Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Scratch vs. the Box--Macaroni and Cheese

Have you ever wondered if it is cheaper to cook from scratch or from a box? You know I have. In fact, I've done the math. Prices are based on good sale prices found within the last 3 months. Prices and availability may vary in your area.For a complete list of best prices used to determine today's results visit Dani's Grocery Price Index.

Today's bout of Scratch Vs The Box is Macaroni and Cheese. How low will Box Mac and Cheese have to go to beat the price punch of Scratch? Let's take a look inside the ring to find out.

In the white corner we have Scratch, the defending champion of home economics, holding the ingredients for her hot and bubbly homemade mac and cheese. The ingredients and their costs are: 3 cups elbow macaroni noodles, boiled (25 cents), 3 T Butter (14 cents), 3 T flour (2 cents), 3 cups milk (36 cents), 2 1/2 cups cheese (93 cents!), and salt, pepper and garlic to taste (3 cents). Yes, you heard it right here folks, Scratch weighs in today with Mac and Cheese at a whopping $1.73 and serves eight main course meals!

And in the Blue corner we have today's challenger, Box Mac and Cheese. Box is not alone however. To make eight main course meals she needs a little help from her sisters, two more boxes of Macaroni and Cheese! Yes, you heard it right, it's the M & C triplets vs. one batch scratch to yield the same meal. And that's not all. The three sisters have 3/4 c Butter (57 cents) and 1 cup milk (12 cents) to make they're batch good.

This match doesn't look fair. The triplets are going in with only $.69 cents worth of ingredients! SIXTY-NINE CENTS! Is scratch going to survive? She comes highly touted and--Oh, what's that? Scratch is shouting something . . . . She's pointing at the twins. She's telling the crowd something, "Don't forget folks, those boxes cost too." Oh, that scratch, she's hot, saucy and right! If those girls cost more than $.35 cents per box they stand no chance against Scratch.

Will Scratch take down the triplets? Will the M & C sisters take a cheap shot? Does either one have a chance of tasting good after all this eye-scratching? Only YOU can judge the final score on this bout: can you get Mac and Cheese for less than 35 cents a box?

Complete recipe, with directions, for Macaroni and Cheese
If you liked this post you may be interested in reading Scratch vs. the Box--Brownies
or Scratch vs. the Box--Fettuccine Alfredo


  1. Well I guess you can buy it cheaper but it tastes like it. So I'm actually wondering where your "surprise beach trip" comments are? How was it? Did the kids have a fabulous time? Did you? Sounds like you had a fun filled Mem. Day holiday. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I don't care how cheap the box is....scratch mac & cheese is a whole different animal. I do have one kid (Daniel) who prefers scratch and one (Hannah) who won't touch the stuff unless it starts out powdered....ugh.


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