11 Ways to Save 5 Minutes… or More!

Article posted in: Lifestyle

Every time February 29 comes around, you get an extra day to use in any way you want. But you don’t have to wait four more years to gain more time for yourself. With these simple tricks, you can squeeze a little more out of any day. Bonus: These time-savers also help you on your way to your weight loss goal.

1. Meal plan.

At the beginning of the week, choose dinners for each weekday so you don’t have to spend time making last-minute decisions and shop for ingredients when the grocery store is busy at the end of the day.

2. Shopping list.
Turn your meal plan into a shopping list and you’ll only have to go to the store once a week and you will be more efficient in filling your cart when you’re there.

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3. Prep foods shortcut.
If you do need to make a last-minute dinner, many supermarket salad bars now include cooked chicken breast, roasted vegetables, and other ready-to-eat ingredients that you can bring home and use to whip up a quick meal.

4. Pre-chopped vegetables.
Check out the grocery store’s produce department for packages of popular vegetables that are already cleaned and cut for you.

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5. Canned beans.
Legumes like black beans are super-healthy foods, but they can take hours to cook. Canned beans are just as nutritious and all you need to do with them is heat and eat.

6. Frozen fruit.
You can be sipping a delicious and nourishing smoothie in just minutes when you use a bag of frozen ingredients such as pineapple, mangoes, or berries that have been cut and prepped. You don’t even need to add ice!

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7. Breakfast overnight.
Start your day with hearty old-fashioned rolled oats without spending time cooking them on them stove by soaking them in milk (dairy or dairy-free, your choice) or yogurt overnight in your refrigerator. Use 1/2 cup of oats to 1/2 cup of milk or yogurt.

8. One-pot meals.
Crockpots® turn raw ingredients into complete dinners while you go about your busy day. Even if you don’t have a slow-cooker, you can roast meat, vegetables and potatoes in one pot, saving you time at the stove and in clean-up.

9. Flattened chicken breasts.
White meat chicken, the foundation of many healthy meals, cooks much faster when it’s been flattened with a kitchen mallet or a rolling pin. Cover the meat with wax paper before you pound or roll it.

10. Cook once, eat twice.
Make a double (or triple or more) serving of any dish and freeze the extras so you get more meals from the time you’ve spent cooking one.

11. Walk and talk.
Whether you have business or personal calls to make, walking at a conversation pace lets you squeeze in a little exercise as you talk.