After a long day at work, spending all evening in the kitchen sounds painful, yet convenience foods and take-out is painful on our wallets, not to mention our waistlines. While I love cooking, I’ve found that meal prep and clean-up can be overwhelming at the end of a long work day. That’s where my 7 Tips for Saving Time in the Kitchen comes in handy. These kitchen time savers help you enjoy your time in the kitchen and save your sanity.
7 Kitchen Time Savers:
1. Plan what you’re going to eat the night before. If you’re eating meat and it’s frozen, lay it out in the fridge overnight to thaw. This saves time and won’t leave you scrambling to thaw it out in the microwave. (Where you wind up frustrated and reaching for the telephone to order takeout.)
2. Use your slow cooker. I use mine three times a week and there are some great cookbooks that have recipes solely for slow-cooking. Don’t have time in the morning? Prep everything the night before and store ingredients in the refrigerator in a storage container. When you wake up, pull it out of the fridge, pop it into your slow cooker, set it and forget it. (Thank you Ronco Informercial creators.)
3. Buy pre-chopped veggies. While you think the expense of pre-chopped veggies is out of reach, when comparing costs for eating out versus your grocery bill, you’ll see a difference. If you’re still not sold? Chop veggies the night before or set aside time after you buy groceries to prep all of your veggies for the week.
4. Make a Menu. Sounds old-fashioned however they’re life savers when you’re at the market. Not only will you know exactly what’s needed to prep meals for the week, but if you stick to the list, you’ll come out having saved money by avoiding the dreaded impulse purchase or guess-work buying.
5. Use a grocery list. I use a pre-printed grocery check-list, such as these from ListPlanIt and Real Simple, and keep them on the front of my refrigerator. I also put my grocery list in Cozi. I may forget my list, but always have my phone.
6. Clean as you go. This is a habit I developed growing up. I load dishes into the dishwasher as I go, or wash them by hand, making clean-up a snap. While cooking, keep the cook-top wiped and clean, as well as the surrounding counter space.
7. Keep Meals Simple. The easier the meal is to cook, the less time you spend in the kitchen. I’m big on on simplicity. Some of the best meals I’ve ever had were the ones with few ingredients and time.
There you have it. My 7 tips for saving time in the kitchen. It doesn’t mean I cook everyday,but it does mean I enjoy my time in the kitchen more.
What are your tips for saving time in the kitchen?