menus. If you make a weekly menu on say, Sunday, for the whole next week or two (1) you can buy what you need at the grocery store, and (2) it makes cooking dinner 1,000,000 times easier! Seriously, 1,000,000 times. Figuring out what to make is often the hardest and most grueling part of dinner time.
This is a sample weekly menu (two weeks to a page). As you choose each dish, look at the menu and write down ingredients you need to buy at the right of the page. You go to the store once (Monday morning/afternoon), and wa-la! Dinner is as good as done for the whole week. While planning, try finding meals that will use up the ingredients you'll be buying. For example, if you need to buy cilantro for one meal (and you won't use the whole bunch), plan at least one other meal that week that uses cilantro, also. That way you waste less.
I assign a meal to each day but don't always stick to the assignment for the day. Some days are busier than others, and maybe you'll crave Tuesday's dish on Monday (who cares?). But no matter what, you'll start to LOVE making dinner!