Semi-Homemade: Convenience Items to Make Cooking Faster and Easier

What I want to talk about today is the fact that I cannot always make everything from scratch – and that is ok! Tons of recipes out there sound delicious, but in reality have 500+ ingredients, 75 steps and use 2,000,000,000 (that’s billion) utensils, pots and pans.

This friends, is not for me. Who has time or patience for this? I can blame it on the fact that I’m always so busy working full-time, but let’s be real. I just really see no need for all of this. I have no patience and don’t have a team of people behind me to clean up the mess I would make.

Convenience Items to Make Cooking Faster and Easier

We’re lucky that in 2018 there are so many convenient items out there; we don’t have to make everything from scratch!

Before I begin with my list of convenience items I will add in a disclaimer: I know that usually the homemade stuff is healthier and sometimes even tastes better. We all have to choose what we focus on in life, so convenience is what I need to do for this season of my life. Each person should make their own decisions on what is good for them and their family.

So, now with that out of the way, let’s get onto it. Here are some ways that I use pre-made items to make my cooking faster and easier!

#1 pre-made seasoning and marinades

There was a time when I made my own spice mixes (ex: fajita seasoning mix) and even my own marinades. They were delicious, but honestly were just as good as the store-bought stuff. The homemade versions probably had fewer chemicals and unnatural ingredients, but since I don’t use these too often, it’s easier for me to just buy them. Plus the cost is low, so I don’t feel like I’m completely overspending.

#2 Trader Joe’s frozen rice

When my friend told me she bought this, I thought she was out of her mind. How hard is it to make rice? Isn’t it more cost-effective to invest in a rice cooker? It probably is, but you cannot compete with the ease of cooking rice when all you do is pop it into the microwave for 3 minutes.

#3 pre-cut fruit and veggies

When the new kosher supermarket in our area opened up there were tons and tons of pre-cut fruits and veggies. Since the markup on these is super high, I buy this sparingly. But, I will say that it makes life easier and if it weren’t so expensive, I’d buy them more often. Although it’s expensive, it’s healthier than what I would buy from the take-out counter.

#4 breaded fish

Love this stuff, but I am sure not breading and frying my own. Kudos to my mom who used to do this.

#5 frozen vegetables

Fresh is usually better, but frozen ensures it’s always in the house.  An easy way to add a healthy side dish to any meal.

#6 boxed mashed potatoes

As a potato lover, the real stuff is better, but the boxed isn’t half bad.

Well, that’s all I can think of right now. I’ll be sure to post again when more things come to mind.

What are items you buy to make cooking easier for you?

Until next time,