This month we’re back to a tangible goal! We want to spend less time on weeknight food prep. Obviously we enjoy cooking (we blog about it, for crying out loud), but weeknights are one huge time crunch. I’m trying to exercise, S wants more personal interneting time, and our poor cats follow us around the kitchen waiting for their time.
How long do we spend prepping dinner now? I tried to keep track in January by every night writing down an estimate of time spent, but I suspected gross underestimation. By this method, our January average was 47 minutes, which isn’t that bad. Just this week, though, I’ve been walking around with a timer recording everything I do from when I walk in the door until we sit down to eat. Everything takes longer than I thought! Our “quick” menu has been taking at least an hour every night. For instance, this pizza pictured from last probably took at least an hour, but I always think of it as a quick dinner.
We have our work cut out for us. Like I said when setting this goal, it will not be accomplished in the next 15 days! Some thoughts about menu planning for fast food:
Instead of making a new dinner every night, double recipes and eat leftovers for dinner. Or plan lunches other than leftovers.
2. Efficiencies of scale
While the cutting board is out, look ahead and chop in bulk.
3. Keep it simple
Don’t follow recipes. That takes time and usually requires more ingredients than just cooking with what’s on hand.
I had these things in mind when planning our menu, and it’s still taking too long. I’ll try to analyze why that is and report back soon!