More cooking means more cleaning, HELP!

Budget Menu & Dirt Cheap Recipes Weekly Menu Plans More cooking means more cleaning, HELP!

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    • #277289

      Okay guys, I need your help! I am trying to cook more and make two or three meals at a time…..BUT…The more I cook the more pot & pans their are to clean. Yikes!

      Somedays I just feel buried in dishes. I try to wash right away when I use them, but sometimes I get tired and then my family leaves them around too. I do work part-time (2 days one week and 3 the next week) on my 3 day weeks I just can’t deal with everything building up for me to wash.

      I don’t have any help, no relatives in the area, no friends (really) in the area, I moved here to be with my husband, I have pretty good neighbors, but most people keep to themselves around here. I can’t even imagine monthly cooking if I am having this difficult a time cleaning up just for a few days of meals. Can anyone, especially those parents that work give me any ideas on clean up for cooking plans?


    • #425670

      One neat trick I have recently learned is to spray your pots, pans, casseroles, etc.,with vegetable cooking spray to make clean-up a little easier. When you do cook, cook enough for two meals and freeze one. If you do this on your 2-day work week you will have three ready-made meals for your 3-day work week.

      Or maybe cook something big, like a roast, or 2 chickens instead of one, and serve “planned-overs” such as hot roast beef sandwiches or a beef stew with the beef and maybe chicken & waffles or biscuits, or chicken soup or stew.

      I know it’s easier said than done. But just remember that you are taking “baby steps” and the more you do it the easier it will become. There is a forum on this site that gives “double duty” recipes to make this task a little easier.

      Good luck!

    • #425647

      Cooking twice as much, ect is a big help like Frugal said above. Also spray your pans before you use them and I always start by filling a sink with hot soapy water to toss the really gross pans, ect into so when I do get a chance to wash some of them, they are already soaked and easy to clean. I always try to step over and just wash one or two when I have a moment.

      that really helps instead of just standing there for a couple minutes which I’d rather do. I’m lucky these days to have a lot of help from my older kids but before when they were all little and I was working full time and we also home school I was about ready to lose it all. I had to really plan things and learn to not waste a single minute.

      My nephew taught me how he cooked all they needed once a month. I could never do what he did but I did have about 8 things I’d cook on one day and freeze it all to use during the month and along with the making extra along the way to freeze ahead it really helped me out. I bake 2 pans of lasagna at the same time and my spaghetti recipe makes enough to feed my family of 7 three or 4 times so I make that in the crock pot and freeze that for some fast meals.

      Soup and beans all freeze well for later in the month. So those are things you can make extra on the days you do cook and have freezer meals without the extra dirty dishes. I know at my low point I just made it a rule to find my sink once a day and that got me by enough to get it done.

      Thankfully I have a dishwasher now which I didn’t have back then that helps a lot but it’s not enough to do all our dishes even if we run it 4 or 5 times a day so we still do dishes by hand each day to make sure they all get done. Cooking or baking days we keep the sink full of hot water and it really helps! Good luck!

      I know how overwhelming dishes and laundry both can be! Somethings are never done!

    • #425697

      Great ideas! I never thought of keeping the sink full of hot soapy water:) And spraying EVERYTHING…Thanks guys. Lisa

    • #425729

      I always hated doing dishes. But if you start a sinkful of hot water and just scrub as you go, it helps. One of things I like to do is buy roasted chickens and make a few meals.

      You can have chicken and veggies one night, chicken enchiladas with some left overs and even chicken alfredo with a little more left overs. If you boil the carcass with some celery and carrots, you get your own stock for free to use in soup. The roasted chickens are already cooked, and about the same price as a whole chicken in our area.

      It makes for quick supper ideas.

    • #425885

      Everything that’s been suggested is a great idea. Keep all cooking utensils well “greased” and as soon as you finish with a pot/pan, put it in warm soapy water to soak. And as soon as possible, wash what you have in there.

      I try to rinse all dishes before I go to work and put in the dishwasher, same when I get home, after dinner, and before I go to bed. If something is very baked on, I put it in soapy water to soak overnight, or during the day. I have to say, having a dishwasher is probably the third most important appliance–hot water heater, washer, and dishwasher–in my mind.

      Dryer comes in fourth!!! For years I didn’t have a dishwasher, but since I’ve gotten one, I’ve only done sink dishes when mine broke and I had to have it repaired, and then replaced, or if I have something that really doesn’t fit well enough in the dishwasher, rarely does that happen. I hate, hate, hate, to wash dishes.
      Also, cook larger amounts of everything at once–instead of one chicken baked/roasted, cook 3, you use a larger pan, but it’s just one pan.

      Same for say rice, or beef, etc. Cook enough for at least 3meals, or even 4. Freeze as much as possible–loose meat to put together for whatever you happen to want that evening, and also some completely made dinners–say ravioli, chicken pot pie, lasagna, etc.

      Anything you routinely like, and can make complete, just needing to be baked to finish it.
      It’s a never ending dirty job. Guess we have to do it.

    • #425905

      …and as long as you are planning ahead, did you know that you can make your lasagna the day before w/o having to cook the noodles? Just layer everything according to your recipe, except don’t cook the noodles first. Add about 1/4 cup of water over all, cover and put in the fridge overnight. Bake the next day, adding a salad and garlic toast!

      I do this regularly for a fundraiser dinner that our Royal Ranger outpost has annually (feeding about 100). Works great!

    • #425907

      And this is with just the regular lasagna noodles, not the ones specially made so you don’t have to precook them? Right?

    • #425920

      Yes, regular noodles! Those others cost way too much!

    • #425922

      I know I don’t post much, but when I think of something to suggest I try to pitch in. My hubby and I alway line our baking pans(if you are broiling or baking meat, etc.)with aluminum foil and we spray a little bit of cooking spray on the pans as well. It saves us having to scrub the pans.

      Just toss the foil and wash the pans with some soap and water in no time because the stuff isn’t baked on hard like it would be if you didn’t line the pan. Hope this helps some.

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Budget Menu & Dirt Cheap Recipes Weekly Menu Plans More cooking means more cleaning, HELP!