6 Ways To Make Cooking Dinner At Home More Convenient This Winter

  • Parents Only

Preparing healthy, home-cooked dinners on a regular basis is one of the best ways to live a healthier lifestyle and keep the winter blues at bay. Research has shown time and time again that people who eat out less and cook their meals at home have a better-quality diet as well as have a more connected family and happier home life – and that is something that everyone could use a bit more of right now.

However, cooking at home isn't always easy for time-poor parents. It's one of those lifestyle shifts that can be easy to start with but hard to maintain as a habit.

So we've found some easy hacks to get you on track this winter and help abate meal-time stress, curb your take-out dependency and get your cooking mojo back on track. Plus, you'll stay toasty in those chilly winter months enjoying quality family time at home with yummy, heartwarming dinners!

6 Ways To Make Cooking Home Dinners More Convenient

1. Plan Ahead

Before you start heading to the supermarket, plan out a week’s worth of dinners in advance. It is much more economical as ingredients will often overlap and being organised with all the ingredients on hand at home is the easiest way to ensure you stick to your best-laid plans.

Of course, you might not adhere exactly to the schedule, and may even cheat by ordering takeaway one night, but the point is that once you make a plan you are giving yourself the best chance of seeing it through and setting yourself up for success. Arm yourself with a realistic plan including some family favourites, and you are on your way. You've got to start somewhere, so make that place your kitchen!

2. Get an All-in-One Cooker

Philips All-in-One Cooker
The Philips All-in-One Cooker is a nifty, time-saving appliance that cooks 50% faster!

Imagine whipping up a winter-warming home-cooked meal in 30 minutes! This award-winning new Philips All-in-One Cooker makes comfort food a cinch, cooking hearty, mouth-watering fare in a flash. The unique Rapid Pressure Release Technology works 50% faster than stovetop cooking, so it's a surefire way to make family mealtimes quicker and easier - and less time in the kitchen means more me-time for you!

This sleek, multi-functional appliance delivers delicious results, boasting fancy new features like the Taste Control system and pre-set Cooking Programs. Plus, you can take the guesswork out of dinner time with 35 pre-set menu options at your fingertips and cook your favorite dishes in one touch with the customized cooking program shortcuts. With an easy-to-program 24-hour Preset Timer and an automatic function that will keep food warm, you can get on with life knowing your meals will be ready to go when you are!

Philips All-in-One Cooker
Brrr-illiant for cooking winter-warming comfort food in a flash!

3. Embrace the Power of Leftovers

A sure-fire philosophy to take into your kitchen is “cook once, eat twice”, because stocking up on food you have cooked to eat later throughout the week is an excellent strategy to prevent you from ordering a takeaway. This is especially true when you’re in a crunch for time and can’t start cooking something from scratch, but don’t want to resort to ordering food delivery or getting the chills going out to eat.

The trick to doing this is to deliberately double up your recipes so that you always have leftovers. While it may technically take more time to prep twice the ingredients, the total cooking time shouldn’t be much longer and you’ll save all the time you would have otherwise spent making tomorrow night’s dinner!

There are plenty of freezer-friendly foods that you can make when you have more free time on the weekend so that you don’t end up feeling rushed. It’s super convenient to be able to help yourself to a nutritious home-cooked feast by simply throwing some leftovers in the microwave.

4. Keep Some Things Simple

Get the kids in the kitchen to help with easy homemade-meals
Get the kids in the kitchen to help prep your homemade meals!

If you’re spending a huge amount of time preparing the perfect main course, then cut yourself some slack and keep your side dishes more straightforward. Easy options include pasta, baked potatoes, brown rice, sauteed spinach or a simple salad.

Another hot tip is to get your kids involved. It's an excellent life skill to learn and many hands make light work after all, no matter how petite those hands are! You can get your kids involved in chopping vegetables or whipping up some of the easier elements of your meal. Better still, find some fun, easy recipes that you can cook together.

5. Use a Slow Cooker

Slow cookers have made a big comeback and are perfect for no-fuss winter comfort food like soups, curries and stews that you can set and forget. There is an endless supply of enticing recipes designed specifically for slower cookers, with minimal prep.

With a slow cooker, you simply prepare your ingredients, throw them in the pot and head out to work - you’ll be greeted by heavenly aromas and warm, hearty food that's ready to go as soon as you get home. They are also ideal for saving money as they will make light work of cheaper cuts of meat due to the long cooking time. 

6. Get Inspired

For convenient homemade Winter Dinners Get Inspired By Cookbooks
Get endless inspiration for convenient homemade winter dinners.

Having a large collection of recipes you know and love is a  good way to guarantee that you’re cooking at home most nights of the week. It’s much less of a chore to start cooking when you already know the steps and love what the end result is going to be. Plus, it's so satisfying to plate up!

Pick out some favourite recipes in your cookbooks to keep on rotation and exchange ideas with friends about your go-to meals - it's a fantastic way to expand your knowledge. Foodie blogs and social media have a bounty of free inspo at your fingertips. You never know what life-changing tip you might discover that totally changes a recipe for you!

Another wonderful place to seek cooking inspiration is right in front of your nose! Ask your family, especially parents and grandparents, to teach you the recipes you loved as a child so that you can keep the family tradition going! It’s important to keep yourself motivated to cook and while it's good to have some staples, variety is key! So if you have lots of hungry mouths to feed each night. outsource some fresh ideas.

More Winter Health Hacks

Five Immune-Boosting Foods for Winter Wellness
The Best Non-alcoholic Drinks
What are Micronutrients and Why Does Your Family Need Them

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