Secret Timesavers {in da kitch}.

by Katelyn Block on June 29, 2012 · 14 comments

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As a college student, I try to save time…. all the time. In the kitchen, at the gym, at work, and when I’m eating my breakfast.

Did I mention when I’m in the kitchen?

Not only am I a college student, I’m also kind of lazy. The sad, god-honest truth, is I don’t have all the time in the world, and I bet neither do you. We’re all working hard, ladies and gents. We like to put our money …. where the money goes, and often, cooking gets put by the wayside.

And you know what? That’s okay! Because I have some tips for you. Tips to help you cut corners in the kitch (ooh, that rhymes), and save time so that you have plenty of time to eat your clean, delicious eats and make bank (and so you have time to sweat dirty, don’t forget).

Behold, my quick-and-dirty, oh-so-simple, and not-so-secret (anymore) kitchen tips.

1. Invest in a few handy gadgets. My nuggets of choice? Juicer and a coffee maker.

The Bialetti espresso maker is actually totally new to me (just came in the mail! so happy), but for a year I’ve been using my little baby coffee maker that gets the job done while I make my breakfast. This has been a consistent time saver for me – fill with water, scoop the espresso, and do other things while you wait. This may be obvious for anyone who makes or drinks coffee/tea in the morning, but for me, this is a big thing. Rather than stopping at Starbucks on the way to work (or the gym!), I save some money and a good ten minutes by making my own at home. The 6-cup Bialetti espresso maker (Moka Express) cost me $29.

And next, my juicer. My baby. My everyday buddy. I don’t know what I would do without this thing. Almost every morning and afternoon, I make a solid effort to make a huge green juice and down it before I eat anything “real”. Not only is this an awesome way to get in your greens, and most of all your nutrients, it’s a huge time-saver when you’re an on-the-go modern woman (or man). Think about the time it takes you to throw together a salad, versus sticking some greens and fruit in a juicer (about the same), and then think about how long it takes you to consume each. It takes me a long time to eat a salad. Like, half-an-hour-long-time. It takes me under ten seconds to down a juice. Trust me, I’ve timed it. To me, this is a huge time saver, both in the morning before work (or a workout), and in the afternoon on my lunch break.

The price for me? $Free. It was a hand-me-down from my best buddy Lisa, who had moved on to bigger (and fancier) juicers. To the normal person (who doesn’t have such wonderful hand me downs), a juicer could cost anywhere from $50 to $300 and upwards, but typically you can get a good one for less than $100.

2. Cook food in large batches, then store in the fridge for quick meal prep.

Above, my Mom’s seriously delicious Tuna Salad that I don’t have the recipe for yet. I don’t know how she did it, but it straight up doesn’t even taste like tuna; it tastes like magic. The art to time-saving is taking a bunch of delicious things, making them when you need to, but making about a million times more servings than you could realistically eat right that second. Say, three to five days worth. This way, when you’re hankering for something to eat at lunch tomorrow and don’t know what to eat, you have stuff in your fridge that will make you happy and satisfied instead of giving you a Taco Bell Tummy Ache. (just keepin it real, people)

3. Keep fresh produce and protein in your fridge, but also keep lots of frozen ones on hand for stir-fries and smoothies.

We all love some good salad stuff. But in the long run, having some frozen spinach to sautee or throw in a smoothie is a great way to spend less time at the grocery store (buying fresh produce is a twice-a-week job) and still get in your nutrients. Same goes for broccoli, shrimp, brussels sprouts, chicken, sausages, all the above. If you’re concerned about making sure it’s well-sourced and high-quality, look in the organic section of your supermarket or specialty store. Often, those options are reasonably priced and as high-quality as the fresh kind.

From Electrolux: Speaking of time saving, Electrolux induction cooktops and ranges combine the power of gas with the easy clean-up of electric, so you can boil water in just 90 seconds! 

How do you save time in the kitchen? 

 

I was compensated for this post as a member of Clever Girls Collective. All the opinions expressed here are my own.

1 10″ induction burner with Power Boost, 6 qt./10″ diameter pot, 1 qt. tepid water

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Lauren June 29, 2012 at 6:37 AM

I used to live off cereal and fruit roll ups in college so I’m highly impressed with your ability to get in so much produce and green smoothies! You are FAR beyond so many college students in terms of healthy eating my love.

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Katelyn Block June 29, 2012 at 10:00 AM

Aww, thanks baby girl!

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Hillary June 29, 2012 at 7:50 AM

Do you put spinach in your smoothies? I’m afraid to try veggies with my fruit…

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Katelyn Block June 29, 2012 at 8:54 AM

I do sometimes! It’s a great way to sneak in an extra serving of veggies. You probably won’t even be able to taste it.

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Hillary June 29, 2012 at 8:56 AM

Alright, strawberry, blueberry, spinach with almond milk it is!

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christy June 29, 2012 at 9:30 AM

What’s the juicer called that you use?

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Katelyn Block June 29, 2012 at 9:59 AM

Juiceman! It’s a hand me down, but I think costs around $100.

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Sarah June 29, 2012 at 10:40 AM

Oh I am right there with you on the time saving tricks in the kitchen :) This next semester is going to be my busiest one yet so I know I’ll be needing to take the extra time over the weekends to do some food prepping/meal planning for the week!

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Irina @ Chocolatea Time June 29, 2012 at 2:42 PM

I absolutely always eat breakfast before work but don’t have unlimited time to make something delicious, so my time-saver has been to prep everything I need the night before. This includes combing as many ingredients as possible and even setting out dishes and pans! It works out well.

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Liz June 29, 2012 at 3:35 PM

If you manage to get it out of your mom, please post that tuna salad recipe. I try to eat canned tuna because it’s healthy & cheap but it’s just kinda…meh. I would love to find a yummy recipe!

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Meredith @ DareYouTo June 29, 2012 at 4:33 PM

I’m all about #2 and 3 – making large quantities and having leftovers ready to eat for a few days, and having frozen veggies and fish on hand, ALWAYS. So great in a pinch!

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Lea June 29, 2012 at 7:45 PM

The microwave is my biggest time saver. After three years of dorm life you really master that kitchen appliance. It’s ridiculous some of the things I’ve cooked in it.

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