Everyone has to eat at least three meals per day. If you would total the time spent in your kitchen, you will find you spend hours each week preparing and cook meals and snacks. If you happen to be a stay at home mother, the chances are you spend a great deal of time in your kitchen, while there is nothing we can do to stop the amount of meals you need to feed your family, there are ways to decrease the overall time spent in the kitchen.
Finding ways to increase the efficiency in your kitchen takes some thought process and creativity, yet it is worth it to reclaim those hours. What could you do with a few more hours in your week? I am sure you could find plenty of ways to use them! Here are some tips to help!
1. Meal Plan
I know, you probably hear this advice all the time. The reason is because meal planning actually saves a ton of time. You may take a half an hour to plan out all of the meals and make your grocery list, but it is well worth it. Once you make the plan, post it for everyone to see. Take all the meats you need for the day out of the freeze the night before.
2. Meal Prep
Do you have one day where you could take two hours to prep? If you are like me, providing a hot breakfast for your family is hard; I can’t stand the mornings. Instead, on Saturday mornings, I prep some great frozen breakfasts for the upcoming week. You can find more tips here for meal prepping.
3. Label and Use Leftovers
Thrown out leftovers is money wasted. You might have well just tossed a few dollars into the trash can. Instead, use some storage containers and label them with the date. Painter’s tape works great for this. If you feel you won’t be able to eat the leftovers within 48 hours, freeze them for easy lunches later.
4. Love Your Slow Cooker
Slow cookers are a great investment. Once your meal plan and know the days you want to use your slow cooker, you can get dinner ready in under 10 minutes. Most recipes just require dumping all the ingredients together and turning it on. There isn’t anything simpler than slow cooker meals; so take advantage of them!
5. Use Ice Cube Trays
Trays are cheap and great to have around the kitchen. Instead of tossing out those extra herbs or tomato paste you didn’t use, put them in ice cube trays. This way, you aren’t wasting and you can pull out what you need.
6. Clean Up as You Go
Have you ever cooked an amazing meal then realized the number of dishes you used makes the great meal not worth the time? It is a horrible feeling to see the sink overflowing before you add the empty dinner plates. Instead, wash as you go. If you are finished with your measuring cups, take a few moments to rinse them out. It makes a big difference at the end.
7. Have the Right Equipment
You don’t need to go buy the entire kitchen department, but you need the right equipment to make cooking easy. First, you need to have a few high quality knives that are sharpened. Dull knives make the work even harder. Second, having a great blender and food processor can make many recipes easier. Last, make sure you have a nice set of non-stick pots and pans.
8. Prepare in Batches
Are there things you make on a frequent basis? If so, double or triple the batch. It usually only takes a few minutes longer to make a double batch. Freeze all the extras for later!