At the risk of sounding like my pre-teen, "Who doesn't love a shortcut?"
And I admit, I am a big fan of shortcuts, myself. If there is a way for me to make something easier and more efficient, I am typically all ears. However, when it comes to short cuts versus my cash, I tend to awaken my analytical Kraken, and nowhere does my own personal colossus of Greek mythology come out more often than she does when it comes to grocery store short cuts.
What do you mean by short cut?
Chances are you already know exactly what I mean. When I'm talking about short cuts, I'm talking about the pre-cut fruits and veggies, the peeled garlic or the shredded cheese. Are they worth it? Not always, and I can prove it.
I Skip it.
Already minced garlic sounds like a great idea, but it isn't as flavorful as fresh garlic is and it doesn't save me money. A onetime investment in a $2 garlic peeling tool and another onetime investment in a $10 handy chopper makes my garlic mincing life a breeze, without sacrificing taste (or time).
I skip it.
A small container of prepared berries in my local market is $7.99. In contrast, I can buy a package of strawberries, blueberries and blackberries to make twice as much as the store offering for $5 total. If you eat as my family does, you'll take the extra time to prep your own fruit. I spend about half an hour each Sunday preparing fruit and vegetable snacks in Tupperware for all week long grab and go ease.
I buy it.
It's the same price as block cheese and I don't have to fuss with a cheese grater? It's a no brainer.
I buy it.
I cook with a lot of lemon juice. Over the years, I have found it's cheaper and easier to buy the bottled lemon juice and keep it in my fridge as opposed to juicing a bunch of lemons. However, when it comes to lemon zest, only fresh lemons make the cut.
I skip it.
It's bad enough that these chickens are saturated in more fat than I could shake a stick at, but the nearly $7 price tag can't compare to a chicken I can get out of the meat freezer for $3 less. If I'm hard up for time, I make my rotisserie chicken a few days ahead, and I know what I'm getting is healthier for my family than what they offer at the grocery store.
I get it.
If we are in a pizza mood and I don't have time to cook, a take and bake pizza for $5 or $6 beats the $12 we'd pay the delivery boy. When we want to indulge and we are in a hurry, we take and bake.
What are your best/worst grocery good shortcuts?
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