Convenience foods come w/ hefty price tag

LOS ANGELES Of course prices vary from week to week, store to store.

Fresh garlic averages 14 cents per ounce, which is 20 cents per ounce cheaper than when you buy it pre-minced.

Broccoli is a common dinner staple, costing about $1.69 a pound. But those cute little pre-cut broccoli florets will run about twice as much even though they are ready to go.

A couple boiled eggs are a great take away lunch, but boil those eggs yourself and save over a dollar on the deal. Two cooked eggs cost $1.39, while a dozen large eggs cost $1.79 so if you cook them at home those two eggs only cost you 30 cents.

And a lot of people make homemade pizza as fun family meal. Make dough from scratch it will average about 80 cents a crust compared to a refrigerated pizza dough at $2.59 and one precooked crust at $4.59.

The chicken scenario isn't hard to figure out. Buying a whole chicken is your best bet at $1.69 per pound. If you buy a cut up whole chicken you'll pay 41 cents more a pound and buy that bird cooked, you'll pay $2.88 per pound. But the biggest wallet drain is the skinless, boneless chicken breast at $6.99 per pound. Now true there's no skin, bones, or waste, but a crock pot bird is almost as easy and you can get more than one meal out of it.

Finally, think about making ice tea yourself. It's as easy as filling a jar, putting bags in it and taking it outside - the sun will do the rest. Two to three tea bags cost about 15 cents. Compare that to bottle tea at $3 to $4. Even if you add sugar, you're still saving a bundle.

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