The beauty of home cooked meals is that we know exactly what goes into the food we eat. Conversely, when we eat out, we are subject to someone else’s recipes and definition of healthy (or not-so-healthy) nutrition. Here are our favorite kitchen time saving tips to save that will also help your budget:
- Meal Planning: Plan ahead, make a grocery list, and stick to it. This will be helpful when you hit the market after work at 7 p.m. and you’re too tired to think about dinner.
- List! Create a list of items that you use regularly and keep it updated. If you have a regular inventory and rotate it efficiently, you’ll save time and avoid the stress of last-minute shopping. You’ll also be able to take advantage when an item goes on sale or special.
- Chop once, use twice: As you cook Monday’s dinner, chop up the onion and the peppers you’ll need for Tuesday’s dinner. When you cut up carrots for tomorrow’s lunch, cut enough for the whole week. You’ll be thankful for it the next day! Plus you will only have to do the cutting board and knife dishes once!
- Stock up: Certain products like rice, beans, seeds, oats, nuts, and dried fruits can be bought in bulk. These store well and make life easier if you’ve got them handy. You won’t have to run to the supermarket every time you want to try a new recipe. Besides, price per pound for these is much lower than the price for the same goods prepackaged and wrapped. So buying in bulk saves you time and money!
- Stay Organized: There’s no better way to save time in the kitchen than to have easy access to all of your tools and ingredients. Plot out the storage space in your kitchen and create an inventory of all the stuff you need to find a place for, then create a system(like items together). Keep sections for the most frequently used items close to the front of the pantry.
- Use your freezer:Fill your freezer with some veggies, prepared side dishes, and even a healthy frozen meal for those days that don’t go as planned. Bonus: Frozen fruits and veggies actually have more minerals than fresh ones because they are flash frozen when picked!
- Cheat a little/ Use short cuts: If you’re super busy and want to cook a homemade meal instead of ordering take out, don’t be afraid to use convenience items, like pre-chopped vegetables or minced garlic.
- Use quality tools: Make sure you have good quality knives and keep them sharpened. This will speed up cutting herbs, scallions, and other foods.
- Eat Leftovers: They usually last a couple of days. You can also freeze part of the meal and warm it up on another night when there is an emergency. This is a great time and money saver.