-Buy things that will save you time during the process
I have mentioned in my cooking videos before that I like to spend the extra money [usually only a $1 or $1.50] for pre-chopped veggies/ shredded cheeses.
This makes my meal prep time shorter and the clean up process faster.
Example: I buy both peeled and minced garlic and use them for two different things. For salads I buy shredded lettuce, chopped red onions and matchstick carrots.. that is a lot of time saved!