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Old 06-03-2009, 11:22 AM
 
Location: So. of Rosarito, Baja, Mexico
6,571 posts, read 17,958,369 times
Reputation: 5919

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When it comes to cooking...depends on the number of people in the household.

A microwave for one or two persons is quick and convienent at times.

My late wife was cooking two hrs many times for our family of nine with the kids still at home. Many time she felt it was a waste of time after it was all consumed in 20 mins. My answer was that we all enjoyed the meal and were appreciative of the efforts put into the preparation of the meal.

Today...I'm alone and still will cook a large pot of Hungarian Chicken Paprikash that will last me three meals. Easy to spoon out a plate full ...into the micro...and eat...still saves time and nourishing to boot.

Other day fixed a large London broil with potatos and veggies...small additional salad on the side...three meals and the broth left over was used for my dogs extra flavour on their food. Everyone benifits.

In the long run fresh is a lot better and cheaper then pre cooked/pkged food.

Steve
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Old 06-03-2009, 11:31 AM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC
2,193 posts, read 4,449,198 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by user_id View Post
Its not a cop out its a reality. Its not that people don't necessarily have time, its that they would rather spend the time doing something else.
I agree! I hate cooking!

Quote:
Originally Posted by becwells View Post


As are marinades. Throw some meat in a ziplock bag with some olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and garlic in the morning (or the night before) and throw in on the grill when you get home. Dinner in 15 minutes.

Being too short on time to cook a fresh, healthy dinner is such a cop out to me. It doesn't take long at all to cook dinner - I had dinner on the table in 20 minutes tonight - brown sugar barbecued chicken (made from scratch, marinated all day), corn on the cob wrapped in foil and grilled, and steamed broccoli and carrots. If I had to guess, it cost us maybe $4 each, and took no time at all. While everything was grilling I got to relax on the balcony with my husband and a glass of wine.
Ur lucky, all you have to do is marinade and grill! Try cooking pakistani food, it's a nightmare. Every dish has onions that need to be browned, garlic and ginger. Slicing onions, then browning it. Then peeling the garlic and ginger and then shredding it. That alone takes an hour! At that point I haven't even gotten to cooking the meat and adding spices. UGH.
Two hours in front of a hot stove and watching the food change all different colors is not my cup of tea! To me the cost savings is not worth the exhaustion every night.
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Old 06-03-2009, 11:42 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
29,730 posts, read 47,507,271 times
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2 hours in the kitchen? That seems like a lot of time.

I make repeated trips into our kitchen each day, as I grind feed for our chickens. Sometimes grinding grains or beans for our breads or coffee or beer.

I go into our kitchen each day to:
Pour coffee for myself through-out the day each time I take a break.

Take a peak at the crock pot, or messing with the bread dough.

I fry-up a small bit of mutton each day for our dogs.

Sometimes I must mix milk for babies [hogs, sheep, goats] to bottle feed them.

Maybe 20 minutes each day for cleaning, and 20 minutes in meal preparation.

I might do a total of 2 hours / day in the kitchen.

But I doubt it.

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Old 06-03-2009, 12:16 PM
 
Location: So. of Rosarito, Baja, Mexico
6,571 posts, read 17,958,369 times
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Like I said...will spend two hrs from start to table.

Beef stew or Boneless chicken;
Soak meat in cold water...peel/clean potatos/carrots/celery...prep onions/garlic...saute in large pot...add meat/spices/cup or two of water...simmer/stir 15-20 mins...add potatos etc to pot...cover with water...bring to boil...reduce heat and cook for 35 mins stirring every few mins...yep...two hrs is about right for me. Works every time I do it.

Steve
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Old 06-03-2009, 03:33 PM
 
Location: Conejo Valley, CA
12,476 posts, read 16,974,551 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sheenie2000 View Post
Try cooking pakistani food, it's a nightmare. Every dish has onions that need to be browned, garlic and ginger. Slicing onions, then browning it. Then peeling the garlic and ginger and then shredding it. That alone takes an hour! At that point I haven't even gotten to cooking the meat and adding spices. UGH.
Yeah, a lot of dishes take time. Personally, I hate crook pot food and most of the other "set it and forget" type recipes.

