two fifty: life in a tiny apartment.

Plan your meals; empty your fridge.

This is life advice more than tiny apartment advice, but we're loosey-goosey about the rules around these tea leaves.

This tip has a back story about my recent trip to San Francisco and my lovely cousin Gillian and her wonderful family and my first real encounter with meal planning. But we'll save those details for another time and I'll do my best to stick to the facts and offer simple advice: Plan your meals; empty your fridge.

Before witnessing my cousin's system for meal planning, I'd never really considered planning a week's worth of meals. At worst, meal planning seemed like encouraging another kind of neurosis I wasn't sure I wanted to cultivate, and at best, it seemed simply unnecessary. For me one of the chief pleasures of living in a big city is the number of food-hawking establishments within walkable distance from my apartment. Who needs to plan ahead when the grocery store is just a block away? If I'm hankering for fresh vegetables, there's a farmers' market just three blocks away, three times a week. If I'm too tired to cook, I can choose from one of 20 restaurants in a five block square. But after witnessing my cousin's dinnertime ritual, I realized that my laissez faire approach was actually making my life more complicated, not less.

Finishing a day's work in the early evening and being faced then with a decision about what to make for dinner left me grumpy. I was constantly racking my brain (or my pinterest account) for recipes at the precise moment that I was hungriest and my quick decisions left me feeling as though I was missing out on the good stuff. I'm the last person to knock pizza, but eating it out of sheer desperation does take away some of the joy.

Spending an hour on the weekend choosing recipes and planning meals saves what feels like five times that amount of time during the week. Using up the ingredients that I've thoughtfully procured at the beginning of the week? Well that's become just the kind of minimalist challenge I can really get into.

If I may, I think a lot of this comes back around to choice. Too many choices ultimately making one less happy than too few. This guy says it better. Bottom line: as with most things in a tiny apartment, less is more.

More on food in a tiny apartment here and here.

Tiny Apartment Survival Tips #1-76.

{More about the delicious spaghetti above coming up later this week}.
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