Saving Time in the Kitchen & Cheap Easy Dinners

Okay, we have gotten a start planning our meals and working the sales at the store, now here are a few more ways we can save some TIME in the kitchen.

One of my biggest time savers in the evening is having my hamburger already browned and ready to go! This is another one those things that takes a little time upfront, but then saves you some stress during the crucial 5:00 meltdown. I will take 10 or so packages of hamburger (which are 1.5 lbs each), thaw them and then cook them down. I got a HUGE new electric skillet for Christmas from my in-laws and I can cook 3 packages at once...big time saver there! Anyways, once it is browned and drained, I package them up in quart size baggies, label with a date that I cooked them, and put them back into the freezer. When your Tuedsay night rolls around and you have tacos on the menu, pull one baggie out, toss into the microwave for a couple of minutes to thaw, then throw in your skillet and prepare your tacos! You have just cut your cooking time during the dinner crunch...and you will thank me later!

Another big time saver in the prep department is to have your onions and peppers chopped and ready to go. Stock up when they are on sale. Once you have them home chop them up. Use your food processor, your knife and cutting board or your Chop Wizard {yes I have one of these and I love it for this!} to chop your onions and then put in freezer bags and pop into the freezer. When you have a recipe that calls for chopped onions, grab your bag from the freezer and you are ready to go! Do the same thing with peppers!

One more thing I always have in the freezer are cracker crumbs/bread crumbs. I like to use my food processor for this to get them extremely fine and then, again, put in freezer bags and store in the freezer. Great for when you need to make a quick batch of meatballs or use them as breading for fried foods!

I got a lot of these tips from my Mom and Grandma, watching them as I grew up! I know there are more great time saving tips out there, so please share what you do in the comments...I can't wait to add a few more timesavers to my day!

Recently on I Never Grew Up, was a series on crazy, cheap, & easy dinners. I thought it was a nice addition to the topics I have been covering of late. So, hop on over & check out the recipes!

I plan to start adding more recipes to the blog, as time allows!! Maybe I'll get a few put up before the week is over!


mom said...

Garbage tip...save ALL the cut off junk from onions, celery, carrots, peppers, tomatoes, apples, again...stuff whatever you save in a freezer bag and when you are cooking a bunch of chicken (to make the BEST homemade broth and stock, and have ready on hand already cooked chopped chicken, bagged and labeled in your freezer), or the most amazing brisket in the oven or crock-pot roast, just throw some of the 'trash' in with the raw meat...you can thank me when you invite me to dinner... Tip #2 I also cook a bunch of bacon, and sausage ahead too and freeze it and bag it and label and pat my self on the back when I feel so smart if I have to produce an amazing dish is a minimum of time... My new thing is those little plastic freezer containers I found out HOW MUCH petroleum products it take to make baggies I got a guilt complex deluxe!!! I am however having aVERY hard time of giving up my title as the BAGGIE QUEEN....you will ALL have more time to BLOG....

The Murphy's said...

I roast or grill or boil whole chickens and pull the meat, chop it and freeze it. Nice to have on hand for casseroles, quesadillas, enchiladas, etc.

We have a friend that brings lemons back from Arizona. So I juice all of them and freeze the juice in ice cube trays and pop out a lemon cube whenever I need juice. Next time I will zest them too and put the zest in with the juice for more flavor! Try Baked Lemon Pasta on Pioneer Woman blog, to die for! :-)

Becky said...

Wow--great ideas!! Jacob LOVES bacon, so I think I am going to try cooking and freezing some for a quick breakfast sandwich! We don't eat if very often because its a pain, and, well, bacon and Burt arterys don't mix well!
You guys are awesome!