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Cutting Your Kitchen Prep Time in Half — Or More!


By Crystal Paine [2], Contributing Writer

Are you working to ditch processed foods and put more real food on the table? This month we’re running a series called Real Food Made Simple: A Beginner’s Guide to Eating Better [3]. Our goal is to answer the questions [4] you might have and make the transition a whole lot easier!

Plan Ahead to Save Your Sanity

Meal planning [5] is key to success and efficiency in the kitchen. We all probably know this. But you have to be intentional about it, or it doesn’t happen.

I’ve done different things over the years, but what’s currently working is to set aside time on Saturday morning to plan our menu for the upcoming week. While I’m planning the menu, I also make the grocery list. Then, on Saturday afternoon, I head to the store to do the shopping.

This ensures that we start the week with a full refrigerator and pantry — and that we have the ingredients on hand to make the items on our menu! Then, throughout the week, I just have to work the plan.


My usual set up when planning our weekly menus [7] — laptop, magazine clippings, my home management binder, and coffee!

Here are some menu-planning helps and ideas:


German Chocolate Fudge Bites [16] — so yummy! These can be made ahead of time and kept in the freezer for up to 4-6 weeks.

Double Up Your Efforts to Save You Time

I love to cook and bake. But I often don’t have time to spend hours in the kitchen — especially on busy weekdays. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t still enjoy home-cooked meals. It just means I have to get creative and make the most of my time in the kitchen.

Here are some things that help me save time and effort in the kitchen:


Put Your Appliances to Work For You to Save You Energy

We might not live in the age of servants, but we certainly have some fantastic modern appliances at our disposal. Use them to your advantage!

Here are my favorite appliances:


Making Homemade Applesauce in the Crock Pot [26]

Other posts in the series:

Real Food Made Simple: A Beginner’s Guide to Eating Better [4]

First Steps to Real Food [41]

What Is Real Food? [42]

Confessions of a Formerly Picky Eater [43]

How to Read Food Labels [44]

The Grain Controversy: Should We Eat Them or Not? [45]

Second Steps Towards Eating Real Foods: Switching Your Food Sources [46]

Sweeteners: How They Affect You, Which Ones are Best, and How to Use Them [47]

Simple Steps to Begin Cooking Homemade: Pantry Staples [48]

5 Strategies to Help Your Husband and Kids Transition to Real Food  [49]

7 Foods to Avoid [50]

Finding Real Food in the Grocery Store [51]

20 Easy Real Food Switches and Substitutions {with Free Printable Chart} [52]

First Steps to Eating for Fertility [53]

Keeping Costs Down in a Real Food Kitchen [54]

Raising Kids on Real Food [55]

5 Ways to Get More Fruits & Veggies into your Diet [56]

Food Is Not Cheap: 4 Steps to Budgeting in Real Food [57]

Simple Steps to Begin Cooking Homemade: Baked Goods [58]

Simple Roast Chicken (And Fabulous Side Dish Recipes!) [59]

17 Homemade Spice Mixes {with Recipes & Why You Should Use Them!} [60]

5 Ways Green Living and Real Food are Connected [61]

Simple Steps to Begin Cooking Homemade: Soups, Sauces, and Simple Dinners [62]

Cutting Your Kitchen Prep Time In Half - Or More! {Keeper of the Home}

What are your favorite tips for saving time in the kitchen?

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