How to save precious time in the kitchen

As a working mom, I know how hard it is to find time to cook a real meal for my family at dinner time. My most important strategy is to prep things ahead of time as much as possible.

Natalie at A Turle’s Life for Me has written a super helpful post about reducing her dinner time preparation. She puts together meal components for 46 meals in about 4 hours.

I also do similar things, including:

  • Preparing 5lbs of ground beef at a time. 2lbs gets turned into 2 lasagnas and 3 lbs are turned into spaghetti sauce.
  • Turning 5lbs of ground beef into about 8 dozen baked meatballs, perfect for sweet and sour meatballs, meatball subs, or Stroganoff.
  • Cooking and canning or freezing marinara sauce. This is such a versatile sauce for meats, pastas, or vegetables.
  • Baking a whole tray of seasoned chicken breasts and freeze individually. These can be sauced or shredded as needed for meals.
  • Roast 2 chickens instead of one. The second can be frozen whole or divided up as you prefer.
  • Left over pork and beef roasts are sliced and frozen with a container of left over gravy. Instant hot sandwiches.
  • Dice cooking vegetables and freeze on a baking tray, transfer to a bag once frozen. Toss into any meal when you are cooking to save chopping time in a rush.

The most important factor is planning ahead, whether it is planning your weekly shopping or planning what you take out of your freezer. You need to think about meal time BEFORE meal time.

 

What do you do to save time in the kitchen? Tell our readers in the comments.

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Posted on June 21, 2011, in DIY Frugality, Recipes, Tips and tricks. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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