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Studio 5 Question of the Week: Time Short-Cuts

I keep baby diapers ALL OVER my house. I have a big basket with diapers and wipes in the living room, in the baby’s room and I keep some in every room..including the car. That way I can change my little one’s diapers wherever I am. There is not really a designated space!”

– Aly L.

I like to save time by preparing meals ahead of time and freezing. With meals ready in the freezer I can devote more time for other things without worrying what’s for dinner and even lunch and breakfast. Planning trips out for errands down to a single day. Helps to save time and gas. My husband is almost always late for anything, so I set the clocks forward and it feels like we have more time.

– Maggie W.

When I buy meat it is usually in bulk. So before I put the whole thing in the freezer I cook it all at once and then separate it out into smaller portions then freeze it. Works great for making soups in a hurry!! I do this with chicken, ground beef, ground turkey and even stew meat. It not only cuts down the cooking time but helps with those last minute meals, hence a big time saver!

– Rebecca

I spend a whole weekend making freezable meals for the month. Those 2 days are hard, but it saves me time for the whole month! I throw these meals in the oven and we have nice, homemade dinners for a whole month. Not only do I save money by doing it that way, but in the craziness of life, I don’t have to find time to do dinner.

– Emily

I used to have a job that was piece-rate, so you were always trying to find ways to save time to do more and earn more money. This trickled over into life outside of my job, and I started finding the quickest ways to do everything, even driving around the neighborhood. For example, I know which stoplights take the longest and turn before I get there to save time. I would also always get my lunch ready before I went to bed at night. I would keep it in the fridge and then just have to grab it as I walked out the door!

– Torri M.

To save time, I make sure I plan a menu for each week and then make my grocery list from that so I don’t run to the store more than once a week!

– Emily R.

I exercise while watching studio 5 I do ankle weights and weights for my wings (arms) Love your show. I always come away with something new and stronger muscles!!

– Michele C.

I use my crock-pot often so that I can cook once and eat twice; then freeze a third meal for another time when I need a meal in minutes. Doing so, saves time and energy.

– Pam D.

Always think 12 to 24 hours ahead of time. Put food in crock-pot in the morning and make extra sandwiches in the morning when I’m packing lunches. I will make as many as 4 extra, one for me, daughter-in-law, and who ever of teenagers stop in during school lunch.

– Connie A.

I have always hated taking the time to wash nylons and other delicates. I use a mesh laundry bag instead. The nylons come out cleaner than I can get them by hand and it saves a ton of time!

– Katy E.

I save time by cooking in bulk. I make a big batch of Spaghetti sauce or a double batch of Lasagna. I freeze the extra and then I have a quick meal that I just have to defrost. I already have all the ingredients out, so why not double the recipe and save some time and mess. I also buy gifts at end of season or clearance sales. Then I always have a gift on hand when my kids get invited to a birthday party for one of their many friends. I don’t have to make a special trip to the store to pick one out. They can choose one from my gift stash!

– Lenae T.

My one time-saver that I am consistent with is to buy in bulk (when it is on sale) and get it ready for the week. I brown the ground beef, if I need shredded chicken, I throw it in the crock pot, and then the meat is marked into meal-sized bags then thrown into the freezer. Vegetables are chopped and throw them into bags as well as cookies, chips, nuts or whatever goes into lunchboxes. I also have a basket in my pantry to hold all items that doesn’t have to be refrigerated. Grab and go!

– Sheri

I use shortcuts in cooking. Whenever I have to prepare something that requires a special process, I do multiple batches to save time in the future. For example, when making Funeral Potatoes, it requires processing corn flakes and butter for the topping. I use a whole box of corn flakes and a couple of cubes of butter at once. This makes enough for about 4 batches which I freeze in ziplock bags, label and put in the freezer. It saves me time in the future next time I make funeral potatoes. Another example would be making streusel topping. I double or triple the batch (flour, butter, cinnamon, sugar) and put it in Ziplock bags in the freezer. When I make muffins or a quick bread this can be used quickly without making it new each time. Many cooking steps can be prepared ahead of time, stored in freezer bags, labeled and then used at the last minute to throw something together quickly. It also saves washing extra dishes because a portion of your recipe is already prepared.

– Penny G.

I keep my favorite recipes on my computer so I can just email or print out the recipes to share them.

– April L.

I have found that if I take five minutes to clean up after each meal (15 minutes) I save about an hour if I otherwise do it once a day.

– Becky G.

I make a list of where I need to go and what I need to pick up then follow the route that covers the most places in the shortest amount of time.

– Gina J.

I use one of the tips from a previous guest you had on, Marie Ricks. I have a master menu with all the meals we like and then I have a monthly menu planning sheet. Each day of the week has a theme such as “chicken”, “beef”, “Italian”, etc. Then I just have to pick four meals from each theme and I have the whole month planned out. Each day also has a bread, vegetable, and fruit that stays the same for the whole month. I can do most of my grocery shopping in one day and then just pick up perishables if I have to shop later in the month. It takes a few extra minutes to plan out, but I save valuable time by not having to decide what to eat each night and not worrying about having all the ingredients.

