7 TIME-SAVING COOKING & SHOPPING TIPS
With our busy lifestyles, many of us are looking for ways to save time on our weekly shopping and cooking, while still maintaining a balanced nutritional lifestyle.
Here are a few simple tips that will help you save time on shopping and cooking, without compromises for your healthy eating or budget.
- Use a fixed weekly shopping list: Create a fixed weekly shopping list that you can keep on your phone. This will help you limit your shopping trips to once a week and ensure that you don't forget essential items that might require additional trips to the shop later in the week. You can tweak your fixed shopping list as needed before every shop, depending on the what items you still have in your cupboard/fridge. This approach can also help you limit impulsive shopping of unhealthy foods and reduce the shopping bill, as unexpected mid-week trips to the shops (particularly convenience shops) can result in additional cost.
- Buy online: Depending on the country you live in, online food shopping can be more or less cost effective, but it is almost always time-saving in the long term. Most stores will allow you to create a desired shopping list or save your order and use it again at the next shop, and there is of course no need for the travel to or back from the shop.
- Use frozen vegetables for cooking: Frozen fruits and vegetables are equally and sometimes even more nutritious than their fresh version. They can also save you some cooking time, as there is normally no need to wash or cut them and they can be cooked straight away.
- Cook in bulk: Many foods, such as stews or soups, can be cooked in bulk and either kept in the fridge for a few days or frozen. This saves time on a busy day when instead of having to cook lunch or dinner from scratch you can just unfreeze and warm up a portion of a dish that you had frozen a few days before. If you are making roasted chicken and vegetables for dinner, roast a whole chicken and a double portion of vegetables, and use the second portion the next day, e.g. in a salad or simply warm them up again. Some breakfasts are can also be made in bulk - see our recipe for overnight oats, which will last for 2-3 days in the fridge.
- Steam: Steaming is a fabulous cooking method ,not only because it preserves more nutrients than most other types of cooking, but also because it saves time spent both at the stove and on washing. Even with a simple steaming pot you can cook a healthy, balanced and delicious meal in 20-25 min, and then only have 1 pot to wash! Feel feel free to email us for suggestions on specific meals based on steaming, or if you would like a recommendation for a cost-effective steaming pot for home cooking.
- Don't peel all fruits and veg: Some vegetables and fruits do not require peeling and aside from saving the time with peeling them, you are also keeping all the fabulous nutrients that are contained in their skin. Some of the fruits and vegetables that we often peel but actually do not need peeling (just a a good wash!) include apples, potatoes, carrots, aubergines, cucumbers and courgettes.
- Combine cooking, shopping & family time: Involving children in cooking and shopping will most likely not save you time per se, but it will increase quality time spent with your family and also provide you with great opportunities to teach your children about healthy nutrition and help them develop healthy eating habits If you would like some specific tips on activities that you can do during shopping or cooking to help them get involved, email or call us and we will be happy to help.