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Clever hacks take stress out of meal times

About Thomas

I write because I can type. I can type because I have a keyboard.

I am a new age Australian resident that is experiencing this new continent with a fresh set of eyes. 

I write on a wide range of topics. Well, I write on food. There you have it, I write on a wide range of food as well. 

The secret to saving time in the kitchen lies in a bit of clever planning.

We are people with no time. And when life moves so fast, passing us by in a jiffy, it's easy to fall into a pattern of bad eating habits.

Are you wasting valuable time in the kitchen? Picture: Shutterstock.

Are you wasting valuable time in the kitchen? Picture: Shutterstock.

That’s where time-saver meals come into play. With a bit of clever planning, you can get on top of your entire week's meals to ensure you follow a healthy, economical and tasty diet.

Before executing your meal plan, or even going shopping, you need to choose recipes you'll cook during the week ahead. This is possibly the most important step.

Pick your recipes

This sounds so simple and obvious, yet when your mind is swirling with the components of meal planning, it can be easy to overlook. Like many things in life, time-saver meal planning is most successful when you keep things simple.

Choose meals that give you with leftovers

This is my strategy, cooking enough to feed the family for the week without having to do so from scratch each night.  Choose recipes that will leave you with ample leftovers, or even the base of an entirely different meal.

For instance, cooking way more rice than you need ensures you have the base for a tasty fried-rice or nasi goreng down the track.

Or, cook a favourite dish in bulk and freeze in portion sizes for the following weeks.

Cook recipes you know, plus one new recipe

Build most of your meal plan with recipes you are familiar with, then add one new recipe. It will keep each week feeling new, while expanding your repertoire at the same time. It will also reduce the monotony of your dishes.

Pick recipes based on your common pantry staples

This tactic will help keep your grocery list a little bit shorter, and maybe even help you come in under your weekly budget. You will use the same ingredients for multiple meals, but they won’t taste the same.

Cook things you really want to eat

You can start with such well-laid plans, but if nothing on that list appeals to you, then you're wasting your time.

Convenience is king

Don't be shy to take short cuts when preparing these dishes. If you can find pre-package products, bases and sauces that save time, by all means use them (there are some magic curry pastes around these days that save a heap of time). 

YsEpicure have some terrific time-saver products that are worth a look. And they could quickly become your favourite go-to time-saver in the kitchen. 

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