to know what you’re making is to have a good menu on hand. If you don’t have a collection of your own recipes, ask a few friends to give you their favorite family-friendly recipes and include your favorite meals along with those. You should be ready to go.
If you have the opposite problem of having too many recipes, just choose 20 of your favorites and put the rest away for now. I suggest using a folder or 3 ring binder with sheet protector pages in it to store your favorite recipes. If your recipes are on cards you can tape several recipes to a piece of paper and slide the piece of paper into your sheet protector pages.
Before you go grocery shopping, pick your meals from your recipe book and make sure to write down the items you need for those recipes. You then have your grocery list AND your meal planning list.
To make your cooking time easier I suggest grouping the items in your kitchen into 3 categories or centers. You need a baking center with items such as a mixer, spices, flour, measuring cups, spoons, and anything you might use for baking. You need a cooking center with your pots, pans, cooking utensils, some spices and anything else you might need to have on hand for cooking a meal.
The last center you need is a tableware center. This area contains your plates, silverware, and cups. It’s beneficial to group these items as closely together as possible to make your kitchen the most efficient.
Once you know what you want to make and have easy access to the items you need to make a meal, you will enjoy cooking so much more and have more time for things you enjoy more than cooking.