Living on your own can be tough, especially when it comes to cooking. But know that if you have had a fair share of ups and downs in the kitchen, you are definitely not alone. The wonderful thing about living away from home while at university is the sharing of knowledge (or struggle). My friends and I have had our best and worst moments in the kitchen, however we were always there to lend a helping hand. Here are a few simple cooking hacks that I have learned over the years that have truly helped me out.

1. Marinate Your Meat Before Freezing

chicken, meat
Jedd Marrero

Wether it's chicken or fish, one cooking hack that continues to save me time is marinating meats before freezing them. As soon as I get home from the grocery store, I marinate my food in a ziplock bag and then straight into the freezer it goes. This allows for super quick meals ... just remember to defrost them in time!

2. Bake Your Veggies With Your Food

vegetable, pepper, onion, carrot, broccoli, tomato, stir-fry
Christin Urso

This cooking hack may seem like such a simple idea, but it is truly a life saver as you will save time, pots, and cleaning! For example, I bake my salmon for 20 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit ... which is the perfect temperature and time for broccoli as well! Just throw everything onto the baking sheet, drizzle some olive oil, salt, and pepper, and you're set! No need to steam!

3. Use Old Bottles as Pancake Mix Dispensers

syrup, blueberry, sweet, pancake, pastry, berry, cake, chocolate
Alex Frank

This is a super easy cooking hack! For those quick and lazy mornings, this is a perfect solution to having the breakfast you desire with so little time. Step 1: Wash out an old ketchup bottle, Step 2: Make some pancake mix and pour it in the ketchup bottle, Step 3: Refrigerate!

4. Freeze a Fresh Herb Mixture For an Easy Add-In

Herbs, Green, natural, Fresh, farmer's market
Caroline Ingalls

All you need for this cooking hack is an ice tray, your favourite herbs, and some olive oil! Mix the herbs with the olive oil, evenly pour them into the ice tray, and freeze. Then, next time you are cooking, add in a cube or two!

This simple idea can also be used to make flavoured ice cubes! Many people prefer freezing coffee in the ice tray to avoid watered down iced coffee! The same idea can be applied for alcoholic drinks. No more watered down drinks!

5. Use Your Waffle Maker For Everything Else

cheese, waffle, bread
Alex Frank

I'm sure you have heard this one many times before, but your waffle maker can be used to make tons of other foods besides waffles! Grilled cheese, hash-browns, cinnamon rolls, quesadillas, brownies, the list goes on! Check out this spoon article for more ideas! The next time you're craving a grilled sandwich, pull out the waffle maker! P.S. you can get them super cheap on amazon!

So there you have it! 5 super simple cooking hacks to make your life easier! Living on your own isn't always easy ... anyone can attest to that, however there are tons of tips and tricks to make your life away from home easier! The next time you have some time on your hands, prepare some pre-marinated foods, or some frozen herb mixtures; your future self thanks you.