food shopping

Comparing grocery store prepared foods to homemade: which is better?

Web Watch is a fan of supporting our local grocery stores and their prepared food sections.

Whether it be picking up a hot rotesserie chicken from Sam’s Club, Costco, or the local grocery store; a rack of ribs, freshly smoked; a dinner plate made to order right at the meat counter; or even the fish department steaming your purchase while you shop — grocery stores have discovered that providing ready-to-eat food is a great way to supplement their bottom line.

Why? Because Web Watch likes to eat, but doesn’t always have time to cook.

Sure, we know it’s more expensive to buy a chicken that’s already seasoned and heated for us over going through that process ourselves, but for now we’re okay with that.

To paraphrase Cookie Monster, “prepared, ready-to-eat foods are a sometimes meal”.

Johnny's Garlic Spread
Johnny’s Garlic Spread

But when it gets right down to it, how much money are you really saving by buying some of those convenience items from the other areas of the grocery store when you DO have the time to cook?

In other words, is it worthwhile to buy your cheese already shredded, or should you go through the trouble of buying a block of cheese and shredding it yourself?

MINT.COM decided to take a look at some items and pass judgement on whether these were GOOD for your wallet and tastebuds, or BAD.

  • Peeled garlic — bad
  • Cut fruit — bad
  • Shredded cheese – GOOD!
  • Peeled carrots – maybe good, maybe bad
  • Lemon juice — GOOD!
  • Bagged lettuce — bad
  • Rotisserie chicken — bad (Dang it, they had to go and tell us what we already knew… and more importantly, how much money we actually are wasting by buying that cooked bird)

After reading about the chicken, Web Watch was too sad to read the rest of the article, but we’re sure that there’s plenty more good shopping tips there for you to check out.

What about you?  Have you found any bargains in the prepared food aisle of your local grocer?