Friday, July 27, 2012

From Scratch vs. Pre-Made

While recently shopping, I overheard another shopper say "Oh! I couldn't make this Stove Top as cheap as this!"

Yeah. I hate to tell her, but... she absolutely could.

This led me to wonder: Are all boxed or prepared foods a bad buy?

After some number crunching, I came up with some items that usually are cheaper to buy pre-made. (You convenience food junkies - take note!)

  1. Macaroni & Cheese - Yep, that cheap, powdered stuff in the skinny boxes are cheaper than you can possibly make it yourself. The cheese, butter and milk alone to make the sauce will set you back more than the 49 cents or so at Aldis.
  2. Complete Pancake Mix - I don't mean Bisquik or Aunt Jemima. I'm talking the cheapest, store brand  complete pancake mix. (Complete means just add water)  To make pancakes from scratch, you have to add eggs, milk, oil, and for most, baking powder. Let's assume you have the baking powder - you cannot make as many pancakes as the box of complete pancake mix can once you add in the other stuff. You can't do it. Unless you have your own eggs and dairy cows, it isn't going to happen. The complete pancake mix from Save-A-Lot in my area costs me about $2.29, and makes about 60 pancakes. 1 egg, 3/4 c milk and 2 Tbsp. oil added with flour, baking powder, etc, will make somewhere between 6-7 pancakes. Let's assume you have baking powder, flour, and the other ingredients - start adding up those eggs and calculate how much milk you'll need to make 60 pancakes. More than $2.29, isn't it? Yep. 

 I'm sure there are more things that are cheaper to buy than to make yourself, though I can't think of any at this time - these are the two that I can prove with numbers are actually cheaper. I'll keep Badgering around to see what else might be a good buy!

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