– April T.

Some of my time saving short cut tips are: Running my errands all at the same time using my crock pot, Tivo my favorite shows so I can watch them faster!

– Linda M.

When I make dinner, I make enough to last three or four nights. We rotate the leftovers so that we get variety each night, but I also don’t have to cook something new every day.

– Lorianne O.

My time with my Husband doubles as my work out. We go for brisk walks where he’s my entertainment, protection, and instructor.

-Kallie P.

I don’t take very many short-cuts because I find that in the end it didn’t make things happen faster. If I do take a short cut it is normally in my cooking if I don’t have much time to put a meal together.

– Allison P.

To save time while dressing I place all the clothes of the same colors and types together. This way it is easy to match and coordinate my clothing each day.

– Andrea C.

One of the best short-cuts I do to save time is to cook chicken and hamburger in large quantities. I often cook them in my crock-pot. Then I refreeze the cooked meat in 2 cup portions. It seems like many recipes take cooked meat. Somehow it is so much easier to pull a meal together when the meat is already cooked. I have done this many times, but I have been doing it a lot lately because my freezer door was left open. Whoops! My mom helped me cook up all of the meat that we could save! Another short-cut is to use the crock-pot. It is the best invention for a busy mother!!

– Rosanne J.

I like to watch tv (especially Studio 5), but I have committed to working on some sort of project while watching. It could be anything from sorting through the mail and store ads, folding laundry, or making a thank you card for a friend. It saves time and reduces stress when I can complete a not-so-fun chore while watching something I like.

– Michelle L.

Meal planning! There is not a better time-saver than having dinner all planned out in advance!

– Brittany J.

There are certain things that I can multi task with, although you have to be careful here. However I can certainly make calls while doing the dishes or folding laundry will catching up on a show on the DVR. A cordless phone headset is wonderful to help with this!

– DeVonya M.

I have about four different easy meals that I know that my family loves that I always have the ingredients to that I can make if I don’t have time to make a nice dinner and my family doesn’t have time to wait for a frozen meal to cook. These are also meals that my husband knows how to make if I’m not home.

– Paige

Sometimes when I want to do something I have planned for that day but have a messy house, I “run” while I clean. That’s right, I’ll pick one room to focus on first and I’ll run from spot to spot picking up things and putting them away. Hey…. I get some exercise in at the same time 🙂 … and cut down on the cleaning time!

– Jennifer T.

I keep a small bag for traveling ready all of the time. It is full of trial sizes of all of the products I use to get ready. I can just refill them as needed and I never worry about forgetting anything and I’m ready to go at anytime!

– Michelle R.

To save time in the mornings, I get the kids ready for the next day as much as possible. I have them pick out the clothes for tomorrow, pack their backpacks, and make sure that their shoes and jackets are by the door ready to go. Also if they choose a “home lunch” we pack it the night before and put it in the fridge. This makes mornings much less stressful.

– Elona R.

I have a two story house where the rooms are on the top level and the living area on the bottom. I have a basket on the bottom level to put things in that go upstairs so when I want usually once a week I take the whole basket upstairs with the things from downstairs instead of having to run around the house and make many trips. Everyone knows if they don’t want to take it upstairs then they put it in there and it will get upstairs. It keeps my house cleaner and helps me keep my sanity while cleaning up after a 1yr old.

– Samantha A.

It seems like that every time we want to leave the house with our two little boys it takes us 30 minutes to get everything ready and out the door. So I have decided to always have a bottle and sippy cup ready in the fridge so I can take it and go. I always keep a snack and extra pair of clothes in the diaper bag so that when we want to leave the house we can grab the diaper bag, the bottles and juice and go. It has saved us so much time.

– Wendy C.

I have a 1yr old and a 2 yr old at home. I wear them out, and they both take a nap between noon and three. During that time, I make lunches for my husband and older child, clean the house and make dinner. That way, when the kids wake up I can focus on them.

– Heather Z.

I got this idea from the Rachael Ray show. Take two plastic lids such as margarine tub containers, turn one of them upside down and fill it with small tomatoes or grapes, and put the other lid on top. This will hold the items in place as you run a knife between the two lids. This will cut several grapes or grape tomatoes at one time.

– Roy W.

I set a timer and time myself for cleaning. For instance, I will set it for 15 minutes to clean the kitchen, and then when it beeps, I am done. You could spend all day cleaning your kitchen. Goes along well with other areas of the house, limits you but yet you get things done quicker, no interruptions!

– Andrea J.

While my kids are working on their homework at the kitchen table, I take the time to answer e-mails and check their grades online. I am right next my kids when they need help and I am getting my homework done as well.

– Jennifer G.

At the end of our day we set the timer for 15 minutes, and that is when we pick things up & put things away. Nobody complains, we ALL do our part to help….and we make it FUN! It’s amazing what you can accomplish in 15 minutes, when EVERYONE pitches in and does their part. The house is fresh & clean for the next day’s adventures!!!!

– Kimberly J.

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