It's a good question in a world where convenience is the norm.
So why, exactly, do I cook from scratch?
These were my answers:
To buy all of these different kinds of jars, sauces and ready prepared foods ultimately adds a lot extra onto the grocery shopping bill. I keep my pantry filled with staples that can be used across many recipes, staples that are cheap and practical and will go a long way. I also buy plain meat in bulk lots when on special—chicken breast fillets, chicken thigh fillets, wings, etc and then freeze. It is a much more economical way to shop for me.
Making anything from scratch gives it a much richer flavour. My marinades and meal sauces explode with deep flavours that cannot even be compared with the bottled or packaged varieties. My Chicken Schnitzels, Kievs and homemade chicken nuggets are absolutely delicious and worth that little bit of extra time to prepare. And meal preparation is always a great time to share with the kids. Not only are you giving them good cooking skills for life, it is time well spent together, chatting and catching up on the day.
You know what's in it!
I try to reduce our preservative/additive intake as much as possible. Although I do use some ready-made sauces—the basic standards like Tomato, Barbecue, Soy and Worcestershire—I especially try to avoid the sachet/packet mixes. Food companies are becoming sneakier with labelling and so it is difficult to know exactly what is in your packaged and pre-made products but there are
There is a great article here about the extent of food additives and labelling.
I've always cooked from scratch even when I'm tired. There are plenty of quick and easy meals that don't take much effort and if you're running short on lunchbox treats, a batch of muffins will only take around 10 minutes to throw together. Much better than a possible toxic mix of chemicals,