It can be a lot of fun to cook up a special meal or put together your favorite recipe. You likely have dishes that are family favorites that you prepare every week. Or perhaps you have an old recipe that has been passed down from generation to generation that you only make on special occasions. Maybe you’ve discovered new foods or even whole new cuisines as an adult that you’re eager to try! Trying new foods and new dishes can be a great way to expand your cooking repertoire and bring a little bit of change into your life.
The drawback of cooking every day is that it can be very time-consuming. You have to plan out your meals each week and then go shopping for groceries. After you’ve done that, you still have to do all the meal prep and clean up all the dirty dishes afterwards. With all of this work to do, sometimes cooking can end up feeling more like a chore you have to push yourself to do instead of a fun and enjoyable activity.
We’ve got five great tips to help you be more efficient in the kitchen, so you can still enjoy cooking but also have more time to relax! Our tips are:
- Get organized — it pays to have a place for everything and everything in its place.
- Make the most of all the great kitchen gadgets out there – the right tool can save you a lot of time.
- Wash and cut up your veggies ahead of time. It can be a great time saver to have your veggies ready to go — whether you want to snack on them or cook with them.
- Plan well — you can save a lot of time by having an organized grocery list and a set meal plan each week.
- Make extras! Whether you make enough just for leftovers the next day or do batch cooking (such as making a big pot of chilli), cooking extras is a great way to cut down on prep and clean-up time.
One of the best ways you can save time and frustration in the kitchen is to get it organized. We all seem to have far more items in the kitchen than we need or use. Here are the best ways you can get your kitchen more organized:
- Declutter! Take a look at what you have on your kitchen counter, as well as in your cupboards and your drawers. If you have items that you never use, donate them or simply get rid of them if they are in bad shape. If you have items you use rarely, put them in a place that you can access easily — they don’t need to be directly in the kitchen.
- After you’ve decluttered, see if you can store your remaining items more efficiently. Put like items together so you can easily find them.
- Do a daily tidy-up! After you’re done in the kitchen for the day, put items back where they came from so you can find them easily the next time you need them!
Make the Most of Kitchen Gadgets
Kitchen gadgets can help speed up lengthy tasks, which is excellent! The key to making the most of your kitchen gadgets is to get the right ones — devices that you can both operate and clean easily.
The type of kitchen gadgets you’ll need is dependent on what you like to eat and how you like to cook. These are some of the most popular kitchen gadgets:
- Slow cooker. These are great for things like soups and stews, and you can easily make extra portions in them.
- Mandolin. A mandolin will speed up slicing and dicing your vegetables.
- Garlic press. A garlic press makes it quick and easy to mince up garlic.
- Hand mixer. A must-have if you like to bake at all.
- Food processor. Great for pureeing, blending or mixing!
- Apple slicer. Unlike some gadgets, no one can accuse an apple slicer of being “newfangled.” Apply slicers are great whether you like to cook with apples or snack on them.
- Digital food scale. Whether you’re counting calories or want to make sure you get the exact right amount of an ingredient, digital food scales can be a handy kitchen gadget.
- Smooth touch can opener – takes all the work out of opening cans!
- Spiralizer. If you like to eat pasta but are trying to find a healthier way to do it, spiralizers make it quick and easy to turn vegetables into noodles!
- Cheese grater. Whether it’s for homemade pasta or a topping on spaghetti – a cheese grater makes it quick and easy to grate your cheese into the perfect size pieces!
The right kitchen gadget can save you both time and physical effort — so it’s well worth investing in ones that you’ll use frequently.
Pre-Wash and Cut your Veggies
It can be time-consuming and annoying to have to constantly cut up vegetables every time you want to eat them or use them as part of a recipe. When you get home with your vegetables for the week, set aside some time to chop them all up. Once you’re done, put them in air-tight containers.
Now, whether you need your vegetables for a quick bite or for a stew, a soup, or a salad, you’re good to go! You don’t have to take everything out and then clean up every time you need a vegetable. You just reach in the fridge, and you’re all set!
Having an organized grocery list and a set meal plan for each week can help save you a lot of time. When you sit down to write out your grocery list, use last week’s list to help you put together next week’s list. If you’re running out of something — make a note of it on the fridge, so you don’t forget to add it to your grocery list.
One of the great things about having a meal plan is that you don’t have to waste your time trying to decide what’s for dinner each night. There’s nothing worse than being hungry and trying to get everyone in your family to agree on what they want to eat.
An excellent way to cut down on getting groceries and prepping for every meal is to use a meal kit service like HelloFresh. With meal services like HelloFresh, it’s so quick and easy to get dinner on the table. Meal kit services offer you:
- A rotating list of recipes to choose from each week — so you’ll never get bored!
- Convenient, straight-to-your-door delivery — so you don’t have to even leave your house.
- Seasonal fresh ingredients in precisely the portions you need. No more buying a bunch of spinach when you only need a few pieces or a spice you’ll only use once or twice.
Meal kits can save you time and energy in the kitchen, as well as money since you won’t be tempted to get takeout or order in! They can also be a great way to encourage your kids to cook — which saves you more time since you don’t have to do the cooking at all!
Another great way to save time in the kitchen is to make extra. Some recipes, like soups and stews, are designed to make a lot at once. So these are great choices for making a lot of food and then freezing the extras. All you have to do is pop out your leftovers when you need them, add some bread and some veggies, and you’re all set.
If the recipe you’re cooking isn’t designed to make extras, you can always double or triple the recipe. When you have a hectic day, and the notion of having to cook something just seems overwhelming, it’s wonderful just to be able to reach into the freezer and grab out your favourite dish.
Whether you like chicken enchiladas, vegetarian lasagna, or chilli, there are many recipes to choose from that are great for making extras and freezing them!
Now You Know
If you stick to these tips consistently and focus on planning and meal preparation, you will be able to save a lot of time in the kitchen. Having a well-organized and well-stocked kitchen can help make cooking a manageable and even fun part of your routine.
With a well-organized kitchen, you won’t get frustrated trying to find your pots, pans, spoons, and more – whatever it is you need to cook/ You can also cut up your vegetables ahead of time, so they’re ready right when you need them.
Another great way to save time in the kitchen is to take advantage of all the great kitchen gadgets now available. Time-savings gadgets like mandolins and spiralizers can speed up veggie prep — and tools like slow cookers can help you make large portions, so you’ll have lots of extras.
Whether you choose to take advantage of all of these time-saving tips or only a few of them – we guarantee they’ll help you enjoy your time in the kitchen more!