If you’re anything like me, you’re always looking for ways to cut time — but not corners — in the kitchen. Is it possible? It sure is! Continue reading to check out some clever and easy time-saving kitchen tips.
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1. Plan, plan, plan. Creating a weekly menu is a great way to keep your kitchen time — and your pocketbook — on track. You’ll also reduce the number of trips to the grocery store! You’ll know how long your cooking will take for each meal and plan accordingly. You can also spend some time prepping foods for the week on, say, Sunday night.
2. Ice cube trays are your friends. On that note, pesto, broths and stocks, some soups, pasta sauce, and even citrus juice freeze really well and last for quite a while. You can move the cubes to plastic freezer bags once they’re fully frozen.
3. Know how to use your knives. Does it take you forever to chop up garlic? Does it seem like you spend more time cutting veggies than you do actually cooking? The problem could be that you’re not handling your knives properly, or you’re using the wrong type of knife for the job.
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4. Make meals — or parts of meals — that can be prepared in advance. Soups, casseroles, quiches — these are all tasty foods that will taste great a few days later. You can also make sauces, dressings, and other recipe components in advance.
5. Make sure to preheat the oven. Otherwise, sticking food in an oven that hasn’t been fully pre-heated often causes your meal to be unevenly cooked, and increases the time it’s in the oven. Remember to preheat in advance and cut down on cooking time.
6. Prep everything before cooking. Don’t wait until the lasagna’s almost out of the oven to grate the cheese. Chop up all your veggies before you proceed to cooking. It’s amazing how much time you save by not going back and forth between prepping and cooking.
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7. Make notes of how long it takes to make things. So many recipes have an estimated prep and cooking time, yet don’t exactly line up with how long it actually takes. Time yourself and make note of it on your favorite recipes.
8. Clean while you’re cooking. My mom’s favorite tip — don’t leave all the clean up for after the meal!
9. Skip the pre-shredded cheese — just do it all in advance! Shredded cheese is pricier than a block. Just buy a block and shred it all yourself after you buy it. You’ll save time and money.
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10. Mix dried herbs and spices in advance. Know you love that perfect mix of parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme for your meals? Just whip it up in advance and label it.
11. Keep a garbage can at your prep station. No need to run back forth to the garbage that way.
12. Make your own snacks in advance. Love trail mix, granola or other tasty snacks? Mix them up and portion them out once a week. You’ll save loads of time and always be prepared for your 2PM snack break.