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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
You’ll pay a premium price for convenience. Consumer Reports once found that two pounds of carrots cost $1.29, compared with $7.16 for the same amount of precut sticks.
 

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We buy as little prepared food as we can. My friends have always laughed at me becuase I have always shredded my own cheese. I have to explain to them, that back in "the day", shredded cheese was much more expensive than block cheese, so it made sense. Now, the prices of both (at least at Aldi's) are the same per ounce, so there isn't any savings there...but I still do it!

We also take our own containers to the deli and butcher departments of the supermarket. If you ask, they will use your reusable containers and one store in our area will actually give you 25 cents off each time you do it, since they aren't having to pay for the container for you to take things home in!~
 
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There is also the health issues that can be related to prepared/packaged goods. Some products include additional chemicals that we really don't need. Additionally, taking the time to prepare and including family in that process adds better communication and general connections with friends and family. That makes prep time not feel as long.
 

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Yup---read the shredded cheese bag. there is "junk" in there cause it has to be preserved after shredding and need "stuff" to help keep the form of the shred. Block cheese doesn't have those chemicals at all and YES--I always shred my own cheese.

But I do buy baby carrots to snack on. I am not wittling down carrots to mini size myself. While I know it ain't great to buy, I do anyway--LOL--plus I think they are soaked in chlorine to keep them fresh once wittled down to size or something like that I read.

So for me, I choose very careful what I buy pre-packaged, pre-cut, pre-everything. And yes I sure know if "they do the work for you" then you will pay more...LOL

But in general it is just good to read lables, read prices, etc. Only chance we have to keep ourselves healthy in the wallet and body! :)
 

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I am slowly but surely trying to cut back on the prepackaged foods. I don't want to eat the extras that the companies put into them and I have to pay for those plus the convenience. Homemade is better all the way around. :thumb:

Monner:cutie:
 

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Prepackaged foods: briefly been there, done that...

This spring, I tried out a few prepackaged foods because they were on sale and I had great coupons. I found that the packaging was excessive, the quantity small, the taste was not as good as homemade, the quality middling to poor, and that I haven't been missing a thing in all the years I haven't bought prepackaged foods.

So it's back to homemade for me, or fresh produce, etc. to use in my recipes.:hungry:
Never again to be tempted...:shrug2:
 

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Think of it this way, for every pair of hands that is needed to process food, you'll pay more for it. Whole apples are less expensive than applesauce or apple juice. And generally speaking, the more processed a food is, the higher on the glycemic index of foods it is, which means it raises blood sugar faster, and generally has less fiber and nutrition.

I try to maintain a whole foods diet and consider whole foods Nature's original FAST FOOD. Whole foods are generally less expensive because of less processing. Less processing also means less packaging and less advertisement. I read recently, there is around 17-cents worth of grain in a box of cereal, which is why I use whole grains and make my own cereals.

I make my own "convenience" foods, such as a homemade multi-grain version of Bisquick and a multi-grain version of a pancake mix, all from freshly-milled grains. This gives me a chance to control the ingredients in these foods. You can also make Gifts-In-A-Jar type mixes as another way to make your own "convenience" foods, and that's another way to control ingredients.
 

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But I do buy baby carrots to snack on. I am not wittling down carrots to mini size myself. While I know it ain't great to buy, I do anyway--LOL--plus I think they are soaked in chlorine to keep them fresh once wittled down to size or something like that I read.:)

Sulfites are sometimes used in the US (I'm told they don't in Canada) on foods that will be cooked. They banned it on fresh produce back in 1986.

AFAIK there's nothing on "baby carrots" but water. Carrots last a LONG time if kept properly.
 

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Sulfites are sometimes used in the US (I'm told they don't in Canada) on foods that will be cooked. They banned it on fresh produce back in 1986.

AFAIK there's nothing on "baby carrots" but water. Carrots last a LONG time if kept properly.

That is good to know. I don't know where I heard that tad of info?

