We live in a society where we are so busy with our day-to-day activities we commonly ask ourselves, “if I only had more ours in the day…” We rush to work, getting the kids to school, rush home from work and then it’s time to get dinner on the table. If you are like me, this consists of cooking something from a bag or box to quicken the process. However, there are a lot of ways to save time in the kitchen and prepare quality, tasty meals for the family.
TIP 1: Create a Menu Before Going to the Grocery Store
We get into the grocery store, especially when one is hungry and start piling in items into our carts that do not go together to create a meal. I always try to make a list of seven meals for the week, buy the ingredients for those meals and then get the other items needed for that trip. If you know ahead of time what you are planning to cook for the week, it makes it easier for you and saves time.
TIP 2: Precut and Store Meat
If you buy chicken or beef in bulk, before you freeze the meat, cut the fat off and put servings in a freezer baggie. This makes it easier for you when you get home to just grab a baggie, defrost it and throw it in the oven.
TIP 3: Pre-make Meals
If you have a meal on your menu that you can make ahead of time and freeze – by all means, do it! You will thank yourself later in the week that all you have to do is heat up the meal with no preparation. If you have a free day, say Sunday, cook up at least one meal that you can pre-make for the week. Some good meals to do this with are lasagna, chili, vegetable soup, or any time of casserole. Cover up the meal well and freeze it and all you have to do is take it out and heat it up.
TIP 4: Organize Your Kitchen
Kitchens can be the store-all for all the dinnerware, utensils and cooking gear you have accumulated over the years and it can be hard to find the item you are looking for. When you have a free day or some time, get rid of anything you do not use from your kitchen. Also, organize your kitchen so that it makes it easier on you. Put the items you use the most in the most accessible place. Put the spices you use the most in an area where they are easy to grab. This way, you will save time by not having to sift through all your kitchen gadgets to find what you need.
TIP 5: Pre-make Lunches
If you take your lunch to work or prepare your children’s lunches, pack them up the night before. This way, you will have time to have breakfast without being rushed and you do not have to worry about what you are going to pack. After dinner, pack up leftovers for yourself for lunch, pack up a sandwich, fruit and drink for your child’s lunch and it is done for the next day.
Preparation and a little effort will help you save time in the kitchen so that you can relax more – take a long bath, watch your favorite show, and get to hang out with your family. Time management is of the utmost importance in our busy society and we shouldn’t waste all of our time hurrying and missing out on life!