With three meals a day to cook (and sometimes snacks, too), it is easy to spend all day in the kitchen. That may have been an option in past decades, but today’s women are expected to maintain a lot more than just cooking and cleaning. A lot of women I know balance work, homeschooling (or their children’s school activities), church responsibilities, children’s sports and extra-curricular activities, cleaning, and cooking all in the same day.
Whether you are a stay-at-home mom, or are more of a renaissance woman, these time saving kitchen tips will help get you out of the kitchen and back with your family.
Clean as You Go
This was my dad’s mantra when I was growing up. He always said if you clean as you go, then you won’t have as big of a job to do. My dad was right. I still use this kitchen time saving tip today, and it makes it a lot easier to clean up after the meal is finished. My key tips include:
- Throwing away trash and keeping counters clear
- Rinsing dishes when finished with them
- Wiping spills as they happen
- Keeping the sink empty
If you don’t like the idea of commercial cleaners in your kitchen, we have some great homemade and healthy cleaner recipes that not only do an amazing job of cleaning, but can also save you money, too!
Create Work Zones
Have you ever seen the inside of a professional kitchen? There is a zone for everything. In fact, if you cross zones, your business might get shut down. Each zone has a specific purpose, such as prepping food, cooking, or washing dishes. You can create a similar process in your own kitchen. Designate certain areas for specific tasks. You can also store items that you would use in that area in that zone, so that it is easier to find what you need without running around the entire kitchen. Put items you use the most within easy reach, and store less-used items on higher shelves.
Stock the Basics
You can significantly cut down on kitchen time if you always have the basics on hand. Keep enough of the items you always use, like herbs, flour, eggs, vegetables, and meat. If you have a few favorite recipes that your family always loves, try to always have ingredients for those meals on hand. That way, if you get behind, you can always whip up a favorite staple meal without much thought or time.
Prepare Food in Advance
There are many books and methods that outline ways to prepare food in advance to cut down on kitchen time. You could go so far as to try batch cooking (where you make enough food for 2-3 meals at once), or you could simply cut up vegetables in advance and freeze them. Using the slow cooker is a simple way to take advantage of make-ahead cooking.
Use the Slow Cooker
The slow cooker is the ultimate time saver in the kitchen. How else can you throw something in the pot in the morning and have delicious food by supper time? Mom Prepares has a variety of tasty and simple slow cooker recipes that will cut down on your kitchen time.
Use the Help of Others
As the saying goes, many hands make light work. Don’t forget this rule in the kitchen! The more hands, the easier the clean-up and less time spent in the kitchen. As a bonus, if you use your kids in the kitchen, they learn valuable cooking and cleaning skills they can use for the rest of their lives.
How do you save time in the kitchen?