(Closed) your top cheats

posted 3 years ago in The Lounge
Post # 2
8469 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2013

Hellman’s Mayo

Heinz Ketchup

Claussen pickles

Rotel (tomatoes with chilies)

Other shortcuts I take include making large batches of chicken/beef stock, breads, dumplings, etc and freezing them for later use.  Since I’m time rich and money poor (SAHW), I don’t see the point of spending extra money on purchasing these things, especially flour based items (i.e. breads, cakes, dumpling wraps, etc).

Post # 3
1261 posts
Bumble bee

Minced Garlic… I don’t have time and hate having the smell on my hands (no matter how hard I try to keep them clean) for hours.

Post # 4
2263 posts
Buzzing bee


(It cuts out a lot of unnecessary jar opening and cross knife contamination):

Post # 5
5222 posts
Bee Keeper

ChocolateLime:  I don’t really see anything wrong with “cheating” by using canned diced tomatoes. I work 40 hours a week, plus have a 2 hour commute and try to either work out or do something outdoors ( like take a walk or horseback ride 3x a week). I value that time more than worrying about canning my own spaghetti sauce 🙂

But to answer the question– DH loves Velveeta mac n cheese. It isn’t my favorite, but it is easy and I can doctor it up a bit here and there to make it taste a little better. Plus, they make it with wheat noodles now, so I buy that.

I also sometimes make a quick veggie soup with Veg-All. I’ll add in a few potatoes or carrots if I have some I need to get rid of, but mostly just open then can, add some broth and diced tomatoes and I can have “homemade” veggie soup in 30 minutes. 

Post # 6
3071 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

ChocolateLime:  Ive started buying a bag of prepared stir fry veggies from the store for stir fry. Much easier than chopping all my own. I also no longer make the sauce from scratch either :-/

But seriously I can make the entire meal in like 15 minutes so I don’t feel bad for one second. I work f/t and also teach yoga…I do enjoy cooking from scratch but sometimes I like to eat dinner before 8 pm 🙂

I am also a fan of jarred sauces, especially when your already making something labor intensive like meatballs or lasagna

And I don’t know who has time to mince their own garlic so I have a huge jar ready to go. lol!

Post # 7
9257 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA

Definitely canned tomatoes!

Minced garlic in a jar.

We also buy chicken breast or pork loin on sale, divide them into quart ziplocks, put in enough marinade to cover the meat, and freeze them.  A bag can be quickly defrosted and broiled – really yummy and easy to add onto salads, stir fry, etc.

Also a couple really great spices, like this Panak’s curry paste – I put this in with any soup / stew / stirfy and it’s so freaking good.


Post # 8
4416 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I buy a lot of premade simmer sauces. That way I can just cut up chicken, saute it, and then just pour whatever tasty sauce onto it and have a wide variety of chicken dishes without having to learn to make a bunch of weird random sauces! (like General Tso’s sauce or Lemongrass or whatever else). No regrets!

Post # 9
327 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2013


lolot:  Why did i not think of putting meat & marinade together and then freezing it. Such a good idea!

Post # 10
14064 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

robynrox47:  You can use a little food processor to mince garlic real fast if you dont like doing it by hand.  And here’s another neat trick to peel them! http://www.wimp.com/bestgarlic/

All my sauces are “cneats”.  Tomato sauce, chili sauce, curry sauce.  As long as my main meat and veggie is fresh, if the seasoning comes from a “cheat”, I still call it a close enough to a from scratch meal since I control how much of what goes in it and it’s still TONS better than a ready made frozen meal.

Post # 11
1074 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

ChocolateLime:  I also use canned chopped tomatoes but only when I’m making pasta sauce. Some other things…bagged frozen fruit for smoothies and pizza dough. There’s also others, but I wouldn’t call them staples because I will make it from scratch if I have enough time.

Post # 12
4282 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I usually have boullion in the cupboard instead of making my own stock/broth. Some of my other cheat staples are sauces (tomato, teriyaki, soy, chili, etc.). Usually my meat and veggies are fresh and “real,” but a lot of the seasoning and condiments are not.

Oh, and I usually buy pizza dough instead of making it. When I have time, I make my own pasta sauce and noodles, but that doesn’t happen very often.

Post # 14
1799 posts
Buzzing bee

Jarred sauces, Classico’s brand of Alfredo is AWESOME, and they have a “lite” version

Anytime I use my crock pot, I double the recipe and freeze it

Minced garlic/frozen onions. I hate the lingering kitchen smell

Old El Paso’s “taco kits” Why buy 5 packages when this brand is like $2 at Walmart?

canned biscuits-aint no body got time fo dat! lol. Bread is baked from scratch on holidays only


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