Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Can someone explain something to me?

Whenever anyone on here asks how to cut back on grocery items, people say. "eliminate the convenience/pre-packaged foods" because they're unhealthier and cost more. Now, I agree with the unhealthier part, but more expensive? I just don't see it.

I make most of my stuff from scratch but depending on how I'm feeling I'll get something quick with minimal prep. Convenience is easier AND cheaper. Explain it to me please.

Freezer stuff for example - two bags of chicken noodle go0 = $12 prepared
If I make it = $8 just for the meat, $1 fora box of noodles, and probably 5 - 6 bucks for the fresh veggies, not to mention cheese ($2.50) for the sauce and seasoning and probably some milk

Hamburger Helper - 99 cents a box, $3 for the meat, $2 for a bag of frozen veggies
Homemade - $3 for the meat, $1 for the noodles, $2.50 for cheese and/or other seasoning ingredients, $2 for the veggies.

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 11:06 AM on May. 12, 2010 in Food & Drink

Answers (13)
  • Frozen pizza - $5 to $8 for two
    Homemade = $8 for the crusts (dough would be $2-$3 but I've had no luck with that!), pepperoni $3, cheese $2.50, sauce $6, other ingredients - depends on what I want to add on but those add up too!

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:08 AM on May. 12, 2010

  • That's the problem when you try to make generalizations. Sometimes going out to eat is cheaper than eating in. Frozen can be better for you than fresh.


    Answer by Gailll at 11:12 AM on May. 12, 2010

  • You're making so rash comparisons there... and regarding food that isn't particularly healthy either.

    Green Without Much Means  I feed a family of 5 on about $300/mo we do not use ANY convenience foods, and my meals are all minimally prepped, easy, and kid friendly.


    Answer by ObbyDobbie at 11:18 AM on May. 12, 2010

  • You HAVE to learn to cook from scratch and buy store brand when possible.
    4 homemade pizzas: less than $2 for crusts, pepperoni $1.49 - $2.49 for 6 oz. (enough for 4 pizzas), cheese $4 for 4 pizzas, sauce is less than $1 (buy tomato sauce, add parsley, oregano, basil, onions), 1 large can black olives $1, 2 cans mushrooms $1, 1 lb. sausage $1.29. For FOUR pizzas that's less than $13. Freeze them for your own convenience freezer meals.
    Hamburger "Helper": one bag egg noodles $1 (twice as much as what's in a box of Hamburger Helper, 1 can cream of mushroom soup $.69, 1 lb. ground round $2.29 (ground turkey is cheaper and works just as good), 1 bag frozen veggies $1.29. You get twice the amount of food, same amount of prep time as a box of HH.

    Answer by michiganmom116 at 11:19 AM on May. 12, 2010

  • How about fried chicken? Banquet fried chicken is over $6 for 6 pieces and takes almost an hour to bake. You can buy 10 lbs., usually 7 leg quarters/14 pieces for less than $5, make your own oven fried chicken with a simple coating and bake for an hour. Takes 10 minutes longer to bake, maybe 10 minutes to make the coating for the chicken, and you've got 14 pieces of chicken vs. 6. Bake it and freeze for more convenience meals.

    Answer by michiganmom116 at 11:21 AM on May. 12, 2010

  • The expensive/cheap refers to the fact that you get considerably more servings when you make it homemade than when you buy prepackaged. You can freeze the leftovers from the homemade and have it another night, therefore saving money. I occasionally will buy prepackaged food, but I try to avoid it as much as possible. It really is more expensive, most of the time, and it definitely isn't as healthy.

    Answer by tropicalmama at 11:26 AM on May. 12, 2010

  • OP - There isn't usually enough for leftovers in this house - and if there is, only enough for like 1 lunch, which may or may not sit in the fridge and get eaten or sit there a week and get thrown out.

    Oh, and not a lot of room in the freezer - dumb MIL fills it with her crap.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:40 AM on May. 12, 2010

  • depends on what you're making.

    I can buy a box of kraft mac and cheese for about $1 and have 3 servings OR I can buy a box of noodles, and some cheese for about $4 and have about 20+ servings. I can make that mac and cheese in small batches, and the supplies last for a month or more.

    I can spend $25 on supplies to make laundry detergent and make enough to wash ... oh IDK about 400 loads (OK don't know the exact number as I have yet to run out) or go pay $5 per bottle for about 30 loads each bottle.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:42 AM on May. 12, 2010

  • how on earth do you get 20 servings of mac and cheese from one box of noodles??

    I make both boxed and homemade mac and cheese.

    With homemade, using 1 box of elbows, we get enough for dinner that night (as the main entree), and then enough for the three of us to have lunch the next day, and THAT'S IT!

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:46 AM on May. 12, 2010

  • People always tell others 'stop eating out, it's more expensive.' HA! Yea right. Fast food is cheaper then grocery shopping.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:22 PM on May. 12, 2010

Join CafeMom now to contribute your answer and become part of our community. It's free and takes just a minute.