But some the baby carrots turn very white when they get a little older. I guess it is just cause they are peeled and dry out????
 

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Once our diet stopped using all or most prepackaged food some health issues disappeared. And weight loss started happing.
 

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Its so expensive here for food period, think sitting on a tractor trailer container for two weeks in the middle of the ocean, shippink costs hike up prices so I am very picky and only buy whats needed for produce when I shop.
I have a 10lb bag of carrots in the fridge right now that will be turned into soup this weekend (some bits went a little moldy) to use them up. I bought pears and had to force one down today it was kinda dry and not very good but I paid for it and I refuse to throw it out! Next I will be looking for a recipe I can use to turn the other pears into something yummy. I get giddy when I discover berries that are mold free and cost less than $6.00 a pint!
 

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We started cutting back on prepackaged and prepared goods a few months ago. Now if I buy things, it's either in club packs, bulk sizes or stock ingredients. I refuse to buy muffins, cookies, etc because I can make them myself. I also stopped buying brownie and cake mixes because the homemade stuff is easier to do and you're able to control the ingredients in what you make.

I never buy sliced apples, carrot sticks, etc.

I noticed that since I did that, I've lost about 9 pounds. I also feel a lot better now. :)
 

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I try hard not to buy convenience foods, but sometimes it's hard. :ack: Time is not always on my side.
 
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I have a lot to say on this subject... it's a sore spot for me. I was ALL prepackaged until my first child was born. We either ate from a box or ate out (which a lot of the time is still "from a box"!) I have done tons of research and completely changed our ways. I am healthier for it, as is my husband. My kids are so into it that my daughter will turn away store bought cupcakes. My son prefers home popped popcorn over the microwave varieties, etc. You guys have some very good points about prepackaged! :)

We buy as little prepared food as we can. My friends have always laughed at me becuase I have always shredded my own cheese. I have to explain to them, that back in "the day", shredded cheese was much more expensive than block cheese, so it made sense. Now, the prices of both (at least at Aldi's) are the same per ounce, so there isn't any savings there...but I still do it!
And actually, they put cellophane in shredded cheese to keep it from clumping, so it's better for you even if there is no price difference!

We also take our own containers to the deli and butcher departments of the supermarket. If you ask, they will use your reusable containers and one store in our area will actually give you 25 cents off each time you do it, since they aren't having to pay for the container for you to take things home in!~
They won't do that here, but I wish they did!

There is also the health issues that can be related to prepared/packaged goods. Some products include additional chemicals that we really don't need. Additionally, taking the time to prepare and including family in that process adds better communication and general connections with friends and family. That makes prep time not feel as long.
So true! Just think of all the knowledge we can give our children just by cooking with them! Science, math, sometimes history, and just overall LOVE :)

But in general it is just good to read lables, read prices, etc. Only chance we have to keep ourselves healthy in the wallet and body! :)
So Very True!

I am slowly but surely trying to cut back on the prepackaged foods. I don't want to eat the extras that the companies put into them and I have to pay for those plus the convenience. Homemade is better all the way around. :thumb:
Monner:cutie:
Also so true!!! Just think, even cereals have "BHT added to packaging to preserve freshness". What the heck? The packaging has preservatives.

That is good to know. I don't know where I heard that tad of info?

But some the baby carrots turn very white when they get a little older. I guess it is just cause they are peeled and dry out????
The packaging holds in the moisture which helps keep them fresher. Once the moisture can escape they dry out and turn white. If you use a bag clip once you open them you can reduce this from happening.

Once our diet stopped using all or most prepackaged food some health issues disappeared. And weight loss started happing.
There is a website, I have to go find it. It talks about how you can eliminate a multitude of health problems with a true whole foods diet.

I refuse to buy muffins, cookies, etc because I can make them myself. I also stopped buying brownie and cake mixes because the homemade stuff is easier to do and you're able to control the ingredients in what you make.

