Store Bought vs Homemade: Which is Best?
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Store Bought vs Homemade: Which is Best?

Posted on Sunday, November 27th, 2011 at 4:12 pm
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The convenience of buying prepared and preserved items ends up saving people time, but do these ready-made products end up saving you money as well as time?

Economic hardship and increasing grocery prices have helped some recapture the culinary joys of baking and making items that can be made more afford-ably at home. The culinary goods mom’s used to make from scratch are now commonly found in easy-to-prepare or ready-to-eat packaging. The convenience of buying prepared and preserved items ends up saving people time, but do these ready-made products end up saving you money as well as time? When is it smart to make your own at home rather than buy it?

The advantages of homemade

The advantages of forgoing some store bought items that you may know you have the ingredients and resources to make are not only cost effective, but they can be healthy as well. Often foods on grocery store shelves will not be as fresh or taste as good as their homemade counterparts. Making food at home also allows you to experiment and add some favorite ingredients that you can sometimes only find in specialty and often more costly stores. Like rosemary in your bread, add some! How about fresh basil on your pizza, go ahead! You’ll immediately notice how much better homemade food can taste and how it doesn’t have to have a huge impact on your wallet. Not only can you control every single ingredient that goes into your homemade goods, it’s a family fun activity. You’re the chef!

When is it smarter to buy?

Obviously, there are some items that it just doesn’t make sense to try and make, especially if you have coupons and/or if the items are on sale. In that case, we are all for convenience! For example, it’s going to be smarter to buy those basic kitchen items, than it would be to buy your own tomatoes to make ketchup. However, if there are some items at the store that seem a little pricier than anticipated, and you know you have the ingredients or can use coupons to buy the ingredients cheaper, then we suggest stop using the kitchen appliances for storage and try out those dormant culinary abilities so many of us have neglected.

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Good Tip: Saving money is important – especially if you have a lot of expenses like bills to pay, loans to pay off, and all the other things that drain your bank account. Figuring out a way to save money can feel tedious to some, and like a punishment to others. U.S. News suggests that you try one of these money saving challenges. The “No Eating Out for a Month” Challenge This one is self-explanatory. The goal is to avoid eating out for an entire month. This might be super easy for people who enjoy making meals at home. People who really enjoy dining out, or ordering food to be sent to their home, may struggle with this one. It’s worth a try because spending money on take-out is more expensive than buying groceries. The Pantry Challenge This one is a variation of the “No Eating Out for a Month” challenge. The goal is to use up all of your groceries before you buy more. It forces you to try and remember why you bought a food or beverage that you don’t know what to do with, and gives you the opportunity to find a way to use it. The one exemption to this challenge is the foods that have expired. Don’t eat them! Throw them in the trash. The “No Spend” Challenge Make a goal to avoid spending money during an entire weekend. The only exemption in this challenge is that you are allowed to pay bills. This challenge is interesting because it requires creativity. You must be creative and find workarounds for problems that you would typically solve by spending money. You may have a different outlook on spending after finishing this challenge.