I guess it comes down to what you like. Not everyone wants to eat quick and easy foods everyday and unless you enjoy cooking making more complex dishes at home can be rather time consuming. Personally, cooking is a bit of a hobby for me, but its only fun when I don't have to do it every day.
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Old 06-04-2009, 09:46 AM
 
5,748 posts, read 10,505,876 times
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I think that focusing on minimally-processed, whole foods is a great way to eat a healthy, frugal diet. I also understand the time issue and the appeal of convenience foods when time is tight. To minimize the daily chore of cooking, I set aside Sunday to prepare meals for the coming week. In the morning, I start a couple of loaves of bread or a batch of pizza dough, and I also brine a whole chicken (keeps the meat juicy) for a few hours to roast for dinner. After an early supper, I shred the remaining meat and put the carcass in the stockpot to simmer for chicken broth. In the meantime, I wash & chop vegetables and shred cheese for quick weekday meals and stick the bread in the oven. Once the broth is done, I store it in an old pickle jar in the fridge for soup. If the night is still young and I have the energy, I will make some cookies or pudding for week-day desserts. On Monday morning, I sometimes get up early and make pancakes for the kids, storing the rest for them to pop in the toaster oven as an alternative for cereal or oatmeal (quick tip for Irish oatmeal: soaking it overnight in the fridge cuts cooking time dramatically in the morning rush). I won't kid you that this is a lot of work for one day, but it dramatically cuts down on the weekday "What's for dinner?" panic.

Dinners in our house are pretty simple and based on what we like to eat:
* Roast chicken & potatoes with a steamed vegetable
* HM cheese pizza with salad and chopped fruit
* Burritos stuffed with shredded chicken & rice & lots of other veggies
* Tomato soup with grilled cheese sandwiches
* Spaghetti w/ turkey meatballs, salad, & fruit
* HM minestrone or chicken noodle soup w/ HM whole-grain breadsticks & a salad
* Three-bean chili with cornbread, which is cheap, delicious, and wonderful for a leftover lunch the next day
* Breakfasts include oatmeal, pancakes, omelets, or cereal with a smoothie if there's been a sale on fruit (I'm headed for the grocery as soon as I finish this to buy strawberries and raspberries on sale for a buck)
* Drinks: water, water, water (from the tap, not bottled) throughout the day and milk at dinner. I'll also make tea sweetened with a HM fruit-flavored simple syrup (this week the simple syrup will be raspberry because that's on sale).
* Lunches: sandwiches or salads
* Desserts: pudding, fruit with whipped cream, HM cookies or brownies, ice cream or popsicles

Last edited by formercalifornian; 06-04-2009 at 10:05 AM..
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Old 06-04-2009, 10:11 AM
 
Location: So. of Rosarito, Baja, Mexico
6,571 posts, read 17,958,369 times
Reputation: 5919
Everyone has a different schedule each day.

Spending two hrs to prepare a meal is okay if the end result is a 10 min heating thing on the 2nd or 3rd day...overall avgs out pretty good in the long run.

I do the same thing with french toast. Will cook up a 1/2 loaf of bread on sat or sun morning...place slices in freezer.. next day or so pull out a couple...micro and serve with a fried egg.

All kinds of possibilites. Steve
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Old 06-04-2009, 10:17 AM
 
5,748 posts, read 10,505,876 times
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That's a great idea, Steve. We've never done that with French Toast, only pancakes. Think we'll try something new this coming week.
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Old 01-19-2012, 12:28 PM
 
Location: Ohio
27 posts, read 35,524 times
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Getting in the habit of storing food is the perfect way to compliment eating whole foods as part of a healthier way to live frugally.

Even having 50 lbs of legumes/grains/etc. on hand is a terrific way to beat constantly rising food prices and live better.

Last edited by MissingAll4Seasons; 01-21-2012 at 06:34 PM.. Reason: removing spam link
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Old 01-20-2012, 07:58 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,668 posts, read 71,574,557 times
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My supermarket has 3-pound bags of "soup veggies", which cost $4.99. In the bag, there is potato, cabbage, carrots, celery. None, bought separately, cost over 65c a pound, but putting a little in each bag, they have literally tripled the price of the veggies. And people buy them.

Don't even get me started on Lunchables.
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