After all of our family conversations throughout the years about food, I recently discovered that one of my working sons was frequenting fast food restaurants because “it was easier and the food was cheap.” I promised him I’d write a cookbook for busy, single, working kids to prove that it didn’t have to be that way. You can cook very well for one. With a little preparation and a little bit of cooking knowledge, I’d show my son that he’d be able to eat much healthier food that didn’t take a lot of time and would save him money.
Basically, it’s a win-win (-win) solution. This is the beginning of that cookbook.
The Win-Win-Win Cookbook
How to make meals quickly and save yourself a boatload of money
You’ve heard all your life about how important healthy food is. You’ve probably seen the movie “Supersize Me” and maybe even “Food Inc.” You know that McDonald’s French fries and hamburgers are so filled with artificial preservatives that they don’t mold. Ever.
And you’ve seen pictures of the pink chicken slime that is used to make chicken nuggets.
When you were younger it was easy. Your parents warned you about the perils of fast food, they prepared fresh food (maybe even from a CSA ) and most importantly, they kept you away from Fast Food restaurants.
When you are little – out of sight, out of mind – really works.
But now you find yourself a little older. You’ve got a job. You may be living on your own. The thought of cooking overwhelms you – and besides, it’s just you, hardly worth the effort, eh?
It started off slowly, a quick stop to buy a breakfast sandwich and a coffee.
Then lunch was added, after all, where else can you get so much food for just a few dollars?
And when you realized that salads were available, you started getting those. Salads are healthy – mom would be proud.
Pretty soon your car starts filling up with fast food wrappers. And guess what? You’ve started to develop that dreaded small tire of fat around your waist, affectionately known as love handles. And at the end of each week, you’re not even sure where all of your money went, it seems that all you buy is food and gas.
- Breakfast: Sandwich and coffee – $1 + $1
- Lunch: Value Meal – apx $6
- Dinner – Salad and Soda – $4.60 + $1.29
That comes to approximately $14 dollars a day. For the week, it amounts to about $97 (and I’m not even including restaurant tax or the amount of sugar, which is another whole discussion.)
That’s almost a hundred dollars a week you are spending on food that is not good for you and that is making you fat (and eventually if eaten long enough, will also make you sick.)
Do I have your attention yet?
This is where where mom steps in.
I know you know how to cook. You’ve grown up in a large family. You’ve been helping out in the kitchen since you were little. You know how to cook for an army.
But I’m not sure you know how to cook for yourself.
Cooking from scratch is time-consuming, there is no doubt about that, but with all the salad and hot food bars around, with a few skills, you can learn to cook quick, nutritious, and far less costly meals than if you ate fast food all week.
So let’s start shall we?
Tomorrow: Pasta for lunch
Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at Wendy@SimpleThrift.com
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