Last night when I was grabbing a few groceries I overheard a young mother lamenting the cost of beef. Her cart was full of frozen prepared foods and her husband was wanting her to buy a small roast, that she didn't feel they could afford. It made me think of a roast I purchased the week before last. Here is how it worked out, cost wise.
8 pound bottom round oven roast at $3 per pound = $24
Meals for a family of 4
1. Delicious warm roast beef for supper - 4 generous helpings
2. Cold roast beef sandwiches for 2 lunches - 8 helpings
3. One large pot of beef with vegetables and barley soup - 21 bowls (some given away, some eaten, and some in freezer)
4. Cold roast beef 'chunks' for a 'hodgy podgy' cold plate lunch - 3 servings
5. Beef slices with juices in freezer (to be re-warmed) - 4 helpings
Total: 40 servings at about $.60 per serving
I happened to be in line behind the mom who didn't think she could afford a roast beef and her 'cart total' was over $230 - from what I could see, it was just frozen food and a few snack foods and soda pop, but I was trying not to be too nosy!
I don't want to come across as judgemental or superior, but I wonder at the 'deception' of thinking that it is more economical to buy frozen prepared foods. I have never found this to be the case. I feel like I am able to feed our family of 4 more nutritiously and economically when I buy sale cuts of meat and veggies in season and make things myself. It may be a time saver to buy prepared foods, but since I find it takes little time to prepare simple wholesome meals, and there is great satisfaction in knowing exactly what our family is eating, I think I'll stick to ' the old fashioned way'.
I am so very glad for a mother and grandmother who taught me these principles of home economy, and a grade 9 'home ec.' teacher who re-enforced these ideas. I wish I could get the message to these young moms who think that there is only one way to feed their family, or who think cooking 'from scratch' is too hard and expensive! They might just be surprised!