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For those who have went from pre-packaged foods to making a majority from scratch.

My big plan for the new year is to stop buying soo much pre-packaged foods. (frozen Pizzas, Chicken Nuggets, Cake Mixes, breads, etc.) With a new Stand Mixer, a new bread maker, and lots of recipes I hope to start making more of my own foods. This Spring we're building a raised garden to be able to grow fruits and veggitables. Hopefully reducing the cost of produce we buy at the store. I was just curious if any of you have already made the switch from buying primarily pre-packaged foods to making a mjority from scratch? If so, did you notice a reduction in your weekly/monthly grocery bill? What are some other benefits that you have noticed?

If you haven't made this switch, are thinking about it, or are curious to know more about it please share .. I'm looking for great recipes for homemade goods if you have any!! That includes sauces, chilis, breads .. everything. THANKS!

Answer Question

Asked by JazzlikeMraz at 11:44 AM on Jan. 22, 2011 in Food & Drink

Level 30 (42,083 Credits)
Answers (13)
  • When my children were little I grew my own vegetables and fruits and cooked mainly from scratch. I figured those little bodies didn't need all the additives, and I knew that my food had been carefully washed and prepared under clean conditions. It did cut back on our grocery bill, even with figuring in the cost of having the garden plowed and disked, which you won't have with a raised garden, although if you enclose the garden with wood it would probably cost, and if you get good top soil. Figure in also the cost of seed, plants, bug control, fertilizer. But in the end it is a better way of eating.

    Answer by Bmat at 11:48 AM on Jan. 22, 2011

  • We have, for the most part. There are still things like noodles ( although i really want the kitchen aid stand mixer with the pasta attachment) we buy. We haven't done the garden thing, with two little ones and a hubby who works pretty much all day, I haven't had the time in the summer. My bill actually went up a little, but we also switched to organic too. My sister and mom and I are going to get together in the spring and do a spice party. Where one person brings these spices, the other brings theirs and I have mine and we make things like homemade taco seasoning and chili seasoning..... It's way healthier and I think it will be fun!

    Answer by BabyBugsmama at 11:50 AM on Jan. 22, 2011

  • My husband and I made the switch. We don't have any children so we are only buying for two but the amount we make is enough for three or four.
    At the beginning it WAS more expensive because we didn't have any seasoning. The first month our weekly grocery bill was 175 (roughly) before with pre-packaged meals it was 125 (roughly) now that we have all the seasoning we need our weekly grocery bill has dropped anywhere between 60 to 90 give or take depending on the meat/veggies we buy. We have actually saved in the long run making the switch and I feel so much healthier and I've lost some weight.
    But, if you do your own herb garden, along with the veggies you'll save a lot over the summer.

    Answer by Gnomeofmyheart at 11:52 AM on Jan. 22, 2011

  • Once we were no longer single, my husband and I made the switch (our busy lives before marrying and having kids had us buying convenience foods). The benefits are:

    MUCH lower costs,
    HEALTHIER meals (low to no preservatives and hormones)
    STRETCH meal quantities thereby making more meals from a single recipe by adding less expensive "thinners" like homemade sauces, extra veggies, starches etc.

    Remember, making meals from scratch does NOT mean going "organic" and spending 3-4 times the cost! Things like dry herbs and spices, starches, veggies, etc. can be store brand or non-organic, whereas the MAIN component of your meal (the meat, fish, poultry) should be lean and good quality. Spices and such can be bought in bulk--they last forever. Buy in bulk, make and/or freeze meals and side dishes for another time to save more money! You can recoup the cost of a separate dedicated freezer in just a few months!

    Answer by LoriKeet at 11:54 AM on Jan. 22, 2011

  • Awesome idea! Yes it will help! Especially if you grow the vegetables and herbs you use the most. I used to pay $2.99-$3.99 for a small package of basil. Now I grow my own and I can pick the amount of leaves I need. It's very easy to keep indoors which is what I am doing. It was a pack of seeds that cost less than a dollar. Same with tomatoes and peppers. I use those all the time and I never had to buy one over the summer once they ripened. We dried the hot peppers we grew. I bought common spices like coarse pepper, kosher salt, garlic powder in huge bulk containers.

    We had a raised garden for the first time. My husband made several wooden boxes and stood them on legs. We bought some good soil and they all grew great. The only pests we had were squirrels and birds, but they weren't that bad. I think you are headed in an excellent direction. You will certainly reap what you sow, no pun intended.

    Answer by Izsarejman at 11:55 AM on Jan. 22, 2011

  • Switched years ago. It's cheaper, you'll feel better, your kids will learn to cook now instead of having to figure it out when they're out on their own (if they're old enough to reach the counter with a step stool, they're old enough to help). Once you get in the swing of it, it's usually just as fast as relying on the processed junk. You can spend 20 minutes simmering Rice a Roni or you can spend 20 minutes making a whole meal from scratch. And as long as you're not deep frying everything, chances are most of your family will lose weight.

    Answer by NotPanicking at 12:08 PM on Jan. 22, 2011

  • I think its more expensive but then I eat a LOT of fruit and also plenty of vegetables. I think that it makes you feel really good when your meal is made up from pretty much everything you grew in your own garden and your kids will love helping out and having their own special garden patch.

    I don't buy processed foods and haven't for many years. I have always been one to like simple things so moving to making frmo scratch has been therapeutic for me. I feel tonnes better and my son, who is 3, eats lots of fruits and vegetables everyday. He even will request a plateful of broccoli or okra when he is a little peckish. :)

    Answer by keyaziz at 12:25 PM on Jan. 22, 2011

  • It's much cheaper... $1.50 for wheat thins, maybe even $1, when I just made two boxes worth for about twelve cents worth of ingredients.

    Answer by lovinangels at 2:06 PM on Jan. 22, 2011

  • i've saved alot of money on produce by buying from the farmer's market. gardening is alot of work especially if you're going organic.....just keep that in mind lol

    Answer by princessbeth79 at 2:45 PM on Jan. 22, 2011

  • Planning is 100% of everything.

    Answer by lovinangels at 2:51 PM on Jan. 22, 2011

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