The Cost of Convenience Foods
Here's an article where somebody does the math on the cost of convenience foods for you. You'll want to be sitting down, probably carefully holding your head in your hands for support if you buy some of this stuff:
A friend of mine, for example, bought pre-marinated, individually vacuum-packed chicken breasts for $1.67 per four-ounce portion. It never occurred to her this is $6.68 a pound! Boneless chicken breasts were selling for $3.29 a pound. If it takes 5-cents worth of seasoning and one minute to season a pound's worth (do it in the morning and leave it in the fridge to marinate), you pay $3.34 per minute for this "convenience" or $200 per hour! ...Another example? Microwave popcorn. The cheapest nine-ounce bag at the store was $1.19. It takes three minutes to prepare in the microwave. A 32-ounce bag of popcorn kernels costs the same $1.19. I brought that bag home, clicked off my trusty stopwatch, slapped a pot on a burner, poured a tablespoon or so of oil in it, threw in three spoonfuls of kernels, popped them and checked the time. Two minutes, fifty seconds. Allowing twenty seconds to wash the pot and put it away, I saved only ten seconds. Yet the oh-so-convenient, time-saving microwave popcorn costs 3.5 times as much.
Working parents are some of the biggest losers when it comes to buying convenience products to save time:
Think about it. Say you're paid $12 per hour. Buy $60 worth of "time saving" products that save you a single hour of time, and you've just worked five hours to save one hour! (Actually, it costs more, when you factor the bite taxes out of your paycheck.) Insane.
So ignore the commercials and marketing claims. Estimate the cost-to-time-saved ratio before you buy. Chances are, you'll save money, quite possibly a lot of money. Then maybe you can afford to work less, and that's the best way to save time.
Popcorn is one of those convenience foods that costs 4 to 13 times more than making it from scratch, according to the The Complete Tightwad Gazette
But People are funny. Where our second daughter used to work, people made a very small salary, and she knew both her co-workers had very tight finances, often in the hole for the next paycheck a week or more before it arrived. But they went out for lunch or bought convenience foods to microwave and eat there.
Recently I met a lawyer who gets paid 200 dollars an hour, charges a five thousand dollar retainer fee, and his wife packs him lunches like leftover spaghetti to bring to work for lunch. He reheats it in the microwave in his very snazzy office. He's proud of his homemade lunches.