Ready to save some time in the kitchen? These amazing (and easy!) time saving kitchen tips will reduce wasted time, and help you to make the most of every second that you HAVE to spend in this space. We all have to eat, prep and clean up every day – but there are ways to make it easier – so let’s get started, shall we!
It’s a space where we spend a LOT of time each and every day. There’s no getting around it.
But surely it makes sense to make every minute spent in this room work as hard as possible for us, so we can save time each and every day?
Well – this post aims to make that possible – with some really handy tips, tricks and hacks to make kitchen life run smoothly and efficiently from now on.
Let’s take a look at my favourite time saving kitchen tips to see exactly how you can maximise time spent there – you may just surprise yourself!
#1 GET ORGANISED!
Getting organised in the kitchen is a very tangible way to save time each and every day.
It will save time more than anything else listed – as every second counts!
There’s no quicker way to sap the hours than to have to continually be hunting for things all the time – so firstly make sure that you’ve decluttered as much as you can, and then get the right storage and systems in place.
Here are some ideas for layout that really make a huge difference: –
- Store your plates/cups/cutlery as close to the dishwasher/sink as possible. This saves a huge amount of time when it comes to putting them away after they’ve been washed.
- Keep the most used items in easy reach, and the least used items further away (higher or lower shelves) – that way you won’t spend ages each day getting to things to use.
- Place childrens things at their level so that they can help themselves more (getting breakfast sorted, getting a drink etc….).
- In terms of food storage – use the right containers for the job – that way you are spending less time opening and closing ill-fitting lids, or taping down plastic bags of food etc….
#2 MAKE THE MOST OF GADGETS
Gadgets can be a real blessing in the kitchen, giving ways to make lengthy tasks much faster, so why not some or all of the following!
NOTE – I have to say this though – don’t spend money on gadgets if they will just add to your clutter – get things because they will help not hinder – and also make sure that they are easy to maintain and clean, otherwise you are making more work for yourself overall! (Lesson over!)
- Mandolin** – If you are forever taking time slicing and dicing then this gadget will make things really quick and easy!
- Halogen Ovens** can speed up cooking time
- Slow cooker** – this can do the work while you’re not even in the house!
- Food processors** can help blitz, puree, blend, whip etc… or a stick blender** is also a great idea and much smaller to fit in cupboards and get out when needed.
- One touch can opener** – so you can do other stuff while it’s working!
- One touch jar opener** – pass the jam anyone!!!
- Garlic press** – makes light work and much less smelly hands afterwards!
- Hand mixer** – great for batters and baking especially – and saves muscle power too!
- Small chopper** – great for quick chopping of smaller items
#3 DO LESS CHOPPING
We’ve already looked at using a chopping helper** to make swift work of chopping, but why chop much at all?
For some things like making soups and casseroles, it’s usually enough to really roughly and quickly chop the ingredients up, as they will break up during cooking and a lot of the time can be pureed anyway at the end.
So – just work out what’s actually going to be seen in the final meal and make time for cutting up that stuff nicely – but only that!
Alternatively of course – just buy ready prepared veg and fruit – although more expensive it can sometimes be a lifesaver (and is usually heavily marked down at the end of the day so you can grab a bargain!).
TIP – Not cheap to buy – but I’d definitely recommend investing in a Vitamix**. My hubby kindly bought me one for Christmas a few years back (He actually bought a reconditioned one from John Lewis so it was less expensive – he knows me well!). I use it for EVERYTHING! and at least once a day. One of the things I love the most is to blend soups and smoothies, because I don’t bother chopping up neatly at all, and it blends them perfectly every time. A HUGE time saver!
#4 TIME YOURSELF!
How many times have you stood by a saucepan of water waiting for it to boil, or a saucepan with food in waiting for it to cook? I know I used to do that far too often – especially when I used to be easily distracted by other chores…
I learnt slowly how long each of these things took to cook/boil etc….. and now I can put a pan of water on the cooker, set the oven timer for 4 minutes and know that it will be boiling when I get back to it, then add pasta and set the timer for 7 minutes and when I hear the bell I know that I will have perfect pasta every time.
In those 4 / 7 etc… minutes I can then go and do other things safe in the knowledge that the food isn’t spoiling and things are getting done as fast as possible.
It saves time for you as you don’t have to hover anymore.
#5 PLAN WELL
There’s no quicker time waster than going to the kitchen to prepare the tea and finding you have run out of something crucial….
The time taken to get to the shops, or to work out what you can cook instead is huge, and really does mount up over the days/weeks.
Plan things as much as you can in advance.
