I've had several people comment to me that they just don't have the time to cook from scratch every night. I can respect that. I was once a full time researcher along with being a mom and wife. When you add in any significant commuting time, the thought of cooking up a whole meal is draining, at best. So here are a few ideas for those that would like to eat from scratch more often, but don't always have the time.
Supermarket Shortcuts- These are shortcuts that enable you to make the primary dish without some of the prep work. For instance, many grocery stores sell rotisserie chickens for $4-$6. Recently, I bought one and shredded the meat. I got enough meat to make four different dishes. Shredding the chicken only took a few minutes and it saved me cooking chicken for each of those four nights. Many stores offer vegetables and fruit that's already been cut up or a wide variety of hot and cold side dishes. Take advantage of these. Again, they may be a bit more expensive than doing it all yourself, but if it's time that you're trying to save than this is a great way to do it.
Now, you'll notice I don't recommend any of the frozen meal options that are available. That's not to say I've never used them, because I have, but most of them are loaded with salt, sugar and artificial ingredients. Also, some of them just don't taste very good. If you're a label reader, check them out. If you're comfortable with the nutrition info and ingredient list, then go for it. I have found, though, that for their price and flavor they're just not worth it for us.
I hope that one of these is helpful for any of you that would like a little more scratch cooking without all the extra time!