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Posted: 4/19/2016 3:54:00 PM EDT
I can do a decent pan seared steak and steamed veggie or baked potato fairly reasonable, but everything else either sucks, or I destroy half the house and dishes to prepare.
Sure, I can eat really cheap by buying rice, pasta, etc, but something like fried chicken or Chinese is best for me to buy.
What do you think?
Link Posted: 4/19/2016 3:58:12 PM EDT

there's only about a bazillion ways to prepare different foods......


only an idiot can't figure out a couple of simple ones.


Link Posted: 4/19/2016 3:59:20 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Whizzinator:
there's only about a bazillion ways to prepare different foods......


only an idiot can't figure out a couple of simple ones.


View Quote

im gonna go with this
Link Posted: 4/19/2016 3:59:35 PM EDT
If its complicated, then sure.  Buy away.  I just know that I can get 6lbs of chicken for $12 and I can do a shit ton with that.

You mentioned chinese, so I'm going to share something that I just learned:

Sesame chicken:  Cooked chicken, 2tbsp honey, 2tbsp teriaki sauce, red pepper flakes.  Done.
Link Posted: 4/19/2016 3:59:40 PM EDT
Depends on how creative you are.  Cooking for one then two when I got married taught me its easy to vacuum seal and freeze lots when you buy in large quantities lowering your overall cost wile maintaining your food quality.

Link Posted: 4/19/2016 3:59:44 PM EDT
I think you're making it more difficult than it needs to be.
Link Posted: 4/19/2016 4:00:15 PM EDT
The more you do it, the better you'll get at it.

And yes, I think cooking at home is not only less expensive, but healthier.
Plenty of cooking shows on TV and the internet that can really help you up your cooking game, and teach you how to make some great meals.

Heck, just pay attention to some of the dinner threads around here that have instructions.
Those by Subnet come immediately to mind.
Link Posted: 4/19/2016 4:03:18 PM EDT
The other thing is portions Yea, you can eat that 16oz porterhouse and feel like a man. Or you can buy a large sirloin and cut it into 4-6oz portions and freeze the rest.

It's not porterhouse but it's cheaper and you made 3 meals out of it.
Link Posted: 4/19/2016 4:05:16 PM EDT
There was some news story that laid out how much cheaper it is to hit the dollar menus at fast food joints than to prepare shit at home.  And it ain't all unhealthy either!  Some places offer salads, juices, milk, etc.

Still like making stuff myself or paying for good tasty food outside.
Link Posted: 4/19/2016 4:08:22 PM EDT
Originally Posted By nsl:
I can do a decent pan seared steak and steamed veggie or baked potato fairly reasonable, but everything else either sucks, or I destroy half the house and dishes to prepare.
Sure, I can eat really cheap by buying rice, pasta, etc, but something like fried chicken or Chinese is best for me to buy.
What do you think?
View Quote


You just suck at cooking (no offense). Cooking from scratch is cheaper and better tasting in just about every case.

I would devote some time to learning the fundamentals. For example, go to http://www.seriouseats.com and learn the basic techniques.

Also, cook larger batches and tupperware them, and you'll have plenty of portions for lunch and dinner without needing to cook every single day.
Link Posted: 4/19/2016 4:10:05 PM EDT
Yes.  Unless you want to eat oversize portions of low grade food or overpriced servings of average food, cooking at home makes the most sense.

If people would look at what they spend eating out in a year's time they would be aghast at how much they waste.  Also, most dishes are more than enough for two people.  If you eat out order healthy food, take half of it home and then eat it for lunch a day or so later.  That will save you some money.  But not as much as not eating out.

Also, the long and short-term effects of your typical American-style crap restaurant food is very expensive.  Crappy food is bad for you physically and cognitively.  

A healthy diet from home is a huge money-saver.

The only time I eat lunch out is with the wifey on weekends.  Even then we get the healthy stuff and not the 5 Pall Bearors burger or deep-dish pizza death.

But in GD ain't nobody got no time for dat.  Food is a reward.  Food is consolation.  Food is an entitlement.  Food is a substitute for sex.
Link Posted: 4/19/2016 4:10:39 PM EDT
I lived on about $10 a day right after my divorce , that was all meals .



Link Posted: 4/19/2016 4:12:36 PM EDT

Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By hardcorps1775:


There was some news story that laid out how much cheaper it is to hit the dollar menus at fast food joints than to prepare shit at home.  And it ain't all unhealthy either!  Some places offer salads, juices, milk, etc.



Still like making stuff myself or paying for good tasty food outside.
View Quote




 
There was an article a couple years ago about how McDonalds was the cheapest and most nutritional food of all time.




