I do something called food stacking and create parts of dishes one day a week to save time the rest of the week.
When ground beef goes on sale I buy a lot of it and already have meals in mind to go with them.
If I made all these in one afternoon or evening, I have only destroyed my kitchen only once instead of nightly. Saving lots of time that I would rather spend with my family. I also splurge on paper products for easy clean up on my bigger cooking nights and sometimes more than that. Totally worth it.
EX.. Ground Beef.
Ground beef can be made into several different things all at once.
5. Beef Stroganoff
Meatballs go in the crockpot
Meatloaf in the Oven
Chili in a crockpot or stove. I prefer a crock pot if you have more than one.
Burgers Shaped, seasoned and wrapped ready to go.
Beef Stroganoff. Browned ground beef back in a tupperware for day of.
Evening #1 would require pasta to be boiled and a salad made(make extra for stroganoff night and put in separate container)
Evening #2 would require only baked potatoes and maybe some corn
Evening #3 would required a quick batch of corn bread
Evening #4 would require only a grill and some baked beans perhaps
Evening #5 would require combining the pre cooked ground beef, pasta, canned gravy and sour cream and you are done after adding some peas.
The nights could be left overs if there are any, but you get the idea.
Another trick I do in the kitchen is put everything that needs boiling in one pot. Potatoes for mashed and potato salad (see two sides at once... ) And I put in hard boiled eggs for egg salad and potato salad, or just eat it right out of the shell.
My biggest money and time saver is one day a week food prep. The more ready to eat things are in your house, the more likely you will eat it, and the more likely you will eat healthier!
If you buy your food pre prepped, it will cost you.