Kitchen Time Saving: 7 Quick Tips

Whether easing into new school  and sports schedules and not having enough time to cook, or just wanting to spend your summer poolside with a great book and not chained to your stove, She Plans Dinner has lots of great kitchen time saving tips to allow you to get delicious dinners on the table in timely manner.

My 7 favorite Kitchen Time Saving Tips

Kitchen time saving tip #1. On She Plans Dinner recipes, start the next step as soon as you’ve finished the previous one. Unless, of course, it says 30 minutes before dinner time, or after an hour of simmering, or something along those lines.

Kitchen time saving tip #2. I rarely do all my chopping first. I chop whatever needs to start sautéing, get it sautéing and then I do the next thing and the next. I chop the onion, and get it sautéing, and then I mince the garlic. It’s amazing how much time that will save you.

Kitchen time saving tip #3. Bake or grill batches of chicken. I often will fire up the grill and cook 5-6 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Then I slice or cube it, according to the recipe. I freeze the prepared chicken in bags, and get it out as needed. It saves time having to preheat the grill, and cook, for 3-4 different meals. Seriously, it is the difference between 30 minutes, or 1-1/2 hours. That’s a lot of time.

Kitchen time saving tip #4. Assemble some recipes before you freeze the meat. Things like Merlot Burgers, or meatloaf, or meat balls. Or Garlic Lemon Chicken. (I make the marinade, and then freeze the chicken in it.) Again, it’s a big time savings. Merlot Burgers work really nicely coming right from the freezer onto the grill-no thawing necessary. They hold their shape better. Otherwise, you spend the time freezing, and then thawing the meat, in order to mix up the burgers.

Meatloaf can be mixed before, but should be at least partially thawed before cooking, or it will take forever to cook. You will still need to lengthen the cooking time, unless it is completely thawed, but you really can just throw dinner in the oven on a busy night and not worry about it. And meatballs can be thrown into sauces or into the oven, straight from the freezer. Time savings all around…

Kitchen time saving tip #5. Make double batches of Black Beans. I’ve shared my super easy recipe for Black Beans in the Crockpot. They take about 5 minutes hands on time-whether you are making a single or double batch. I always make at least 2 pounds in my crock pot, and then I freeze in 4 cup servings. Easy-peasy.

Kitchen time saving tip #6. I also always make big batches of pesto, pulled pork, and spaghetti sauce. Like the beans, it takes a comparable amount of time to do a single or double batch, but you are saving half the time in the long run. I will freezer spaghetti sauce to use over noodles, or to make a lasagna (which also freezes well), or to use on pizza. It is a super easy and fast meal for a busy day. Pulled pork will double up for sandwiches, nachos, and tacos. Also super quick. Pesto is great on noodles, or Pesto Pizza, or Pesto Chicken, or on grilled cheese sandwiches. Having it on hand is so convenient.

Kitchen time saving tip #7. Shop only every other week. Every time you go into a store, it seems to take X amount of time, whether you are buying a lot or a little. In addition, the less trips you make, the fewer opportunities for impulse buys (time saving AND money saving). I tend to do all my shopping every other Monday, except, I usually run into one store on the other week, to get more spring mix salad. It doesn’t last two weeks-in either quantity or quality-for my family.

Pro/bonus tip: The least busiest days to shop are Tuesday and Wednesday. Older people shop on Mondays, and working people shop on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Very few people shop Tuesday and Wednesday which means the stores are emptier. Ergo! Faster checkout times.

What can you do with all that extra time?

For more tips and tricks, check out our blog. And of course, the ultimate kitchen time saving device is our She Plans Dinner menus. Our menus save you time because you are aimlessly wandering the grocery store trying to remember what you need. They also save you time because you don’t have to assemble your own grocery list. Win-win!

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