If you are looking just for some calories and protein, it is definitely hard to beat.




I sure as shit know I can't make a double cheeseburger for $1. Certainly not unless I was going to make like 30 of them at a time.
Link Posted: 4/19/2016 4:12:53 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/19/2016 4:13:27 PM EDT by Ryan1021]
I can get Hungry Mans for less than $3 here.  
Link Posted: 4/19/2016 4:14:05 PM EDT
It sucks because I always make too much food, so I have to eat leftovers the next night.
Link Posted: 4/19/2016 4:14:41 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/19/2016 4:15:46 PM EDT by Frank_B]
It's not rocket surgery. Use print or online cookbooks and follow the instructions. Pay close attention to measurements, times, and temperatures, and get a feel for the process before you start experimenting.
Link Posted: 4/19/2016 4:14:41 PM EDT
I can do a decent pan seared steak and steamed veggie or baked potato fairly reasonable, but everything else either sucks, or I destroy half the house and dishes to prepare.
View Quote
You just need to work on your cooking skills.  Once you get better at it, it's pretty fun.  IMHO, women love a guy who can cook.

And remember, the best cookbook is Google.  YouTube is a close second.
Link Posted: 4/19/2016 4:19:25 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/19/2016 4:20:01 PM EDT by madbarbarian87]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By hardcorps1775:
There was some news story that laid out how much cheaper it is to hit the dollar menus at fast food joints than to prepare shit at home.  And it ain't all unhealthy either!  Some places offer salads, juices, milk, etc.

Still like making stuff myself or paying for good tasty food outside.
View Quote


Unless you are getting only $2 worth of food every meal I don't really see how it could beat cooking from home.

Breakfast=  3 eggs, toast ($5 for 18 eggs, $3 bag of bread)= $~35 a month

Lunch= sand-which with some fruit (same bread, cheese $3, meat $5, lettuce $2, bag of apples $5)= $~80 a month

Dinner= Chili/fish/chicken etc ($20 should make a weeks worth of any of these with rice and veggies)= $~100 a month.

So $200+ to eat well for a month or $50 a week. I see people spend $30 a DAY on Starbucks, getting lunch out, and energy drinks and snacks.
Link Posted: 4/19/2016 4:22:24 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/19/2016 4:24:17 PM EDT by mousehunter]
Yes, there is things such as freezers, that you save portions to eat later.
 



For what it is worth, of years I belonged to a dining co-op.  17 meals a week for $100/month.  Could have done cheaper myself, but probably not nearly as well.
Link Posted: 4/19/2016 4:23:21 PM EDT
Cooking sucks and so do leftovers. Fuck cooking and grocery shopping. Fuck putting shit away and fuck cleaning up. Fuck spending 35 minutes making something only to burn it at the last second. Fuck $14 steaks that taste like shit. Fuck cast iron. Eat a fat dick electric stoves and shitty gas grills. Fuck you 300 knives and 2 forks in the drawer and squat on a fencepost you shitty kitchen work triangle.

I heart you Chinese restaurant. I'm yours forever.

I'm making my kitchen a media room. Fuck you kitchen. Fuck you to death.
Link Posted: 4/19/2016 4:24:53 PM EDT
Steak dinner at a steakhouse around here: $30-ish.



3 16-18 oz. ribeyes at the local butcher shop: $27.



It's much cheaper, even if you're cooking "big ticket" items. When you're not, it's not only cheaper but you can extend your food over many meals, I love when they have the "buy one, get one free" at Giant Eagle on things like pork loin. I get two, freeze one, the other one I slice and pound out and make schnitzel out of it, the day I do that I make Jägerschnitzel for my supper, the pre-made schnitzel I put in the fridge and use for sandwiches the next day or the day after, if I wind up with a lot of schnitzel I freeze the rest; then at some point I'll take the other pork loin and do something in the crock pot with it on a day I'm going to be away all day long, dump it and whatever else I'm feeling like in the crock pot before I leave the house and by the time I come home, hey look food. I can get many, many days worth out of meals doing that for like $18. For less than you pay for a couple of jars of shitty store bought marinara sauce you can make an entire witch's kettle worth of sauce, some for now, freeze the rest for later. And so on and so forth.



All it takes is some practice, some thinking ahead, and you'll always make out better cooking for yourself than eating out/ordering in all the time. Once you get to the point where you can make stuff instead of just buying it from the store (sauces, stock, etc) then it becomes ridiculously cheap to eat well for a fraction of what you used to pay.








