Timesavers in the kitchen

With busy lives, kitchen planning can save valuable time.

There are a variety of reasons why the amount of meals eaten away from home has increased over recent decades. As the average American continues to consume multiple meals at restaurants, fast food or take-out establishments each week, there are ways to combat these habits. There are several time saving tips that can be incorporated into home kitchens, which can lead to more meals being prepared and eaten at home. Working parents, kid’s busy schedules and active adult volunteer commitments can all lead to more trips for take-out or the drive-through. Eating at home has great benefits both nutritionally as well as for the family unit. What time saving tips are you willing to try? Michigan State University Extension encourages you to read the ideas below and think about which tips could work for you and you family.

  • If you don't usually cook, begin slowly. Make it a goal to cook once a week and gradually add more meals.
  • Cook a big meal one or two days of the week and freeze or refrigerate to eat later.
  • Plan meals, maybe not every meal but choose the more challenging daily meals to begin.
  • Go to the library and checkout a cookbook or purchase one to find new recipes.
  • Grocery shop with a list.
  • Cook in your slow cooker once a week, or more.
  • Prep vegetables ahead of time and store in the refrigerator.
  • Bake extra chicken or brown extra ground beef or turkey and freeze to use for quick meals.
  • Keep healthy staples readily available, such as dried fruit, whole wheat pasta, "no salt added" canned vegetables and frozen seafood.
  • Review the meal plan as the week goes on to ensure meat is thawing properly and you have the ingredients ready to prepare your recipes

It can take a little extra time to prepare meals at home, but simple timesavers can make the food preparation process go more quickly and allow you to enjoy home cooked meals.

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