Author Topic: Work fridge not all it's cracked up to be?  (Read 10669 times)

aspiringnomad

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Work fridge not all it's cracked up to be?
« on: January 08, 2015, 09:50:43 PM »
Since reading MMM, every week I've been buying fresh veggies and other fresh stuff to bring to work, store in a fridge under my desk, and cobble together for a somewhat cheap lunch. I started doing this on my own, and shortly after came across MMM's article on how it's a great way to save money. But the thing is, I haven't really found that to be true.

You obviously can't just stop spending on food, like you can with some other expenses, so it's not as though I'm saving all the money I didn't spend going out for lunch. You need to buy something, and for health conscious folks, that something can be expensive even when bought at the grocery store. So my savings for lunch end up being quite marginal. The savings are even more marginal when you factor in the time spent at the grocery store, the extra stuff you might buy because you feel okay about spending on groceries, and most significantly spoilage. I try to eat everything before it spoils, but sometimes that means eating more than I normally would. I follow a paleo-ish diet, so it requires mostly fresh and relatively expensive food-types (i.e., very few cheap carbs) and I'm not willing to compromise on that. That means no lean cuisines, no hot pockets, and probably no pre-made crock pot meals or soups. Add to the small savings the lack of variety flowing from my work fridge and I wonder if it's worth it. To be clear, I wasn't going out for $30+tip/tax power lunches before I made the switch. There is a wide abundance of cheap, delicious, and customizable lunch options within a 10 minute walk of my office. So, instead of having my fourth salad of the week with ingredients that cost $4.50 plus 45 minutes at the grocery store, I could pay $6 (including tax) for a tasty bimbimbap with romaine, mushrooms, zucchini, spinach, beef, kimchi, and a freshly fried egg on top.

Any thoughts or face punches on this complainypants post?

KMMK

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Re: Work fridge not all it's cracked up to be?
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2015, 06:23:25 AM »
I hear you. Carb heavy food is a lot cheaper. I eat tons of produce so my fruit alone is probably $2-3 per day- maybe more. Plus the rest of my food. I don't have good eating out options like you do- not much in Canada for 5-6 dollars anymore. The only food I can safely (gluten-intolerant) eat near my work is about $9 and mostly carbs. Though I can make two meals from that. But if I had a $6 healthy option I'd probably eat out more often. So yes, when you eat like that it isn't nearly as cheap as someone who eats a peanut butter sandwich.

I'm a red panda

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Re: Work fridge not all it's cracked up to be?
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2015, 07:10:19 AM »
Your salad is costing $4.50 per salad?  What are you putting in that thing?


I personally think $6 should be the days worth of food, not a meal- but I will occasionally go out to lunch at that price. 


The way I bring my lunch to work is to always make leftovers for dinner.  Then the leftovers become lunch.  This week I had rice and beans on Sunday, and I've had rice and beans everyday for lunch.  I supplement with veggies that I find on sale, this week it has been cauliflower and green beans- I eat 2 cups per lunch (and then another cup of veggies at dinner).

Cpa Cat

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Re: Work fridge not all it's cracked up to be?
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2015, 07:40:14 AM »
You probably have as much of a grocery spending problem as you do a lunch spending problem.

I'm a vegetarian, so I don't fret over meat. But I make batches of homemade burritos for something like $0.33 per burrito. Then I bring an apple and some peanuts.  If I have leftovers from dinner, I bring that. Sometimes I make hummus and do that.

If you have a grocery spending problem, then indeed, there will always be some cheap alternative to go buy at a restaurant. This applies to all of your meals - not just lunch.

I eat mostly fresh, homemade stuff and I don't spend $4.50 making a salad. So I don't really understand the "compromise." Yes, things will spoil if you buy too much... so don't buy too much. It is possible to eat healthy while eating cheaply. I certainly eat more cheaply than if I were buying hot pockets and frozen dinners every day.

You should take Iowajes' advice and plan meals around whats on sale. For example, as he said, last week cauliflower was 99c a head. The week before, it was $3.99 a head. You don't buy it when it's not on sale. When they're on a sale, peppers are 3 for a dollar or 50c. In the middle of Winter, they're $2+. Sometimes a recipe calls for spinach, but when you get the store, spinach is $3 and kale is 99c. So you substitute. Fruit is always what's in season/on sale - period. Buying fruit out of season is a budget killer.

No pre-cut, pre-packaged vegetables ever. They are always more expensive. Often they are more expensive even when marked down on a manager's special (and prone to spoilage).

And yes, saving money on lunch may mean eating the same thing every day for a week. C'est la vie. There will always be more variety at a restaurant than in your work fridge.

