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Food and the single guy

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Benjamin Strange, Nov 30, 2003.

  1. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    Let's face it, being single sucks, for a myriad obvious reasons. Not so obvious is the issue of food. To cook, or not to cook? If you cook, there's too much food, and you need to eat the same thing for a week hoping it doesn't go bad before you eat it all. Grocery shopping can be expensive, too.

    I'm starting to figure that it may be cheaper to get take out rather than cook much. When you add up the cost of the ingredients, it seems like eating at home can cost around $5 or more each meal or so. Does this make sense? Or am I just buying the wrong stuff and the grocery store (too many carrots?)? Single guys, weigh in!
  2. Nick Gann

    Nick Gann Talkbass' Tubist in Residence

    Mar 24, 2002
    Silver Spring, MD
    I enjoy cooking, personally. Small portions aren't that hard to do; you don't have to make a meal for 6 everytime you cook.
  3. Brendan

    Brendan Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Single college student: the antepenultimate of penurious places on the food cooking/eating chain in the world.


    I cook because I like cooking, and because I keep my own schedule, and because I know I can cook something the way I like it.
  4. Phat Ham

    Phat Ham

    Feb 13, 2000
    I'm a college kid, but don't have a meal plan so how I get food is up to me. I usually eat out since I don't really know how to cook, but I can't see how cooking your own food can be more expensive than take out. I can make about three pounds of spaghetti for what it costs for a plate at a take out joint.
  5. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks

    Where's the barfing smiley?
  6. when my mom kicks me out of this place...and I live on my own...

    I'm so getting taco bell and subway everyday.

    Screw the whole nutrition thing:)
  7. secretdonkey


    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    George. Foreman. Grill.
  8. Eating out costs less than cooking for yourself?
    I dunno about that...
    I can cook a full meal for 4 or 5 people on about $5 of groceries...
  9. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    I'm not sure about the maths either. Last week I was out Christmas shopping and my wife and I went to KFC for lunch. For the price of a couple of their small 'meals' I could have done a free range roast chicken and trimmings for four or five. Even leaving aside health considerations (long term costs) I can't imagine that eating out can be cheaper unless you're also figuring a number for the time it takes.

    Sure, your time may be worth $20 an hour... but, if that's the case, how do you afford to sleep ;)

    On ingredients alone it will be a lot cheaper and if you make too much you can always eat leftovers tomorrow or put it away in the freezer for a future date.

  10. canopener


    Sep 15, 2003
    Isle of Lucy
    My girl and I usually stick to fast food or microwave meals. We both don't mind cooking, but we usually don't have the same schedule, and we both hate doing dishes. We haven't lived in a place with a dishwasher yet. Get a bag of salad, they last about 2-3 days after you open them, but you can have a different meal every night if you use your imagination...

    Edit: I second the George Foreman Grill. They are great!
  11. Johnalex


    Jul 20, 2001
    South Carolina
    true..the forman grilling machine is great. I always over cook stuff on it. But it is a great machine.
  12. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Best thing is to cook more, freeze or fridge it, and eat it the next day. Extra credit for the fact that you don't have to cook the next day. Or buy stuff that you can use in more than one meal (there are LOTS of things you can do with carrots - both in the kitchen and out).

    If you eat out all the time, eventually you will end up looking like Meatloaf (been there - done that).
  13. we had a big discussion about this the other day coz my boyfriend is pretty bad about cooking and meal preparation overall. he's a tv-dinner-nuker kinda guy. i like my meals home-cooked.

    the price of food really has skyrocketed, and in some instances, you can eat out for less. but your choices of quality food are poorer. so, you'll end up eating cheaply, but only eating pizza, chinese and mickey d's kinda foods.

    i finally convinced the boy to come with me to market, and plan a week's worth of meals-- soup to nuts-- breakfast to dinner. for $85 bucks, we wound up with a nice selection of healthy food that'll get us through most of the week. we could easily spend that, and more, in one night at a decent restaurant in town.

    my suggestion for single guys:

    1) learn to make soup. it's friggin easy, cooks on its own, and is damn healthy. you freeze what you don't eat that nite in small batches.

