Many of the so called convenience foods we buy aren’t really that convenient and they cost a lot more. Having basic ingredients on hand saves time shopping, rinsing, sorting, and recycling bottles and boxes of ready mades.
Here’s an example: salad dressing. Why do we buy vinaigrette when all it is is 3/4ths olive oil and 1/4th vinegar? The variations on this theme are virtually endless. Play around with these two ingredients by using different types of vinegars such as basalmic, apple cider, rice etc. You can also try adding different flavors like garlic, honey and mustard, salt and pepper, etc. The idea is you can whisk it up whenever you need it instead of wondering when you first opened that crusty salad dressing bottle you have sitting on the shelf in your fridge!
If you are used to buying convenience foods, try to learn how to make just one item from scratch. You can learn how to make just about anything on the Food Network web site. Minimalist tip: I donated all of my cookbooks because I can easily find anything on this site!