Thursday, April 29, 2010

Thought Provoking Thursday

Is it worth your time and trouble to purchase items in their most basic form- only to transform them into convenient sizes/packages/pieces? Most often, food items can be purchased in large quantities or untouched as far as slicing and dicing is concerned, for far less money out of pocket. Maybe pickles aren't the best example, but at least you can easily picture sliced, spear, and whole pickles easily in you mind!

A gallon jar of pickles (at Costco) costs $3.69, not too shabby considering that I could easily pick up a small jar of pickles at any standard grocery store and spend over $3.

A gallon sized jar of pickles, cut into spears, ups the cost by $.54.

Now while I realize that $.54 isn't a whole lot of money, and you most likely aren't going to consume half a dozen gallons of pickles in a year (I came close when I was pregnant with my son Bo... 4.5 gallons in 9 months!), but lots of little convenience purchases really do add up! (Pre-washed/ pre-cut fruits and vegetables and cheese and deli trays come to mind.)

Would you rather be paying for grab and go convenience, or are just as happy to but a little bit of elbow grease into bringing food to your table?

Are YOU a 'Roll Up Your Sleeve's' kind of bargaineer?


Staying Lean

I definitely pay for convinence. Working full time devoting 20 hours a week to volunteer bible activities and blogging I don't roll up my sleeves and do any work myself! One day I will though I know it is better and cheaper! On a good note my husband will be working at Lowes starting next week after 16 months of unemployment!


I honestly never thought of slicing pickles. For the past few years I've made my own, so they're already sliced.

Most of the time I don't mind doing a little extra work if it's more economical. Cheese is the product that comes to mind. I don't mind grating a block of cheese, but when I was able to find bags of already shredded cheese for less than the blocks, I took advantage of the convenience.

Angela @ Nine More Months

I only like to pay for convenience if the convenience happens to be cheaper. Otherwise I am fine with slicing, dicing, and separating whatever I need to. Instead of spending $20 on a veggie tray for entertaining, I'd much rather cut up veggies myself and spend only a couple of dollars. Sometimes it's hard to find the time, but I'd rather have to find the time than have to find the money. :)


It all depends on what kind of 'season' I'm in: busy vs. superbusy :) And what kind of convenience.

Not sure about the pickle idea, but I DID just buy chicken breasts and divvy them up with different sauces like you did. Like Angela said, cutting up your own veggies and fruit definitely saves $ over the trays (and your produce is fresher). Making my own dried fruit & nut mix is something I want to try. Love Back to Nature's Nantucket blend but that's pricey (even at Costco) I've looked into possibly buying bulk for pistachios, craisins, dried cherries & almonds - I think it should be a lot cheaper. Just have to figure out what to store it in.

Oh, and I'm now saving my unused coffee in the morning...freezing it in little ice cube trays & popping them into freezer bags after - they'll be great with iced coffee!


I was thinking about this again - we love cheeses (fancy kinds) and for years (before couponing) we ate lots of cheese & spent big $ on all kinds of varieties. Now that we're couponing, I find that we tend to save specialty cheeses for special occasions. I was thinking about your feta cheese... do I buy a large block of feta or feta crumbles from Costco? Or do I buy feta crumbles from Aldi for 1.99? Do I wait for a sale & hope for a coupon?

Laura Webber

Wow! You ladies have some great insights and ideas!

Ellen, pop for the 9 pound bucket at Gordon Food Service, it lasts 3 for three months... ahem, it CAN last for 3 months...wink!


This is funny because I just started buying the big jars of pickles and slicing them up myself. It saves me money and is so worth it to us!


I have recently switched from buying baby carrots to just getting the regular ones. As a rule they are cheaper, taste better and last longer.