We've all grocery-shopped in a hurry before, frantically piecing together a meal idea in our heads, trying to remember what we had at home in the fridge and tossing things into the basket. And certainly we've all felt strapped for time when it comes to actually assembling a meal or packing a lunch.
But while certain grocery store advances can be considered useful, others are just plain ridiculous. Are we really that lame, America?
5. Pre-shredded cheese
This one isn't quite a capital offense, but economically speaking, it doesn't make any sense. They charge you so much just for grating your cheese in advance! Why not just buy a big ole block of cheddar and grate it all yourself when you get home, toss it in a Ziploc bag, and call it a money-saving day?
4. Baby carrots
What's wrong with baby carrots, you ask? Maybe the fact that they DON'T EXIST. Baby carrots are a fiction, a myth, a made-up idea, a ploy to get you to spend a couple of dollars more on regular carrots that have already been peeled & shaped into little rounded plugs. That's what baby carrots are, you know. REGULAR CARROTS. To boot, they're usually either slimy or all dried out. No thank you.
3. Pre-made kabobs & burgers
If you're reaching for these babies because you don't have skewers to make kabobs yourself, do yourself a favor and invest in a pair. Then buy a cheap cut of meat, cube it up yourself (radical notion, I know) and load those cubes onto your new, shiny skewers. Which you can reuse, again and again! Seriously, if you have time to grill kabobs, you have time to assemble them yourself.
As for pre-made burgers, it's one thing if the meat's been seasoned or combined with dry-aged cheddar or some other fancy thing. But most of the time, pre-made burger patties are just ground beef, formed into patty shapes. That's it. Take a closer look next time--you can get 1 ½ times as much ground meat for the same price if you form the patties yourself.
2. Pre-sliced fruits and vegetables
Some of these are more understandable than others. A pineapple can be a pain in the butt to break down, and they're not always cheap to begin with, so letting the grocery store do the work for you and paying an extra bit of change, okay. But then there are the Styrofoam trays of pre-sliced bell peppers. And they're not even seeded or anything! They're cut into rings. Do you know how quickly you can slice a bell pepper into rings? I do, because I timed myself. Fifteen seconds, people.
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Even more alarming--pre-sliced apples. I've heard people justify this: "Oh, well, it's really convenient for the kids!" Dude, if you can't manage to slice an apple for your child, you probably shouldn't have HAD a child in the first place.
1. Frozen, pre-made PB &J sandwiches
As a teacher, I've seen these in many a lunchbox and I've had the (dis)pleasure of taste-testing one firsthand. They are, as you can imagine, totally gross, an amorphous blob of flavorless bread with super-sweet jelly and gritty peanut butter wedged between. More importantly--how is it that people are so lazy that they cannot even be bothered to make a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich for their child? Or, for any child over the age of 5, why not teach the kid how to make one for himself?
And we wonder why we're all fat and in debt.