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Cost of Cooking

May 30th, 2012 at 01:37 am

It may seem I am driving my hubby crazy. Well, maybe crazier, depending on one's opinion.

Each meal I've been cooking, I have tried to estimate what it cost to fix it. I'm not counting the power for the stove or how much refrigeration, but the cost of the ingredients.

Sunday after church I fixed eggs, sausage, potatoes, toast. Coffee for me, and iced tea for him. I figure at the very most the meal cost $6 when you add in the oil and the butter. A similar meal at a restaurant would have probably cost $17 or more. I realize they have overhead and wages to pay. But, I figure that is $11 we saved by eating at home. All in all, the meal took less than 15 minutes to cook.

Supper the other night was a little pricier...we had sloppy chicks (sloppy joes made with ground chicken), chips, fruit, and iced tea. I estimated it cost between $7 to $8 total. And we had leftovers! Enough for lunch the next day so I figure that lunch if we figured in the buns and the chips cost less than $3.

Tonight's supper was a little more expensive than yesterday's lunch -- we had spaghetti (bought on sale), ground turkey, homemade marinara sauce, biscuits (homemade with homegrown herbs), a salad (homegrown lettuce), cottage cheese, and fruit. I think our meal cost around $8. And, we have enough leftover of the spaghetti and biscuits for a lunch.

Sometimes I feel like I spend a ton of money at the store, but then I realize a lot of times, I'm buying stuff to stock the pantry. I try to get pasta on sale and I have been putting it on glass sealed containers or putting it in the freezer. We hit two stores last weekend and in total we spent less than $90. Only one meal we've had didn't include meat that we bought the on this weekend trip.

DH has a very small area for a garden -- our backyard is almost all shade -- so he had herbs in pots and he has planted bell pepper plants among his other fauna in the yard. He has 3 tomato plants, lettuce, radishes, and basil planted in the small garden like area. Someone asked him why he was doing this and he said because it helps me out when I cook and he enjoys eating like a king!

A gal I know was kidding me about the cooking -- she says it is too hard to cook at home and eating out isn't that expensive. I wonder if she could eat as cheaply as we do...we certainly aren't going hungry and I figure a little time in the kitchen means money saved for other things.

Another person we know said brewing tea for iced tea took too much work. During the winter I get the electric kettle out and make iced tea in glass pitchers using tea bags. I let it cool down before I put it in the fridge. This summer I've made "sun tea" as well as brewed it. Somehow putting a few tea bags in some water doesn't seem that hard and I know what is going into the artificial sweeteners.

One friend has complained how short of money he is...they eat out every single day...sometimes twice. I'm not against eating out -- it is a nice treat -- but when I look at how much it costs, cooking seems a bit more reasonable.

4 Responses to “Cost of Cooking”

  1. LuckyRobin Says:

    Usually the standard cost of a meal in a restaurant is 3X the cost of the ingredients. Well, in a pricier restaurant it will be a lot more than that, but you get the idea. I often calculate the cost of the meal and of the whole day (I just don't post it too often anymore). I used to try to keep it under $15 for the day, or $20 for pricier days. Now that we are eating mostly organic vegetables and pasture-raised meats that is a lot harder to do. Especially on the days we have beef. But we are still doing fairly well with what we are doing. Surprisingly breakfast and lunch is staying pretty much the same, it is just dinner that is going up.

  2. baselle Says:

    Your co workers outsourced feeding themselves.

  3. CB in the City Says:

    Your friend is kidding herself. It is always cheaper to eat at home. The only exception -- and this is the fault of the cook -- if you buy a bunch of costly ingredients for a recipe and then fail to use the leftover ingredients for something else -- then it is expensive.

  4. Looking Forward Says:

    Hard to make tea?! HaHa!

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