9 Kitchen Hacks To Get Dinner On The Table Sooner
Buy precut vegetables
This is a “no-brainer.” Grocery stores offer a wide variety of pre-cut and pre-washed produce which can make your life so much easier. These veggies may cost a little more but they will save you time in the kitchen. And look at it this way: if you are eating the vegetable instead of letting it go bad because it wasn’t pre-cut then you are saving money.
Cut up extra veggies for later during the week
For those vegetables that are not “pre-cut” like onions, it is helpful to cut up extra whenever you need some for a meal. For instance, if you only need half of sliced onion for a recipe, then cut up the whole thing and save the extra for other recipes throughout the week. This only takes 30 more seconds and will save you time later during the week.
Get the right tools
I am a big believer in getting the right kitchen equipment to help make your life easier. Instant Pot? Mandolin? Garlic press? Spiralizer? If you don’t have any of these then you are missing a big opportunity to save time in the kitchen. These tools are fun and make preparing dinner so much faster. WARNING: If using a mandolin to cut your vegetables then wear a cut glove to save your fingers
Make double the recipe
This is huge! If you make a batch of soup then prepare twice the amount and freeze the extras. Then you will have meals ready to go in the freezer when you are in a hurry. It is just as easy to double a recipe as it is to make one batch (okay… maybe a little more effort but well worth it )
Chances are this is not the first time you have heard meal planning helps save time in the kitchen. But it really does!! Setting aside 20 minutes on the weekend will save you time and most importantly save you from last minute take-out during the week. Once you meal plan you will be able to skip over the dreaded question, “What are we going to eat tonight?” You will open up your fridge with confidence about what you will be eating.
Have a bowl to throw trash in
Keep a large bowl next to you while you are preparing dinner. Then you can throw your scraps and trash into it without having to walk over to the trash can. I know it is a little step, but all these little time savers add up in the kitchen. If you are ambitious you could even create a compost bowl to place your vegetable scraps in.
Don’t peel your vegetables
I don’t peel my vegetables which may come as a surprise to you. I am just too lazy. I wash off the dirt really well and then cut. This can save precious minutes in the kitchen. This strategy works well for carrots, beets and potatoes. Some people complain the skin is bitter but it it does not bother me. Try it out and see if it is for you.
Organize your kitchen
Organizing your kitchen may take more time on the front end but in the long run it’s a time saver. If you are constantly looking for utensils because your drawer is always full or searching for mustard in the fridge because your fridge is crammed with food, it is time to organize. Go through your kitchen and make sure every item has a “home.” If it doesn’t have a home then it may wind up anywhere in your kitchen and you have to find it which can be frustrating.
Get your family involved
How does the saying go? “More hands equals lighter work?” You bet. Embarking on a lifestyle change is a family affair. Get your kids or spouse involved with the preparation of your meals. One person cuts, one person peels, one person cooks. Everyone can have a role in cooking. Plus you will be teaching your kids life skills in the process.
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