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How to prep after grocery shopping for an easier week

Here’s the deal. Grocery shopping takes time, and putting away the groceries when you get home takes even more time. So do yourself a favor and walk away from the kitchen for awhile after the groceries are put away. And when you’ve gathered your strength again, return to the kitchen and consider doing a few of these things to make the rest of your week easier.

1. Chop up your melons.

Pull out your melons and chop them in half. Scrape out the seeds (if necessary). Put saran wrap over one half and stick it back in the fridge. Take the other half and chop it up as you like it (I cut off the rind and cube the fruit). Store the cut pieces in a bowl with some paper towels to soak up juice drippings or, my personal favorite, into a salad spinner so the excess juices can drain into the bottom. Your fruit will stay fresher, longer, if it isn’t stewing in juices in the fridge. Now all you have to do is scoop some pre-cut fruit into a tupperware and your breakfast or lunch practically makes itself.

2. Rinse pre-cut fruit.

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Sometimes I buy the pre-cut fruit assortments because I either have no time or patience to cut up fruit that week, or I just want more of an assortment than usual. Pre-cut fruit can get soggy quickly, so to make it last longer, I rinse the fruit when I get home and store it in a salad spinner. Simply rinsing out and drying the container it came in can also be enough to earn you one or two extra days of non-slimy fruit. Consider storing pineapple separately from the other fruit, as it tends to make everything taste like pineapple after a while.

3. Tear up your lettuce.

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Similar to Tip #1, if you purchase whole heads of lettuce, rinse and chop up half the head and throw it into a salad spinner or a plastic ziploc bag with a paper towel to sop up extra moisture. Chopped lettuce won’t keep more than a few days before browning, but if you cut some up now, you can grab and go for at least two days before you have to stop and tear up some more.

4. Cut your veggies.

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Not all veggies can be pre-chopped and still look tasty the next day. But some can, and if you love salads, pre-chopping a few veggies at the beginning of the week can save you time later. Celery, broccoli, and carrots are easy to store in a tupperware and dole out as needed. Peppers only stay crunchy for a day or two, the same with cucumbers. And definitely don’t cut the tomatoes and avocado until just before you’re ready to dig in.

5. Grate some cheese.

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We have pizza night/movie night every Friday in our household, and that often means making our own pizza. While I have no problem buying pre-made dough, I’ve found that there’s a noticable difference in the quality of my pizza if I use pre-shredded cheese versus cheese I shred myself from a block. I think it has something to do with the “potato starch and powerded cellulose” they add to prevent the pre-shredded cheese from sticking to itself… but whatever the cause, I prefer to do my own shredding. I’ll pull out the food processor on a Sunday night and shred up two or three or four blocks of cheese, stick it in a tupperware in the fridge, and I’m good to go for the week. Tacos, chili, pasta, baked potatoes, pizza — everything is better with self-shredded cheese!

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