8 Time Saving Kitchen Tips

by zesty on April 1, 2013 · 29 comments

Time is of the essence.

Make the best of it.

Embrace the tips below to save time int he kitchen.

Now most of these ideas are not rocket science or particularly complicated.  They are simply tips I have tried in the past and have adapted over time.  What I would like to see is people add to the tips in the comments and then I will create an even bigger list in the future.

So without further adieu…

Zesty’s Top 8 Time Saving Kitchen Tips

1.  Keep a clean Kitchen

The more stuff that piles up around you, the harder it is to concentrate on what happens next.  This results in making it harder to find anything you need, costing you more time and mental frustration than it would take to stay clean.

2.  Be-friend the Ice Cream Scoop

When using small pastry shells or individual graham cracker shells to make tarts, I use an ice cream scoop to fill them quickly. A heaping scoopful of pie filling is just the right amount I need for each one.

3.  Advanced Table Setting

Set the table for breakfast and prepare breakfast foods the night before. For pancakes, mix dry ingredients the previous night. In the morning, add wet ingredients and cook.

4.  Stock on Hand

Pressed for time?  Fill an ice cube tray with chicken, beef or vegetable stock.  You can even try tomato sauce and/or cream soups. Dump the frozen cubes into a freezer bag. Then grab a couple of cubes to add to your stir fry, pasta, veggies, or to whip up a quick sauce.


5.  Keep a running grocery list

This holds true to be very effective when it is grocery time both at home as well as in the grocery store.  This will eliminate not having crucial ingredients on hand for your next great recipe.

6.  Cook Once, Cook Big

Make large batches of granola and store in an airtight container; Cut up extra ingredients for another meal when using onions, green peppers, etc; Cook double batches of rice or pasta to be reheated later in the week.

7.  Beat the stick

Set your dirty pots on the stove with some vinegar and water or dish soap and water. Let them boil while you eat. By the time you finish dinner and get started on the dishes, the hot water solution will have loosened stuck-on food.

8.  Sort your dishes

Put like utensils in the same section of the silverware tray in the dishwasher (knives with knives, small forks with small forks, etc.) so that you can pull them out by group and put them away fast. You can also do the same for like sized plates and bowls.

So there you have it, some not so traditional time saving tips.  Before I leave you for another day, I really want everyone to make a effort to post a time saving tip in the comments.  I think it will be fun!

Have a great day and I will see you Friday.

Take care


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{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

1 VeggieGirl

FABULOUS tips!! Thank you!!


2 Bunny

What a great tip list! You must be the most organized person! One thing I have done , since I go for groceries every 2 weeks is make a 2 week menu up before going to the grocery store, it really helps alot. Whatever day I make the dinner doesn’t matter, it’s not written in stone, what matters is I know I have the ingredients for it when I do.


3 Foodie (Fab and Delicious Food)

Great tips!

Love your blog!


4 girlbeerdrinker

Most of your tips I already do. I am going to start cutting up double veggies at each meak and freezing half. It will work great when making soup.


5 brandi

great tips!

- cut all the veggies/fruits you need at one time and bag extras to freeze or for later meals

- pack up lunch for the next day while dinner is cooking


6 Elina

These are great time saving tips! Thanks for sharing :D


7 rubybean77

My dad taught me how to cook and the first thing he told me was that a good cook ALWAYS cleans up after themself. I think he said me that so he didn’t have to clean up my messes…but it has held true since I moved out on my own too. Now I have independent confirmation of the facts. :)


8 Mara @ What's For Dinner?

Fabulous hints! Thanks a ton!


9 Kelsey

Brilliant!! I’m going to have to try #4 for sure!


10 Beadie @ What I Ate Yesterday

Great tips, Cooking!


11 Sarah (lovINmytummy)

Really great tips!!! I am constantly looking for ways to shave some time off of meal prep. Thank you!


12 Pam

Great tips! Thanks! I do have another for you though-

Double your meals and freeze one. It doesn’t take much more time to make two casseroles as it does to just make the one. Same goes for crock pot meals and even uncooked meals… It’s not much more work to double the batch, and some night when you are too tired to cook, you can pull out a frozen meal, defrost it and cook it with little to no effort!


