The busyness of life can really take its toll on your well-being. Between working long hours, taking care of the kids and just keeping up with everything, it’s no wonder that so many people have lower stress levels and feel more refreshed after a break from the regular routine. One way to slow down, rev up your senses and get your mind centered again is by cooking a healthy meal at home every night. Eating foods that are prepared fresh and without preservatives can help you feel more awake and focused, as well as reduce the risk of you falling ill due to poor dietary habits. To get you started on the right track towards home cooking, here are nine tips to help you save time while cooking healthy meals at home.
1. Plan your meals ahead
Eating well is a great way to feel healthy and strong, so the best thing you can do is plan your meals ahead of time. If you can, plan your meals for the next couple of weeks in advance to ensure that you have a variety of dishes to choose from. This will ensure that you have something nutritious and filling to eat every day, making it less likely that you’ll skip meals or eat unhealthy snacks between meals. If you don’t have the time or motivation to plan ahead, at least plan your meals a few days ahead of time to ensure that you aren’t stuck with nothing to eat that day.
2. Cook in batches
Eating healthy is a great way to feel great and stay healthy, but it’s can also be quite expensive. If you’re looking to save money & time while also eating well, try cooking in batches. This will allow you to save money by making one large batch of healthy meals instead of buying individual ingredients. Side note – pick a recipe you like and eat quite often, not a new one – in case it doesn’t turn out the way it suits you. Not only you can make a bulk prep for several same-dish meals, but you can prepare the batches of ingredients you use frequently without sacrificing much taste. Sautee & pre-fry onions and freeze them in air-tight bags for up to a few months will save you time chopping and cooking when you’re short on time.
3. Always keep something in the freezer
When you’re planning your meals, make sure that you always have some type of protein that can be transformed into a healthy meal, such as a chicken or fish or vegetarian alternative in the freezer. This will guarantee that you have something healthy to eat, even if you’re short on time. If you’re looking to save money, consider buying a large pack of sausages in bulk to save money. You can also make your own meatballs or burgers with these meat or meat substitutes and add them to a filling casserole for a tasty, healthy meal. Combining something pre-made (either by yourself or from the store) with a freshly cooked part of the meal is a great time saver and still a healthy way!
4. Don’t go shopping without a list
Whether you’re buying fresh or frozen produce or anything else for your meals, make sure that you have it all written down and take it with you to the shop or market. This will prevent you from forgetting something important and prevent you from buying unnecessary items. To save time while shopping, try to buy all of your groceries at once for around a week time instead of buying them every day. Doing weekly shopping for your groceries will also force you to think and plan ahead what you gonna cook & eat thru the week.
5. Buy seasonal produce
Eating fresh and healthy food is a great way to feel great, but it can also be very expensive. To save money while eating well, consider buying seasonal produce, particularly produce that is in season for a shorter period of time, such as strawberries in spring and apricots and cherries in early summer. Not only that products in season are available at better price, but they also taste better and highly likely come from nearby area.
6. Season and marinate ahead
Cooking healthy meals is a great way to go to maintain your body healthy. Some delicious foods can require a lot of prep time, but if you can prepare the first steps of tomorrow’s meal a night before – like seasoning your food (or meat) and marinating it, you can have something very yummy without too much effort. Also, healthy breakfast options like “overnight” oats take very little time in preparing but require rest and soak overnight.
7. Get creative with leftovers
Leftovers aren’t just for those who don’t have enough time to cook, they’re also a great way to save money and get creative with your cooking. Most meals will have some leftover ingredients that you can use in other recipes, such as vegetables or herbs that have been left in the pan while you were cooking the main meal. Alternatively, you can cook with these ingredients to create a new type of dish that you would normally have bought from a store. Having leftover rice? Nothing better than Asian stir-fried rice the next day. Leftover pasta? You can make a delicious pasta salad as a whole meal or side dish next day.
8. Opt-in for meal kit delivery service
If you’re looking to save time while cooking healthy meals, consider opting for meal kit delivery. This could help to reduce the amount of time that you spend in the kitchen and shopping and make it easier for you to eat well on a tight budget. Many of these services can also help to keep you on track with your diet, as they’ll often include recipes and nutrition information that are designed to be balanced and healthy for your body. To save money while getting healthier, consider subscribing to these types of services, which can be a great way to boost your daily nutrition. If you like cooking pick an option for meal kit, or for the busy weeks ahead you can subscribe to already-made meals.
When it comes to cooking healthy meals, there are a number of ways in which you can save time while still enjoying and respecting the quality of the food that you’re eating. The best way to go about this is to plan ahead as much as possible. Think about what you’ll eat on any given day and what ingredients you’ll need, then plan ahead and make sure that you have the right ingredients on hand. When you’re ready to cook your meal, keep the preparation steps as simple as possible. You can also make one or more types of meals ahead of time and then just reheat them whenever you’re ready to eat. Doing all of this will allow you to save money, while also eating well and getting in the habit of preparing and eating healthy meals on a regular basis.