Pin It A while ago I found and article on yahoo.com on 15 foods you should never buy again. Now, I'll be honest, I will probably still buy some of these items again at some point because of convenience, but I the article helped me realize ways that I can still buy have these foods, but there are cheaper/better ways to get them. You can find the article here: http://www.rd.com/home-garden/15-foods-you-should-never-buy-again/article179928.html#slide but I will be summing it up for you too :)
1 - Gourmet frozen vegetables - You can add butter and herbs to the normal frozen veggies.
2 - Microwave sandwiches - Pre-made sandwiches of any kind are extremely over priced.
3 - Premium frozen fruit bars - The article said you pay nearly $2/fruit bar. They suggested buying the ice-pop molds or small paper cups and making your own. This is the recipe they gave for fruit bars:
Throw 2 cups cut-up fruit, 1 tablespoon sugar, and 1 teaspoon lemon or lime juice into a blender. Cover and blend until smooth. You might wish to add 1 to 2 tablespoons of water so the final mix is a thick slush. Pour into 4-ounce pop molds or paper cups, insert sticks, and freeze until solid.
4 - Boxed rice entree or side-dish mixes - These consist of basically rice, salt and spices. You can buy a bag of rice add your own herbs/seasoning and then cook the rice according to the package directions for much cheaper.
5 - Energy or protein bars - people think they are more wholesome than a candy bar, but they are also very high in fat and sugar contents and usually just as caloric as a candy bar; plus they are $2-$3 a bar! The suggest eating a piece of fruit, a yogurt or a small handful of nuts.
6 - Spice mixes - Grill mixes and other spice mixes seem like a good buy, but when you look at the list of ingredients you will see the first ingredient is salt, followed by the vague "herbs and spices". They suggest making your own rubs.
7 - Powdered ice tea mixes or prepared flavored ice tea - they suggest making your own. Apparently most tea-bag boxes have recipes. I don't drink tea, so this one didn't apply to me so much.
8 - Bottled water - It's a bad investment for many reasons - tap water is much cheaper, it's not even better for your health than the stuff coming out of the tap. Buy a filter if you want and save money, but hate tap water. All of the bottles are a waste also.
9 - Salad kits - While they can be a time saver, they can cost 3 times as much as buying the same amount of a head of lettuce. Even more expensive are the kits that come with a small bag of dressing and a small bag of croutons. If you are wanting to save even more money, you can make your own croutons by toasting cut-up stale bread that you would otherwise toss. I myself have switched to using heads of lettuce and it really does save money, not to mention my salads look/taste better.
10 - Individual servings of anything - Buy a big box and then parcel out the single servings. We all know buying in bulk is cheaper!
11 - Trail mix - The article said they were shocked when they found that the trail mixes sold in the candy isle were costing about $10/pound! They suggest making your own, it's cheaper and you get to add what you want.
12 - "Snack" or "lunch" packs - I loved lunchables as a kid, but now I realize just how over priced they really are. You can make your own for soo sooo much cheaper!
13 - Gourmet ice cream - There is usually at least one brand of ice cream on sale. Don't pay $6 for a gallon of designer brand ice cream.
14 - Pre-formed meat patties - The timed it, and it takes less than 10 seconds to form a flat circle and throw it on the grill. I think 10 seconds is probably a little too short to patty the burger AND put it on the grill, but it definitely doesn't take long to do it and fresh is always better!
15 - Tomato-based pasta sauces - They suggest making your own sauces from canned, crushed or fresh tomatoes. Here is a little recipe of theirs: The easiest method is to put crushed tomatoes (canned or fresh) into a skillet, stir in some wine or wine vinegar, a little sugar, your favorite herbs, and whatever chopped vegetables you like in your sauce — peppers, onions, mushrooms, even carrots — and let simmer for an hour. Adjust the flavorings and serve. Even better: Coat fresh tomatoes and the top of a cooking sheet with olive oil and roast the tomatoes for 20 to 30 minutes at 425˚F before making your stovetop sauce.