I was reading the most recent issue of Everyday Food recently (a magazine I absolutely loved seven years ago, but that I've felt like has really declined in recent years. . . each issue seems to have more and more weird recipes), and it had a little section called "Are They Worth It?"
It went through five items and discussed whether or not it was worth the time, money, and flavor to buy store-prepped versions or whether to just do it yourself.
I was more amused than I should have been by it because of the five items, four of them are ones I use frequently (the one I don't is a stir-fry mix because I can't actually stand stir-fry), and in all four cases, I went exactly the opposite way they did.
First, they said you should buy chicken broth because it takes too much planning ahead to make your own. I haven't bought chicken broth in a couple of years because it's so ludicrously cheap and easy to make yourself and I just basically stuff my entire freezer full of yogurt containers full of it. No mechanically separated chicken parts and trans-fat for me, thank you.
are you getting the impression that I don't really care about expiration dates? You are not wrong)).
Breadcrumbs? They said to buy it, I say "Twenty seconds in the food processor and I have breadcrumbs made with homemade bread that I can stick in the freezer for the next fifty years." I mean, really? Bread crumbs take no effort whatsoever. And I am lazy.
And then. . . .lemon juice. When we first were married, I was convinced that real lemons were the only way to go (and I know for a fact that it was because of Everyday Food that I was sure of this). After a couple of months, Bart suggested that it was possible to buy a bottle of lemon juice. And then, the clincher. "My mom uses bottled lemon juice." Well. If Bart's mom, who is a ridiculously high-level cook and also loves lemons, can use bottled lemon juice, I could too. And when I went to buy some and saw how cheap it was (far far cheaper than buying actual lemons), I never looked back. I only buy lemons if I'm making a recipe that absolutely requires zest. Other than that? A giant bottle of cheap happiness.
Apparently I'm lazy in all the wrong ways. Oh well, Everyday Food never has to know.