I've been trying to do some thinking about what foods I'm still buying prepared that would be more fun to make at home. Making things from scratch meets many of the sometimes competing goals of food simplicity for me, like frugality, health, and minimizing waste. Zendi is at a great age for enjoying cooking, which is another incentive. Of course I don't work outside the home, or the time factor might negate all the other benefits!
We recently started making our own granola bars, something I was still paying a premium for to get ultra high-fiber varieties. Although we didn't really follow a recipe, here is loosely what we did with random ingredients we had around the house. (A lot of times I make up recipes when I'm trying to avoid going to the grocery, so I almost never do things the same way twice, much to my husbands disappointment!)
1 c whole wheat flour
1 c oats
2/3 c brown sugar
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 c butter
1 c nuts
1 c raisins
1/3 c honey
some canola oil (our mixture was too dry)
some molasses (same reason)
chocolate pieces and marshmallows on top (zendi's addition)
We mixed up all the ingredients except the chocolate and marshmallows. Then we lined a cookie sheet that had edges with tinfoil, that helped a lot with removal later. We spread the mixture over the whole pan and baked at 325 for, maybe 30 min, but I think I checked every 10 to see when the edges (and the marshmallows on top) were browning. We then pulled the whole thing out by the tinfoil and left it to cool. Later we cut it into bars.