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Old 03-13-2018, 07:13 PM
 
Location: 76102
3,205 posts, read 1,485,423 times
Reputation: 9581

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Quote:
Originally Posted by JrzDefector View Post
As I've gotten older and more financially comfortable and remained single, there are certain things I'm willing to spend money on to save time and mess. Two areas in particular come to mind - I'll buy my butternut squash and broccoli already cut up and I'll buy my bacon "precooked."

With the bacon especially, I realized the extra expense for the precooked bacon saved a lot of mess and time spent cleaning up grease spatter and my electric skillet. I like my bacon crisp, so I just stick it in the microwave for 1:15 minutes. I have two pieces of it at most in a day in my morning breakfast burrito.

With the squash, I just like having fingers and not dealing with the cleanup, but the broccoli, it's more of a waste thing - I don't do anything with the broccoli stems, so why should I keep them? The dogs will munch on them, but they fill up on 'em pretty quickly.
Precooked bacon from Costco is soooo good. I don't microwave it, but crisp it up on a Cuisinart electric griddle.

I really hate cooking, but I do love my Instatpot. I make boiled eggs, veggies, meats. So quick and easy.
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Old 03-13-2018, 07:16 PM
 
Location: Middle Tennessee
183,875 posts, read 74,970,778 times
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We stopped making pizza crust from scratch and buy store brand ready made crusts that I actually like better.
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Old 03-13-2018, 08:07 PM
 
Location: Southwest Washington State
18,852 posts, read 12,473,150 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TabulaRasa View Post
Are we considering prepared peanut butter to be a shortcut, then? Given that you can purchase whole peanuts right there?
Well sure. And I grind my almonds right in the store for butter. I certainly don’t make my own almond butter.
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Old 03-13-2018, 08:08 PM
 
Location: Southwest Washington State
18,852 posts, read 12,473,150 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarahsez View Post
I buy bacon bits and microwave them before using to get some of the fat out. This substitutes for bacon in many recipes.

I also use "Makin Bacon" to microwave my bacon. It has these 'T' shapes where the bacon hangs down and the fat drips off into a tray. The bacon is not flat. I can live with that.

I get the shredded and sliced carrots in bags. It is one less thing to prepare.
I buy Hormel bacon bits and use them in so, so much, including salads.
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Old 03-13-2018, 08:49 PM
 
13,010 posts, read 12,440,016 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarahsez View Post
I buy bacon bits and microwave them before using to get some of the fat out. This substitutes for bacon in many recipes.

I also use "Makin Bacon" to microwave my bacon. It has these 'T' shapes where the bacon hangs down and the fat drips off into a tray. The bacon is not flat. I can live with that.

I get the shredded and sliced carrots in bags. It is one less thing to prepare.
I have a Makin' Bacon for my microwave, but I could never get it to get the bacon crisp enough. My ex roommate thinks I'm a complete savage because I like mine just shy of burnt and nice and crispy.

I'm going to have to try baking it, but really, the pre-cooked boxes of it are just so darn easy. I make my breakfast while on my daily conference call in the morning - scramble one egg with a little cheese, nuke the bacon to crispy and then drop it all in a 6-8 inch tortilla.

I don't buy that many veggies "prepared" but I've been doing it more - frozen sliced pepper trios and frozen roasted corn from Trader Joe's for those crock-pots I do of taco chicken, sometimes sliced mushrooms if they're in better shape than the whole ones or they're just what I need for a specific dish, but that doesn't happen often.

I did not expect this thread to have so many insights and ideas VERY helpful. I'm trying a new "diet" plan where I'm going to have veggies and a lean meat every night for dinner. It's just easier than counting calories. Tonight it was roasted broccoli florets and balsamic-marinated pork loin. Tomorrow I'm thinking marinated steak with roasted green beans and butternut squash. It's been surprisingly easy and satisfying.
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Old 03-13-2018, 09:10 PM
 
Location: Olympia area (for now)
1,059 posts, read 350,574 times
Reputation: 2062
Grated Parmesan and other cheese
Roasted red peppers
Bagged salad greens
Frozen bread dough
A box of dinner rice

It’s better to do these foods from scratch, but if time is an issue, don’t have a problem with it. I’ve never tried ready to go garlic or ginger, because if I’m making Asian, I already know there is going to be a lot of prep work, so what’s five more minutes?
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Old 03-13-2018, 10:15 PM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic
22,706 posts, read 21,760,954 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jay5835 View Post
One of the things I cannot stand in this world is precut garlic in a jar. Just the smell is enough to send me running for the other room with a sink. But I like the easier, softer way as much as anyone else, so I sprinkle certain things (roasted vegetables [esp. potatoes], lentils, chili) with Penzey's Granulated Garlic Powder. It's not the same taste as I get when I chop fresh garlic, which I still do. It's its own very enjoyable flavor. Other brands may work as well, but I'm not certain, as I never used to like the taste of plain garlic powder.
Garlic powder smells and tastes very sharp to me. I only use fresh garlic.

I buy some canned and frozen beans and vegetables, but not broccoli, onions, or asparagus. I could deal with frozen, chopped onions if they were going to be cooked to death in soup, but other than that, no.
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Old 03-14-2018, 06:16 AM
 
Location: northern New England
1,724 posts, read 700,406 times
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If I use beans they are canned. My days of soaking and cooking dry beans are long past.
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Old 03-14-2018, 06:24 AM
 
Location: Central Mexico and Central Florida
6,934 posts, read 3,013,817 times
Reputation: 9718
Peeled and deveined fresh shrimp form local fishmonger...costs a lot more, but worth it.
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Old 03-14-2018, 06:30 AM
 
Location: N of citrus, S of decent corn
34,549 posts, read 42,724,437 times
Reputation: 57209
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlightAttendant View Post
I rarely make my own pie crust anymore. I was never very good at it anyway.

When I am making lasagna, I often use Rao's marinara sauce in a jar. It is the closest thing I know to home made, it is delicious. I wish it were not so expensive though. Sometimes it is worth the money.
I use Mid’s Meat Sauce in my lasagna as a shortcut. It has nice bits of visible meat, so I mix a 32 oz. jar with a 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes, and a 15 oz can of petite diced tomatoes. Stir it all together cold, and assemble the lasagna, with béchamel, pasta and provolone. I could shortcut further with ricotta, but we like the béchamel.

My other shortcut is bagged salads. We really like them, especially the Gorgonzola Pear, and it saves money because I’m not throwing out spoiled salad vegetables any more. I buy pre cut broccoli and cauliflower a lot too.

I wish my store had packaged butternut squash. If so, I’d definitely buy it.
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