To save time, you can always buy prepared entrees and microwave them. Along the same lines are packaged mixes to which you just add water and meat and frozen mixes that you can heat up on the stovetop or in the oven. The world has come a long way since the TV dinners of the 1950s, and updated preservation methods like freeze drying have made prepackaged meals something to look forward to.
There are any number of ways you can use partially prepared ingredients and whole meals to help you speed up your kitchen duties. From packaged quick bread mixes, like Thrifty and Bisquick, to sauce packets and dried or canned soup bases, retailers are happy to do the hard work for you -- for a price.