The Topic: Saving Cents with Common Sense
The Dish: I'm about to blow your mind with a super simple and effective money-saving tip. Ready? Use less. This dead-simple solution hit me in the face this week when I came across something food-related—well, sort of.
Maybe the people in charge are just bored, or maybe they like to see how far the American public will go when it comes to consuming fast, junky foods, but the whole trend of Frankenfoods disturbs me on more than one level. Yes, the Double Down is gross-looking, full of animal products, and lacks any nutritional value, but it bothers me for another reason: It's like eating three meals at once! And no, this isn't about calories for me—it's just the principle of the thing. Split up those meat-free chicken patties and fake bacon (I'm talking the vegan version now, obviously) and you could easily craft two or three meals from one unbalanced "sandwich," with the addition of a few other cheap ingredients.
This week, I discovered that another chain has released a similar sandwich monstrosity, featuring a hamburger patty stuck snugly between two grilled-cheese sandwiches. Again, switching to a veganized version (does your brain automatically do that, too?), that is three meals at once! Eat however many calories you like, friends, but if you're trying to save money and are an average Abby like me, sitting on your butt for many hours each day, eating three sandwiches at lunch seems unnecessary. Naturally, if you're running 10 miles every morning or tearing it up with your local roller derby (envious!), then you probably should eat more food on average. But there are more budget-friendly ways, I promise.
The Final Word: These examples are on the impractical side of "using less," but the imagery stuck with me and I had to share. I'll be thinking about that freaking burger when I go to make dinner tonight. Cutting back just a little bit of the more expensive items I use—I can really power through avocados—will help stretch them over more meals, while still adding some fresh flavor to inexpensive dishes (hi, brown rice!).