Posts Tagged ‘affordable’

Is fast food really cheaper?

roastchicken

As a busy parent, health advocate and outdoor enthusiast, I have struggled with managing time while still trying to get healthy nutritious “real” food, on the table each night.  I’ve heard the reasoning behind ‘limited time’ and the association of faster food being cheaper.  By now, most of you may have gathered that I love research and I love a challenge.  So I put myself to the test. 

My husband, two children and I were out of town for a soccer game.   I did have my emergency bag of healthy food on me at the time knowing that we’d have to return home it being a school night. But the kids were anxious for a burger and as I mentioned we were short on time.  So we pulled through Carl’s junior drive thru.  They are currently offering grass fed burgers so I ordered 3 burgers,2 protein style for my children and one regular style for my husband.  (The whole story is I ordered 4 but they only served and charged us for 3).  We also ordered 3 fries.  The total bill was $25.32 for a family of 3.  No drinks and less nutrition than what I would normally offer at my dinner table: organic 2 to 3 vegetables, possibly a grain, a grass-fed/organic meat and healthy fats.  Again, fast food was $25.32 for a family of 3 and the order took easily 30 minutes from the time we ordered until the time we received it.  

Two days later I visited our local grocery store and purchased a whole chicken, no hormones/antibiotics  priced at $13.26 (still not the best whole chicken but available thawed).  I purchased organic gold potatoes for $5.00.  I had other veggies at home (organic carrots, cauliflower and broccoli) these can be purchased for $5 a bag.  Total VONS bill is $18.26 (plus $5 for veggies).  The complete bill is $23.26.  

Here comes the fun part.  With all of this food I prepared for a family of 4:

Night 1:  Roast chicken, potatoes, carrots, cauliflower and broccoli.  Made gravy with a little arrowroot. The oven spent way more time on this meal than I did.  Easily 10 minute prep and 20 minute finish.

That night I threw the carcass into a crockpot; covered it with water and turned it on low.

chickenpotpieNight 2:  I had a gluten free shell in the freezer and filled it with chicken, veggies, sauteed in chicken broth from the crockpot.  I mashed the potatoes and put them on top.  Prep time 20 minutes? baked for 40 minutes.  Instant pot pie.  It was a hit too!

Night 3:  Homemade chicken broth filled with chicken meat, thrown into the freezer.  My kids couldn’t handle a third night of chicken in a row. BUT I have a near instant dinner for a third night.  

Other ideas: Add organic mayo to chicken with chopped veggies and have chicken salad for sandwiches or to place on top of salads.  

fastfoodCarl’s junior could feed only a family of 3 for ONE NIGHT for $25.32.  The whole chicken and it’s sides served a family of 4 for THREE nights.   Nutritious food can be affordable and efficient.  

I’d love to hear about your ideas?

Be well,
Lynn