After a long day at work or trucking the kids around to various activities, cooking isn’t exactly an appealing task to close out your day with. By now, you’ve surely mastered a system that allows you to complete most of your tasks for the day, cook a well-balanced meal for your family, and give yourself time to relax afterwards… Right? If only it were that easy. No one can ever complete everything they set out to do, but at least your time in the kitchen can be decreased. Here are some ideas to help you get through your kitchen-based tasks faster.
1. Plan Your Meals
On the weekend, before you do your weekly grocery shopping, plan out your meals for the week. Decide what you will cook for each day and buy the ingredients accordingly. By planning your meals, you can save yourself the added stress of deciding what to make at 5pm on Tuesday night when the kids are all complaining of hunger.
2. Invest in Your Appliances
Efficiency in the kitchen can have a lot to do with the equipment you use. Make sure your appliances do the job you want them to do. It is no use cooking with outdated machines that take more time because they do not work properly. Consider updating to make your time in the kitchen both enjoyable and quick. For top-of-the-line appliances, look at the options offered by companies like ASKO; it’s not as difficult as you may think to find reliable and good-looking kitchenware at affordable prices.
3. Organise the Pantry
A well-organised pantry can save you a massive headache in the long run. Group foods together by when and how you use them. When you put away your groceries, make sure you’re not just shoving everything in without any order. The same goes for the inside of your fridge. You will save yourself a lot of time and energy if you know exactly what you are looking for and where to find it.
4. Schedule Dinner
Schedule your dinner for the same time every night. Barring meetings, team practices, and other various activities, set the time for each day. By scheduling dinner, you will give yourself a mental clock that signals when to start cooking – and when to get hungry. Scheduled meals are also great for creating a sense of normalcy around meals for kids and teaching them when it is appropriate and inappropriate to eat snacks that may spoil their appetites.
When you are cooking one meal, think about what you are making for dinner tomorrow. What are you making for breakfast and lunch? If you are already in the kitchen, over-prepare by getting yourself ready for the next meal. Cut up the vegetables for the next few nights. Put the meat in to marinate overnight. Get the lunch boxes ready so you can spend a few extra minutes in bed the next morning. Thinking about little things you can do now to alleviate time tomorrow will make you really appreciate your past self!
How do you save time in the kitchen? Post your best tips and suggestions below.