I never buy sliced apples, carrot sticks, etc.

I noticed that since I did that, I've lost about 9 pounds. I also feel a lot better now. :)
Awesome! I do the same thing - did you know that storebought cookies sometimes contain 2x the sugar and up to 4x the fat?! WTHeck??!! So making your own is definitely healthier, cookies and all :)

Sorry to be so long winded, but as I said, this is a sore spot for me, I guess in a good way :D
 

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Ok, I confess I am the pre package queen. I really want to change that. As we use up stuff I am trying to replace it with healthier choices. How far do you take it ? Do you make your own macaroni and noodles ? I have stopped buying pre made cookies and cakes and switched to cookie mixes and cake mixes, I thought I was doing something good but I know realize I have to go that next step. I never got into frozen meals much but we love hamburger helper, and I use a lot of canned soups in casseroles (my mom is the Campbell soup casserole queen and I guess I took after her ) I also buy a lot of pre packaged rice mixes and noodle dishes. I really want to change but it seems so daunting I am not the best cook.
 

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Diane,
I was, too. That's why it's such a sore spot. I have a special needs daughter who I had to eliminate if not all, as many as possible processed foods from her diet. I didn't know all the awful things they could cause. That's not to say everyone who eats them will have these kinds of problems, but they sure caused my daughter harm. Anyway, lets see if I can help any.

First - Baby Steps. Do you remember the movie "What about Bob?" LOL I always laugh at his interpretation of baby steps. But that's the idea. Run out of rice-a-roni? Try making your own out of rice and other ingredients. Google rice a roni from scratch or make your own rice mix and see what comes up. Truth: I CANNOT cook without a recipe. I didnt used to be able to cook at all, but now I can, with a recipe. It takes practice. :)
Pasta - I cannot be bothered. As far as I know, it doesn't contain preservatives. I know the flour isn't organic, but I don't buy organic flour anyway. Noodles take a long time, is labor intensive and doesn't save much money. That's my opinion.
Campbels soups contain so much sodium, not to mention the other things on the label that I cannot pronounce. Here's my take - use it up, then don't buy it again. In the beginning you will have to adjust your recipes, but once you do it will be easy. Again, google make your own campbles soup or cream of whatever soup recipe and see what you get. It will actually take a little while to get used to the taste of a lower sodium food, you may want to "wean" yourself off of the salt. Add a little more the first time, then less and less each additional time you make it.
Hamburger helper is an easy one. It doesn't take any more time to make a homemade hamburger helper dish, just more ingredients. And one extra pot. Boil a pasta shape you like. In another pan, brown the meat. Add salt, pepper, maybe some garlic powder and onion powder. When it's brown, depending on the hamburger helper you like, add a sauce. if you like the lasagna one, add pasta sauce. mix in the noodles and add some shredded mozzerella cheese. Or if you like the brown gravy version, add about a cup of beef broth and a tablespoon of flour to the pan, mix it up and add your noodles. You get the picture.
I take it as far as I want to. Same goes for you. I needed to eliminate preservatives. That takes time, patience, and a whole lotta scratch cooking. You are aiming to cook healthier for your family. Not as drastic unless you want it to be. You may take the first baby step, decide you like the result, the process, or both - then it may blossom from there! It's up to you. Read the product labels. Is there stuff on there you don't recognize? In my book, I won't buy it. You may do some research and decide which things you wont buy "anything with msg" or "high sodium" or maybe "no trans fats" are good places to start. Good luck, and feel free to PM me! :)
 

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Thank you so much, I really am trying. I went to the SA and got a few old cookbooks. I too only can cook following a recipe unless it is something fairly easy. I can bake bread and have started to make a few loaves a week. Husband loves it. I need to branch out from white bread though. We were eating double fiber wheat before I started making bread again. I am going to get some different flour today. I am cooking more fish and chicken. We were the hamburger family for a while. Thank you again for your encouragement. I am going to do this. Diane
 
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