11 tips to get organised in the kitchen for 2023
Whether you’re on holidays or not. These 11 tips will help you get a head start in the kitchen.
I believe, when it comes to everything, nailing the basics will get your further than trying to out-hack yourself. Of course you can buy new cooking gadgets, fancy meal plans and all the ingredients. But none of it is going to work unless you have the basics set.
These 11 tips are my basics to get organised in the kitchen. Whether its for 2023 or well beyond then. Use this list to take stock and build a solid foundation to get organised in the kitchen.
Watch: 11 tips to get organised in the kitchen for 2023
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#1: Write down all the meals you know or want to know how to cook. Write the ones you’re sick of too.
Write it all down and stick it on the fridge.
Categorise into lists of the ones you love, hate and can work on.
I believe we all know more than we think when it comes to recipe ideas and meals. We just forget. We forget because we’re busy and have lives. And this tiny segment of the evening that we call ‘cooking dinner’ is easily forgotten about. But it actually requires a fair bit of effort to be organised enough to have the ‘cooking dinner’ segment run smoothly.
And they key to it running smoothly is to write it all down. Then you have a list you can refer back to and build upon.
#2: Identify an easy ingredient swap to make the meals different, so you don’t have to learn a whole new recipe.
So you got that list of recipes you know. How can you swap an ingredient to make it different?
For example: Let’s say you make a slow cooker beef chuck bolognese and you’re pretty sick of it. What happens if you add a cup of cream to it? I’ll answer that for you, wonderful things.
This is an easy way to create something new, without having to learn a whole new recipe or method.
#3: Clean out your pantry. And restock your pantry.
Got anything funky in there?
Any ingredients out of date?
Got pantry moths?
Move old ingredients to the front so you can remember to use them. Even better, write a list of ingredients you have to cook with and pop it on your fridge so you can refer to it easily.
#4: Choose a day to meal plan, shop and meal prep. Mark it in your calendar.
From time to time our calendars change and it’s important to reassess when we’re going to do all the things we need to do. Like meal planning, shopping and meal prepping. Whether you do this over 1 morning or spread out over the week. Find the time, block out your calendar and do it.
#5: Research veggie delivery options. Bonus points if it’s recurring and you don’t have to think about it.
I love that my Ooooby veggie box arrives on my doorstep every Wednesday morning and I don’t have to do anything.
I entered my credit card details in 2013 and haven’t looked back since. It’s a subscription service, so I don’t need to opt-in every week. I’ve selected the seasonal box, so I get what’s best that week. And I use my cooking skills to make what I have work for me.
Considering where I live. I feel very lucky I can receive a quality delivery like this. And if I didn’t have access to Ooooby, I’d be driving 20 – 30 minutes to nowhere decent to buy our fruit and veg.
Ordering from Ooooby saves me an easy 1.5 hours each week. Probably more.
#6: Make a master shopping list in the Woolies app so you can easily add your items and checkout.
I have a master list set up in my Woolies app which allows me to easily ‘add to cart’ and buy without needing to search through the entire online shop – which I find very hard.
Having this list set up saves me time when I order from Woolies, which is about once a month.
#7: Find a meat supplier that will deliver. Bonus points if it’s subscription and can set and forget.
This is a new one for me. I love Full Circle Farm but it’s not subscription and it means I need to remember to order. It’s also frozen meat and at this stage, I’ve found it hard to order in bulk and store sufficiently. I need to clean out our freezer to make this work easier for me.
I’ve found if we don’t have the right meat, cooking feels so much more difficult.
#8: Make a meal plan.
There are 2 ways to meal plan.
Structured – allocated meals to days of the week and shop accordingly.
Unstructured – loosely plan the week based on what you have and use a core theme for each day. EG: beef chuck steak on Tuesday and build up the meal from there. This is my preferred method as it’s the best of both worlds, with enough structure I can still meal prep to get ahead and I can use what I have on the night to make our meals exciting and new.
#9: Clean out your fridge.
Clean it all. Find the forgotten stuff. The funky stuff. The frozen stuff.
Clean the shelves. Make a list of what needs to be used, stick it on your fridge.
#10: Clear out your freezer.
Remove everything from your freezer. Make a list. Stick in on the fridge. By now you should have 4 lists on your fridge that you can refer to and help to relieve that cooking mental bandwidth you’re dealing with.
For me personally, my freezer is always so full and it’s a double edged sword. I want to be able to buy my meat in bulk and store it. And I also want pre-made meals that are ready to go. I struggle to find the balance between these.
Considering where I live. Buying the meat has become the more difficult action and this will be my priority going forward. I know I have the skills to whip up the meals with what I have. I just need the ingredients.
#11: Allocate a day or 2 over the holidays and batch cook – sauces, snacks, meals.
Batch batch batch. Get ahead. Be kind to future you.
Whether it’s cookies as snacks, sausage rolls, pasta sauce, slow cooked meat or big batches of rice. It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as you batch food that will make your life easier. And eat it!