To each his own, but I'm with you on making my own. Much tastier. Add a couple shakes of dehydrated onion bits, yumm.
The main thing is to stock what your family already eat and enjoys. In disruptive times, at least food can be what brings normalty. I don't have as much as I want but we can get by for a little while be it a national emergency, a weather event, or a financial crisis.
Cooking skills is a must. Those who have no culinary skills past ramen noodles aren't going to make it. Having a simple cookbook with the basics is a must. Knowing what ingredients can be substituted with others raises those skills - squash turned into apples, nuts as flour, and how to use spices. Learning, now, to combine what some would consider quirky ingredients takes those skills even further - using vegetables as a dessert or treat, gluten or wheat free cooking, etc.
Usually around here, we make gravy in the same pan after cooking sausage, fried steak, chicken and etc. But even plain flour gravy is delicious when prepared by a knowledgeable cook. Will try the onions! I learned to cook hashbrowns by cutting up onions and potatoes (with skins on) and adding a little parsley from a chef in Santa Barbara - delicious!
Sometimes tasty foods can be pretty simple. As you say, knowledge is key and one really should practice their culinary skills and learn the substitues now.
Learning a few simple skills like how to make biscuits, gravies, deserts from scratch, that all of our ancestors knew how to do, can make a big difference in quality of life when like items are no longer available at the grocery store.
Ramen noodle prepping pings to you:
1 - Store bought rotisserie chicken $5 or so (not available in TEOTWAWKI) but provided as an idea toward frugality cooking.
Eat it, with sides... like rice and canned green beans = one meal for about 8 bucks for family.
2 - Boil it down with spices (Better Homes and Gardens has great recipe in book) to make about 16 cups of broth.
Pull out all bits of chicken (already paid for) to make chicken pot pie.
3 - use broth to boil with Ramen Noodles (tossing the packets), boil in eggs first for some extra.
4 - use broth to make split pea soup - also cheap, and delicious
5 - compost bones and stuff
One bird => base for 4 meals.
I actually like egg drop ramen soup made this way, or stir fried ramen with whatever is around to toss in. But it is still not on my eat it all the time list.
On your post about conserving fuel during cooking - I also try to think of ways to conserve water - for example, beans are big water users, in general. We have aimed for a mix of ready foods and made from scratch items.