The term ‘busy parent’ is one thrown around frequently these days isn’t it? I mean, do you actually know a parent who wouldn’t consider themselves ‘busy’? Likely not.
“Busy” means different things to us all but it’s a given that once we become a parent, our lives do become much fuller overnight.
From getting the kids dressed in the morning to completing their bedtime routine at night, it can be non-stop.
And while we wouldn’t change the fun, joy and memories captured throughout the days, there are a few ways we can reduce the chaos and stress that sometimes crops up.
Over the seven years that I’ve been a mother, there are a few time-saving tricks and hacks that have helped me get things done quicker and with more ease. I’m sharing some of my favourite tips with you to save time cooking and save money cooking at home!
My hope is that by getting your daily routine activities done faster, you might have a little more room in your day to focus on yourself. Or, at least have the time to sit for a few minutes of peace and quiet!
These tips focus on maximising the time that you do have already. I hope there are some hidden gems on how to save time cooking that you haven’t yet tried!
5 Time Saving Cooking Tips
1. Plan your weeks’ meals on the Sunday before
Spending a little time on a Sunday planning out what your family will eat in the next seven days sets you up for success.
No more standing in front of the refrigerator on a Tuesday evening wondering what you’re going to cook!
Take 15 minutes to write down your meal ideas and create a grocery shopping list of the ingredients you need to buy that you don’t already have in stock.
Then head to the store with your shopping list and you’re good to go for the week.
2. Prep a little to save time later
If the phrase ‘meal prep’ fills you with terror, don’t let it! For me, meal prepping can be as simple as chopping all the vegetables my family will be consuming in the next few days.
Or it might be portioning out meat or snacks in advance.
A little meal prep can speed up your prep time when it comes to putting meals together later in the week.
Related: Printable Weekly Meal Planner
3. Use time-saving tools
Using appliances and tools in the kitchen that save time and energy is one of the easiest ways to making cooking more stress-free and easier!
It’s also a way to make some of our “go-to” meals go further.
I love using a hand blender to quickly transform a leftover casserole into a quick and easy soup! With the cooler weather coming, this is one of our favourite meals to make in a big batch and reuse in different ways throughout the week.
Which leads me on to…
4. Make the most of every meal
I’m talking about leftovers!
Another example of how I make one meal go further is when it comes to those ‘one pot’ type of recipes.
My son LOVES spaghetti Bolognese and my daughter adores chilli con carne. So, on a Monday, I like to batch cook a large amount of Bolognese to eat that night for dinner with pasta.
Then we use the leftovers the second night by adding beans and spices to convert it to a chilli. Just add rice and extras!
4. Have a ‘favourites’ list
We keep things simple in our house.
As much as I love to cook and we eat a wide variety of different foods, we only have around 20 meals that we eat in rotation.
They are recipes that I know by heart and are quick to make, and ones I know the kids love too – so less food battles at the dinner table!
Check out my recipes list here.
Keeping a list of easy and quick meals to prepare that you know your family loves will help speed up the time you’re in the kitchen and significantly reduce the amount of wasted food too.
Plus, you’re less likely to have a pantry filled with random ingredients that are never used up!
I love the time I spend in the kitchen because for me, cooking and preparing meals is fun and one of the ways I love to contribute to the household.
That said, I don’t want to spend all day in there! Plus, there are many parents who just don’t like to cook.
I hope my tips to save time cooking have given you a few ideas to speed up the time you’re cooking so that you can use those saved minutes with your family – or having time for you!
LEARN TO MEAL PLAN – ECOURSE!
If you found this valuable, you will love learning to meal plan the easy way with me!
Save time, money and wasted food right NOW in my online course:
- eCourse: How to Meal Plan
- eBook: Meal Planning Starter Kit
- 30 Simple Ways To Save Money On Groceries
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Originally published on March 18th 2019.