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“I just have too much time to cook!” said no one, ever. Besides the age-old trick of cooking meals ahead and storing them to eat throughout the week, there are some really simple everyday cooking time savers that, though small, will add up to a lot of saved time in the end.
1. Skip the express lane at the supermarket.
According to our pretty scientific study, it turns out every additional person in line adds an extra 48 seconds to the length of time you’ll be in line, while every additional item only adds 2.8 seconds. Long story short (and lots of math avoided), the express lane is not always the fastest lane. Take a look at the number of people in line before committing!
2. Make big batches of multi-meal staples.
Spend an hour (or maybe even less!) on the weekend making a few homemade pantry staples. Whip up a vinaigrette in a mason jar to use on salads and as a marinade all week; make a big batch of rice and store it in single-serve containers; or roast a few trays of veggies to have on hand all week for sides and salads.
3. Filter water “on demand.”
Brita’s new Stream pitchers feature filter-as-you-pour technology. So instead of having to fill a reservoir and wait for the water to drip down as it filters through, you just fill up the pitcher and go. It holds a full 10 cups, so you’ll also save time by refilling it less.
4. Use the right knife for the right job.
Seems pretty obvious, but how often do you catch yourself using the same knife for everything from chopping onions to peeling cucumbers? Different knives are optimized for specific tasks; use the knife designed to carry out that task and chopping will become much more efficient. So: Use a paring knife for peeling or cutting small fruits and veggies, a bread knife for anything that has multiple textures (like tomatoes, bread, or kiwis), and a chef’s knife for anything else.
5. Snip, don’t chop, herbs.
Game changer! Put fresh herbs into a drinking glass and then use a pair of sharp scissors to snip away at them — they’ll be minced in no time. Plus, you save precious cutting board space, so this is a good tip when you’re working with a recipe that calls for lots of herbs. You can also use scissors to chiffonade smaller amounts of herbs: Roll leafy herbs like basil into a cylinder and snip slivers off from the end.
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