Tired of Cooking Dinner Every Night? Try This

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Cooking at home is a necessary fact of life, and between meal planning, grocery shopping, cooking, and cleaning, making dinner at home can eat into your free time. Whether your idea of cooking consists of combining random ingredients in your fridge or planning a multi-course meal each night, preparing food each day can feel like a full-time job. 

If you're not in love with cooking, this can be an especially big challenge. However, you can take steps to make cooking at home less of a chore and decrease the amount of time you have to spend getting dinner ready each day. 

Continue reading to learn some simple ways to improve your experience when making a home cooked meal and what you can do when you need a break. 

The Exhaustion of Food Preparation

No matter how much you love to cook, it can be exhausting to make dinner every night. If you have a partner or a family, cooking often means making two or three times as much food as you would have for yourself (especially if you want leftovers for lunch and dinner in the coming days) and making different food choices than you would on your own (and not necessarily having them appreciated!).

After days, weeks, and months of being the family cook each night, it's not uncommon to feel burned out. 

Tiring Prep and Cleanup 

What typically makes cooking at home so exhausting isn't making the dinner itself but all of the prep and cleanup that goes into fixing each meal. Not only do you have to plan which meals you want to make each week, but you also have to go to the grocery store, do any necessary meal prep (like soaking beans, marinating meat, and chopping vegetables), and clean up after dinner. 

If you have someone to share the burden of cooking each night with, the process can feel slightly more manageable, but even prepping food and cleaning up for only half the week can be a major chore. 

Never-Ending Cycle 

Not only is cooking at home time-consuming and exhausting, but it never ends. You will alway have to cook dinner because even if you make enough food to have leftovers, you'll eventually have to cook another meal. 

This never-ending cycle of making dinner each night can lead to a lack of inspiration and feelings of burnout. 

Top Tips for a Better Food-Making Experience 

You're not alone if you're feeling burned out and no longer enjoy making the same meals at home. Cooking is a reality that many of us can't escape, so follow these helpful steps to bring the fun back to making food. 

Keep a Stocked Pantry

One of the worst parts of cooking is making long lists of all the items you need and going to the grocery store. Instead, keep your pantry fully stocked so you have most items you regularly use on hand. 

While this might feel like a chore for a few weeks, we promise it will improve your at-home cooking experience. Once your pantry is fully loaded, you'll have most small items recipes call for, making your weekly grocery shopping significantly more manageable. 

Keeping a stocked pantry also means you'll have the ingredients necessary to throw a go-to recipe together when you only have a few items left in your fridge. A good rotisserie chicken or a side salad on hand can help a lot.

Prep Ahead When Possible 

We know prepping is easier said than done, but this step can make a huge difference in your nightly cooking routine. 

Try these helpful tips to reduce cooking time and dirty dishes throughout the week:

  • Wash produce as soon as you bring it home from the grocery store.
  • Measure all dry ingredients for your meals ahead of time and label them in your pantry.
  • Chop veggies ahead of time; when possible, keep veggies in a container filled with water to prevent them from drying out, or use frozen veggies.

Try New (But Simple) Recipes 

Cooking doesn't have to be complicated, and if you're feeling burned out, skip the labor-intensive meals and opt for simple recipes with fewer ingredients (no one ever turned down a good grilled cheese, after all). 

Hit the thrift store to stock up on cookbooks or join a subscription service to refresh your recipe collection. You can switch it up with parmesan cheese, sweet potato, brown rice, and other ingredients for different dinner recipes. Try making different regional cuisines each week or month to keep yourself from getting bored and sharpen your cooking skills.  

Make Double Servings 

If you're not used to doubling recipes, trust us, it's time to start. Even if it seems like a huge amount of food while making it, the more leftovers you have, the less cooking you have to do each week. 

Try doubling your favorite recipes to cut shopping, cooking, and cleaning time in half.

Clean Up ASAP

There's nothing worse than finishing your meal only to glance at your kitchen and realize you have a massive pile of dishes to deal with. If you get in the habit of cleaning up ASAP, you won't have time to talk yourself out of it. Especially take time to clean equipment like a slow cooker as soon as you can.

Clean as you can while cooking your meal, and deal with the remaining utensils, pots, and pans as soon as you're done with dinner. Sweeten the task by putting on music that gets your blood pumping or a podcast or audiobook that transports you out of your kitchen.

Take a Night Off With a Private Chef

Even if you learn to incorporate all of these practices into your routine, there will still be times when cooking at home sounds exhausting. Consider taking the night off on those days using INTUEAT's personal chef services

When you hire a personal chef, you can have a delicious, restaurant-quality meal prepared in the comfort of your home without the hassle of making reservations or going out. The best part? No prepping, cooking, or cleaning is required. 

INTUEAT: A Better Night In

Making food at home takes time and energy, and getting burned out is normal. If you're tired of cooking dinner every night, try the above tips to simplify the process. 

What if the will to head to the grocery store or make your go-to dish still eludes you? INTUEAT is here to help. INTUEAT chefs are cooking experts with years of experience. 

Whether you're looking for a kid-friendly casual meal or a fine dining feast to serve at your next dinner party, you can find a personal chef who can match your budget, dietary preferences, and timeline.

Don't believe the hype - here's 8 Reasons You Can Afford the Cost of a Private Chef.

Looking for that magical combo of better nutrition and zero cooking? Read How to Eat Healthy Without Cooking: Tips & Tricks.

Feeling inspired to start planning your own event? Find your INTUEAT personal chef in Sarasota, Denver, Colorado Springs, Miami, and Fort Lauderdale!

Jennifer Rives

This article is about my personal profile as a writer. It includes the genres I write in, the style I write in, and advice I have for new writers.


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