Experiment in making my own convenience foods

19 01 2009

img_1448Over the weekend, I took my first foray into making my own convenience foods. My motivations were three-fold. Saving money, of course. But also saving time and reducing the amount of packaging I’m bringing into the house. Was I successful? Well, the homemade waffles were delicious. But did I save time, money and packaging? 

img_1449With the help of my trusty Betty Crocker cookbook, which, btw, I received as a wedding shower gift 27 years ago, I mixed up some flour, eggs, margarine, milk, baking powder and salt. In about an hour, I had 13 huge waffles ready for the freezer.

img_1450Time spent? An hour!???? How can that be time saving? Before you rush out and buy a couple extra boxes of Eggos and remove me from your bookmarked sites, hear me out. First, my waffle-making took place on a leisurely Saturday morning. It was actually kind of fun img_1451and relaxing to make the waffles while reading the paper. Second, in addition to reading the news, I used the five-minute intervals in waffle-making to catch up on filing my coupons.

img_1452Money saved? At Harris Teeter this week, a box of Eggos are $2.79 for 10 waffles. After some rough figuring, I estimate the ingredients for my waffles cost no more than 50 cents. (Margarine was free with a coupon, flour was on sale, eggs came from a university farm, milk was free with a gift card.) Now this is where things get tricky. Right now, I have coupons for 75 cents off Eggos, which at Harris Teeter will double, making that $2.79 box of Eggos just $1.29. However, it would take two Eggo waffles to equal one of my large homemade waffles. The final comparison: 50 cents for 13 servings of homemade waffles; $1.29 for just five servings of store-bought.

Packaging reduced? Eggos come packaged in slick cardboard with an inside liner, neither of which can be recyled in our area. I froze my waffles in plastic freezer bags that I use over and over, along with some wax paper that I put in between to prevent sticking. I will also reuse this on my next batch but in hind site I don’t think the wax paper was necessary.

Was it worth it? Will I do it again? I think so. While I didn’t save huge amounts of money or time, I did save some. Plus, homemade beats store-bought every time.