Link Posted: 4/19/2016 4:25:31 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By ToledoXJ:
Cooking sucks and so do leftovers. Fuck cooking and grocery shopping. Fuck putting shit away and fuck cleaning up. Fuck spending 35 minutes making something only to burn it at the last second. Fuck $14 steaks that taste like shit. Fuck cast iron. Eat a fat dick electric stoves and shitty gas grills. Fuck you 300 knives and 2 forks in the drawer and squat on a fencepost you shitty kitchen work triangle.

I heart you Chinese restaurant. I'm yours forever.

I'm making my kitchen a media room. Fuck you kitchen. Fuck you to death.
View Quote

Link Posted: 4/19/2016 4:26:06 PM EDT

2 packs of Ramen 1 can of Hormel Chili with beans or no beans, your choice.

15 minutes later, The glorious dish my wife calls Chili McEnroe. It's not quite Chili Mac and it can be disagreeable sometimes, hence Chili McEnroe.
Link Posted: 4/19/2016 4:26:45 PM EDT
It is most definitely cheaper to cook and eat at home.
I make twice as much at night and bring that other half as lunch the next day at work.
Buy yourself a paper back cookbook and get ideas from that.
Link Posted: 4/19/2016 4:27:00 PM EDT
Link Posted: 4/19/2016 4:27:12 PM EDT

Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By GreenBastard:


It sucks because I always make too much food, so I have to eat leftovers the next night.
View Quote


I freeze a lot of stuff, I have a big freezer down in the basement that probably has enough stuff I've made and frozen in for me to live off of exclusively for...well, God only knows how long.



 
Link Posted: 4/19/2016 4:27:27 PM EDT
Real easy to google a few Chinese or Mexican recipes that take one pan.    Chicken breasts in family packs, or whole pork loins are about half the price of small packages.  Repackage the chicken in small portions, and slice the pork loin and freeze. Either can be found for $1.99 lb.

Also easy to cook for three nights at once.   Have grilled chicken one night and cook triple, and save the left overs.  

Day 2 slice up the chicken toss with some romaine lettuce, and Parmesan for a Caesar salad
Day 3 use the left over chicken for Quesadillas or something else quick in the toaster oven.

Easy to do $3 dollar dinners with meat and fresh veggies.  Can't beat that going out.

Link Posted: 4/19/2016 4:27:30 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/19/2016 4:29:12 PM EDT by WhyTanFox]
You can cheaply live off of fast food, but the quality sucks.  Along the lines of I cannot build a computer cheaper than Dell, but their cheap computers are real shit boxes.  So you'll have to spend a little more than you would surfing the BK/McD Value Menu, but you will be much healthier for it.

Cooking takes practice.  After a while you learn how to not use every single kitchen instrument you own.  Also it would probably make sense to cook for more than one meal, then freeze the leftovers.


ETA
Originally Posted By IchWarrior:
I think you're making it more difficult than it needs to be.
View Quote


No, it takes practice and some experience to cook efficiently for one.  I understand where is he coming from.
Link Posted: 4/19/2016 4:28:07 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By bes53181:
If its complicated, then sure.  Buy away.  I just know that I can get 6lbs of chicken for $12 and I can do a shit ton with that.

You mentioned chinese, so I'm going to share something that I just learned:

Sesame chicken:  Cooked chicken, 2tbsp honey, 2tbsp teriaki sauce, red pepper flakes.  Done.
View Quote


Y U no have sesame?
Link Posted: 4/19/2016 4:28:43 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/19/2016 4:30:11 PM EDT by Ameshawki]
I'm single and know how to cook.  I'm actually pretty damn good at it.  But cooking for one sucks.  I love cooking for my friends and family.  For just me I rarely feel the motivation.  

As far as cost, it depends.  I eat out more than I should and I probably spend more than I should.  But I don't know that's its hugely more expensive to go out.  I usually make a social event out of it which gets my out of the apartment.  To me that has value.

Fresh veggies is a real problem area.  I throw out as much as I eat.
Link Posted: 4/19/2016 4:29:46 PM EDT
Cooking at home is expensive for the initial purchase of everything you need to cook good meals.

Buying a rack full of good spices , a good cookware set , good containers to store left overs and even a food sealer.

Link Posted: 4/19/2016 4:29:54 PM EDT
Portioning is tough. I always end up cooking for 2 most of the time I'll restrain myself enough to eat whatever I cooked the next day for lunch.
Link Posted: 4/19/2016 4:30:29 PM EDT

Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By ToledoXJ:

I heart you Chinese restaurant. I'm yours forever.

View Quote




 
Local grocery store does a family chinese meal.




$10. Two large sides, two large entrees, two egg rolls.




