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Old 06-01-2009, 03:21 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
13,388 posts, read 42,701,155 times
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They are leaving out the main savings with "real" food - you don't go to the doctor as often! I have learned a lot from my Ukrainian wife, in Ukraine they have not had much processed food until quite recently, and she just hates it. Which is OK by me.

The main way it works for us (childless couple in our 50's) is to cook up a fairly large pot of whatever, then put whatever we don't eat immediately in the fridge, many soup and casserole type dishes are just as good if not better as "leftovers" as when freshly prepared.

Even a single guy can do this, if not cooking from scratch entirely make up some "Hamburger Helper" type dishes, provides a good lunch for the majority who have a microwave available at work.
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Old 06-01-2009, 05:55 PM
 
Location: Conejo Valley, CA
12,476 posts, read 16,966,907 times
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If someone does not enjoy cooking then the real question is how much their free time is worth. The cost difference is often not great enough and you can get "real food" by eating out and buying prepared food.
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Old 06-01-2009, 06:03 PM
 
4,218 posts, read 7,849,480 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M3 Mitch View Post
I have learned a lot from my Ukrainian wife, in Ukraine they have not had much processed food until quite recently, and she just hates it. Which is OK by me.
Does she still like "salo" (fat)?

I can't stand the processed food myself (being Russian) , especially the endless snacking, - and yes, I usually cook large pots of whatever (usually soup)
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Old 06-01-2009, 06:39 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
29,721 posts, read 47,472,880 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by user_id
If someone does not enjoy cooking then the real question is how much their free time is worth. The cost difference is often not great enough and you can get "real food" by eating out and buying prepared food.
I would have to disagree with this statement.

I have attended many budget-counseling courses, helped many families setup household budgets, and my Dw has made a career of comparison shopping.

The over-whelming evidence shows that it is nearly always cheaper to cook your own food from scratch.

The cost difference is massive.



I stock shelves part-time in a grocery store, one of my product lines is pre-baked potatos. One 5-pound bag ready to micro-wave and serve costs the same as two 10-pound bags of potatoes.

For the same amount of money you can buy 5 pounds or 20 pounds.

That is a 400% increase in unit pricing.
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Old 06-01-2009, 07:19 PM
 
Location: Conejo Valley, CA
12,476 posts, read 16,966,907 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by forest beekeeper View Post
The over-whelming evidence shows that it is nearly always cheaper to cook your own food from scratch.

The cost difference is massive.
Great, but you seem to miss the point. Making your own food from scratch is cheaper, but taken in isolation, so what? The important question is how the savings relates to the time it takes to make food from scratch.

Whether or not it is worth it is a personal issue that most be resolved at that level. If someone has plenty of money and does not enjoy cooking who are you to tell them that they should make food from scratch because its "cheaper"? They may value the free-time more than the savings.

Analyzing cost savings in isolation makes little sense. You also have to look at what else you could be doing with the time spent on the "savings".

Of course, many penny-pinchers like to think they are clever because they save $.50 while not considering whether its actually worth their while.

Quote:
Originally Posted by forest beekeeper View Post
I stock shelves part-time in a grocery store, one of my product lines is pre-baked potatos. One 5-pound bag ready to micro-wave and serve costs the same as two 10-pound bags of potatoes.
Aren't all potatoes ready to microwave? If you mean they are prepared in some sense then you need to also add the cost of the other ingredients. The other ingredients may be cheap for the amount used but not if you have to buy a container of them which you may not use otherwise.

Also, there is the issue of price discrimination. Getting suckered by price discrimination rarely pays off, but that is rather different than prepared food vs making food from scratch.
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Old 06-02-2009, 03:15 AM
 
Location: Florida
18,290 posts, read 18,527,133 times
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user-id
What you may not notice is you are in the Frugal Living forum.
If you aren't interested in saving money during your 'free time' there is an entertainment forum, a hobby forum , a food/cooking/ recipe forum, etc, where getting the most bang for your buck isn't the point.
Here, it is
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Old 06-02-2009, 04:02 AM
 
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
10,716 posts, read 31,026,539 times
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I enjoy cooking from scratch myself. I was first brought to the idea by a sensetivity to the dye they put in our foods. After some reading I decided I needed to not only eliminate that but a few other things.
I would MUCH rather make it from scratch now that I am used to it, when I don't, I can't stand the taste.
I made my daughter and her friend a cake from scratch with a glaze instead of the thick icing and they were saying they wouldn't like it but of course they liked it better then a normal box cake.
We love rice dishes, its alot better, cheaper and tastier to get the plan rice and cook it up with a little chicken broth and whatever else you like in your rice.
I also avoid MSG and when I get a taste of it, it tastes SO bad to me now.
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Old 06-02-2009, 04:50 AM
 
Location: Conejo Valley, CA
12,476 posts, read 16,966,907 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by old_cold View Post
user-id
What you may not notice is you are in the Frugal Living forum.
If you aren't interested in saving money during your 'free time' there is an entertainment forum, a hobby forum , a food/cooking/ recipe forum, etc, where getting the most bang for your buck isn't the point.
Here, it is
I know which forum I'm on...and simply have a different idea about what being prudent and "frugal" implies. Ignoring cost vs benefit is not my idea of frugal living, to me its just as bad as being a spend thrift.

You can't meaningfully consider whether saving money on X is worth it unless you consider how much time it takes to do X and what the time is worth to you.
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Old 06-02-2009, 05:41 AM
 
Location: Rockland County New York
2,984 posts, read 5,121,730 times
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Here in New York it cost a family of five about $45 dollars to eat at McDonalds which is probably the worst food in the world for any one. For little more than half the price one can barbeques chicken or steak and have a meal far less in fat and salt. Just think of the time you will save not sitting in a hospital getting a heart bypass operation.
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Old 06-02-2009, 05:53 AM
 
Location: Conejo Valley, CA
12,476 posts, read 16,966,907 times
Reputation: 4304
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stac2007 View Post
Here in New York it cost a family of five about $45 dollars to eat at McDonalds which is probably the worst food in the world for any one.
Huh? What are they having two meals? Combos at McDonalds cost between $5~$7 that includes New York. The combos for $5 are plenty of food. Order from the dollar menu and its even cheaper.
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