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Six Time Saving Cooking Tips from SFC’s The Happy Kitchen

Let’s be honest. Cooking takes some time. Some may even say it’s laborious, and avoid it. Having spent over 10 years in and out of kitchens, here are some of my top tips to save you time and effort, whether you’re a wiz kid or a complete novice!

SHARPEN THOSE KNIVES!

Get a good set of knives, and learn how to chop properly. You wouldn’t believe how much time you can save by chopping ingredients more efficiently.

A sharp, well-balanced knife set should include a chef's knife (8" blade) and a small paring knife. A serrated knife is helpful for cakes and breads. This trio will make chopping easier and safer, and (most importantly) save time in the kitchen. Financially, you’re much better off buying your knives separately, rather than a knife block as really one paring knife and one chef’s knife will help you cut 99% of everything you need.

COOK IN BULK!

This is something I do often. I cook a base that can be frozen and then make dishes from that base into many other different dishes.

For example; sautéed onion, garlic and beef. This can then be the start of tacos, bolognaise, chili, etc. This also does wonders for your budget!

KNOW THE RECIPE AND BE PREPARED!

It always helps to know what you need to do and how you need to do it. We often forget things when in a rush and this one simple step can save you time and effort by reducing mistakes.

Also, if you have time, prep your ingredients beforehand to avoid time-wasting.

For example, I like to have all my chopped veggies in bowls before I even begin to cook and then I am sure of what is needed to be done. Or if you have some extra time the night before, chop your veggies and then you’ll be that much closer to whipping up your meal when the time comes.

IMPORTANT BUT BORING – CLEAN AS YOU GO!

I know, I know. Washing up is the worst. But you will thank yourself at the end of a meal if all you have are your plates…

ONE POT COOKING!

One pot meals are easy to make, result in fewer dirty dishes, and usually freeze and reheat very well. For ease, invest in a good crockpot.

SHOP FOR THE WEEK!

I am guilty of going grocery shopping every day! But, if you sit down on a Sunday and plan out your meals for the week and shop all at once you can save you time during the more hectic workweek.