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MICHELLEXXXX SparkPoints: (11,782)
Fitness Minutes: (5,830)
Posts: 3,650
3/26/14 7:22 P

Have you tried a crock pot? I have at least 3 crockpot recipes that take less than 3 minutes to [prepare.

When we have nothing at home frozen and/or prepared, a rotisserie chicken and a bag of salad mix are quicker, cheaper, and healthier than any ff options in our area that I know of. Also, growing up we learned how to make a lot of soup out of whatever was on hand; quick, healthy, cheap, and freezable.

MSAMBER0910 Posts: 82
3/26/14 9:53 A

As a family of 4 with a teenage boy and almost teenage girl, we price out what we make at home for dinner. Usually its under $10 each night, and when we go out to eat at restaurant its easily $50, and fast food easily $25, then we all are in the bathroom and not feeling good. So once a week we will treat ourselves to out to eat, suffer and complain and do it all again the next week. I work from home, so its easier for me to prep things through day for dinner, than it would be for 2 working adults in busy household and I think I like going out to eat to get out of the house!

RIET69 SparkPoints: (47,087)
Fitness Minutes: (11,285)
Posts: 3,116
3/24/14 1:20 P

I love to cook and I love the smell of a nice meal cooking. There is something about people coming home and letting me know that whatever is cooking is smelling wonderful. That is a great childhood memory I have about coming home and I love to recreate that for others.

BANKER-CHUCK Posts: 6,507
3/24/14 12:56 P

Don Chilitos wet pork burrito....whole is 760 calories with salsa bar.

ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (190,478)
Fitness Minutes: (282,673)
Posts: 26,502
3/24/14 12:52 P

I think LUANN is right on one point. There are a lot of people who do not like to cook, don't want to cook or don't know how to cook. Many want the convenience that fast food offers. Why cook themselves when they can go out and buy a pizza ? If you have the money, go ahead. eat out as often as you'd like.

However, when you're on a budget, home cooking is not only cheaper, it is healthier for you since you do control the ingredients.

I used to go to KFC on a regular basis. Loved their fried chicken. I used to get their 4 piece meal. That used to cost $4.99. I know, it's been a really long time since I've been there. LOL. the last time I walked past and checked their menu, that 4 piece original meal costs $8.99.

For $9, I might as well go to a real restaurant because the lunch specials at the Cheesecake Factory run about that.

Unless you're getting one of the value meals or deals, fast food is expensive.

GOMITAZ Posts: 26
3/24/14 12:16 P

here fast food is way more expensive than healthy food

SPARKLEYSHINE SparkPoints: (29,922)
Fitness Minutes: (4,899)
Posts: 732
3/24/14 11:38 A

I think most people try to justify the fact that they really just want the convinience, it's truly not that expensive to cook at home.

For some I think it's just the sticker shock at the grocery store of seeing that final bill all at once. Once all that fast food is added up it can be just as expensive and more (if you are purchasing ingredients to make comparable meals).

TRYINGHARD54 Posts: 5,292
3/24/14 10:51 A

Everyone is just sooo busy. And it's sooo
easy to get prepared food

CPRCINDYC SparkPoints: (10,043)
Fitness Minutes: (2,295)
Posts: 200
3/24/14 10:35 A

If you are able to find deals, it is actually cheaper overall (and of course healthier!!) to buy food and prepare it yourself. There are places here like Sharp Shopper and Walmart where you are sometimes able to find some bargains... buying and cooking healthy is cheaper in the long run than health conditions from eating fast food.

EMPRESSAMQ Posts: 5,077
3/24/14 8:58 A

Big batch cooking at home is WAY less expensive for me than eating fast food would be, even if gluten free fast were widely available.

SHOOTINGSTAR12 SparkPoints: (30,873)
Fitness Minutes: (9,779)
Posts: 1,351
3/24/14 6:09 A

Don't eat fast food

SUSAN29NJ Posts: 2,425
3/24/14 5:30 A

I haven't had fast food in almost a year, but if I remember correctly, it was NOT cheap. A grilled chicken sandwich was almost $7. Yesterday, I bought a package of boneless, skinless, chicken breast for $1.99 a pound. All I have to do is marinate the chicken overnight,, throw it on the grill, microwave a bag of frozen broccoli florets and a few potatoes and open a bag of salad. The entire dinner for four people cost me approximately $10 and took about thirty minutes to cook.

