Anything that you can measure ahead of time and repackage is a make-it-yourself convenience food. Meals don't seem so daunting when you've taken a few shortcuts ahead of time.
If you're measuring something for today's meal, take a few seconds to measure out a second batch or bowlful, and store it in a jar, zipper-top bag, or freezer container.
Occasionally I used to buy bread machine mixes. It was so much easier to open a bag, pour the contents in my bread machine, add water and yeast and press *Start*, than to measure every ingredient in my standard recipe. One day I had a brainstorm and packaged up half a dozen bags of my own recipe, with a slip of paper inside the bag reminding me how much water, honey, and yeast to add. (Using my bread machine saves my wrists, but I do know how to make it by hand.)
I've made cookie mixes: all the dry ingredients for chocolate chip cookies are put into a zipper-top bag, with a separate sandwich-size bag of chocolate chips. Again, I made a slip of paper listing the ingredients that needed to be added, and the baking directions.
On days that we actually only want a couple of fresh-baked cookies warm from the oven, I form the rest of the cookie dough into balls, put them in a freezer bag and into the freezer. They don't stick together, and don't need to be thawed before baking. Just remove as many as you'd like, arrange them on a cookie sheet, and bake for a few minutes longer than the recipe suggests. No need to buy that very expensive refrigerated cookie dough full of preservatives.
Cake mixes are another easy-to-make-ahead mix. Take your favorite cake recipe and put all the dry ingredients into a quart canning jar, then add the directions for mixing and baking.
Remember all those "Gift in a Jar" recipes? Make some up and put them on your own cupboard shelves. From M&M Cookie Mix to brownies, all will save you time in the kitchen.
Previous posts on this subject:
Part Three - Ground Beef
Part Four - Dump Chicken
Please leave a comment about your favorite convenience foods!