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Re: Work fridge not all it's cracked up to be?
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2015, 07:48:27 AM »
Consider the savings from avoiding long-term health consequences associated with high-fructose corn syrup, MSG, high saturated fat, high sodium, and sugar addiction.  You will come out on top when your coworkers start paying for tummy tucks, and medication for diabetes, high cholesterol, attention deficit, and depression.

frugaliknowit

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Re: Work fridge not all it's cracked up to be?
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2015, 07:49:23 AM »
I would try bringing things from home, like leftovers instead of buying things near work, then preparing there.  It is more efficient to do your shopping in fewer trips.

aspiringnomad

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Re: Work fridge not all it's cracked up to be?
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2015, 07:57:45 AM »
Your salad is costing $4.50 per salad?  What are you putting in that thing?


Kale, arugula, some type of meat, and the usual fancy pants compliments (sprouts, kalamata olives, bleu cheese, broccoli, etc.), and about a quarter bottle of dressing (I love my dressing). I also buy stuff to make guacamole with and add some of that to the salad then use the rest for an afternoon snack with broccoli or carrots. It really adds up. Cpa Cat's point about pre-cut, prepackaged veggies is a good one. I am definitely guilty of that because my closest options are Trader Joe's or Whole Foods. I end up going the TJ's route (prepackaged) because it seems much cheaper given the Whole Paycheck alternative. But maybe it's not.

vhalros

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Re: Work fridge not all it's cracked up to be?
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2015, 08:04:57 AM »
It sounds like you are just spending too much money on your groceries. Sensibleness of the paleo diet aside, the cheap thing to eat in it seems to be eggs. Baking yourself a nice frittata for lunch should cost < $2, and is easy.

As far as where to shop, Trader Joe's is inexpensive in comparison to Whole Foods, but is probably not the cheapest option.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2015, 08:06:33 AM by vhalros »

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Re: Work fridge not all it's cracked up to be?
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2015, 08:05:08 AM »
Also consider your storage method.  A few years ago we invested in some decent-to-good quality food storage (the brand we got in particular was Lock n' Lock).  It was amazing how much longer food stays fresh in those - even a finely diced apple would take 1-2 days to brown.

They are water-tight too, which makes it easy to pack soups, etc.  I often toss in some leftovers, along with some fresh fruit and peanuts or similar (all different containers) as a snack when I get to the office.  When I do salad I skip adding dressing, partly because the dressing causes the salad to get slimy after a bit.

Mason jars might be another good option, or packing a travel thermos.

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Re: Work fridge not all it's cracked up to be?
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2015, 08:09:54 AM »
What do you eat when you're not at work?  Just make extra of that and bring it to work.  You've got to shop for and prepare that anyway.

Things I've brought with me to eat for breakfast/lunch today (I'm doing Whole30 right now, paleo is not an excuse):

Small piece of salmon, cooked in the microwave (2 minutes) - I bought wild caught salmon when it was like $5 a pound this summer, portioned it out and froze, so a portion is like $1.50.

Piece of chicken leftover from last night's dinner - $2?

Green soup made with homemade turkey stock and veggies that were getting a little funky for fresh eating, so almost free if the stuff would have otherwise been wasted.  I stash extra green soup on the freezer and grab it when needed.

Half a baked acorn squash - I grew this, so free, but winter squash is cheap to buy - 50 cents?  Just throw them in the oven on Sunday night and stash in the fridge until needed.

Banana, grapefruit and small apple - all cheap right now, so maybe 70 cents worth of food.

So two paleo meals for $4.70.  Took about 5 minutes to pack this morning, and I didn't spend any extra time grocery shopping. $7.30 saved over buying two meals out at $6 each x 20 work days = $146/month.  Also, this is mostly organic, wild caught, free range etc. vs the probably factory farmed protein you'll get when you go out for lunch.  It sounds like you have some good options when you're in a pinch, but don't kid yourself that it's 100% paleo @ $6 per meal.

rocksinmyhead

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Re: Work fridge not all it's cracked up to be?
« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2015, 08:10:39 AM »
I would try bringing things from home, like leftovers instead of buying things near work, then preparing there.  It is more efficient to do your shopping in fewer trips.

Your salad is costing $4.50 per salad?  What are you putting in that thing?


Kale, arugula, some type of meat, and the usual fancy pants compliments (sprouts, kalamata olives, bleu cheese, broccoli, etc.), and about a quarter bottle of dressing (I love my dressing). I also buy stuff to make guacamole with and add some of that to the salad then use the rest for an afternoon snack with broccoli or carrots. It really adds up. Cpa Cat's point about pre-cut, prepackaged veggies is a good one. I am definitely guilty of that because my closest options are Trader Joe's or Whole Foods. I end up going the TJ's route (prepackaged) because it seems much cheaper given the Whole Paycheck alternative. But maybe it's not.

yeah, I don't get why you're making an extra shopping trip near work. I'd just add the work stuff to your normal shopping list and presto, you save those 45 minutes! also make your own dressing! there are some fucking amazing dressing recipes out there and they're super simple. I haven't done the math but I'd think it has to be cheaper than bottled. in our household this is the all-time favorite dressing: http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/maple-dijon-salad-dressing IT'S SO GOOD.

