5 Ways to Save Time in the Kitchen

by Christy Laverty

I have a confession to make – I don’t love to spend time in the kitchen.

But I do love to eat great meals.

The problem is, I don’t always cook great meals. Let’s just say that part of my life is a work in progress.

These days, we all have less time to do the stuff that really matters in our lives, like spending quality time with our family and friends. Anything that can get me out of the kitchen faster is a plus in my mind. It is all about making life as stress-free and blissful as possible.

So here are just a few simple tips I try to use to help me work better and faster in the kitchen.

 

 

Buy in Bulk

I think it is a great idea to buy in bulk when you find a good deal (as long as you have the space for extra of everything). When I see a good price on some of our favourite things, I pick up extra. It makes it easier to plan meals when you know you have things in the cupboards. I am large bulk-store member and everything is super-sized, including the packages of meat. Tip – when you buy large packages of meat make sure to split them into smaller batches in freezer bags and toss them into the freezer.

Marinate Meat

This is a great tip for meats but one I sometimes forget to do. It can make things so much easier when you go to pull out that meat from the freezer for dinner that night. So before you even put that meat in the freezer add your favourite marinade to the bag. When you defrost the meat it will already be marinating.

Cook in Bulk

Try to cook big when you have time. For me that happens to be on weekends. Every once in a while I’ll cook several meals and freeze portions. It’s a great time saver to have meals already prepared in the freezer for those days when you are short on time (for me those are many).

You could even turn this into a party for other Moms. Invite a few friends over on a Saturday night and everyone brings their big meal with enough for everyone at the party to take home. It’s just like a cookie exchange but meals. Add a little wine and you have a great way to spend a Saturday night!

CrockPot Magic

I am still trying to build my crockpot recipe book but cooking with a crock pot doesn’t have to be anything fancy!  A whole chicken is just as easy to make in the crockpot. A few spices, salt and pepper and maybe some onions in the bottom. A crockpot can save you a lot of cooking time. Drop in your meat in the morning and by dinner you have a meal. Just search online – there are any number of crockpot recipes to suit your tastebuds.

Delegate

There is nothing wrong with giving the members of your family a job to do in the kitchen, whether it is helping chop the veggies, setting the table or doing the dishes. Even young children can help in the kitchen, just tailor the jobs for the age of your children and as they grow up add more and more responsibility. By the time they are teens they should be able to take on a meal night where they get to pick the meal and cook it too!

 

Do you have any tips? What are your favourite tips and tricks for making work in the kitchen faster and easier?



Email Author    |    Website About Christy Laverty

Christy Laverty is a mother and an editor for a Toronto all news radio station. She also does freelance writing for several parenting magazines. Visit Christy’s blog where she updates the trials, tribulations, and fun of being mom of two beautiful girls. Follow her on Twitter.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lisa October 31, 2012 at 3:53 pm

Great Tips! I try to wash our produce as soon as we come home from the store. Saves us lots of time. Oh and veggies like peppers, garlic, onions and carrots freeze well so you can chop them ahead and put them in the freezer. Use them later during the week to toss into soups, chilli, casseroles etc.

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2 christy laverty December 19, 2012 at 9:18 pm

Hi Lisa,

I love this tip, especially the part about freezing the veggies.

Reply

3 Scarlett Rose November 3, 2012 at 11:59 pm

When you are done with each ingredient simply put it back where it belongs. Additionally, as you finish with a dish, rinse and either stack near the sink or put in the dish washer. This cuts down on the mess you need to clean up at the end.

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4 christy laverty December 19, 2012 at 9:18 pm

Scarlett Rose… great tip, really saves on clean up time!

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