Since mid-March, you’ve been preparing breakfast, lunch, and dinner for your family as you remain indoors to stay safe during the national pandemic. On the plus side, cooking at home has probably saved you a ton of money. On the downside, however, cooking for your family takes up a bunch of your time, the menu choices have gotten pretty boring and you see a rut coming along.
You don’t want to go back to your old habits of spending money unnecessarily on takeout, but you realize something has got to give. Fortunately, there are a few solutions to your problem. Below are a few ways to save time while getting creative in the kitchen… and maybe extend your quarantine kitchen for a bit longer.
Check Your Cookware
Have you ever tried to prepare a multi-step meal with one pot? It can add minutes if not hours onto your preparation and cook time as you prepare one part, clean the pot, prepare the next part, and repeat the cycle. Essentially, if you don’t have the proper cookware and cooking supplies on hand, preparing meals can take a lot longer.
There are a lot of brands out there like Made In Cookware that are both high-quality and affordable. You could order your pots, pans, knives, and other cooking supplies online to restock your kitchen.
Rely on Small Appliances
Your oven and stove aren’t the only cooking equipment you have at your disposal. Small cooking appliances can also be very instrumental in helping you to prepare delicious meals while saving you time.
Take the crockpot for instance, you can make everything from soups and chilis to ribs and roasts without too much effort. Simply place the ingredients in the crockpot, set the timer, and carry on with your day. When the timer goes off, you’ve got yourself a delicious meal that took you literally minutes to prepare.
Crockpots aren’t the only small cooking appliances you can rely on. There are also toaster ovens, air fryers, pressure cookers, and rice cookers which can also shave your time in the kitchen in half.
There are literally thousands of ways to use ingredients to prepare a variety of dishes. Sometimes, it just takes a little inspiration. You can get delicious recipes from friends and family, cookbooks, television shows, blogs, magazines, and even social media. If you were to check out MadeIn’s Facebook, you’d find everything from cookware reviews to short cooking tutorials. You can then select days to try out a new recipe. If it’s a win for the family, you can add it to the rotation, if not, go back to the drawing board and try something else.
Take it Outdoors
Another way to save yourself some time while getting creative with your cooking would be to take it outdoors. Cooking food on the grill gives it a different taste. You can experiment with different spices, herbs, charcoal, and wood chips to achieve different results. The best part is, you can allow the kids to run around and burn up some of that energy while you prepare meals.
Take a load off your own shoulders and enlist the help of your family. Select a day of the week where you, your spouse, and your older children will prepare meals. On those days, it is their responsibility to come up with the idea, obtain the ingredients, and cook the food. You never know what creative dishes they might come up with that can be added to the rotation.
Meal Kit Delivery Services
If you like the idea of cooking at home but hate the idea of having to shop for the ingredients and prep. Well, meal kits might be a lifesaver. There are several companies that offer fresh ingredients to prepare quick and easy recipes. The packages come with everything you need from the meats and seasonings to the vegetables and sides. This would save you time and break the monotony of your weekly meal plans.
Ordering takeout from local restaurants during the pandemic is a great way to show your support while also giving yourself a break from cooking day and night. Be that as it may, ordering takeout all the time is costly and unhealthy. A better solution would be to try the above-mentioned tips to save yourself time in the kitchen while adding a little variety.