The frugal and healthy sides of me force me to cook even though I don’t actually like to cook. I could be more frugal with my dinners, but I take many shortcuts including using the microwave as much as possible.
I do sometimes cook white rice, and I need to cook it more often since I can get a three-pound bag for $1.75. That’s a much better deal than buying a microwavable rice side package for $0.88. Plus, I know how to cook regular rice in the microwave! However, I’m not a very good cook, and I only know how to use about four basic seasonings. Eating canned chicken and regular rice wouldn’t be very good with the seasonings I keep in my cabinet. Even a “catch-all” Cajun spice that I used to have in my house probably wouldn’t be good in that situation.
I haven’t cooked potatoes in years, partially because they’re time consuming and partially because they’re not good for my hypoglycemia. Last year, I started trying to eat everything in my pantry and freezer instead of buying more food (unless I got a great deal). I started eating an old container of potato flakes with scrambled eggs (for dinner) when eggs started having amazing sales. I forgot how good and easy those potato flakes are! Eggs are really easy in the microwave too.
Earlier this year, I bought a five-pound bag of potatoes for $0.49. I decided to make mashed potatoes to compare the price per serving with the flakes. After all, they’re the same with regards to taste and texture. I really wanted to make some hash browns since it’s been so many years since I’ve had actual potatoes in my house, but I didn’t want to ruin the comparison. It turns out that I can get 20 servings from a five-pound bag of potatoes versus the 36 servings from a 26.7-ounce container of potato flakes. At $0.49, the bag of potatoes was a great deal. If the bag is $1.89 (which is a sale I’ve seen), it’s surprisingly cheaper per serving to buy the potato flakes for $2.88. It’s definitely much more time consuming to cook regular potatoes, but I’ll have to pay attention to see when their price drops below $1.60. It’s nice to know that one of my shortcuts is actually cheaper since that’s not usually the case.
It’s been even longer since I’ve cooked regular pasta. I don’t know if I can cook it in the microwave, but I’m sticking to the microwavable and delicious pasta sides for now. Do you take expensive shortcuts in the kitchen?