How to Save Time When Cooking

How to Save Time When Cooking

We all have to eat to survive, which means we should all cook – buying microwave food or ordering takeout is not a good idea for your health or budget. However, cooking can take a long time, and when you’re busy with work and family responsibilities, spending an hour or more in the kitchen, plus clean-up time, doesn’t seem like something you want to do.

Luckily, there are some useful tips you can use to help you save time when you’re cooking to ensure that it no longer feels like such a difficult thing to do. This way, you’ll be more likely to cook healthy, nutritious food from scratch and become a healthier person who is always gaining kitchen skills. Read on to find out more.

Practice Meal Planning

Something that can often take a long time when you’re cooking is actually coming up with the idea of what to cook in the first place. If you’ve ever stood in front of the fridge staring in at the food and trying to work out how to combine it into something delicious and ideally healthy, you’ll know precisely what we mean. It can be very tempting to order takeout at this point, especially if you’re running low on time in the first place.

Instead of this, practice meal planning. Take some time one day a week, perhaps at the weekend when you may have a little more time than during the week, and plan out exactly what you’ll be eating for every meal. This way, you can buy only the food you are going to use (which saves money and prevents you from having unhealthy items in the house that you bought ‘just in case’), and you’ll never have to spend ages trying to decide what to make. Of course, the plan can be flexible, but sticking to it as much as you can will help save time when cooking.

Clean as You Go Along

Clean As You Go Along

Another problem with cooking is what happens afterward. You make your meal and sit down to eat it, and then you still have a kitchen to clean up. Even if you’re putting everything into a dishwasher and wiping down surfaces, this can take some time depending on what you cooked, and the thought of doing that when you’re tired or have other things to do can mean it gets left to another time. This is never an ideal solution because the problem won’t lessen and might even encourage pests into your home. At the very least, it looks and potentially smells bad.

To combat this issue, tidy and clean as you go along. If you’re finished with a pot or utensil, wash it up or put it in the dishwasher right away. Wipe up any spills as soon as you spot them as well. Put ingredients away when you’re finished with them. To make things even cleaner, make sure you wear an apron from to protect your clothing, and this will save having to get changed or put the laundry on.

The more you can tidy as you go, the less there will be to do when you’ve finished eating. You can enjoy your food more and save time because you’ll be in the kitchen anyway.

Prep Ahead of Time

What can you prep ahead of time to make cooking a shorter process? You’ll have various options depending on the food you’re making, so it’s wise to think about this before you start. You might be able to chop up all of your vegetables in advance and keep them in the fridge ready to add to the dish, for example. Or you might be able to use a crockpot to cook your food throughout the day; you’ll have to serve it up and clean the crockpot and plates when you’re done.

The more you can do ahead of time, the better. Even if you think you don’t have a lot of time to do this, it is possible. If you work from home and take a break every hour or so (which you certainly should do), you could use a little of that break to prep just one ingredient. By the end of the day, you’ll be ready to cook quickly.

Batch Cooking

One of the best ways to save time in the kitchen is not to cook at all, but we don’t mean getting takeout – we mean batch cooking. Of course, you’ll need to spend some time in the kitchen initially cooking the food, but you would have done this anyway (and with the tips we’ve already mentioned, this does not have to be a long process).

When it comes to batch cooking, you need to cook more than you would if you were making one meal. Freeze anything that’s left over in the right portion sizes, and then, when you’re running short on time, you can take one of these portions, defrost it, heat it up, and enjoy it without having to cook at all.


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