Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Cost of Dinner

It's Sunday afternoon and I'm in the mood for baked ziti and fresh bread sticks. We don't really have the cash to blow $60 at the nice Italian restaurant down the street, so I decide to make it myself. I pull a few ingredients out of the fridge and pantry, throw some ground beef and sausage into a skillet and start chopping onions. The water's boiling, the oven is preheating, and I'm right on track to serve a hot, delicious meal in about an hour. After tossing the pasta in the water to cook, I start to make my no-so-famous (but really good) sauce. Diced onions and bell peppers, crushed garlic, a blend of Italian seasonings, and...

I'm out of tomato paste. Dang.

Husband to the rescue! He offers to run to the grocery store and pick up a can of tomato paste. Great! I'll just throw together the dough for the bread sticks while I wait. Twenty minutes later he returns with four - yes, four- grocery bags. I thought he was just going for a little tiny can of tomato paste! Well, sure he was, but while he was looking for the tomato paste he picked up two packages of double chocolate chunk cookies, three bags of those greasy chips I won't buy for him, a couple of chocolate bars, two bottles of brand-new-gotta-try-it barbecue sauce, a gallon of ice cream and a package of candy for the kid.

Cost of a small can of tomato paste? Sixty cents. Cost of all the other goodies he found along the way? $45. So much for saving money by cooking at home.

This little story was a common occurrence in our home not so long ago. I would start out each new budget cycle by promising myself that I would only go grocery shopping once week, and only purchase the items on my list. Then someone would run out of shampoo or juice or dog food (or tomato paste) and another shopping trip would be added to the week, along with another $45 worth of expense, minimum.

When you are On The Q, little scenarios like this happen less and less. Your Home Store is stocked with Thrive products, so you rarely run out of basics like flour, eggs, butter or shortening. The celery never gets slimy, the onions don't make your eyes water, and you don't have to worry about peeling your fingers while peeling the carrots. Just pop open a can of your favorite product and measure out what you need. I've noticed that I now include more vegetables in our dinner when I don't have to go through all the hassle of preparing them, and that means better nutrition for my family.

Ready to get On The Q but don't quite know where to start? Think about adding just the items that you use frequently - things like powdered butter and whole egg powder are great products for the Thrive beginner. They are simple to use and quickly show you how replacing a few traditional products with Thrive products can save you time in the kitchen. Chopped onions, tomato powder and green beans cut down on waste due to spoilage since Thrive products are shelf stable for 25 years on average (1 to 2 years on average once the package is open). Beef TVP is a great way to cut down your meat expenses - use it by itself or mix it 50/50 with the ground beef your family already enjoys.

Question of the Day: Which Thrive products are you most excited to try?
I am personally most excited to try the freeze dried mushrooms! They have been out of stock since I started with the company, but now they are back and will be in my next Q shipment. I'm thinking cream of mushroom soup, beef stroganoff, and maybe even a stir fry.

1 comment:

  1. I'm enjoying your blog! I want to make more smoothies and am interested in the berries - that would be my first food to try. Probably that and the eggs.


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