I have a love-hate for most convenience foods. On one hand, a frozen pizza can really help me save money if I use it instead of getting carry-out. But, some convenience foods are so expensive. They really aren't that much of a convenience for the price you have to pay. Check out my 13 foods not to waste your money on.
Lunchables- Most of the lunchables are just cheese and crackers either with or without a juice. They are so overpriced. It is much cheaper to just buy some cheese, crackers and lunch meat and make your own.
Individual Portions- Don't buy those single portions of chips and snacks. Just get a big bag and break it out into smaller portions.
Pre-cut Fruit or Veggies- It only takes a few minutes to cut up your own fruits or veggies. The fruit and veggie trays can be very expensive. It is easily worth a few minutes of my time to cut up my own fruits and veggies.
Buttermilk- I never buy buttermilk. Whenever I need some I just add a tablespoon of lemon juice to a cup of milk. Let it sit for a few minutes and you have buttermilk.
Uncrustables- This is another great food to just make yourself. I bought a press and we make all kinds of different uncrustables. I can use my homemade strawberry jam and they taste much better.
Breakfast Sandwiches and Wraps- Those pre-made breakfast sandwiches can be so expensive at the store. Take a few minutes to make up a bunch and you can freeze them. My family loves these breakfast wraps.
Croutons and Breadcrumbs It's easy to turn bread ends into croutons or breadcrumbs and save money. I like to use my leftover bread from making uncrustables to make croutons with.
Frozen Pancakes- I love making my own pancakes at home and freezing them. They not only taste so much better than the ones from the store, but they save money too.
Applesauce Cups- These are so much cheaper if you just buy a large bottle and scoop out the servings. Plus, I love to make our own applesauce and freeze it. It's cheaper than store bought and tastes better too.
Seasoning Mixes- There are so many great recipes for seasoning mixes on pinterest. There really is no reason to pay the $1 plus to get the taco seasoning mixes. It's much cheaper to use the spices and seasonings that you already have to make the mixes.
Green Onions- Buy green onions once and never need to buy them again. Green onions can easily be regrown with the scraps leftover.
Granola Bars- Granola bars can be very pricey. They are easy to make at home and save some money. Here is one of my favorite granola bar recipes.
Pre-Cooked Bacon- Pre-cooked bacon can often cost 2 to 3 times as much as regular bacon. It's easy to make up one big batch of bacon by cooking it in the oven. Just cook at 400 degrees for about 12-15 minutes. You can even freeze it afterward and reheat it.
With a bit of planning ahead and time you can skip these foods at the store and stop wasting your money. What foods do you think are a waste of money?
Lisa Sharp says
Great list, I didn't even know you could buy pre-cooked bacon. Pre-cooking bacon is a great idea!
My husband loves it when I pre-cook the bacon. It just makes that morning rush so much easier.
Jamie @ Medium Sized Family says
That is a great list. I'll admit that I have times when life is so crazy that I do grab convenience foods. But more often than not, I'd rather save the money and do it myself.
Gail Akeman says
Very good tips. I have made croutons before. I wonder how long cooked bacon lasts though?
I would think about a week. Ours usually disappears within 4 or 5 days. 🙂
Tracy @ Our Simple Homestead says
Julie I have another one for you... Homemade Nutri-Grain bars. My family loves my homemade version and is so much better then the pre-packaged ones.
My son and husband love Nutri-Grain bars. I can't wait to try them. Thanks for sharing!
Life Breath Present says
These are all great ideas! The buttermilk one is quite new to me and I'm so happy to have read about it here. As for ways we save money, definitely the pre-cut, individual, or pre-cooked stuff! 🙂
Carole West @ Garden Up Green says
Great ideas! I grew up in a time where grandma taught us how to do most everything from scratch. So many great lessons learned and it helps to simplify the kitchen pantry altogether.
Kristine Hart says
Thanks for the tips! I follow most of them already! Have to check out those homemade Nutri-Grains! I think a huge waste of money is soda. Forget the cost, it is sooooo bad for you. Even diet, which is actually worse for you than non-diet. Saying hello from Share the Wealth Sunday Blog Hop!
Your right, soda is a big money waste. Unfortunately, it is something I commonly waste my money on. I love one in the morning and one with lunch.
Denise @ Life With the Lid Up says
Great post! My boys love Uncrustables but they are outrageously expensive! I've made homemade ones that they have admitted are just as good.
Heather @ Simply Save says
I've started saying "heck no" to individually packaged foods as often as possible. The price of convenience is so not necessary!
I don't know if anyone has mentioned buying a block of cheese and grating it yourself. It's cheaper than buying the shredded in bags 🙂
Great Idea! Thanks for the suggestion.