With six kiddos and a busy schedule, I am always looking for ways to save time and energy, even in the kitchen. Here are some of the ways that I save time in the kitchen:
- Plan and Prepare Ahead
I generally plan our menu up to two weeks ahead of time. This is really the only time I am any good with lists, to be honest! It’s super important for me to know what I am going to prepare each night, so I’m not scrambling at the end of a busy day, or stressed trying to come up with something last minute.
I like to prepare casseroles and marinades, in advance, and freeze them. This is a great thing to do if you are about to have a baby – stock your freezer with your family’s favorite meals.
Hard cook a dozen eggs, at the beginning of the week, for quick and easy breakfasts. Even breakfast casseroles and quiches can be made in advance and frozen.
Remember to pull frozen foods, including prepared dishes, out of the freezer the night before. There’s nothing like just popping an already prepared dish into the oven, without any other prep!
- Stay Organized
Just the other night I spent 2 hours organizing my pantry… I was so sick of opening the door only to stare at the shelves full of food, because I didn’t know where anything was! It’s amazing how much time I have saved, now that my pantry is organized.
Same goes for drawers and cupboards. Make sure you teach your kids exactly where the baking utensils and mixing bowls go, so you are not spending extra time searching for these items when you are trying to make dinner. Yes, I learned that one the hard way, too!
- Clean as you go
This one doesn’t seem to make much sense, but it is so true that you can save time by rinsing dishes and wiping counters as you go. How many nights have you spent hours in the kitchen cooking, only to spend almost the same amount of time cleaning? If you rinse those dishes and wipe those counters, before moving on, you will find that you will be scrubbing and scouring a lot less. Cleaning up as you go not only saves time, but also energy!