Peasant food: The prep equation

Recently, as I was trying to figure out ways to spend less money on groceries, I had a big "well, duh!" moment. Wandering through my local grocery store, I realized that, the more work that the food companies and store had to put into my food, the more money I had to pay. I realized that, by buying foods that were convenient for the store and doing more of my own food-prep work, I could save a large percentage of my weekly food bill. These changes individually amounted to a few cents here and there, but they quickly added up.

Fresh Food

One of the first things that I discovered is that fresh produce is really expensive. The reason is obvious: fruits and vegetable require special packaging, considerable amounts of shelf space, and a lot of TLC. Once the food gets to the store, a significant amount will have to be thrown away because it has gone bad or has been damaged in transit. When it's finally put on the shelf, it only has a limited time before it starts to rot and has to be weeded out. This means that, not only does it require special equipment and a lot of space, but it also requires trained laborers to care for it. All of that expense gets factored in to the price of the food.