Keep an ongoing list of your grocery needs. Post it somewhere in the kitchen so you can write down items as you notice they're needed.
Get organized before you head to the store, making a list of items you'll need for a week's worth of meals or more.
Shop during down times when the market isn't crowded. This lets you take your time to discover new foods and read facts on nutrition labels.
To cut down on impulse purchases, shop with a list and avoid grocery shopping when you're hungry. Do, however, keep an eye out for specials on items you routinely use -- there's a difference between impulse buying and finding good bargains.
Check newspaper ads and inserts to take advantage of weekly specials and coupons.
Use our prep and cook times to help you plan your time. The timings assume that some steps can be performed simultaneously.
Read the recipe completely before you begin. This will eliminate last-minute trips to the store. Preheat your oven as you begin any recipe that needs to be baked or broiled so the oven will be ready when you are.
Overlap steps to accomplish two things at once. Chop vegetables, measure ingredients, open cans, or prepare sauces while waiting for water to boil, meat to brown, or appliances to preheat.
Clean as you go. Before you start preparation, fill the sink or dish pan with hot, soapy water.
Let timesaving appliances and techniques work for you. Use a food processor to chop vegetables or grate cheese. The microwave is an easy, no-mess method for melting butter or chocolate. Use a toaster oven to toast buns and rolls quickly; use kitchen shears to snip fresh herbs or dried fruit, a garlic press to crush garlic, and a mini ice cream scoop for drop cookies.
Stock Up On Shortcuts
Call on ready-made entrées such as roasted chicken from the deli and heat-and-serve meat loaf and pot roast from the meat department. Round out the meal with a recipe you've wanted to try. Or simply enjoy easygoing side dishes, such as frozen vegetables or baked potatoes.
Visit the supermarket deli or bakery for instant appetizers and simple side dishes or breads to add to your meal.
Stock up on items that take little effort from kitchen to table, such as frozen meatballs, pizza shells, pasta sauce, pasta, cheese, and eggs.
Purchase shortcut ingredients, such as preshredded cheeses, rice pilaf mixes, packaged salad greens, precut fruits and vegetables, and bottled roasted red sweet peppers.