The fancy chefs use hard cheeses like parmesan rind, but I have done this with cheddar.
http://www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com/201 ... risps.html
http://www.foodandwine.com/blogs/how-ma ... -microwave
Actually, I find shopping in the produce section of the market disappointing and shocking. Except for onions, potatoes, carrots and most of my bananas which I do buy at the market, I grow most of the vegetables I eat or get them from friends and family for free or in trade for what I have.
Unless I go to a farmer's market, most of the stuff at the super market is more than a few days old. Cucumbers are limp, tomatoes are bland and mostly green, peppers, cukes, eggplant are in various states of dehydration. Lettuce is drying out or browning, and fruit is a crap shoot sometimes they are good, sometimes they are not. I actually prefer to get the vegetables from the freezer instead. I also encounter price shock since I don't usually pay for things like green onions ($1.99/lb), lettuce ($2.49/lb), eggplant ($1.69/b) chayote ($1.69/lb), hot peppers ($2.99-$6.99/lb), herbs ($1.99 -$2.49 a bunch), cucumbers ($0.79-$1.99/lb), gourd and kabocha ($0.79-$3.69/lb), lemons and limes ($0.99 each). Organic is 30% higher.
I don't really know how much it costs me to raise my own since cost of media, seeds, plants, and pots have gone up too. I don't need to use a lot of fertilizer because my soil test was a good deal at $12.00 each and I saved more than that on fertilizer I did not have to buy. Slug bait though cost $58 for 20 lbs and the snails are still winning.
I have ventured into premade meals, but most of them I find to be very salty, but I am sensitive to salt since I don't put a lot of salt in my food. Costco roast chicken is cheap and ready to eat so it really isn't worth the time to make it from scratch. Parts will be used for sandwiches, chicken salad, casseroles, and soup. I cannot make a pumpkin pie for $5.00 from scratch, but I do buy most of my fruits from the grocery stores or farmer's market because a lot of the fruit and some vegetables from Costco and Sam's are rotting in the bins if you don't get there soon after it comes in, and the quantities are too large unless you can split it with a couple of people. I end up wasting more than I save that way.
I do like Eggo, since I don't have a waffle maker, and tv dinners have improved a lot.
Soups though, I have to admit are better slow cooked on a range or the slow cooker than in the microwave. They just need to have the ingredients added at the right time and long slow cooking and time for the flavors to blend. Some wine in the pot doesn't hurt either.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.