Lately, I've had time to consider the advantages of planning versus the ease of all the convenience items that are available. One item that's been brought into focus is brown rice. We love it, it's good for you and requires around 45+ minutes to cook on the stove or an hour to bake it in the oven and around the same amount of time in my rice cooker. Brown rice requires thought and planning to work in our meals. We always make a large batch providing leftover rice, it can be frozen or put in the fridge for another meal, like fried rice or use in soups or for breakfast.
We buy brown rice in bulk it's around $0.70 a pound and pound of dry rice will make 6-7 cups of cooked rice. I saw microwavable brown rice, it was just brown rice and water, it was approximately 6 cups for $6.99. There were six plastic containers that would go into my garbage as well as the lids and the box with plastic they came in. The difference between $6.99 and $0.70 is $6.29. That's a pretty big difference.
Electricity is needed to cook the rice, both require some. The microwave is around 9 minutes (1.5 X 6) and the bulk is on the stove or in the rice cooker, I don't have the conversions for the electric use for those methods. However, in the oven when I'm cooking something else, well, I'm using heat that already there. To do it requires planning and a little less initial ease, but it comes around later...and sometimes if I remember that my planning is worth an extra $6.29 it makes it a little easier to do.
What have you found that requires a little planning and is giving you savings versus the ease of convenience?