Buy Prepared Ingredients
Mexican food is well known for its fresh ingredients. Pico de gallo (garden fresh salsa) and guacamole are just two examples of dishes bursting with just picked goodness. If time is tight, you may not feel all that enthusiastic about making salsa from scratch. Sure, doing everything yourself is gratifying, but if you want to get off your feet sometime before morning, consider stocking as many prepared ingredients as you can. Buy shredded cheese in bulk and freeze what you don't use right away. You can remove what you need right from the freezer for easy access. Keep some jarred salsa, canned beans and instant rice in your cupboard for emergency use, too. Substitute grape or cherry tomatoes for regular tomatoes in your recipes. They're easy to slice and usually have better flavor in the off-season than regular tomatoes. Splurge on prepackaged greens. They're often sealed in stay-fresh bags that extend the life of items like lettuce and spinach up to a week. Prepared greens require less washing and trimming than their loose counterparts, too.