I have been heard many times saying:
“I feel like I could spend my entire life in my kitchen, and STILL have more to do.”
If you are a real foodie, it is very likely you have felt the same way, right?
Throughout the years, these are the five tips that I have learned make the most difference in making my kitchen run smoothly and efficiently!
1. Clean as you go.
I am still learning how to do this best.
While tossing a dirty towel into the hallway, I have to remind myself, “This will be another job to do later. I might as well walk a few extra steps to toss this in the bin in the bathroom.” During dinner prep, if I have a few extra minutes, I quickly wash the biggest dishes I can see on the counter. It makes the job after dinner a little easier.
Wipe a counter after you use it, close cabinet doors, and be mindful of the messes you make that could otherwise be avoided. This takes practice, and mindfulness, but it something worth learning!
2. Keep your counters clear.
When my counters are clear, my kitchen feels 100% cleaner!
Take everything off the counters that doesn’t absolutely have to be there. Even decorative items! Be sparse, because when you cook, your counters will quickly and easily fill up. Plus it is less that you will have to pick up and clean underneath or around!
Decorative items tend to build up grease and dust, so moderation is key.
3. Think three meals ahead (thank you Sally Fallon!).
Sally Fallon of the Weston A Price Foundation wrote a book I will always recommend: “Nourishing Traditions.” In it she talks about thinking three meals ahead. This helps me a lot.
If I think we are going to be having tortillas for supper tomorrow, I can soak them after supper the night before. Breakfast tomorrow is going to be rice cereal
and eggs? If I have a few extra minutes during the day, I can grind up the dry brown rice then and there and make extras…which brings me to number 4!
4. Always make extras!
Above I mentioned making extra rice cereal
. I store it in a bag in my freezer. While grinding it up, I make a huge bag at a time, because who wants to wash blender parts multiple times per week?
I never make a single serving of beans. They freeze well. Rice can be used in multiple dishes throughout the week. I always have bags of bone broth in my freezer because big batches are easier to make.
Even though we only have 3 people in our family, I rarely make only one whole chicken for dinner. The leftover chicken is used as lunches, sandwich meat, dinner meat for dishes, and then frozen if we still have more after a few days. I never cook one pound of ground beef at a time: cook all you can and freeze it flat in a bag, and it will be easy to whip out for dinners.
Slice (or shred) ALL the cheese in the hunk, not just what you need at the time. You will need it sliced later on, right? Keep it sliced in the fridge, and you’ll only need to wash that knife and cutting board once.
5. Learn to eat simply.
My son taught me this. He prefers his food all by its lonesome: carrots in one corner of his plate, hummus off to the side, chicken by itself to be dipped, and a hard boiled egg by itself. This is an example of a lunch for him and I. It is all found on the same plate, but each food item is in a different place on the plate.
I used to feel like I had to make fancy dinners every night, and fabricate lunches every afternoon. My son will eat chicken pot pie, lasagna and the like when I make it, but his favorite meals by far are the simple ones. He makes my job easy by preferring that I open up containers from the fridge and make little piles on plates. I have learned to love food simply as well. We are still eating healthy foods, just not in fancy form!
Incorporate simplicity into your meals little by little if your kids aren’t crazy about it. Try breakfast for dinner. Broth and rice noodles for lunch. Once or twice a week empty your fridge and use all the leftovers up. You save money, because leftovers are virtually free, and it is easy!
Thinking ahead makes food preparation so much easier in the kitchen.
Write down ways that you can make your kitchen work more efficiently, and always think ahead!
What Things Do You Do to Make Your Kitchen Run Smoothly?
**This post has been entered into Pennywise Platter Thursday and Simple Lives Thursday #138.**