In part 1 I gave my tips on using coupons and buying when on sale, now I want to give you my tips on stocking up in another way - precooked.
Many recipes call for cooked chicken but there have been times when I haven't had time to cook the chicken the night before to go with tonight's after work meal. That's when I stop at a grocery store on my way home and buy rotisserie chicken. It's precooked, usually already salted and perfect for any recipe calling for cooked chicken.
You can also save time by keeping your freezer stocked with cooked, frozen meatballs, chicken strips, etc. as well as some of the frozen side dishes that are so easy to microwave and serve. Yes, some of them aren't quite as tasty as your own fresh made but that can usually be corrected by adding some of your own seasonings. I've bought frozen mashed potatoes only to find them very bland. To them I add a little butter, a splash of evaporated milk and sometimes a little cheese to bring the flavor up to my taste. And don't forget those frozen dinners. There are a few brands out there that are actually quite tasty after you doctor them up like I did with the potatoes.
Other shortcuts I make are with pre-shredded cheeses. I keep a package in the vegetable crisper but when I find them on sale I stock up and stick them in the freezer. After thawing I use them in any dish that calls for cheese. I've also found that the pre-cut onions and peppers found in the freezer section at the store are really quite good and such time-savers.
I also keep a stock of rice dishes in my pantry. They are really quite handy. I'll use packages such as pilaf in place of regular rice to add texture and taste. This is where you really "Think With Your Taste Buds."
I hope some of these ideas and tips have helped you save money as well as time and that you will add your own tips so all of us can learn from each other.