How to Cook More with a Busy Schedule

If you don’t cook many meals at home, your number one reason is probably lack of time.

While having a busy schedule can definitely get in the way of cooking every meal from scratch, that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to eat more homemade food.

Cook Enough for Leftovers

To start cooking more at home, try to cook enough for leftovers.

Even if right now you only have 1-2 nights a week with enough spare time to cook a meal, just double the recipe or make a recipe you know will have enough for leftovers.

This might be a casserole, slow cooker meal, soup or chili, where you always have enough leftover.

That way, you are eating more homecooked meals, but don’t spend as much time doing the cooking.

It is a great way to either have more meals for lunches and dinners throughout the week, or to start stocking up on freezer meals for those nights where you just don’t have the time to cook.

Have Designated Cooking Days

Another easy way to cook when you have a busy schedule is choose a few designated cooking days.

This might be an entire day like over the weekend when you have more time, or 2-3 nights when your schedule has a little room for moving things around.

Don’t worry about the other days, and just focus on cooking these days when you know you have a bit more time.

Make it Easier for Yourself

Make cooking as easy as possible before you even begin.

Start doing some prep and planning before the cooking day arrives.

Plan everything when you go grocery shopping, and try to shop just once a week.

Do any prep you can before cooking, like rinsing and chopping vegetables, pre-measuring ingredients, thawing meat, and anything else that needs to be done.

That way, even with a busy schedule, you have already cut your cooking time in half.

Get Help in the Kitchen

Let your children help!

When they keep coming in to the kitchen to ask if dinner is ready not, why not put them to work?

Depending on their ages, they might be able to prepare a salad, chop vegetables, stir soups or gravies, or just set the table.

Every little task that you can get help with by other household members is one less thing you need to find time for yourself.

Pre-Cook Ingredients

If you like certain home-cooked meals that use particular ingredients, you could save cooking time by preparing and pre-cooking a bulk load then freeze them in batches.

For instance, if you like chicken stir-fries, buy several packs of chicken breast fillet, slice them all up into strips and pre-cook, then freeze in meal-size portions.

When you want to cook a stir-fry, just take out a frozen portion and defrost in the microwave, or take out first thing in the morning and leave to defrost all day.

Home cooking might take a little more headspace initially, but these tips should give you a good headstart!

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