OXO chopper: this is a must. Ok, you may not be able to afford expensive food gadgets, but this is only $20 (not on sale) and will save you a ton of time.
This is a quick way to chop/dice, especially when you're a knife novice.
Mine lasted a long while before it required sharpening. Incidentally, small hardware stores will sharpen most knives, but they will NOT sharpen this! You'll have to buy another!
One place to get this: