But first…about balancing school and work
The new semester has started, which means my time has become a little more pressed. As you may recall, I’m taking a full-time schedule this semester. This is on top of my full-time work schedule. I’m trying to find some way — any way — to fit more hours into the day. I’ve failed. However, what I have done is found ways to be more efficient in other areas of my life. So far, these are the things that have saved me the most time and hassle:
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- Grocery pick-up: We don’t live in an area with Amazon Fresh, but we do have a few options for grocery pick-up. How it works is that you select and order your groceries online (where you can shop the current sales), pick a time to meet an associate at the store where they will load the groceries into your car and explain any substitutions. You can even specify details, such as “green bananas or “over-ripe bananas” to ensure you get exactly what you want. We use our local Kroger’s option called Click List.
- Amazon Subscribe & Save: We buy a good amount of our regular non-perishables through Amazon’s Subscribe & Save program. Especially the heavy stuff that we don’t want to carry up our condo’s three flights of stairs. The nice thing is if you have enough items in each order, you can save an additional 15% off the total price. I use the Amazon Chase Visa, coupled with a Prime membership, which gives me an additional 5% of cash back. That’s a 20% savings all together!
- Plan your meals ahead: Batch cooking is probably the best way to save yourself time and ensure that your family has a nutritious meal all week long. Simply dedicate a whole day each week to cooking, packaging, and freezing meals for each day of the week. But, if you can’t commit to doing this, the second best thing is to simply plan your meals for the rest of the week. I spend time throughout the week pinning recipes to Pinterest. Then, I picked a day of the week–Friday, during my lunch break–to pick out each meal, order any needed groceries on Click List, and write out the menu.
- Utilize kitchen gear: Use your time-saving gear to the max! If you don’t already have one, buy yourself a pressure cooker. Whether you choose the popular electronic multi-pots that include a pressure cooking setting (like an Instant Pot) or a stove-top version as I do, it will change the way you cook. Additionally, they’re not like your grandmother’s old jigging-top pressure cooker–new safety features mean you don’t have to worry about the pressure building up and causing a small but messy explosion. And, of course, we can’t ignore the loyal kitchen helper for so many busy families, the slow cooker. My All-Clad slow cooker can cook up to 20 hours, making super long-simmering broths a breeze.
These are just a few suggestions to help balance busy schedules while still cooking good food for our family.
Pudding Mix Dark Chocolate Brownies
Why would you put pudding mix in brownies? Because they made them so incredibly chewy, soft, and moist, that’s why!
These brownies have a perfect crust, too. Let’s not even go into how much I love dark chocolate, too. If you love brownies, then try these pudding mix dark chocolate brownies. I think you’ll really love them!
And an announcement!
Almost Kosher will be doing another series. Our “10 Days of Sous Vide” series was received so well, that we decided to do a “5 Days of Pressure Cooking.” Stay tuned for some of our favorite pressure cooker recipes!