Eat Well, Spend Less: Saving Time in the Kitchen

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I thought of you, dear readers, every time I cut corners in the kitchen this week or implemented strategies to save time. Yesterday 4yo Leah and I made no-bake granola bars, quinoa oat bars, 2 dozen muffins, and peanut butter cookies from Smart Sweets, all before 11:00…and I only used one bowl for the whole deal.

I just got breakfast started in 30 seconds because I made pumpkin pie baked oatmeal up last night…stirred in the pan I’m baking it in.

If you missed my 5 Crazy Ways I Save Time on Prep Work earlier this week, I hope you find a new trick to save a few minutes in the kitchen.

The rest of the Eat Well, Spend Less ladies are also sharing time-saving not-your-mother's-cookbookstrategies, so take a minute to save a minute – here they are!

(Each of us is also giving away a copy of Jessica Fisher’s wonderful Not Your Mother’s Make-Ahead and Freeze Cookbook; mine is here.


5 Ways to Save Time Making Dinner

from Shaina of Food for my Family

imageThe time is four o’clock. Children have arrived from school. Lunches need to be unpacked, backpacks checked for homework. There are things on the calendar for the evening, and sometime tonight you’d actually like to place your head on the pillow that resides in your bed, waiting for you.

All parents know that feeling that there is too much going on, and with too much going on, it can be easy to drive us towards a state of exhaustion that has us reaching towards the phone to call for take-out. Still, there are ways we can make our job of feeding those small people and ourselves easier.

Read the rest right HERE along with Jessica’s book giveaway.

Dishes Time-Saving Tips!

from Carrie of Denver Bargains

When my mom comes to visit, it never fails that she’ll remark about just how many dishes I use to make a meal. (Probably partly because when she’s here, she usually ends up doing the dishes for me!)

It’s true – I do use a lot of dishes when I cook. Even though I don’t use a bunch of gadgets, I still somehow end up with a plethora of dirty mixing bowls, pans, and knives every time I cook. And I used to go to bed most nights with dirty dishes in the sink.

This year, I’ve been working on developing good habits in several areas, and getting the dishes done efficiently is one of them. I’m really excited that I can say that I have made great progress in this area, and no longer wake up dreading the mountain of dishes that will greet me.

Here are nine tips to help you spend less time with your hands in the dishwater – and might just even help you look forward to cooking a bit more!

Read the rest right HERE and enter her giveaway here

Save Time & Money at the Grocery Store

from Jessica of Life as MOM


Grocery shopping is one of my all-time favorite activities. I’m weird. I know.

There’s something about seeing all those different ingredients lined up on the shelf, it gets my mind going with the possibilities. I want to try out that maple sugar and the shelf-stable whipping cream at Trader Joe’s. I’m tempted by the piles of fresh produce at Sprouts. And the clearance section at Ralphs? It’s a regular stop.

I stay out of fabric and craft stores for this reason. I buy fabrics and supplies and then don’t know what to do with them.

I know what to do with the food, though.

Four years ago I spent hours, probably about ten per week, clipping coupons, tracking sales, planning my grocery trips, shopping, and unloading. It was a time investment that was well worth it. We had a very small grocery budget since we were busy paying off our debts. I figured my efforts garnered me about $25/hour in savings.

I had more time than money, so it worked for me.

Find out what Jessica does NOW at Save Time and Money on Grocery Shopping and enter her book giveaway here

Save Time in the Kitchen with a Little Prep Work

from Mandi of Easy. Homemade.


As our family has taken baby steps to better eating habits over the past couple of years — reducing and eliminating processed foods that were previously staples in our kitchen — I’ve found myself spending a lot more time in the kitchen.

Although I’m learning to enjoy cooking as I experiment and learn more, I also have a business to run, children to homeschool, books to read (ahem!) and more, and I will admit that there are days and weeks when the stress of trying to juggle all of those things gets to me and I’m tempted to revert back to frozen pizzas or take out.

One thing that has made a huge difference in our eating habits is simply having healthy food on hand and ready to eat.

Click to read the rest of Save Time in the Kitchen with a Little Prep Work

On Batch Cooking

from Aimee of Simple Bites

It’s a cozy Sunday afternoon and I’m sitting here watching the cold rain fall, thinking of all the times batch cooking has saved our family dinner time. Today, Danny is laid up with a nasty cold, and I’m juggling the busy household on my own, attempting to get ahead just a little bit for the upcoming week.

I’ve brought Danny a mug of hot ginger tea with honey, and am the afternoon has filled up with washing school uniforms, baking cookies for lunches, wrapping up homework, and making a M-F menu plan. Still, the boys want me to play a game of Sorry with them, the baby’s getting into everything, and oh!wouldyoulookatthetime? the Twitter chat I’m co-hosting is starting in 30 minutes.

I’m flying, and although I’m unsure if I’ll get half the things done I need to, I’m comforted with the fact that at least dinner is taken care of. Once again, batch cooking comes to the rescue.

Read the rest and enter her giveaway right HERE

Morning Routine

from Tammy of Tammy’s Recipes 

imageMy morning and evening routines are what keep me going these days, it seems. Oh, I have to smile when I get emails like this one from my friend Maleesa:

How do you balance working out, cleaning, making meals, home schooling, blogging and lots more? I find that I have to force myself away from the computer and say I will do things and reward myself to get computer time. Do you have a limit of time? Or just when you have time? Or do you give only certain times for it?

Read the rest and enter her giveaway HERE.

How to Bake Bacon and 6 Other Time Savers


Baking bacon makes it so much easier to prepare and frees up my hands to accomplish other tasks that need my attention – in or out of the kitchen.

Have you ever baked your bacon before? It was a new technique to me until about a year or two ago. I couldn’t believe that I had never tried it before.

No splatters on the stove. No babysitting and flipping the bacon. No mess. No fuss. Perfectly cooked bacon every time.

I totally need to do this! I hate bacon cooking but love bacon! Read the rest right HERE and enter her book giveaway here

Loving the Slow Cooker

from Amy at Kingdom First Mom

In this season of newmommyness, I need to be able to make a quick and healthy meal that will satisfy hungry tummies and still allow me plenty of snuggle time with my babe. Add to that the fact that this new babe thinks he needs to eat 24/7, and you can see how my time in the kitchen might be limited. One of my favorite go-to kitchen time savers is my slow cooker.

Read the rest at Eat Well and Spend Less with Kitchen Time-Savers: The Slow Cooker and a giveaway for Jessica’s book…

If you haven’t had quite enough to read yet, I was also featured over at the Oreck blog this week with tipe to save money at the reduced produce rack without buying mush: how to navigate expired produce.

Don’t miss the monthly installments of this series: be sure to sign up for a free email subscription or grab my reader feed. You can also follow me on Twitter, get KS for Kindle, or see my Facebook Fan Page.

Disclosure: I am a paid blogger for Oreck. See my full disclosure statement here.

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