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10 Time-Saving Kitchen Hacks You Need to Know

Check out these simple yet effective time-saving kitchen hacks that can make your life a lot easier.

10 Time-Saving Kitchen Hacks you need to know

 

If you know me, I’m all about easy and quick recipes. I’m always finding ways that can make my life simpler so I don’t have to spend too much time in the kitchen.

It’s not that I don’t like making elaborate recipes. I will happily spend a lot of time cooking when there’s a special occasion or when we have guests over. But all day, every day? Nope. Not for me. On an everyday basis, I like to keep things simpler. My husband even jokes and says that I’m the master of short-cut in the kitchen.

So if you’d like to spend less time at the kitchen counter and enjoy more time with your family, here are a few ways you can save your time by following these tips –

1. Clean as you go

This is my number one way of saving time in the kitchen. Whenever I’m cleaning and chopping produce, I always keep a grocery bag beside me and toss all the waste in it. Makes it easier to clean the countertop later.

We also make it a point to pour warm water on our used dishes as soon as we put it in the sink so they don’t end up getting all dried and crusty (you know how annoying that can be, right?) It makes it so much easier to clean them later.

2. A little Meal planning goes a long way

How many times have you gone in your kitchen, taken a look in your refrigerator or pantry and ended up having no idea what to make for dinner? I’ll be honest with you – I absolutely hate that feeling when it’s almost lunch or dinner time and I still don’t know what I’m going to be making.

It used to happen to me many times but that’s when I started doing weekly meal plans. Saves your time and your sanity! Just dedicate a few minutes on a weekend by writing a meal plan. And most importantly, stick to it! You’ll be amazed how easy it will make things for you.

3. Double it up

We love leftovers, especially when it’s one of our favorite recipes! I always cook more so that we have leftovers for next day’s lunch. My mom used to do this and now I do it too.  

By doubling up your recipe, you will not only save time by not having to cook twice but you will also save money by not having to buy your lunch when you’re at work. You can even add your leftovers to salads, sandwiches or wraps and make a completely new dish out of it!

 4. Pre-cut and Prep

Prepping things ahead of time will make things a lot easier when you actually start cooking. Pre-cutting vegetables like bell peppers, broccoli, zucchini etc. will help you save a lot of time.

The same rule applies for meat as well. If we buy chicken in bulk, we like to cut it into smaller pieces, remove the excess fat, divide it into portions and then refrigerate/ freeze it. This makes it easy to just grab what is required and start cooking.

5. Scan your pantry and fridge

This is a small yet effective step. Many times we just waste time by heading to the grocery store and buy things without realizing that we can make a lot of meals from the things that are already lying in our pantry and fridge.

I did an experiment a few days back by not going to the grocery for two straight weeks and only made meals from the things we already had. Think – rice, beans, potatoes, frozen chicken, frozen veggies etc. It helped me save time and money!

6. Line your fridge with contact paper

Cleaning the fridge is one of the most boring tasks ever. Actually, scratch that. All cleaning tasks that take up too much time are on my ‘most boring things to do’ list.

So a few months back, I decided to try out a Pinterest hack and I lined all our fridge shelves with clear contact paper. (Bonus marks if you get them from the Dollar store like I did) When it becomes dirty, I simply remove it, give the shelves a quick wipe and again line them with contact paper. It has made my life so much easier! Now I don’t have to spend time scrubbing the shelves every time I clean my fridge. Try it – I’m sure you’ll love it!

7. When in doubt, Freeze!

Freezing your food works wonders. Especially when you think you have run out of food and don’t have time to run to the grocery store, frozen foods come to your rescue.

We love freezing things like meat, chicken stock, fish, soups, berries as well as leftovers if we know we are not going to have it within a week. I have seen people freezing breakfast burritos and other breakfast foods all the time that they just thaw in the morning. Definitely a time saver!

8. Ripen your fruits quickly

Want to make guacamole tomorrow but avocados not ripe enough? Don’t worry, paper bags will do the work for you. Certain foods like bananas and avocados can be ripened quickly by placing them in brown paper bags. Leave them overnight and you can see the results the next day.

9. Put Ice cream containers in Ziploc bags

Who likes rock hard ice cream that doesn’t want to come out of its container? Keeping your ice cream tub or container in a Ziploc bag before putting them in the freezer helps the ice cream to remain soft just the way it was when you first opened it.

Plus you won’t have to wait for it to become a little softer before you dig in that bowl of deliciousness!

