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Three Meals with Variations by Budget and Time

Whole Foods’ Chowdown Chart has an interesting comparison of 3 meals, each prepared with 3 variations according to budget and time.

It makes me realize how few pre-packaged foods I buy.  I am definitely willing to invest more time for less cost.  I never buy shredded cheese or rotisserie chickens, not because there aren’t high quality versions available, but because they are more expensive than shredding cheese or roasting a chicken myself.  Plus, I enjoy putzing away in the kitchen.

Beans?  Beans I go back and forth on.  I appreciate the dry version being cheaper (and lighter to schlep back from the store) but it really does take time and forethought to soak and boil them.  And honestly, in recipes, I don’t notice much of a taste difference.  Neither does the The Amateur Gourmet.  Beans are one item that I’m tempted to see my time as more valuable than money.  That is, until I get my hands on some really great heirloom beans like Rancho Gordo.


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2 thoughts on “Three Meals with Variations by Budget and Time

  1. Carolyn Hack on said:

    Let’s talk about shredded cheese.

    I hate shredding cheese. It really grates on me. (Sorry, couldn’t resist.) For this reason, I’m always willing to spend a little bit of extra time shopping to find the shredded cheese that is on sale – thus making it cheaper than or comparable in price to a block of cheese I’d have to grate myself.

    I guess it’s all about priorities. I like shopping, and I love that sense of triumph I get when I find a totally awesome bargain. I’d much rather do the shopping than grate the cheese.

    Then again, if time is money, how much extra am I willing to pay to not have to grate cheese? (Plus, I can usually get Rich to do it for me. He’s great at it.)

    This all reminds me of a debate that Laura Cole and I once had in college about who hated ironing more. Turns out that she does, because she was willing to pay me to avoid ironing herself, and I was willing to accept $2 to iron a single shirt. I spent the $2 at Cosmic Cantina, on a quesadilla filled with… shredded cheese.

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