Cooking can be a creative, therapeutic, rewarding experience — it can also be time-consuming and exhausting for those with busy schedules.
Unfortunately, a lot of the time, people’s solution to this is to order takeout. The reality is that takeout can get pricey, and is not always the healthiest option. When you cook at home, you know exactly what is going into your meal and can cook with your family’s (and your own) personal preferences in mind.
There’s nothing wrong with ordering in pizza once in a while, but takeout can’t be your only answer to saving time when cooking. So how do you achieve efficiency and save time when cooking without sacrificing food quality?
Fortunately, there are services and strategies you can implement into your schedule to help you save time when cooking, that doesn’t include ordering in takeout:
Meat Delivery Services
Meat delivery services like meat subscription boxes provide the convenience of ordering in food without taking away the freshness and gratification of home cooking.
Being able to get meat delivered to your doorstep saves you the time you would spend grocery shopping which, for some people, means sourcing the stores that have the best deals. A lot of the time, meat delivery companies price their boxes and sets to be the best value deal.
Recipe Boxes/Meal Kits
Meal kits (also known as recipe boxes) are another type of delivery service that will bring food to your doorstep. The difference between recipe boxes and takeout, however, is that recipe boxes bring the food to your house, but it’s up to you to put the meal together.
According to PRNewswire, the meal kit market was at USD 2.5 billion in 2017 and has since been projected to reach USD 8.94 billion by 2025.
It’s easy to see why this market continues to grow. Recipe boxes provide the gratification of fresh home cooking, with the convenience of getting ingredients delivered to you.
The best part of recipe boxes is that they often come with a designated number of servings, are customizable and include the exact measurements of ingredients that you need.
Ingredients come pre-measured in packages to save you the hassle of having to run out last minute to grab something you forgot. This also eliminates the concern of having too much (or too little) of an ingredient. All you need to do is prep the ingredients and cook everything together when you’re ready!
There is a huge culture surrounding meal prep nowadays and for a good reason. Fresh home cooking doesn’t mean that you need to cook meals the day you plan to eat them. It’s hard to find the time to cook every day, especially when you have a family with other priorities like extracurriculars and homework.
Meal prep allows you to pick one free day to plan ahead and cook for the rest of the week — or at least the next few days. You will always have the option to do things the day of, but meal prep will ensure that you have the basis of every meal ready to go whenever you or your family are ready to eat.
The reality is that a lot of meals can be cooked overnight. Keeping the oven or stove on all night is a fire hazard, but pressure cookers and slow cookers allow you to set the temperature, timer and leave. When meals are cooked this way, they can sit in the appliance until ready for consumption. When you are busy, every minute counts. Why not get your cooking done while you’re sleeping or doing something else around the house?
Sometimes little things like washing and chopping vegetables are the most time-consuming part of cooking a meal. After you go grocery shopping, consider preparing the ingredients you may need throughout the week. This can mean pre-washing and packaging fruit, or pre chopping vegetables to throw into a soup or into a pan later that week.