10. Baking soda is your friend

I love how baking soda can practically make wonders happen. And no, I’m not talking about your cookie and cake baking adventures. Baking soda has so many uses that it will take up an entire post if I start writing about it.

For starters, it can clear clogged kitchen sinks (pour 1 cup baking soda followed by 1 cup hot vinegar. Let it do its magic and then pour 1 cup boiling water. Bye-bye clogged drains!) It can help to deodorize funky smells from your refrigerator. Baking soda can even remove greasy and stubborn stains from your stove top quickly.

So these were some of my Time-saving kitchen hacks that can help make things a little easier.

10 Time-Saving Kitchen Hacks you need to know that will make your life so much more simpler!

What are some of the ways by which you save time in your kitchen? I would love to hear from you.

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XOXO

Smiling Notes

27 Comments

  • Reply

    Loretta

    February 23, 2017

    I pretty much follow some of the same short cuts and tips that you do. In the summer time, I like to either freeze my fresh herbs in olive oil or stock and put them in an ice cube tray and freeze, or microwave them till dry. There’s nothing quite like the smell of fresh herbs during the winter time. Like you, also love leftovers, so whenever I cook a big batch of stews, soups, curries etc. I bag them and freeze for a later date.

    • Reply

      smilingnotes

      February 23, 2017

      Those are some awesome tips, Loretta! I had read about freezing herbs with olive oil but never tried it. I think I’m going to do it going ahead. Thanks a lot for sharing 😊xoxo

  • Reply

    anotherfoodieblogger

    February 23, 2017

    Excellent tips! I think I’ll have to make a trip to the Dollar Store soon!

  • Reply

    anroworld

    February 24, 2017

    Wonderful! Cheerful, tasty! Master, master! Shamira, I knew you will find your way, here it is, do you sell your books?

    • Reply

      smilingnotes

      February 24, 2017

      Oh you are the most sweetest and kindest person, my dear Ann! Always so encouraging. And no, I don’t have any books but maybe something I can think of in the future?! 😊💕xoxo

      • Reply

        anroworld

        February 24, 2017

        Aw, I am just honest! And yes, dear Shamira, please think about some book, I have no doubts, it will be popular, you cook so well, your advices are so useful.

        • Reply

          smilingnotes

          February 24, 2017

          I can’t describe in words how much your words of encouragement mean to me, Ann! I will definitely work on it in the near future. Thank you once again! 💕

          • anroworld

            February 25, 2017

            Always welcome, my dear Shamira!

  • Reply

    Karen

    February 24, 2017

    I’d never heard of the tip about keeping your ice cream in ziplock bags so it wouldn’t get rock hard…thanks.

    • Reply

      smilingnotes

      February 24, 2017

      You should try it out Karen. I had read about it somewhere a few years back and it really does work 😊

  • Reply

    Brenda Melendez

    February 24, 2017

    I like to clean as I go and I also meal plan. I just recently started cutting up everything ahead of time and it is a huge help! My dinners are almost always ready on time now.

    • Reply

      smilingnotes

      February 24, 2017

      That’s awesome, Brenda! So interesting that just a few things can help make things so much easier! Thanks a lot for your sweet comment.

  • Reply

    Jere

    February 24, 2017

    Great tips. I do a lot of these already and are so helpful.

  • Reply

    Lifestylebites3

    February 25, 2017

    Put ice cream tub in zip lock bag is a good hack as I hated to get the rock bottom ice cream tub from freezer and the worst part is the waiting time to defrost and thaw a bit

    • Reply

      smilingnotes

      February 25, 2017

      Oh I so agree with you, Sangeetha. It used to be so frustrating… not anymore! 😃

  • Reply

    Beverly

    February 25, 2017

    I do many of these tricks, but have not heard of putting ice cream in a plastic bag.
    Bev

    • Reply

      smilingnotes

      February 25, 2017

      That trick really does keep the ice cream soft! Thanks a lot Bev. XoXo

  • Reply

    youthfoodblog

    February 27, 2017

    Great ideas! Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply

    paintdigi

    February 28, 2017

    Good posts, beautiful blog.
    Congratulations.
    Welcome to see my creations:
    paintdigi.com

  • Reply

    Janice Wald

    February 28, 2017

    Hi Shamira,
    Great to see you. Thanks for bringing your post to the Blogger’s Pit Stop.
    Janice, Pit Stop Crew

    • Reply

      smilingnotes

      March 1, 2017

      Thank you for hosting the wonderful Blogger’s Pit Stop, Janice!

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