Convenient vs. Frugal Cooking

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?

Linda 🙂

One thought on “Convenient vs. Frugal Cooking

  1. I recently made canned chicken, rice, chicken broth, broccoli, and cheddar cheese casserole. It was delicious. Simply hashbrowns (sold by the eggs) is much easier than cooking from scratch. Adding onion soup mix or canned chicken broth works wonders in rice.

    Liked by 1 person

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