As a busy mom or someone with a hectic schedule, I know that standing for hours in the kitchen is just not practical. There’s so much that happens during the day that cracking your head on what to cook next is the last thing you’d want to do. Trust me, I get it.
But, any mom would know that creating fresh and exciting meals is so important for the health of the kids – and that means spending some time cooking in the kitchen.
While I spend some of my hours cooking, I often try and reduce as much time as possible because well… after a long day, all I’d like to do is relax before the start of the next busy day. That’s why I’ve found these useful ways of spending less time cooking has saved me so much effort and frustrations.
Living a busy lifestyle
As you probably know by now, home cooked meals is the best option if you’re looking to have healthy and delicious food that’s freshly served. But, if I’m completely honest, it can be a little daunting to think about all the energy it takes to cook up meals from scratch. Just the thought of it can be so demotivating that stopping at a fast food restaurant seems like a good idea.
If you’re someone who loves to cook, then that’s perfect because you don’t have much convincing to do. But, if you’re anything like me, then you’d probably prefer to spend as little time preparing meals as possible, right?
I know that you barely have enough time for yourself, so what more the time spent in the kitchen? It’s understandable that life gets in the way sometimes, and certain things take a back seat – including home made meals.
Because of this, many people rely solely on ready made meals that aren’t as tasty and honestly, aren’t as healthy either. You shouldn’t have to spend hours in the kitchen especially if that would conflict with some alone time before the next day begins.
That’s why I’ve mentioned some tips that can get you from feeling really fatigued in the kitchen to making meals in half the time.
Ready? Let’s go!
#1. Cookers are Time Savers
Ever wondered what the big deal is with home cookers? If you haven’t gotten round to preparing your meals with a rice cooker, then you’re sure to be obsessed with it. Cookers save a lot of time and effort that you would have to otherwise put in. Whether it’s a rice cooker or meat griller, you’re always guaranteed quality food that is cooked to the right measurements.
I’m personally a huge fan of using kitchen appliances to do some of the cooking for me. I’ve noticed that while given a helping hand, my cooking time is split in half the time.
So, if you haven’t looked into such cooking items, try it out especially if you’re always busy. But, I do have to warn you that it does get addictive having an appliance do most of the work for you!
#2. Meal Prepping is Genius
Meal prepping is another fantastic time saver for any busy cook out there. Preparing all your ingredients in advance means two things: you get to plan out your meals way ahead, plus you don’t have to start cooking from scratch.
Why I love meal prepping is because it ensures I stick to the budget, don’t waste food, ingredients are ready for cooking, and I don’t have to be tempted to stop at a restaurant… no judgement here though.
I can’t forget to mention that prepping your meals way in advance is a practical method of planning your daily meals. And, the best part of it all is that you don’t have to be stuck with just one meal type for days at a time. If you prepare different meals for the coming days, you’d definitely have a variety to choose from.
#3. Cook Easy Meals During the Week
With busy schedules and stressful careers, cooking difficult meals during the week just isn’t practical for a lot of people. I know for myself, I always gravitate towards cooking easier dishes that don’t require too much time from me. Pasta, lasagna and grilled chicken and potatoes are some easy dishes that doesn’t need your undivided attention to make.
But, when you’re feeling energized and ready to cook up a storm, you can then make more complicated dishes that you can put your love into. There’s nothing worse than cooking with little care for the meal you’re making. Trust me, people eating your food can taste and feel it.
#4. Bring the Family into the Kitchen to Help
One thing about cooking that is sometimes overlooked is how fun it can be cooking with the family. It creates time for everybody to bond with one another, and also vocalize on how they like to cook their meals.
By giving each person a task, it can really reduce the stress that would’ve been on you to cook, clean and serve everybody. Making small changes like that can turn cooking into something enjoyable rather than an unavoidable chore.
Remember, the more you cook as a family, the more you enjoy each other’s company and remove the responsibility of cooking off of just one person. Sharing and delegating tasks in the home is so important in order to keep your mental and physical health too.
#5. Freeze up Your Meals for the Next Days
This is one of the many times that freezers come in handy. Freezing your meals is such an easy way of storing up cooked dishes for the next time you and the family need to eat. All you have to do is warm up the food, and it’s as simple as that.
The time that you’d otherwise be chopping up some veggies and heating up your skillet has been cut in half. You now have more time to relax and enjoy the company of that of your family.
I always freeze up my meals during the week, and warm it up whenever I’d like to eat. One trick I also like to do is cook my food in bulk to ensure I can indulge in it for about two days. How much you make is all up to you, it’s just important to keep in mind that it does get boring eating the same dish for 3 days straight.
#6. Be creative with your meals
When it comes to the kitchen, less is definitely more but creativity should never be discarded. It’s so easy to sometimes fall into a cooking routine that makes all the meals seem too mundane. Whenever something is done over and over again, guess what? It starts getting really boring, really fast!
So, why not be creative with some of your meals? I know it’s not practical to come up with new dish ideas everyday, but finding inspiration from cooking sites can help keep the flame going (see what I did there) Also, it takes the boring out of it all.
The next time you make a mean lasagna, try make it with a different ingredient and see how you like it. You might just get hooked on the new recipe that you didn’t know much about. Creativity is always appreciated in the kitchen.
I hope these tips have helped give you some ideas on ways you can reduce your time in the kitchen. Life gets busy sometimes, especially when you have the kids and the home to take care of. But, one thing that should never be compromised is delicious and healthy home cooked meals. There’s nothing that feels better than digging into a hearty dish made with love.
About the Author
Rachel Mukando is a certified Health Coach who coaches people to reach their health and wellness goals. She loves to find the best deals for the home which gives a helping hand for anyone living a busy lifestyle. When she has free time, Rachel loves to cook, film and travel the world to experience life outside the norm.