Time-Saving Kitchen Tips

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Time-Saving Kitchen Tips
For Women Who Have Other Stuff To Do

I wish I was one of those women who loves being in the kitchen for hours preparing food.  But I’m really not.  I love eating delicious food.  But when it comes to cooking, I want to get in, get it done, and get out as fast as possible.  Through the years, I’ve discovered some time-saving kitchen tips I thought you might find useful.

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Plan Ahead

My first time-saving kitchen tip is to have an easy meal plan.  I love planning.  But for some reason, meal planning has always been a struggle for me.  I just don’t enjoy doing it.  I created an easy meal planning template to save time and make dinner time easier.  But I also wanted to share another meal planner I’ve used before.

Rachael Ray creates a Weeknight Dinner Planner.  It has 5 dinner recipes and a grocery list every week.  When my kids were young, I committed to this meal planner for one year.  That means that I did not repeat a recipe that entire year.  I can only remember two recipes we didn’t enjoy.  And after that year, I had a lot of new recipes to choose from.  It sounds crazy.  But it was actually fun and easy.  Give it a try.

Another time-saving tip (also money saver) is to plan around ingredients you already have.  If you don’t think you have a recipe and aren’t great at just whipping something up, welcome to my world.  You can always search the internet.  If you have lots of chicken and some broccoli you didn’t use, do a Google search for “Chicken and Broccoli Recipes.”  Or insert whatever ingredients you have.

Create a list of 30 Minute Meals

Speaking of Rachael Ray, she is obviously the queen of 30-minute meals.  But a quick Google search will give you more 30-minute meals than you could ever imagine.  Just a warning here, it’s been my experience that the 30 minutes starts after everything is chopped and ready to go.  So maybe plan for 45 minutes.  Still, not too bad.

Double Up On Favorite Meals

If you know you are going to cook a favorite meal that freezes well, double it.  It doesn’t really add much more time and you’ll have a meal ready to go for nights that you just don’t have time to cook or you really just don’t feel like it.

Keep Your Pantry and Spices Stocked

Only you know the items you frequently use.  Stock up on those items.  Make sure you don’t run out.  And when you get low, add it to your grocery list so you don’t forget.

Keep a Running Grocery List

Each week, you’ll need to get groceries based on what your menu is for that week.  But you should also have a consistent place to keep a running grocery list.  I’ve used a number of different systems.  I usually like to have something on the refrigerator like a whiteboard or a magnetized pad of paper.  This way everyone can use it to write things down.  The only problem with this system is when you stop at the store on the way home and don’t have the list with you.  But honestly, that’s the system I like the best.  Find the one that works for you and your family.

Time Saving Kitchen Tips While Cooking

  1. Read the entire recipe before you begin.  It’s good to have an idea of what comes next while you’re doing each step.  It’s especially good to pay attention to the list of ingredients.  If you need 2 cups of cooked chopped chicken, you need to have cooked and chopped the chicken before you get to the step that calls for the cooked chopped chicken.
  2. Clear your countertop and your cooking area before you begin.  You don’t need a lot of clutter getting in the way during meal prep.
  3. Pull all of your ingredients out and set them on the countertop.  Chop/prep anything you will need once you begin.  Be your own sous chef.  If everything is already chopped and prepared, it’s easier to focus on the actual cooking.  No one likes burnt food.
  4. Clean as you go.  I like to start with an empty dishwasher so I can just load the dishes as I’m finished with them.  Makes the after-dinner cleaning so much faster.  Also, if I’m making a casserole or something that goes in the oven, I clean the kitchen and wipe everything down once it’s all in the oven.  I love it when everyone walks into the kitchen to eat and everything is already clean.
  5. Keep the trash close by or use a trash bowl/bag.  As you’re pealing, chopping, and opening cans and bags, just have one place to put it all.  Don’t spend precious time walking back and forth to the trash can.  Just make one trip at the end of your meal prep.

I hope these time-saving kitchen tips help you find more time in your day to spend with the ones you love.  And if you’ve found this article helpful, please share it with your friends. I would certainly appreciate that!

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