Convenience Costs

Supermarkets are full of new convenience items: meals to go, chopped, peeled and washed vegetables, and individually-packed snacks. But is the convenience worth the cost?

There are a few things to consider before making that final decision:

  • How much waste is there? If you are buying fresh carrots or broccoli, consider that you’ll pay for the entire weight but you’ll throw away the stems.
  • How much time will it save overall? Don’t just consider the cooking time but the preparation and clean up as well.
  • Is the nutrition different? One downfall of some convenience foods is the amount of sodium, fat or sugar added. Check that the convenience has not thrown your good health intentions out the window.
Decide if the cost is worth the convenience for you ...

Food

Quantity

Product

Cost

Product Benefit

Carrots

2 lbs

Bagged whole carrots

$1.79

Save $1.11

Peeled and washed baby carrots

$2.90

Save about 15 minutes

Mushroom

8 oz

Whole fresh mushrooms

$1.79

Texture, flavor

Sliced fresh mushrooms

$1.99

Save about 5 minutes

Canned sliced mushrooms
(2 - 4 oz cans)

1.50

Save $.49

Potato

20 oz

Fresh Russet potatoes

$0.99

Save $0.60

Simply Potatoes - Diced Potatoes with Onions

$1.59

Save about 15 minutes

Romaine Lettuce

10 oz

Head of romaine

$1.70

Save $1.89

Washed, chopped hearts of romaine in sealed bag

$3.59

Save about 15 minutes

Salads - Pre-packaged lettuce and spinach are usually more expensive than buying bunch greens to wash at home. They also tend to spoil quickly after opening. Try other green salads, such as chopped cabbage, broccoli slaw, peas, or green beans mixed with lowfat dressing.

Carrots - Pre-packaged baby carrots usually cost at least twice as much as regular carrots. Trade time for dollars by peeling, washing, and cutting your own. Refrigerate in airtight containers or bags; sprinkle with water if they start to look dry.

Potatoes - A 5-pound bag has 12 to 15 potatoes – enough for 3 meals for a family of 4. If desired, add shredded or sliced cheese before serving. A similarly priced package of convenience potatoes typically has only 4 servings.

Tips

Pack and go! 
Vegetables are nature's original fast food. When it's snack time, grab ... baby carrots, cherry tomatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, or some red, yellow, and green peppers. Try dipping your vegetables in low-fat or non-fat salad dressing.

FOLLOW US ON:    |
Share |