MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- They're quick and convenient.
Pre-cut fruits, veggies and meats get dinner on the table a lot faster.
It's the perfect option for families like David McCLain's who are constantly on the go.
McClain told WREG, if he's shopping in the grocery store, he's getting the items that will make the menu move faster.
"They have the pre-cut off to the side and I grab it and I'm on the way," he said.
LaKeshia Gillum said she always buys onions already diced. That smell gets to her!
"I don't like cutting up and dicing them, the onions myself."
Of course, buying these recipe ready ingredients mean a bigger grocery bill.
The shoppers we talked to said that's okay.
"I''m the kind that would spend a little extra money for the time saved," McClain said.
"I'm fine with that because it's more convenient," Gillum added.
But just how much does that convenience cost?
Consumer Reports Shop Smart Magazine calculated the markups on more than a dozen pre-prepped foods to find out exactly how much more we're paying, and if it's ever worth it to splurge.
- Unprepped price-$0.99
Washed /trimmed kale
- Unprepped price-$2.80
Cut green beans
- Unprepped price-$2.25
- Unprepped price-$6.00
Oven ready potatoes
- Unprepped price-$1.26
Peeled/cubed butternut squash
- Unprepped price-$1.45
- Unprepped price-$2.75
Pre-sliced beef burgers
- Unprepped price-$4.33
- Unprepped price-$3.71
- Markup-12% LESS
**Shop Smart prices are per pound averages based on national statistics.
Ultimately, it's up to each consumer to decide when it's worth it to buy pre-prepped items.
When produce is in season, it's much cheaper to buy the item whole.
Also, consider how much you'll need for each recipe and whether you'll be able to consume all of the product while it's still fresh.
For items like the pre-sliced beef burgers, check the freezer section for even better deals during the summer and fall grilling season.
If you can't decide whether it's worth it to go DIY or pre-prepped, use the Five Minute Rule. If it takes five minutes or less to slice, chop or prepare, do it yourself!
Despite the premium McClain knows he pays, he said it's worth it.
"Sooner you can get it thrown together. If it's already cut and ready to roll, that's right up my alley!"
Which leaves him more time to enjoy the meal and spend with the family.