    2) if you're gonna have tv dinners, at least supplement it with a real salad. i hate the bag varieties, but if you must...

    3) invest in the book, "A Man, A Can & A Plan," available at my former goofy retail employer, Linens 'n Things. It features a host of recipes from ingredients that mainly come from a can. even includes the can opener.

    4) invest in another book, "Cooking for Two" It features small-scale meals suitable for one or two, with ingredients that you can rotate for the next night, so they don't go bad.

    5) Watch 30 minute meals on HGTV. She's a little unrealistic, and tends to only make Italian dishes, but you get a good sense of how to budget your time in the kitchen.

    6) Make easy dishes. Pasta with veggies [even frozen] and a little oil and parmesan cheese cook up in about 15 minutes. Same with tacos. You can even use the frozen meat "scrambles" [tofu], which are really tasty.

    7) Combine convenience foods with homemade foods. For instance, last nite we had tacos [real filling, store-bought shells, store-bought seasoning mix], rice pilaf [.99 special from Uncle Bens], canned refried beans, and fresh guacamole. The whole meal cost about 9 bux for two, which is way cheaper than dinner at a mexi restaurant [but more expensive than taco bell]

    i think everyone should learn to cook. for me, cooking is the therapeutic release after a hard day. all the smells make me feel grounded, safe, and really HOME.

  14. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    Wow. I can eat pretty good on $85 a week. And that's eating out for every meal!
  15. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001
    3 meals a day x 7 days in a week = 21 meals per week.

    $85 / 21 = $4.04 per meal.

    I'm sure you can stay alive on that - even without cooking. (I survived for years on cheap fast food) but I can't imagine how you can "eat pretty good" spending an average of $4 per meal. You must not have very high standards for "good food"
    I'm not much for cooking either, but eventually the fast food will catch up to you. Your metabolism will slow and you'll have to become concerned with nutrition, or become morbidly obese.
    So - long story short: For me it wasn't saving money or or the joy of cooking that got me into home cooking - it's taking back control of your diet in regards to nutrition.
    Also - your best solution is to find a girl friend who likes to cook.
  16. bill h

    bill h

    Aug 31, 2002
    small town MN
    I think the cost to eat out and eat in are close if you want to eat fast food. If you want to eat "real food" Meat and potato's and the likes. You can not event come close. How much "fast food can one eat?

    I love to use a crock pot to cook. Roast and taters and veggies in before work, done when I get home.
  17. It may take you a while, but eventually you'll realize just how much food you'll need to buy and cook for a week.

    There is nothing like perparing your own food! ;)

    It's better for you because:

    1) You can eat EXACTLY what you want.
    2) It's definitely a lot cheaper.

    most important point:

    3) It's a lot safer. I'm not saying that people in the food prep business are deliberately trying to kill you, but I myself have NEVER gotten food poisoning from making my own food. I have gotten food poisoning from eating in what are considered decent restaurants. I'm not talking about ending up in a hospital, but having the runs for a few hours or a day because someone stored food improperly, or the absolute worst: food prepareres who don't wash thier hands after using the toilet! :spit:

    I was never a clean freak, but after seeing a few kitchens, and hearing a few stories, I make my own stuff now.

    Some people in the food industry are just slobs.

  18. My area of "expertise" in my apartment is Chinese food, and while the cooking itself never takes more than 10 minutes, the preparing is what really bugs me. Smashing/chopping garlic, slicing the ginger, washing the vegetables, cutting the meat, and all that...

    But there's nothing I like more (in the food world, anyway) than a nice home cooked Chinese meal.
  19. Scott D

    Scott D

    Apr 21, 2003
    Minneapolis, MN
    Well, i work at a great food place, and i get 45% off at all the locations. I once got pizza for 8 for about 12 bucks... it's a great deal. A meal for 1 runs me about $3, and thats a small pizza and a sandwich (YUM.)

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