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Time-Saving Cooking Tips: How to Get In and Out of the Kitchen Fast

Jul 3, 2008
We all need to save time and money. Eating out is definitely a time saver, but it doesn't help in the money department. If you're used to thinking that cooking is a waste of time, you may want to re-think the way that you prepare your meals at home. Not only will you be saving money, but, by following these tips, you'll be able to get in and out of the kitchen faster.

The key to saving time in the kitchen is to plan your meals. It's important to schedule out your meals for the week. If you feel strange having "Spaghetti Mondays" or other specific meals tied to specific days, at least take the time to plan out seven separate dinners and make sure that you have all of the ingredients for those meals. When you're in the middle of preparing something and you find that you don't have an essential ingredient, it's very tempting to go out to eat. Instead, make sure you have everything you need.

Before you start preparing a meal, get all of your ingredients and measuring equipment out at the start. Television chefs do this on their shows because it saves time. Also get your sink full of warm soapy water so you can drop utensils and other cooking items in once you're done with them. That half cup you used to measure honey will be a lot easier to clean once it has soaked for a while.

On this same note, clean as you go. If you need to chop vegetables and then boil them, use the time you have while waiting for the water to wipe down the cutting board. Keeping your work surface clean and orderly will allow you to save time.

Try baking and using your crock pot more often. While it's not possible to use the slow cooker or your oven for everything, you'll be surprised by how much you can cook in these places in your kitchen. The great part about a crock pot or oven is that your meal can be "set it and forget it." Once you've done the prep work, you can walk away and let the meal take care of itself. This is even more true with a crock pot. It's worth it to invest in this appliance, as long as you put it to good use.

You can also save yourself cooking time each week by cooking in bulk. At the start of the week, grill several chicken breasts that can be used in later meals. A large package of chicken breasts can be used in sandwiches, as main dishes, in salads and in burritos. A few pounds of ground beef prepared at the beginning of the week can be used in chili, spaghetti and tacos throughout the week. You can follow the same process with shredded cheese or chopped vegetables. Do a lot of it once and then you streamline your kitchen time later on.

With these tips, you'll be able to cook faster and actually enjoy the process. If you've been spending too much money dining out, you may want to give this a try. Once you make cooking easier, you'll wonder why you didn't do more of it earlier.
About the Author
Jamie Jefferson writes for Momscape.com and Susies-Coupons.com, where you can find coupons for cooking essentials as well as restaurant coupons.
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