Finding the Time to Cook Dinner Every Night

*This is a contributed post* 

A lot of people find it challenging to cook dinner at home. Not because they don’t know how to cook or because it’s difficult, but because they simply don’t have enough time.

At least, that’s what people tell themselves.

The reality is that we all have time to cook not just dinner, but also breakfast and lunch for ourselves at home. Even if it means prepping meals on the weekend or whenever we have time, it’s completely possible to live a lifestyle where you control every nutrient and calorie that goes into your body. This has huge benefits for your health and wellbeing, such as being able to finely-tune your nutrient intake and avoiding unnecessary calories.

But if you’re a busy person that has to work many hours on an unpredictable schedule, can you still find time to cook dinner every night? Yes, you can! And here’s how.

Make time for your cooking

Before you start cooking more at home, you need to try and make more time for it. This sounds like something incredibly obvious, but it’s important nonetheless. Start looking for ways to cut down on time spent outside, at work or doing anything unproductive. For instance, if you’re used to stopping by at a fast food place after work, avoid it and see how much time you can save by just going home instead to cook. Similarly, make sure you’re cutting out any lazy time spent binging on television or looking at social media at home so you can see how much time you can make for cooking.

This post titled The Essentials for People Leading a Busy Lifestyle has a great selection of tips that will help anyone cope with their stressful and busy lifestyles. Even if you have a busy lifestyle, it’s always possible to make more time for cooking as long as you take a good look at your day and where you spend your time.

Plan your meals in advance

A lot of people prefer to spontaneously cook something for their meals, but it’s a lot better to plan your meals in advance especially if you don’t have much time to cook at home. When you’re on break at work, look around for different recipes that you can try and make a shopping list so you can pick up the ingredients on your way home.

By planning your meals in advance, you can cut down on the amount of time you spend deciding what to eat and it also means you waste less since you’re not spending your money on ingredients and groceries that you’ll end up wasting. It’s also a fun way to try out new recipes every night so you’re always eating something different instead of the same old meals.

Stay organised in the kitchen

One of the best ways to speed up your cooking is to always be organised in the kitchen. If you spend too much time trying to find a certain sauce or utensil then it’s going to slow you down. Make sure you dedicate a day or two in the future to sorting out your kitchen and spend a couple of minutes at the end of the week clearing out your cupboards and removing anything that you don’t need anymore.

When it comes to appliances, try to keep them to a minimum. Certain appliances like a food processor can be a great time saver when it comes to chopping things, and microwaves can also be useful at heating up certain ingredients before you cook them. However, having too many niche appliances that only serve a single function can just clutter your kitchen and make it difficult to work in.

Cook long and slow

One of the best ways to always come home to a delicious meal is to start cooking low and slow. It’s a fantastic way to cook over a long period of time and if you use the right appliances and recipes, you’ll always come home to a wonderful hot meal. Take a look at some slow cooker recipes for some healthy and fun ideas on how you can start cooking in the morning and always come back to a healthy hot meal every day.

The slow cooker is arguably one of the best ways to cook over a long period of time. The recipes are simple, endlessly customisable and are packed with nutrients thanks to the way they’re cooked. It might take a few tries to perfect your recipes in a slow cooker, but it’s really one of the best ways to cook while you’re at work.

Make extra servings and save them for later

This is similar to a food prep tip, but the idea is to always cook more portions than you plan to eat so you can save the rest for breakfast, lunch or even a future dinner. This also helps you cut down on food waste since there are a lot of items that you simply can’t buy in single quantities. This is the case with most packaged vegetables, and there are other ingredients that you might need to leave in the fridge or store in containers if you want to keep them usable for the future. You might also be forced to use those ingredients in other recipes if you save them, limiting your choice of recipes.

To avoid this, try to measure out the portions and how much you need for each recipe, then cook extra to ensure you use up all of the ingredients and have extra leftover for a snack in the future or another meal. This is a great way to both save time in the future and money.

We hope that these tips have encouraged you to cook more at home. We all have time to cook dinner for ourselves every night, but it does take a little planning and consideration especially if you’re used to just buying pre-made meals or even fast food every night.