Saving Time When Preparing Meals

Category Cooking Tips
With our busy schedules, we are always looking for time saving ideas. This is a page about saving time when preparing meals.


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I use propane to cook with. Like all fuels the price continues to rise. I started looking for ways to cut costs for cooking. I found a great one! Use a pressure cooker! It is so easy to use.

It makes everything juicy, moist, tender, and it is so quick. I can put a roast in, and in 20 minutes it is completely ready to eat! You can use it for dried bean recipes, again cutting the time. So we don't go out to eat. If I forgot to get something ready for dinner, I can have it ready in a 1/2 hour!

When you do use the oven, make sure to double or triple your recipes then freeze them. You make it once. You do only one set of prep dishes. You can have meals ready again quickly (so you don't eat out). You are always ready for company or to take a meal to a sick friend. You always have cakes and cookies ready to give or share for unexpected gifts. You save water doing dishes, fuel cooking, and your time.


This works also when making waffles, pancakes, and pizzelle cookies. Make them and put wax paper between them. Take out as much as you need and heat them in the toaster or microwave.

When making cookies, triple them, and you'll have some ready for Christmas or whatever you need them for.

When you make noodles make more than for today. Let them dry and freeze them.

Make extra pie crust and put them in freezer. When you make a pie, make two and freeze one raw or you can bake it, cook, and freeze.

Hope some of these tips help you as they have me. It really does help save time and money!

By Tightwade from West Middlesex, PA

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March 10, 2001

I have found a great time-saver. It is a rice cooker/warmer.

Rice is a wonderful accompaniment to so many meals, and with this handy appliance, I can add the ingredients at once, turn it on, and then ignore it until time to serve up. I can also use it to reheat left-over rice. I can also keep rice at serving temperature while family members eat at different times, such as Saturday breakfast when we don't set the alarm clock. I can have hot rice waiting for lunch after church, or ready for supper after I've worked all evening waiting tables.


What does one do with rice at a meal? Well, top it with spaghetti sauce that was left or planned over. Put any meat sliced thinly on top, add a bit of gravy. Take cooked meat, lightly reheat in a frying pan and add teriyaki sauce, and put that on the rice. Make fried rice with left-over rice and a bit of this and that. Sprinkle the rice with a seasoning blend, and use it as a side dish. (In an international grocery, you can find many varieties of furikake, which is a Japanese rice seasoning blend.) You can put some canned or left-over vegetables on rice, along with some sliced or grated cheese, and then microwave just long enough to melt the cheese. Rice can take the place of potatoes, noodles or stuffing in many different meals. And, you can serve the rice with beans (or whatever else) cooked in the crock-pot. Or, have hot rice waiting for you in the morning to serve with milk and sugar as hot cereal.

I have found that it is just as easy to cook brown rice as white in my rice cooker. The only difference is that I measure the water a bit more generously for brown rice --about 1/4 more water. It comes out just as soft and fluffy as white rice, which means it would be easier to get a finicky family to like brown rice cooked this way. (If you need to be very subtle about introducing it, mix half brown and half white rice, and cover it with sauce before serving. They might eat half the portion before they notice anything is different!)

Rice cookers come in a variety of sizes, and are no more expensive than other similar time-saving appliances. Since rice is such an economical and versatile food, you could easily get enough use to justify the outlay, and if it reduces reliance on convenience foods, it will probably save money in the long run.

Rose Berry - Thrifty Fanatic

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October 19, 2005

Recently, while talking with a friend, we were discussing how we prepare the same dishes. By doing this, it's given me several ideas on how to change the way I go about preparing my dishes, mostly saving time in the kitchen.

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