MICHELLEXXXX SparkPoints: (11,782)
Fitness Minutes: (5,830)
Posts: 3,650
3/24/14 5:26 A

I could feed a family of four a variety of home cooked dinners for less than 3 dollars. Fast food, even with coupons, is much more expensive than that where I am located.

FITMOM69 SparkPoints: (2,096)
Fitness Minutes: (1,635)
Posts: 107
3/24/14 2:24 A

It's not that hard or costly or time consuming to cook food at home, the thing is a lot of people just don't want to do it including plenty of people I know. So fast food has made it convenient to not cook and therefore making some of us lazy towards cooking and providing coupons making us feel like it's more economical, when in essence it's not in so many way.

If a family make simple but healthy meals, nothing elaborate but good they can cook in a timely manner and enjoy their meals at home. Casseroles, burgers, stews, roasted chicken, meat loaf etc don't take a lot of time or money and even some meat free meals (beans), we don't need meat everyday.

It's all a matter of priority, I found myself eating out entirely to much as well and now I don't I prepare meals that can last a couple of days and or be turned into lunch the next day.

JANIEWWJD SparkPoints: (511,833)
Fitness Minutes: (327,047)
Posts: 14,017
3/23/14 11:53 P

Big batch cooking is the way to go. That way, you can freeze your homemade food and use it at your convenience.

SHERYLDS Posts: 17,151
3/23/14 9:44 P

where I live (20 min from NYC) you can buy about 5 lbs of whole chicken or chicken thighs/legs for about $6...I can buy a 20oz bag of frozen veggies for about $2
I can buy 5 lbs of potatoes for under $3...and I can buy 3 pkg bag of romaine lettuce for under $3....So for about $14 I can serve a good size family a very healthy meal.
I can cook the chicken and even the potatoes ahead to save time.
I can nuke, stir fry, or steam the veggies in under 10 minutes and whip up a salad .

I am sure that if you watch for sales and plan ahead, meals do not need to be expensive or loaded with calories...but you have to be willing to watch for sales, plan ahead, maybe even cook ahead, and be open to making good choices. Even meat, pork and fish go on sale. I can't afford $5+ a lb for fresh fish...I watch for sales buy frozen...same with meat and with the special sales and freeze. If you are short on time...cook and freeze.

Edited by: SHERYLDS at: 3/23/2014 (21:45)
LOLA_LALA Posts: 659
3/23/14 9:29 P

We always eat at home anymore.

What I can make just tastes a whole lot, I can control ingredients. No amount of coupons and/or takeout mailer menus really change that - nothin' like homemade! emoticon

NIRERIN Posts: 14,102
3/23/14 9:07 P

the last time i priced it out, if you made the dollar menu burger and fries at home the burger would cost 1.19 if you bought the meat on sale and the fries would be under 20 cents. shop the sales and you can get a 2 liter of name brand soda for 99 cents, which is the cost of a small out.
i've by no means looked at all the bogo fast food and midrange coupons out there, but when i have done price comparisons, based on what's actually in the meal, it tends to be cheaper to make at home. most of those types of meals go heavier on the really cheap to make at home item [the 20 cents of fries that cost 99 cents in the previous example] and tend to be lacking in the veggie and fiber department. the only exception i can think of off the top of my head is the all you can eat chinese buffet that has snow crab legs.
but the biggest benefit of making it at home is the increased quality that you can get for the same price.

Edited by: NIRERIN at: 3/23/2014 (21:08)
SUMMER170 Posts: 42
3/23/14 6:34 P

Although I stayed out of their conversation, I "make" many meals from stratch..often I make a Large Meal or double batches as to Cook once-eat twice freezing the leftovers for another days' meal, guess it could be called homemade family size frozen dinners. Yes, it has become expensive for me also. I bought pork and chicken as it is less expensive than beef and plenty of veggies/fruit in the reduced section-some I could freeze. We keep fast foods/pizza delivery as a sometime treat on Saturday. I just felt bad for that busy young mom and her hectic schedule, she felt overwhelmed and exhausted..

