People today have extremely hectic and busy schedules. We are often running late on time and struggle to meet our deadlines. Chores stay pending while we scroll through social media seeing the latest updates. Our lives today are so caught up that we usually don’t have time for things with lengthy and extensive routines. Cooking meals is one of them.
After a hard day at work, dragging yourself into the kitchen to make yourself a dinner meal is very frustrating, to say the least. The result is usually takeaway food picked up on the way back from work. However, that’s not quite a healthy habit to adopt on a routine basis.
One way to make cooking not-so-hectic is to follow effective tips and tricks for meal prepping, etc. They ensure your time in the kitchen is super quick and help you save some time to unwind after a difficult day. Without further ado, let’s jump right in and seewhat these tips & tricks are:
- Organize Your Kitchen: You must be wondering how does organizing helpswith saving time? Well, the less you spend time searching for stuff around the kitchen, the more time you save to relax, later. Keeping things in order and making sure everything has a designated spot makes it easier for the person cooking to get what they need. Here are a few ways you can effectively organize your kitchen:
- Tag your jars with the contents: It is normal for a kitchen to have loads of jars and bottles full of spices, herbs, etc. Ingredients are necessary for cooking a meal. However, it becomes a daunting task if you must open jars and see what’s inside. Tagging the jars with names is a blessing for the person cooking.
- Keeping the items that are used often in the front of the cabinets or somewhere with easy access. Items that aren’t commonly used should be placed further inside the cabinets to avoid clutter and hinderance.
- Placing your cutlery near the dishwasher. This saves time when you want to put them in after being washed.
- Decide on a Weekly Menu: This might seem simple but planning ahead saves a whole lot of time. Draw out a weekly meal plan and stick it to the refrigerator. By planning ahead for the week, you save on the time spent every day contemplating over what to cook.
Deciding on a weekly menu can also help you in doing groceries beforehand. This will help save you from running to the store to get the needed ingredients every other day.
- Get Yourself a Slow Cooker: This, of course,is a no brainer. If you don’t already own a slow cooker, get yourself one because trust our word on it, they are a godsend. Slow cookers are super helpful for people who are often short on time and can’t afford to spend hours in the kitchen cooking luxurious meals. Just put all the ingredients in the pot,place it on the stove and let it simmer. An amazing, warm meal will be ready for you in no time while you relax on the couch watching TV.
- Pre-cut Your Veggies for the Week: Fresh is good but when you are short on time, having pre-cut vegetables for cooking is a savior. Chopping, cutting, and peeling are probably the most time taking steps in cooking. Deciding on a day and cutting vegetables for the entire week saves you time. However, some vegetables and fruits such as avocadoes, tomatoes, etc. shouldn’t be precut as they discolor or bruise. Such vegetables should only be added fresh.
- Using Canned and Frozen Ingredients: This might put a burden on your grocery budget but if you can afford it, nothing is as easy as using frozen ingredients. Stock up on canned tomatoes, beans, and frozen vegetables to make your everyday cooking a breeze. Just pull the ingredients out from the fridge, toss them in and you’re done.
- Clean Up as You Cook: It seems easy to just focus on cooking and do the cleaning after you’re done with it. But that is known to be time-consuming.
Cleaning up in between cooking helps to clear the mess up as you go. The result would be a cooked meal and a clean kitchen. You wouldn’t have to clean the kitchen and eat; just gobble down that scrumptious meal without delay.
- Cook Extra Portions: Making extra portions helps on the days you are running super short on time and can’t manage to invest hours into cooking. While you cook soups, stew, chicken, turkey, beef, etc., make extra portions and freeze them. Later, whenever you need, just thaw them, put them in a pot and cook yourself a meal. Saves a whole lot of time.
- Use Gadgets: The market offers an array of tools and gadgets to be used in the kitchen that help in saving time. Using a grater to chop vegetables is easy and effortless. Chopping and slicing can be done using a mandolin slicer. A food processor can also be used to chop and slice veggies in bulk and freeze.
Many other gadgets can help you save time in the kitchen such as the citrus squeezer, a garlic press, etc. These minute tasks take up huge chunks of cooking time and using these essential kitchen gadgets, time and effort can be saved immensely.
- Mix Your Favorite Spices and Store: We all have favorite meals. Dishes such as curry, stew, roasts, etc. have specific spices. You can pre-mix seasonings according to meals and keep them in jars. Just toss them over the main ingredients whenever needed and put on the pot to cook.
- Make a Collection of One-Pot Meal Recipes: One-pot meals are super easy to make, to freeze and reheat. There isn’t much science to it. One-pot meals can be easily cooked by dumping in the ingredients in one single pot and letting it cook slowly over the stove. They are effortless to cook and result in a few dirty dishes to clean later.
Saving time in the kitchen means more time relaxing. The given tips and tricks will hopefully make your kitchen trips less demanding and will give you more time to catch up on the pending chores. Happy cooking!