It makes 4x large meals.




Hard to beat $2.50 a meal. Ready to go in two minutes.
Link Posted: 4/19/2016 4:33:02 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/19/2016 4:34:49 PM EDT by RedDane]
I've found that it's no big deal unless you're feeling lazy about it all.  I'm naturally a lazy bastard so it's a struggle for me.

The real secret is to do your dishes while things are cooking.  That way you won't have much to do when you're done.  It's even faster if you and your wife take turns while one cooks, the other cleans.  Voila!

Also, find a Chinese grocery store and go there.  Most of the vegetables are inexpensive.  I can buy a whole cart of fresh produce for 60 bucks as opposed to spending 120 bucks at Publix for the same thing.

The processed stuff is where you'll lose your $$$$ every time.
Link Posted: 4/19/2016 4:33:35 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By GreenBastard:
It sucks because I always make too much food, so I have to eat leftovers the next night.
View Quote


That's supposed to be feature not a bug. You sound like the guy I work with who brings in some delicious food for lunch but grumbles about it being "leftovers."
Link Posted: 4/19/2016 4:34:35 PM EDT
OP, this is waaaaaay too easy to do. It's been a long time since I was single but a bunch of veggies, fruits, bread and meats are pretty cheap. If you don't have one already buy you a crockpot which makes preparing meals a lot easier; there are tons of crock pot recipes out there to keep things fresh and cleanup and prep is easy. For instance, my family is having homemade French Dip tonight. get a cheap piece of beef, cut up some onions/green peppers and add spices along with a little red wine/beef stock. Turn on the crock-pot, set on lowest setting and go to work; when you come home dinner is ready.
Link Posted: 4/19/2016 4:34:50 PM EDT

It is cheaper to eat at home. Wife and I are on a budget since we are single income now. When we really want to buckle down we can get away with spending very little on groceries. The key is to buy what is on sale and make something out of it. Recently there was a sale on sausages at a local sausage factory, they had some "factory seconds" where the casings were bulged or whatever and they were selling them for $.50 each. We got 10 sausages for $5. We also buy large quantities of meat at a time so it's cheaper, then split it up into ~1lb portions and freeze it.





Link Posted: 4/19/2016 4:35:47 PM EDT
Cooking, like anything else, is a skill. You need to practice. You cant walk into a kitchen having never cooked and make a good meal that doesnt leave a mess everywhere.

Fried chicken isnt terribly difficult once you've done it a few time.
Link Posted: 4/19/2016 4:38:13 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/19/2016 4:38:47 PM EDT by JVD]
If I ate out I'd be broke. I eat pretty damn well on $75/wk.

Leftovers is the secret. Cook enough for at least 5 meals and freeze a couple.
Link Posted: 4/19/2016 4:39:41 PM EDT
The internet is the greatest thing to happen to cooking since the invention of the knife.



Try adding some easy dishes that people love and think are hard:




Chicken parm with pasta (a million easy recipes out there, I can make this in under an hour, from pounding the chicken flat to the plate)




Low-country boil (easiest meal ever, ever,ever.  You only have to be able to boil water and cut potatoes, onion and some kielbasa, break some corn in half, dump in some Old Bay and shrimp)




Beef Sandwiches (put a small roast and a half a bottle of Lawry Mesquite Lime marinade in crockpot for 8 hours, shred it, pour in other half bottle, put beef on fresh french bread with swiss cheese)




Thanksgiving Sammich (deli turkey, cranberry sauce, mix some stuffing; takes 5 minutes, mayo, jar of turkey gravy - heat the turkey in the gravy, put it on fresh french bread with the other stuff)




Fish Tacos (cut mahi into cubes, pan fry in a little olive oil and butter, add a half packet of taco seasoning to the pan, mix it up, mix the other half with some mayo and sour cream, spread that on tortillas, put fish on, add some cole slaw mix from the produce section, sprinkle a little mexican shredded cheese blend, squeeze a little lime juice on - incredible)






Link Posted: 4/19/2016 4:39:44 PM EDT
OP, get a crock pot, find some recipes on-line.
Easy to use, hands off once it's 'running.'
Lots of good left overs to freeze.
Is how I did it in my single days, used it twice a week, after a few weeks did not have to cook for a month.
Link Posted: 4/19/2016 4:40:35 PM EDT
Single Cooking, a few tips:



- learn "single pan" dishes

- get lots of tupperware thingies and use them (for leftovers)

- buy one item in the veggie section for any other item you buy

- avoid the prepared foods section of the freezer isle

- pick four days a week you only eat out of your fridge (this helps you decide leftovers are good, and gives you a reason to use those veggies)

- use Youtube to learn new stuff



Link Posted: 4/19/2016 4:41:24 PM EDT
You can make some really good food at home. But some of the best meals I've ever cooked at home were very labour-intensive and were not cheap, although certainly less than what you'd pay at most restaurants that serve that kind of food. The family favourite requires me to start two days out and consumes a few hours of my day, so I rarely make it (and people love to eat the food, but not to help cook it or clean up after).

