Just like you schedule a meeting or a Dr. appointment, schedule your shopping time. That's right, take out your little smart phone and schedule when you plan to do your main shopping trip for the week and when you will do your fill in shopping. I recommend Sundays for your main shopping trip because for most people, Sundays have a little more flexibility than other days and that way you set yourself up for a successful week of cooking. When you go shopping, bring your list. Trust me, you won't remember everything. Without your list, you know you will spend more time trying to remember what it is you are supposed to buy, and then you will forget something anyway and have to make a second trip to the store. I have made this mistake many times and it is so frustrating. Once you schedule your shopping trip, stick to it.
Preparation is the key. Organize yourself, look at what your days look like, and schedule when you plan to cook. Don't keep waiting for a free moment because that free moment will never come. That's the thing about real life, it gets busy. Everyone's days look different. We come in all different variations. Whether you are single, married, have children, don't have children, work full time out of the house, work full time in the house, or work part time, your days are full. Let's not be judgemental as to whose day is busier, rather, let's find encouragement in knowing that no matter what path you are on right now, everyone in today's society is overtaxed and doesn't seem to have enough time in the day. Regardless of what your typical day looks like, take the time to analyze your own day and figure out when you can squeeze in the cooking.
For instance, I do most of my cooking on Sunday afternoons and evenings, and during the week between 2:00 and 3:00 in the afternoon. I enjoy cooking and preparing on Sunday because it gets me out of having to watch football :). I choose the 1 hour window between 2:00 and 3:00 during the week because at that point I have finished my morning workout, my meetings, my clients and any additional food shopping I needed to do. 2:00 is also right after I pick up my pre-schooler but right before I pick up my two elementary school kids. I know that between the hours of 3:00 and 6:00 there will be absolutely no cooking going on in my house. Instead I am chauffeuring the kids to their activities, helping them with their homework (which no one tells you is actually the parents' homework), bathing the kids, and trying to keep myself sane. If I did not take the time to reflect on my days and schedule that cooking time, 6:00 would arrive with no dinner prepared and I would immediately pick up the phone and order in pizza.