One of the best things about summer time, is the bounty of fresh food that is just a short drive from where you live. If you live near a community garden, farmers market, or even a local farm, you have access to some amazing produce.
As we all know, it can be really hard to find time to cook, and sometimes even eat, what we actually want, especially as we get older. But you can change that, and I am here to help you with how you can. In this post, I am going to give you 30 tips for saving time in the kitchen. I hope you find some of these tips useful.
1. Use The Slow Cooker
If you have never used a slow cooker, you really need to give it a try. It makes everything much easier when you have a slow cooker, and there are so many ways you can use it.
2. Use Bulk Ingredients
When you buy ingredients in bulk, it is much cheaper than buying smaller quantities. Even the smallest pack of carrots is usually half the price of a single pack in a shop. Buying in bulk also means you can control what goes into your food, as there are more ingredients, you can control the types of ingredients you use.
3. Get The Most Out Of Bulk Ingredients
If you have some bulk ingredients, try to get the most out of them. This means trying to use them in lots of different recipes, and using them in creative ways, rather than just simply adding them to whatever you feel like making.
4. Get Yourself A Kitchen Scale
It is quite annoying to make something, only to find out that the volume of something in your recipe is a little bit off. By getting yourself a kitchen scale, it will help you to keep track of what you have cooked, as well as ensure that you don’t put in too much of one ingredient.
5. Cut Out Time Wasting Recipes
If you have ever looked at an ingredient list, and wondered why a recipe has a long list of ingredients, and then you look at the ingredients list for the last recipe you made, you might find that the ingredients are much the same. It is worth it to cut out the time and effort by creating your own recipes. It is also worth it to invest in a good quality knife.
7. Use The Leftovers
As well as throwing out food in the bin, it is worth using what is left over to create a delicious and nutritious meal the next day. Some ideas to get you started:
- Baked potatoes and sweetcorn
- Crisp potato and bean salad
- Quinoa porridge
- Savoury pasta salad
8. Make Lists
Make a list of all the ingredients and methods of cooking you like, and a list of foods you like, and a list of health and nutrition food group you would like to eat more of. Do this now, and if you plan well, you will have a list of foods you can cook when you feel like it, when you have some time to spare.
9. Plan for Variety in Advance (Not on a Whim)
If you are having the same meal for lunch every day, or even every week, it will soon get boring. You need to break up your routine so that you have variety. Try to vary your lunch box so that you are not stuck with the same old lunch every day. If you have some time on your lunch break, it is worth making a list of lunches, and making your own lunches. Or, if you are short of time, you can still go to your local supermarket and buy a pack of your favourite food to munch on during the day while you figure the rest out.
10. Try Desserts
Have you ever considered having a dessert for breakfast? Or maybe an afternoon snack? The idea of healthy desserts is slowly catching on, and healthy desserts are slowly making a name for themselves. They generally take a lot less time to make than full meals too, so they’re a good time saving lifehack to try out.
11. Try Eating Your Breakfast in Bed
You can have an easy and quick breakfast in bed, or you can go to your local coffee shop for a cappuccino and get some reading done. Of course, you have to get up first!
12. Make a Picnic
If you really want to eat healthy, go to your favorite park or playground and sit down with your family. What if you invited some friends and had a picnic? It would be an easy way to have a healthy meal and stay outside! You’re saving time here by combining your kitchen prep time with an opportunity for a nice day out at a social gathering with your family and friends.
13. Set Your Home for Breakfast
If you’re going to have your regular breakfast routine, start it at home and then take more of a hands-off approach. Make some toast or boil a few eggs on the stove, make some bacon or grill a couple of your favorite breakfast meats. Put out your food, get your morning coffee on, and spend your time relaxing in your own home. It makes the whole process of starting your day simple.
14. Make Your Own Omelet
Omelets are a great, time-saving way to make breakfast or lunch. You can buy ready-made omelets from the store, or you can make them yourself. It’s easy to do in a pan on the stove, or you can buy pre-made frozen versions that you can pop into the microwave. It’s a great way to include more fruit and veggies into your diet.
15. Have Lunch or Dinner at a Restaurant
If you’d like to save time (and sometimes money too), it can be helpful to go out for dinner. You don’t have to always cook a meal at home, you don’t have eat healthy all the time — you can just go out and eat. You can make reservations or just grab something on the street. Or, if you’d like, go out to eat during the day, and then cook a healthy meal at night to make up for it.
16. Have Pizza for Breakfast
Pizza is a great breakfast food. You can make it at home in a regular home kitchen, or you can go to a restaurant, or you can find a pizza place that makes delicious breakfast pizzas. You can have your regular healthy breakfast at lunch, or enjoy a pizza breakfast, instead of eating a heavy breakfast that would make you feel sluggish all day.
17. Take a Break
Instead of just preparing one meal, try preparing multiple meals and dividing your time between them. For instance, make breakfast in the morning, pack it into lunch boxes, and take it with you to work for your lunch. Or prepare a lunch the night before and take it to work the next day.
18. Make a Sandwich
Sometimes it’s easier to grab a sandwich or eat a bowl of cereal than to heat up the microwave and cook a whole meal. Or, you can create a whole meal using ingredients that you already have in the kitchen. For instance, you can eat a sandwich for breakfast, which will take you 30 seconds, but it will fill you up and give you energy. You can buy the ingredients at the store, or you can make your sandwich using ingredients that you already have on hand.
19. Make a Pot of Soup
Or, you can make a pot of soup and refrigerate it so that you can have a cold meal the next day. Sometimes you can make enough soup to have as much as two meals out of it. For instance, a pot of chicken and vegetable soup can be made, kept in the refrigerator for two days, and heated up for two meals.
20. Make a Meal Plan
When the weather is cold, it’s harder to motivate yourself to go to the grocery store. Make a meal plan and stick to it. Make a list of the ingredients you need, and stick to the meal plan. You can also divide the week into meals and plan your grocery shopping accordingly. For instance, for breakfast, have something healthy. For lunch, have something light and easy to carry. For dinner, have a main course with side dishes.
With consistency, you can save both time and effort.
If you have any questions, or comments, please feel free to leave a comment below.
21. Do Things on the Way Back From Work
If the weather is cold and rainy, and your commute is longer than usual, take a few minutes to plan your grocery shopping on the way back home. If you know you’re going to be busy at work on a regular basis, and can’t leave early, take this opportunity write down what you need, and make a plan for which stores to go to.
Then, merge your grocery shopping trip with your commute back home whenver you can. If you can figure out a routine that works for you, then you basically have completely eliminated an entire extra trip out of the house, leaving you more time to spend doing what you love.
Otherwise, be creative and take a walk around your neighborhood. Find a store in your neighborhood that is offering sale items. You can stock up your fridge for a couple of weeks and save a bunch of money that way.
22. Do the Simple Things
When you’re busy, it’s easy to get distracted by the things you have to do. Do the things that are simple and don’t take too much of your time. Buy a dozen eggs and prepare them for breakfast. Buy a bag of oranges and juice them. Instead of having to buy an expensive lunch, just make a simple and delicious salad, with ingredients that you already have on hand.