I try to avoid processed foods and buy fresh, local foods as much as possible. If I can make something at home without it taking up most of my day and making a big mess, I probably will.
But... I have discovered the joy of instant mashed potatoes. I'm almost embarrassed to admit it. I had never made instant potatoes until a few months ago. Here's how it happened:
During one of Mollie's steroid binges, she demanded mashed potatoes. So, I got potatoes, boiled them, smashed them. She didn't like them. She wanted the kind they have in the hospital, so we tried instant. Cheap, Publix private label, homestyle potato flakes. I can't remember if Mollie liked them (something about gravy...), but Matt and I enjoyed them. Less time. Less mess. Fewer spoiled, sprouting potatoes.
I will probably stick to the real thing for the holidays, but for our occasional mashed potato eating needs, I'm going with instant.