This week on the Spawned parenting podcast, I had the pleasure of chatting with Suzy Chase, host of the #1 cookbook podcast, Cookery by the Book. After speaking with nearly 200 cookbook authors, restauranteurs, famous chefs and skilled home cooks over the years, Suzy shared some of her best tips tips for families. Especially when it comes to the pain that is weekly meal-planning.

(You know what I’m talking about! And, so does Suzy.)

While we’ve shared lots of tips for reheating, reusing, and simply planning ahead through our weekly meal plans, here’s one I’d never heard before.

And it’s wonderful.

Related: 6 of the best cooking and meal-planning skills for Alexa for a 21st century kitchen

The Nimble Cook by Ronna Welsh

In her episode interviewing chef Ronna Welsh, author of The Nimble Cook: New Strategies for Great Meals That Make the Most of Your Ingredients, Suzy picked up this amazing meal-planning tip:

Take inventory of what’s in your fridge, write it down, and tape it to the door. Like a grocery list, after you’ve shopped. That way you know exactly what you have at all times, and can think about how to make the best use of all those ingredients, with a lot less waste in the¬†one run.

It takes so little time!

Ronna went on to say in the episode,¬†After we take stock of what we have, we want to create what I call starting points. That’s really basically saying, “What do I do with what I have?

Bonus: This trick also ¬†means your kids don’t have to yell WHAT CAN I EAT? all the time, because there’s the list, right on the door. (Not just me, right?)

Take a listen to the episode¬†for more terrific tips and ideas for families, and while you’re at it,¬†click over to read the 11 new cookbooks for families that we think parents should check out. ¬†One just may make a big difference in your own family.

Top image: Scott Warman via Unsplash