Let’s face it: Cooking isn’t always easy. Between finding time to plan meals, shopping for groceries, and prepping ingredients, those daily cooking tasks can be pretty stressful—especially for those who don’t have a background in professional cooking.
Fortunately, there are many ways to make cooking easier to have more time to enjoy your food and less time worrying about when and how you’re going to make it. These simple hacks will help you get dinner on the table faster and with less stress!
Cooking Tasks Tip #1: Invest in a slow cooker
A slow cooker is an excellent investment for any home cook. These appliances make it easy to throw delicious soups, stews, and chili for chili dogs in the crock pot. You can also use the slow cooker for other dishes. Think of your favorite comfort foods, like baked beans and casseroles.
If you love the taste of slow-roasted meats but don’t have the time to roast them in the oven, a slow cooker is a perfect alternative. When shopping for a slow cooker, look for something large enough for the types of recipes you like to make.
The more room you have, the more you can fit in the slow cooker. You may also want to consider a programmable slow cooker, which will allow you to program the length of time you want to cook your food and walk away. This can be a great time-saver!
Cooking Tasks Tip #2: Use meal subscription boxes
Meal subscription boxes are another excellent option to reduce the time and effort required for meal planning. These boxes contain all of the ingredients you need to make a meal and usually include a recipe card that tells you how to put everything together.
You can select from different recipes and get a new box delivered every week or two. Many meal subscription boxes are available that are tailored to specific dietary needs, like Paleo or vegetarian diets.
Cooking Tasks Tip #3: Buy pre-prepared veggies
If you love vegetables but don’t have the time to prep them from scratch, consider buying prepared vegetables from the grocery store. You can find them in the produce section or in the refrigerated area near other prepared foods. You can use ready veggies to make easy side dishes. Think salads and stir-fries.
You can even use them to add flavor and nutrients to soups and stews. Of course, fresh is always best, but if you don’t have the time or energy to prep your own vegetables, prepared veggies can be a great option.
If you eat organic veggies, look for the label on the packages–they’re also an option for you.
Cooking Tasks Tip #4: Cook in batches
Cooking in batches is another great way to save time and reduce stress. This method works well for dishes that don’t need to be served immediately after cooking, like soups and stews. It works beautifully for meals you can freeze and reheat later, like casseroles.
Baking a large batch of cookies, brownies, or bread and freezing them in portions can be a great option if you want to treat yourself to baked goods but don’t want to make them every week. You can also cook a large batch of grains or legumes and refrigerate or freeze them in portions.
This is an excellent option if you want to eat more plant-based meals but don’t have time to prepare beans and grains from scratch every day.
Cooking Tasks Tip #5: Make sure you have everything you need before cooking.
Before you begin to cook, take a few minutes to make sure you have everything you need. This includes ingredients and cooking utensils. Having everything you need before you start cooking is a great way to ensure you don’t waste time looking for a spatula or measuring spoon.
These are just a few ways to make cooking easier. With a few simple changes to your cooking routine, you can cut down on meal-time stress.