Let’s try this at home…

Let’s face it; besides their convenience, there’s another reason people keep turning to frozen and/or prepackaged meals: They taste good.

Be it Lean Cuisine, Stoffers or Digiorno’s, however, these pre-made products often provide customers with more than they bargain for: i.e., empty calories, preservatives and high levels of sodium and saturated fats.

Not so lean, huh?

Luckily, there’s a solution: Most all of these recipes can be replicated at home for much less monetary and nutritional cost.

For those who like Hamburger Helper, here’s a comparable recipe courtesy of my roommate, Sarah, sans the preservatives.

It’s simple:

Brown some ground beef,


Cook some pasta,


Grate some cheese,


Stir in a can of tomato sauce, along with garlic powder, onion powder and parsley to taste,

And mix it all together!


As you can see, this recipe makes enough for several meals and can be stored in the refrigerator for up to four days. This boils down to less than 20 minutes of cook time for at least four meals, depending on your appetite, not including the time it takes to reheat the food in the microwave.

So, let’s get to the bottom line.

Comparing the marginal differences between the prep times of home-cooked and prepackaged meals and the vast ones between costs per dish and nutritional content of these options, the choice is clear: DYI is the way to go.

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