Saving Time in The Kitchen
Saving Time and Money
One of the first questions that I get when talking about cooking and making homemade meals is: “Where do you find the time?” We have built a world were people are rushing from one activity to another and often do not even have enough time to sit down and eat together, never mind, actually cooking a meal from scratch.
Some even register dismay when you suggest taking a few minutes when you find them and planning ahead, yet advance meal planning is a great way to get organized.
Planning not only saves you time but money. There are many meals that can be made in twenty minutes or less and there are even more than you can prepare in a larger batch and freeze in meal size portions to be taken out and reheated as needed. Soups, stews and stir fires all fall into this prepare ahead category.
I find late afternoons on Sunday to be an ideal time to make a big pot of soup or stew or cut extra vegetables and bag and freeze them if I am making a stir fry. Chili is another dish that can be made and frozen for later use.
Now this time of may not work for anyone who has a family of more than two and is planning a traditional Sunday dinner. The time you do this does not matter; Wednesday night is just as good, for example.
The point is to spend that extra five minutes and make more than you are going to use and save the rest for another day.
Menu planning is worth the few minutes that it takes. Plan your menus one week at a time; just be sure to do this before you go grocery shopping as your shopping list will flow from your menu plan.
To save money and time, buy in bulk when you can. I buy frozen bags of chicken legs and pork chops from a local grocery; there are about 20 legs and chops in each bag so there is enough for the two of us for quite a few days.
A way to save money is to reduce your meat consumption; discover the world of beans and the possibilities of lentils for example. They will cost you less and both can be bought in bulk. Beans come in many varieties and work well in stews and soups as do lentils.
The kitchen and meal preparation is a great place to start to simplify your life and regain control over how you spend your time and money.
All it takes is a little time and energy, both of which can be wisely invested so that they pay healthy returns for many years.