Some meals are nice and cheap. I mean, in all contexts of the word 'cheap'. They may cost very few dollars, but they also have very little value. Yet the real 'cost' of most convenience meals is on the body of the consumer, not the purse.
If one saves a few pennies and lives off of convenience foods, processed box foods, prepackaged long-shelf-life foods and the like, a higher price will eventually be paid. Usually that price arrives in the form of hospital or medical bills.
It is far more crucial to take a look at the quality of food for the price than that of name brand clothing or appliances, yet it is so often over looked for convenience's sake. REAL food should be the bottom-line in the home, not the modified form of corn or dyes or additivies or synthetic vitamins. The body cannot recognize these items as digestible. There is even a great deal of study to confirm that they actually change our DNA structure (and/or that of future generation's DNA, aka: our unborn half of a future child). Are either of those a 'cost' we should be willing to pay to make meals more convenient and quick?
The reality is that those convenient/quick foods have a concealed 'price-tag'. That old principle ‘time is money’ is NOT appropriate when it comes to convenience foods. For example, I can make around 6 variations of whole grain muffins in fewer than 5 minutes. These muffin ‘mixes’ are kept in the freezer and are made in the same time span it would take to grab a box of mix off the shelf. I can pronounce every ingredient in them and they cost me half the money. The best part: they will not cost the health of my family with dyes or preservatives in white enriched (aka: synthesized vitamins added) flour which becomes like glue in the colon. They taste superior, are just as convenient and cost less. Think this isn't possible? Just watch this video - http://www.youtube.com/user/thewheatguy#p/u/35/2syZ4XMUbpg
Take the time to attain the skills for using real food. The cost savings for both wallet and health, from instantaneous benefits to the long term, far outweigh convenience meals.