13 leslie

Thanks fo the tips Cooking!!


14 Pearl

Thank you for such great tips! My mom will be glad to know that I’m working on reducing the amount of time I spend prepping in the kitchen LOL


15 Hallie

Great tips! Here are mine:

Invest in a crock pot (or if you’re me, take your mother’s crock pot hostage and never return it). Throw everything in for soup, roast, chili, etc. the night before, and then before you go to work, fire that baby on low so you come home to a ready-cooked meal. I know it’s been said, but freezing leftovers is great too.

Make one big batch of rice/qunioa and use it all week for side dishes. Also, when making a salad for dinner, I always make more salad then we need (pre-dressing) so I can have the rest for lunch the next day.


16 Lunch 03.18.09 «

[...] help. Oh, and in case you haven’t checked out his site yet, please do! He posted about some great time saving kitchen tips today. One thing I think he is missing though (but almost got): At the beginning of the week I measure [...]
Should add great post. Looking forward to reading the next one!


17 Lindsay

There are some great tips here! I especially like #8…it seems so obvious now that you mention it, but I’d never thought to pre-sort my cutlery, and instead spend ages putting everything back piece by piece.

As for other tips…I like to make more food than I need for one meal and box up the leftovers in individual portions. It makes it so easy to bring for lunches during the week. Just grab and go!

I’m also a huge fan of the idea of pot racks or pegboards with hooks to provide open storage for pots and pans. Right now we have everything shoved into a cabinet under the counter, and I swear I’ve spent hours on my hands and knees digging around for the right lid. I’m moving soon, and one of my first goals is to set up easily accessible P&P storage.


18 Jo

great ideas as always! :) Thanks for sharing!


19 Bodyc

Super post, Need to mark it on Digg

Have a nice day


20 susan v

Great Tips!


21 Alison

How do you keep the spoons from all nesting together in the dishwasher? That’s why I randomize the silverware, but I’ve definitely thought of separating them.


22 Cousin Kari

Hi Cousin Cooking
Would love to see some idea’s for packing lunch, tips for the little one’s.
I am packing lunches for Cam and I am running out of ideas 2 weeks into school!
Also any suggestions on snacks that kids love.


23 Celia

What a great list!

I have one quibble with #8 – spoons. If I put all the spoons in a group, they nest together and never get completely clean. And honestly? It takes mere seconds to sort the handful of clean tableware into the appropriate slots in the drawer.

Now for plates & bowls, grouping is a great time saver. Especially with Corelleware dishes, I can grab the ENTIRE STACK of plates in one hand and put it away. SO handy!


24 Lisa

super suggestions Cooking!… i am always looking for timesavers in the kitchen and put a few of these into practice too!… i would add getting the help of little ones that are old enough to help out… my 7 year old opens can’s for me, peels potatoes, cuts some veggies etc… one pot meals are a favorite of mine too… and i always have stuff on hand in case we are running behind and have only minutes to eat: soup and grilled cheese to the rescue!… haha… great site!… keep em coming!… :)


25 Dynamics

Great tips. I go to the Farmer’s Market on Sunday and come home and chop and dice all my veggies and fruits for 3-4 days and place in canning jars. I just need to unscrew the jar and toss the ingredients into my salad, stir fry or whatever I am making. Such a time saver. I also dice my cheese and meat for my breakfast eggs. Please tell me that is a picture of your brand new kitchen and it does not always look like that!


26 Tiffany @ No Ordinary Homestead

Great post!
Never thought of sorting the silverware in the dishwasher — really like that concept!

I think one of the keys is going through your stuff about once a year and getting rid of the things that are funky, broken (those you can really trash immediately), duplicates and that you just never use. I have a habit of ending up with kitchen gadgets that I never end up using. Some things you don’t use often to begin with, but if you could do it without that gadget nearly as easily, do you really need the extra stuff?


27 Kathleen Richardson

Is that your kitchen, Cooking? I want one of those! Since it’s just me, I always cut celery and carrots into smaller pieces, put them into canning jars and cover them with water. Changing the water every 3-4 days keeps them fresh for several weeks if need be.


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