By this I mean a few things: –
- Meal Plan – know what you are going to cook up front, so you have plenty of time to sort things out.
- Shopping List – Use your meal plan to know exactly what you’ll need for each meal so you’re less likely to forget something
- Take things out of the freezer in advance so you don’t have to wait for it to thaw, or have to think of something else to cook…
- Think about leftovers – if you plan to use leftovers from the evening meal for lunch the next day then you can save LOADS of time not having to prep much for that meal. (For example – roast meat in sandwiches, pasta salad from last nights pasta dish etc…)
#6 PREP WELL
Along with planning well, preparation is key to saving time.
- Prep all meals for the week in one sitting – that way you have everything out, and if you prep everything on your least busy day, you’ll save loads of extra time in the week.
- If you don’t fancy prepping all your meals, then why not cut all the fruit and veg and salad up and put in the fridge ready for whatever meals you have later in the week?
- Use the freezer – make double and freeze a meal ready for a quick an easy meal later in the week. You may spend a little extra time creating double, but you’ll save a LOT more by not having to cook from scratch twice…
- Or lastly – if you have a couple of meals that have similar ingredients, then why not prep them at the same time? For example – create a tomato pasta sauce for a simple meal, but create 3 times as much as needed because you can then use another serving for a bolognese, and another for a tomato soup…. – the list is endless but it’s much easier to find time to finish a dish rather than start from scratch each time…
#7 WASH & CLEAR AS YOU GO
There’s nothing worse than finishing a lovely meal, taking the plates to the kitchen only to find what can only be summed up as a bomb site!
Not only is clearing up after you’ve eaten the last thing you will be wanting to do, the food has probably congealed and stuck hard to the saucepans and worksurface so you have to spend even longer clearing it all away.
The trick is to clear as you go.
Have a bin bag or the bin itself to hand so that you can put peelings, wrappers etc… straight into it, load the dishwasher as you go, rinse cans for recycling as you use them etc….
It all adds up – but doing it as you go means you should only be left with the plates and cutlery by the end of the meal – bliss!
#8 USE FOOD SHORTCUTS
It’s not a bad thing to use food shortcuts sometimes…
- Pizza bases can be bought – you can then add whatever toppings you have in the cupboards for a quick meal.
- Ready made sauces are great to have in the cupboard just in case.
- Don’t use recipes that you have to think about – tried and tested recipes will save you time.
- Frozen veg are amazing, usually better for you because they are frozen when picked and haven’t had time to lose the nutrients – AND they’re quick and easy to have to hand.
- Have part baked bread in the freezer ready for a quick soup when you have guests over – dead easy but feels like a real treat!
- Get bags of salad and pre-prepared foods if you have the time (they are usually on sale at the end of the day so try and shop at the best time!).
#9 GET FOOD DELIVERED
You can save time easily by getting your food delivered each week.
Most supermarkets offer this service, and when you’ve set it all up, you can use your usual shop as the starting point so you save time on the order itself as well.
If you use this method, you can use the time saved to actually have the cooking done as well!
#10 MAKE FRIENDS WITH THE MICROWAVE
Whether you love it or loathe it – the microwave can be your saviour when it comes to saving time in the kitchen: –
- Frozen veg can be cooked quickly (they often suggest the microwave as the best way to cook it!)
- Part cook potatoes and finish in the oven for fantastic (and quick!) baked potatoes
- Forgotten to defrost something? No problem!
- Soften butter for baking (I’ve wasted LOADS of time before trying to beat rock hard butter into a paste lol!)
#11 SMALLER IS QUICKER
When you are cooking items, think about the size you cut them up – because just the simple task of cutting them up smaller will save loads of cooking time for you.
I love to cut up potatoes into small cubes so they cook really quickly for mash, for example…
Last but definitely not least is using delegation to save time.
After asking the lovely people who read the OMH Facebook page what their favourite time saving tips were – my favourite one was this – makes me laugh every time!
“I get my husband to cook – saves heaps of time!
And the lady has a point – after all – if you do all the cooking in the house, do you really have to?
Can you share with your partner so that you both get some evenings freed up, or is a child old enough to cook certain meals now as well?
Worth thinking about….
Yes, you’re in the kitchen most days, but after reading these time saving kitchen tips, can you be more clever when you’re there so your time isn’t wasted?
Be clever with how you prepare meals, what you prepare, and when you prepare things, and you’ll honestly transform into a super speedy time saving cook in no time!
You’ll end up with less waste, less evenings cooking from scratch, less to clear up, and most importantly of all – less stress for you – which all sound amazing to me…