If you remember my word for the year, organization, then you will see that I am actually working on my goals. I spend so much time in the kitchen that I have been really studying ways to cook, organize and even move more efficiently in the kitchen. I decided to do away with some of the cute stuff on the counters and put the items I am always reaching for on a tray next to the stove.
One of the baskets for example is labeled baking. When myself or one of the kids is baking we can just grab that basket instead of fishing around for the ingredients needed.
Probably my number one time saver is meal planning. I make a menu out each week. This way I know what to shop for. I make the grocery list at the same time. Then it is out of my head because it is on paper. I know my ingredients are here because I bought them from my list I made when menu planning. I have summer meals and winter meals and rotate based on what is in the freezer.
Another step I try to do is to only do something once to use multiple times later. If you are chopping something like onions, chop a whole bunch. We all use these in so many recipes.
Then divide into freezable containers to use later. You can do this with shredded cheese. I will shred a whole bowl and zip up in a large bag to use for the week. If they start to get old then toss in the freezer. It still melts wonderfully from the freezer. Don't throw anything away. Food is too expensive.
I learned the next trip from Rachel Ray a few years ago and always use it. Keep a trash bowl on the counter when cooking. Toss garbage and peels, whatever in this bowl and then when cleaning up you just make one trip to the trashcan. Keeps the counter cleared up to and then put the bowl in the dishwasher when you are done.
Keep a bowl or your sink ready with hot soapy water. Toss dishes in as you are preparing a meal and wash up when you have a minute or two. Feels so good to finish cooking and not have a pile of dirty dishes to deal with.