I just read a great article comparing the price of store bought and homemade food. She compares bagels, cream cheese, jam, crackers and granola, and overall, homemade comes out cheaper and better tasting. The author seemed a little surprised, but I'm not! I guess I grew up with a bit of a homemade bias. Cakes were always from scratch, and bread always came out of the bread machine. And I just always assumed that homemade was both better tasting, better for you and cheaper. Over at Home Ec 101, Heather agrees with me, but reinforced the idea that saving money isn't the only goal of making food from scratch.
Some of my assumptions were turned on their head when I read the Hillbilly Housewife's article about "convenience" foods that are worth purchasing rather than making at home. Pasta, frozen veggies and canned beans all make her list of convenience foods. She is right, of course - they are a convenience food compared to what my great grandmother would have used, never mind the fancy stand mixer, the food processor, the rice cooker and the bread machine I have in my kitchen. Go back just a little further, and even my stove starts to look like a convenience item!
All of this got me thinking about my own food assumptions and bias. On this adventure to feed my family on a budget, my goal is to make sure we are eating a healthy diet and that we are being mindful of our environmental impact. Additionally, the taste and flavours of the food we are eating has to be at the top of my agenda, if I want anyone to eat it!
With this in mind, I am going to try doing some comparisons of the prices, flavours, ingredient lists and environmental impact of some foods I already make from scratch as well as some of my favourite convenience foods.
My Comparisons (A Growing List)
A Soft Drink Replacement (Iced Tea)