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From Office to Kitchen: 10 Tips for Managing Daily Cooking When You’re Working 9 to 5

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There’s nothing less exciting than having to prepare food after a long day at work. By the time you get home, your brain is slow, your hands are tired, and your body is screaming for help! But how about making their process easier? If you’re looking to manage daily cooking when you’re working 9 to 5, consider these fantastic tips.

1. Embrace Meal Planning

Meal planning

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Planning your meals is the best way to know what you’ll eat beforehand. During the weekend, plan for the following week, and you’ll find cooking easier after work. “The only way I could ensure I got hot home-cooked after work was by meal planning,” says a corporate worker. 

2. Prep Your Ingredients Ahead of Time

Chopping vegetables

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Have you ever started on a recipe only to realize you don’t have the right ingredients? The only way to avoid disappointment is to plan. An online user says, “I figured that the most time-consuming cooking chore is prepping the ingredients. When made ahead of time, only the cooking is left, which is rather enjoyable.”

3. Make Use of Leftovers

Leftover food stored in container

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If you have some leftover food, get creative with it. For instance, leftover rice can turn into a delicious plate of fried rice or risotto, while pizza suits the next day’s breakfast, and you can make a sandwich with roasted veggies and hummus. Don’t eliminate your leftovers; there are many ways to turn them around. And if you love leftovers, cook extra of the meal to eat later in the week or even freeze for later. 

4. Defrost Your Protein in the Morning

Defrosting chicken

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Defrosting your meat when you want to cook can be painstaking and time-consuming. “I found that defrosting my protein in the morning is convenient as it’s ready to bake when I return home,” another user commented.

5. Cook Larger Portions

Baked potatoes

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“Although two people are home, we cook enough meals to serve four. So we eat the meals two days in a row and only need to cook on alternate days.” says a working mom. If you want to lessen your cooking and kick back on some nights, this is how to do it.

6. Consider Microwave-Friendly Meals

Man using microwave to reheat food

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Wouldn’t it be nice to pop a meal in a cooker and take it out after a few minutes, ready to eat? Well, when cooking with a microwave, you can enjoy this. Microwave-friendly meals like chili, Mac n cheese, noodles, and scrambled eggs can get the job done after a long day at work.

7. Go For Easy-To-Prepare Meals

Woman cooking in kitchen

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You don’t need to prepare complicated meals like croquembouche, macarons, or a souffle right after your 9 to 5. Keep it relatively simple with options like sausages and veggies, baked chicken, or tacos, and leave the complicated options for when you have some help and a lot of time on your hands.

8. Ask For Help

Couples cooking together

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“We live with two family members who stay at home while we go to work. However, my husband only prefers my cooking, so I’ll ask them to prepare all my ingredients and do the dishes after cooking,” adds a female user. If you can get help with the dishes or prepping ingredients, take it and only take care of the cooking.

9. Learn How to Batch-Cook

Batch cooking

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Batch cooking is a lifesaver for when I’m swamped. I take the weekends to cook freezer-friendly meals like a bisque fish pie, lasagne, and beef stew and reheat them when I want to eat. The trick to ensure the food tastes good is to add your spices and a few other ingredients when reheating to gain a lot of flavor. To do this well, have a big enough freezer!

10. Shop for Everything You Need on the Weekends

Woman doing grocery shopping bill

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Shopping for your ingredients in advance is one of the best tips you’ll get. It makes life simpler because you’ll have everything you need at hand. Write out a list of everything your requirements and get them on the weekend.

Source: Reddit.

AUTHOR: Louisa Eunice

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