When you’re a parent, time becomes a real luxury. You learn to savor any opportunity you can find to rescue a few minutes out of your schedule. Cooking is one activity that can really take a chunk out of your day. You have to prepare three meals a day to feed yourself, your kids, and your partner too. It involves planning meals, shopping for groceries, making dinner, and washing up afterwards. Not to mention dealing with the temper tantrums from fussy kids who don’t want to eat their vegetables.
Fortunately, there are several ways for busy parents to speed up the cooking process and get more time to themselves at the end of the day. Here are five tips to get you started.
Prep your meals
When cooking, a lot of people think multitasking is the best way to save time. But you just end up creating mess and chaos as you rush around the kitchen doing several things at once. And you’re much more likely to make mistakes this way too. Instead, chop and prepare all of your ingredients before you even turn on the stove. This way, the cooking process will be much less stressful and you’ll get more time to clean up and do the dishes before dinner is on the table.
Batch cook meals
You don’t have to make a huge meal from scratch every single night. A much more effective use of your time would be to cook in bulk. Prepare a batch of your family’s favorite dish at the start and the week and this should keep you going for a few days. You’ll just need to reheat it in the microwave and it’ll be ready to go in a few minutes. And if you’re worried about food waste, just stick it in a Tupperware container and pop it in the freezer.
Use simple recipes
You may be a whizz in the kitchen, but there’s no reason to have to prepare a majestic feast all the time. Sometimes simpler is better. There are plenty of quick and easy dishes that please the everyone yet take very little time and effort to make. Try this crescent roll breakfast for the whole family, for example.
There are plenty of ways to save valuable minutes whenever you cook a meal. Next time you go grocery shopping, find ingredients that require less work from you to prepare. Premade sauces instead of homemade can help you out in a pinch, and items like frozen and pre-chopped veg prevent you from spending ages over the chopping board.
The best thing about being a parent is that you have little helpers who can save you time. Get your kids to assist you in the kitchen. If they’re responsible enough they can get involved with the chopping or the cooking. But for smaller ones, get them to set the table, clear up, or help with the dishes after the meal.
What other time-saving tips have we missed? Let us know in the comments!