With the impending hustle and bustle of the upcoming holiday season, the last thing we want to be doing is spending more time in the kitchen. I want to share all of my tips to working smarter not harder in the kitchen. I hope you find some new tips that will cut your time in half.
Tips to Working Smarter Not Harder in the Kitchen
If there is just one takeaway from this post it is this: PLAN YOUR MENU. This is as simple as taking a piece of scrap paper and mapping out all meals for the week. If you have children in school that take lunches, write that down too. If you know what is on the list each day, you can plan accordingly the night before or save time by doubling ingredients. For example, if you are having tacos for dinner on Monday night and fajitas on Wednesday night, chop the onions for both night’s dinners at the same time. This saves time by not doing the chopping, cleaning and putting the utensils away twice.
Set time aside to organize your shopping lists – especially if you shop at different stores. Clip all of the coupons for the grocery stores you will be shopping at. Also, take time out to see if there are any blogs that post upcoming sales at different grocery stores. This way you can get a head start on clipping Sunday coupons, internet coupons and utilize all the tactics to get coupons that is explained here. Also, if any of your stores price match, make sure the circular is clipped to your note to show the cashier.
Get into the mindset of baking ahead. In other words, if you have to make brownies for a get together, make 3 batches of brownies. Same goes for taco meat, meatloaf, meatballs, dinner sausage, chicken, etc. When you boil chicken breasts for chicken salad, make extra and shred for a stir fry later in the week. Likewise, if you know that you make cornbread every week, prepare three extra batches of the dry mixture and set aside for rest of the month.
Make your kitchen tools work for you. I have talked about this handy dandy Chop Wizard gadget before and I love it. It saves me so much time and the storage container is big enough to hold a couple nights of diced onion. If you have a handheld mixer, don’t just use it to mix cake batter, also use it for shredding chicken or pork loin, instead of using the two-fork method. Also, instead of using my dough hook on my mixer for making my Squishy Bread, I use the dough setting on my bread machine and let the machine mix the dough while I do other prep work.
Make your own spice mixtures. If your family eats Mexican dishes or Italian dishes often, make your own seasoning packets. Instead of buying taco seasoning, fajita seasoning or spaghetti sauce seasoning packets all the time, make your own mixtures and save time and money making them yourself. Even if you only use pepper and salt or cinnamon and sugar for oatmeal, mix them up together and keep in a small container for seasoning/flavoring your foods.
Do you have any time savings tips in the kitchen? What are they and what are your favorite kitchen time saving tools?