Whether or not you own a dishwasher, cutting back on the amount of utensils you cook with can save you time and money. If you rely on disposable, some of these will work for you too.
Adopt these tips to wash fewer dishes:
- Have the whole family eat with their fingers straight out of the pot. (Okay, that was a joke. Did I have you going there for a minute?)
- Make one-pot meals using the gas-top, oven or crockpot.
- Skip extra courses, or use the same plate. For instance, a first course of bread and spreads can be eaten on the main dinner plate.
- Use smaller pots and plates, but not so small that food will spill or boil over.
- Label water cups, or spaces on a turntable or tray, with names of family members. They can manage with only one throughout the day.
- Plan cooking sessions in a sequence that uses as few utensils as possible. Chop similar items together. See Use Your Food Processor Efficiently for more ideas.
- Reuse dirty plates to hold peels, cores, etc. until you throw them into the compost or garbage.
- Serve straight from pots instead of putting food on serving dishes. See Individual Plates or Family Style? A Comparison of Serving Methods.
- Sometimes a plate requires only a rinse before reusing, or not even that. Use your judgment: If the plate with a few crumbs has been sitting for several hours, you probably don’t want to use it.
- Cooking food close to the time of your meal saves utensils used for storing large amounts of food.
- Keep a plate or “spoon-rest” next to the stove to keep spatulas and mixing spoons off an unsanitary counter. If I’ve emptied a can, I’ll hold spoons in there until I’ve finished.
What do you do in your kitchen to save on washing dishes?
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