Still, some good meals cost little to make. I made some pan roasted chicken with celery the other day. On the side were pommes boulangere and a baguette. Chicken was a couple of bucks; celery, garlic, lemons onions, potatoes, and Italian parsley are all cheap; baguette was a couple of bucks (but serves multiple people or can be used for other stuff if cooking for one); I also used butter, dry vermouth, and served it with a bottle of French chardonnay. Tasty, filling, and not very expensive. Made a sandwich with the rest of the baguette. Roast beef soaked in canned french onion soup, topped with cheese, pepper, and oregano, and toasted in a toaster oven. Had some chips and red wine with it. Also cheap (and quick to make, with little clean-up).

Oh, and garlic, onions, herbs, spices, and peppers are your friends.
Link Posted: 4/19/2016 4:42:12 PM EDT

Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By TheRX7Project:

The key is to buy what is on sale and make something out of it.

View Quote




 
Lot of truth in that.




Local grocery store always has a clearance section for cuts of meat that are close to their sell by date. 50% off, stacks with sale prices. They also do buy 1 get 2 free on rotating meat products regularly.




Had pork loins yesterday. Regular price was $5 a pound (not great at all), but at B1G2 it became less than $2 a lb.
Link Posted: 4/19/2016 4:43:41 PM EDT
If you need one chicken breast to make a meal, cook two of them.
Then tomorrow you can make a samitch out of the left over breast.

Same with roasts, ribs, steak, and so on.

Pasta with homemade marinara sauce is pretty damned easy too.
Ad in a salad and some garlic bread and you are done.

Come on OP, this shit ain't hard.
Link Posted: 4/19/2016 4:45:01 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By missme:


That's supposed to be feature not a bug. You sound like the guy I work with who brings in some delicious food for lunch but grumbles about it being "leftovers."
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By missme:
Originally Posted By GreenBastard:
It sucks because I always make too much food, so I have to eat leftovers the next night.


That's supposed to be feature not a bug. You sound like the guy I work with who brings in some delicious food for lunch but grumbles about it being "leftovers."


This. Leftovers are great.

Plus, you'll have plenty when you finally get a woman to cook for. Women love guys who can cook.
Link Posted: 4/19/2016 4:46:40 PM EDT
FPNI
Link Posted: 4/19/2016 4:46:55 PM EDT
Originally Posted By nsl:
Is it really cheaper to cook at home and eat good if you are single?
View Quote


Yes
Link Posted: 4/19/2016 4:47:34 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By GreenBastard:
It sucks because I always make too much food, so I have to eat leftovers the next night.
View Quote


That is a feature, not a bug.
Link Posted: 4/19/2016 4:48:39 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/19/2016 4:48:48 PM EDT by XCRmonger]
I typically buy a pack of 8 sirloins for $20 at my local Smith's. I season them, wrap them individually, and freeze them. That's 8 steak dinners.

I always keep a stock of fresh broccoli. Having discovered the joys of oven-roasted veggies, I'll never go back.

A keilbasa sausage can be divvied up into three meals for one person. I like to do pan scrambles with keilbasa, a red potato, about half an onion, chopped, some zucchini. Makes a fine meal. Sometimes I'll do onions, garlic, keilbasa, vinegar, chopped cabbage. That's also really good.

On my own I was spending about $50 per week on food and eating pretty well. you just have to shop smart. Buy a big bag of cheese, divide it up into freezer bags, you've got cheese for a month. That kind of thing.
Link Posted: 4/19/2016 4:48:48 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By ATLDiver:
OP, this is waaaaaay too easy to do. It's been a long time since I was single but a bunch of veggies, fruits, bread and meats are pretty cheap. If you don't have one already buy you a crockpot which makes preparing meals a lot easier; there are tons of crock pot recipes out there to keep things fresh and cleanup and prep is easy. For instance, my family is having homemade French Dip tonight. get a cheap piece of beef, cut up some onions/green peppers and add spices along with a little red wine/beef stock. Turn on the crock-pot, set on lowest setting and go to work; when you come home dinner is ready.
View Quote


+87 A crock pot is very easy to cook a meal for the week with minimal clean up.
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