3/23/14 6:04 P

Excuses eating healthy now is cheaper than medicine later fast food is not an option for me and fruits and veggies are cheap if you buy what's in season

UMBILICAL Posts: 12,786
3/23/14 5:59 P


GOALIEGRANDMA3 SparkPoints: (117,839)
Fitness Minutes: (73,802)
Posts: 8,064
3/23/14 5:11 P

I have noticed adds for pizza, subs, etc. that are quite reasonable and I agree that is why there is less cooking at home. I still cook at home, myself, though. ..I eat out maybe once a week with a friend at lunch.

LUANN_IN_PA Posts: 24,094
3/23/14 5:07 P

"Seems "grandmas home cooking" is no longer popular since no one has the time to do so."

Nah...they have the time if they make it a priority.
People are too lazy to MAKE the time for cooking at home.

GONNALOSE5 Posts: 975
3/23/14 4:43 P

I still prefer cooking at home. When I do treat myself to fast food, I go to Wendy's and buy from the $1 menu?, not sure about that have not done in a very long time. My maximum is $5.00 anymore than that I cook; it is more economical.

Edited by: GONNALOSE5 at: 3/23/2014 (16:45)
LADYCJM SparkPoints: (57,456)
Fitness Minutes: (36,342)
Posts: 2,545
3/23/14 4:30 P

Sadly, fast food is easier.

The price seems cheaper because it's lower quality. Have you noticed how the healthiest food choices at McD's are more expensive then the burger and fries?

It's hard when both parents work and are trying to raise kids and take care of all the daily minutia of living.

And if both parents are involved in preparing meals and shopping and prepping for the week it's even harder.

If we can take the time to plan a healthy menu, buy good food and prep ahead for the week then it's easier and cheaper to eat at home.

LOUNMOUN Posts: 1,334
3/23/14 4:18 P

I think it is a person's priorities, rather than money alone are guiding food choices.

I think a number of people truly believe they do not have time to cook, don't know how or want to cook or think that they can't afford healthy food because they've heard it is too expensive. Their strongest priority is not health. They are tired people and convenience and a coupon is pretty appealing.

If you want healthy meals and you are willing to plan your meals and cook then you can have them on a lower budget. It takes effort. You probably won't be eating large hunks of meat every day. There are ways to make cooking meals at home more convenient. One fast food meal really is not cheaper if you are comparing to a giant pot of bean soup that will serve 6+ people.

ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (190,478)
Fitness Minutes: (282,673)
Posts: 26,502
3/23/14 2:58 P

There was a time when ground beef was dirt cheap. That's because of all the fillers that were added. Now that people are more conscious about what they eat, they are demanding better quality products. That has caused the prices of some cuts of meat to go up. When I was a kid, there was only one kind of burger. Today, you can have 85% lean, 90% lean, etc. If that family ahead of you wanted 90-93% lean, yes, that is an expensive cut of meat.

I don't eat beef that often only because it has become very expensive. I usually buy chicken ($.89 per pound) or pork ($1.69-$1.99 a pound). I go to a local butcher instead of a supermarket. If you watch the sales, you can get good prices. You just have to be savvy as well as flexible. And you have to comparison shop. I do shop at different stores for different items. Yes, it's a lot of walking around, but it's how I save.

I don't think fast food is as cheap either. Fast food prices have gone up too. That's another reason companies are putting out more coupons. It's to lure in more customers.

EELPIE Posts: 2,700
3/23/14 1:47 P

Well.....yeah. This is nothing new - this has been going on for a while now.

2 parents working full time has been the norm for many years now.

SUMMER170 Posts: 42
3/23/14 1:39 P

While in line at the grocery store, I overheard the young family in line ahead of me. They were talking about the price increases of food and how unaffordable many items, including meat is becomming. Plain ground beef here is over $4.00 lb. So as they looked through their coupons, the Young mom was telling her husband how inexpensive and convienent it would be to order takeout burger meals with the BOGO coupons along with other fast food coupons for BOGO and other deep resturant coupons in place of home cooked meals...Sadly she is correct! Seems many people now do this. Seems "grandmas home cooking" is no longer popular since no one has the time to do so. Take out, frozen Heat and Eat meals along with a bagged salad is the trend in our busy fast paced enviroment.

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