I have, for many years used supermarket side dishes like Knorr almost exclusively for dinner. I have often relied on the better quality dried soups for lunch or if it is not to my taste, something cold like cheese (sometimes augmented with salami or other meat product) and bread/crackers/no cook starch. There is usually a hot drink three times a day, never less than twice.
The side dishes: they are cheap, readily available and available in a variety of flavors. Brands like Cracker Barrel mac and cheese offer a better quality for a higher price, albeit cheaper than the cheapest freeze dried.
I have not tried boil-in-bag, although eventually my practice will catch up with my intent.
Yes! Taste test at home. I have found it wise to avoid anything with the words "fiesta, south-western or Mexican" in them.
Thai dishes are generally good, but be prepared to add Thai garlic and pepper and/or more soy sauce or sriracha.
Dried milk works fine. I mix it in the water before cooking the food.
Extras help, such as Parmesan cheese in the alfredo recipes.
Dried veggies help in a lot of dishes; I have dried them at home and so far, so good.
I am belatedly trying home drying, since many items like pouch chicken is not available around me.
I have done with immense satisfaction a corned beef hash with an envelope of corned beef (I cannot find it currently, but will try drying a can),a pouch of hash brown potatoes and dried onion. It is a hassle to fry, but it can be done in the lid of my pot. Delicious and abundant for two with hot chocolate and pita bread. It fills like no other meal I have found, esp. for breakfast.
Sadly, I cannot find either dried eggs or simple freeze dried eggs (without a plethora of crap like peppers, onion, etc.) around me, but for slow start days, this is the bomb.

Edited by EMT Dave (12/02/17 04:57 PM)