I’ll be honest; I like convenience foods. Because they’re, well… convenient! I love being able to purchase things to make life easier, but it’s not always easy on the wallet. Today I’m sharing 6 things that we’re better off making ourselves to save money and be better for our health.
I shared a little about this in another post, but it bears repeating. It’s so much easier to buy pre-cut vegetables and other produce, but it costs so much more per pound. Strawberries, which usually go on sale for $1.50 a pound, can cost up to $5.99 a pound for pre-sliced!
Other things I’ve seen are chopped onions, butternut squash cubes, and cut celery. It’s all convenient, but you pay that horrible convenience charge for it. Chopping everything as soon as you get home from the store takes a little effort, but it ensures you use the food before it goes bad.
I used to buy the boxes that had like 10 packets of Maple and Brown Sugar oatmeal. They’re so good, but you don’t really get much in there for what you pay. You can take a big container of oats, a bag of brown sugar, and snack-size Ziploc bags, and make your own, like this!
These things are really cute. They’re little packages of cubed cheese, nuts, and raisins, a perfect snack. And it comes in a 3-pack! But they’re $3.69, which means each snack costs around $1.20 each. Eat one every day, and that’s a huge chunk of money.
At Aldi, you can buy a block of cheese for $1.79 (8 servings), a bag of peanuts for about $2.50, and a canister of raisins for $2.89. It’ll cost you about $7.18, which is just less than 2 of the pre-made packages, but you get at least 8 servings with the cheese, and you’ll have enough peanuts and raisins left over to get you even more servings.
Oh, how I love the Lunchables! I ate them a lot as a kid, and who doesn’t love them? My favorites were the pizza and nacho ones, but one of the more popular ones was the crackers, meat, and cheese.
Instead of paying $1.00 or more for each, just buy a box of crackers, a block of cheese, and some deli meat, and maybe a package of mini chocolate bars, if you like that little treat! Use miniature cookie cutters and make cute shapes out of the meat and cheese.
100 calorie packs
Here’s where they get you with the clever packaging. Get a delicious packaged snack of Oreos for only 100 calories! And pay $4.00 for 6 packages! All it is, is just regular Oreos put into bags that equal 100 calories. You can buy a regular package of Oreos and bag a serving and get much more out of it. Just make sure you read the nutrition label to make sure you’re bagging them correctly!
I’ll admit, I’m guilty of buying seasoning packets (actually, the big jars from Sam’s) because they’re so easy. If you’re watching your sodium intake or just want to make your own with the ingredients you have, here’s a chart with seasoning blends that you can make yourself. We used to use leftover sour cream/butter containers and store our seasonings in there.
Now with all this being said, sometimes there are situations in which you need to buy convenience foods, and I totally get that! Vacations, business trips, etc… If you’re looking to just generally save money, though, then the above tips should help cut back on your grocery bill. Would you add anything to this list?