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Kitchen Tips for Saving Time – Pantry Pull-Out

Save Time in the Kitchen.

Kitchen Tips for Saving Time

In an ideal world, we plan menus, shop for ingredients in advance (using coupons, of course), and whip up a meal with classical music playing softly.

But what about those other times – when life feels chaotic and overwhelming?

Instead of rushing to the grocery store, flinging regular-priced items into your cart, I propose another option — a “Pantry Pull-Out” for easy entrees.

First, let me share a few kitchen tricks that allow me to always be ready to do a Pantry Pull-Out.

Time Saving Ideas

Ground Beef

Stock up on ground beef when it is on sale. I used to freeze it uncooked, but then it took a long time to thaw and fry up, and I don’t always remember to pull it out well enough in advance. Solution? Fry it up with a bit of salt, pepper and onion right away, and then stash it in the freezer.

Browning Ground Beef

After it cools, divide the ground beef into freezer containers/bags in about one pound amounts. When it’s time to cook, it just needs a quick thaw and you’re ready to go.

Frozen Ground Beef


Watch for sales on chicken to save at least 50% on boneless, skinless chicken breasts and stock up. Cut chicken into small strips, or chunks, depending on your preference. Of course, you can leave them whole, too. You can freeze pieces uncooked (allowing for a quicker thaw) or cook, cool and freeze, just like you would with ground beef.


Buy large blocks of cheese on sale and grate it right away. To prevent clumping, add a smidge of flour into the container, give it a shake, and freeze. It tastes as good as fresh and scoops out easily because of the flour.

Freeze Shredded Cheese

Pantry Pull-Out

Back to the dinner drama…

It’s because I always have ground beef and chicken cooked and ready to go, plus cheese that I can portion out as needed, that the next steps are quick and easy.

Choose a few items from your kitchen and go to (or use their app) or another favourite recipe site.

Big Oven

  1. Enter a protein you have on hand (ground beef, chicken, tuna, etc.).
  2. Enter a carbohydrate (rice, pasta, potatoes).
  3. Find a recipe that uses these ingredients, plus a vegetable (fresh, frozen or canned) or other pantry item you have on hand. The combinations are endless.

Here are a few options I am going to try from

Meal Ideas

This is not an alternative to regular menu planning, but it is a good option to use in a pinch. Your family will enjoy a delicious meal, and you will use up a few pantry items. You will also avoid a last-minute grocery run – which is priceless!

Perhaps this should become a regular event after all.

What recipe will you try with on-hand ingredients?


  1. Tania

    Whenever I cook meat such as pork chops or steaks or any kind of meat and have left overs, I cut them into small cubes and freeze them. So whenever I want to make rice or noodles or anything else, I can quickly add meat to it!! Also, whenever I cook too much rice, I also freeze it. It’s still as good after and I even use it in my soups!

  2. Amie

    Thanks for the ideas. I always mean to stock up and pre cook stuff to put into my freezer.
    The tuna and Mac casserole is really good. I usually add spinach to it!
    There’s also a book called the big cook. My sister had a bunch of people over one time and we prepared like twenty different meals. Everyone left with twenty different meals. It was awesome! I was pregnant and in school so time was non existent (and energy level). I had meals that were super quick to make up because all of the prep was already done. Need to do another one of those!

  3. Olivia

    Great ideas from the article and from Amie and Tania. From now on, I’ll always precook and freeze the ground beef and freeze cooked rice. Thanks.

  4. Lisa Anne

    During the winter we often make large amounts of spagetti sauce and soup which we freeze for future use. We also keep fresh herbs in the freezer, using an ice cube tray to freeze small amounts and soup stocks to enhance foods such as rice and potatos. Every once in a while I will blanch veggies and freeze them so I can have them ready to heat up quickly. Thanks for the tips and the name Pantry Pull-Out!!!

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