Time is the world’s most precious commodity, and moms always seem to run short. Amongst all the juggling that must be done with kids, schedules, appointments, daycare drop-offs, and PTA meetings, there are rarely opportunities to cut corners. What if I told you there are ways to save time (and a bit of sanity) while in the midst of the chaos and beauty of motherhood? Here are five ways to save time in the kitchen for even the busiest of moms.
Upgrade your appliances
When planning your kitchen remodel, look into modern options that improve safety features and save time. Consider an induction oven. They are growing more affordable and with the benefit of having only the induction compatible cookware heat up, you don’t have to worry about leaving the burner on and creating a gnarly accident. Since it’s only the pots getting hot, you also save time and money on heating. Over the years, the amount of time you save will definitely pay for itself over the life of the range.
Buy in bulk, prepare in bulk
We all know the age-old secret of saving money by buying in bulk, but this trick can also save you time. Take an afternoon to process foods that you will use for the upcoming week. Something as easy as throwing the whole chicken in the crockpot on a busy day can give you all the parts needed for several meals throughout the week if you can meal plan around it. Bonus points if you can find meats on sale and use them for inspiration.
Incorporate the kids
This one seems counterintuitive because it does take some time invested upfront to incorporate kids in age-appropriate tasks. However, it saves time in the long run. Younger kids can help shell peas or rip lettuce for the salad. Older kids can practice their life skills by chopping vegetables or boiling noodles. By involving the kids, you give them real-world practice while keeping them too occupied to be a bottle full of questions while you’re trying to cook. As an added bonus, they will eventually be ready to cook meals on their own. That, my friends, is how playing a long game in the time-saving arena is done.
Create theme nights
Meal planning can be incredibly daunting. It seems great in theory and on Pinterest, but when the actual implementation comes around, not so much. To save time and simplify the process, create theme nights with some of your favorite types of food. This isn’t a new idea. Taco Tuesday, anyone? If your family craves the carbs, include a pasta night where you can rotate spaghetti, macaroni, or lasagna depending on what you have ready to go. For those of you ready to dive deeper on meal planning, read on here.
Grab take-out once a week
Along with your theme night schedule, have a set night out. Nobody is perfect and you know there are some nights more hectic than others. Go ahead and schedule a meal where you pick up a ready-made pizza or hit your favorite drive-thru. By admitting it happens, you are able to confine it to one time a week without feeling guilty. Keep a budget for these outings so you don’t find any nasty surprises on your credit card statement.
Stereotypes are slow to die and moms are still the family member to bear the brunt of the housework, cooking including. However, these five tips will help you save time and keep the flow of life smooth in the kitchen.