re. spoilage, have you done some research on how to best store things? I LOVE greens but I was wasting a ton of them until I learned this method:
- wash and thoroughly dry the greens (salad spinner) (oh PS. I HOPE you're not buying pre-washed pre-bagged greens if they're a shit-ton more expensive... but I find that even those last MUCH longer if I take them out of the bag and re-store them using my method, minus the washing/drying step)
- spread them out on a few sheets' length of paper towel
- loosely roll into a paper towel/greens "jelly roll"
- put in a gallon plastic bag, squeeze most of the air out and seal tight

I've kept arugula/kale/chard/etc. for 2-3 weeks this way. fucking life-changing!!!

Cromacster

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Re: Work fridge not all it's cracked up to be?
« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2015, 08:13:58 AM »
I would try bringing things from home, like leftovers instead of buying things near work, then preparing there.  It is more efficient to do your shopping in fewer trips.

This.  I make most of my dinners double portions or more.  I look back on years when I was going out to eat 3-5x per week and I would spend between 200-300 a month just on lunches.  Even with the double portion dinners my grocery bill stays pretty static month to month around 400.  I eat pretty paleo, but I consume quite a bit of white rice and I have pizza Thursdays (Homemade is the best, but sometimes I stray).

Example, last Sunday I made a thanksgiving style dinner.
13lb Turkey, paleo stuffing, and mashed sweet potatoes.  All total I estimate this cost 30$, not including some stuff I had around the house, so stretch it to 40$ as an estimate.  I ate this for 8 meals, my wife ate it for 5.  That breaks down to about 3$ a meal, with no extra cooking or time spent preparing food for 4 days.  AND I will turn the carcass into a soup, with about another 10$ of ingredients, it will make another 6 meals between the two of us.  so $50 for 19 meals, or 2.63 a meal.  Not to shabby for the minimal amount of prep.

*I also probably eat 2x as much as normal people (3,000-4,000 calories/day most days) so this probably could have stretched much further for a standard person.

Spork

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Re: Work fridge not all it's cracked up to be?
« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2015, 08:16:17 AM »
What do you eat when you're not at work?  Just make extra of that and bring it to work.  You've got to shop for and prepare that anyway.


This has been said thrice.  I just came here to say it a 4th time.

This is more than saving money.  This is saving time.  It costs you approximately the same amount of time to cook a meal with 2 servings as to cook one with 4.  Two servings (in my case) feeds me and wifey dinner.  Four servings (in my case) feeds me and wifey dinner and lunch.  Up it to 8 servings and you'll take a night off and eat it for lunch/dinner again.  WIN!

Cpa Cat

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Re: Work fridge not all it's cracked up to be?
« Reply #13 on: January 09, 2015, 08:35:25 AM »
Haha. Yeah, if you decide that your only option is to eat out or buy bleu cheese and sprouts at Whole Foods, then you should probably just eat the bimbimbap.

And are you sure you're making salads and not Salad Dressing Soup?

My advice to you is to first find a normal grocery store. Maybe look around for ethnic markets that are nearby.

Then, only make guac when avocados are on sale. Otherwise, sub in hummus/beans/canned tuna/whatever. [Maybe beans aren't paleo? That would be too bad.] Sub in a cheaper cheese for the bleu cheese. Your mix of greens should be entirely dependent on price - and you should probably make normal lettuce (although kale is often just as cheap) your base and add to that. Carrots are almost always cheap, so keep those - but make sure you're buying real carrots and not precut/baby carrots. Your other vegetables should cycle with sales.

And when choosing vegetables, remember to think outside the box on stuff that might need cooking (as others have mentioned): sweet potatoes, potatoes, squash, cheap shredded meat.

You could slow-cook a cheap pork or beef roast and stretch that over dinner/salad add-ons. You may find that this is too much for a week, so as soon as you bring it home, you might consider cutting a roast in half and freezing one half.

aspiringnomad

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Re: Work fridge not all it's cracked up to be?
« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2015, 08:55:53 AM »
All excellent and helpful tips, especially for improved storage and to avoid prepackaged stuff. For some reason, I never really considered that. More importantly, I've got new inspiration to keep at it and figure out how to make my work fridge more worthwhile. For those that suggested it, I have tried bringing extra stuff from home, but found myself sometimes eating the planned leftovers as seconds after dinner :). Will try to exercise more self-control all around in the future. Thanks, all!

vhalros

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Re: Work fridge not all it's cracked up to be?
« Reply #15 on: January 09, 2015, 09:16:04 AM »
Quote
I have tried bringing extra stuff from home, but found myself sometimes eating the planned leftovers as seconds after dinner :).

I have had that problem in the past as well. What worked for me was to take a portion, pack it in tupperware, and put it away in the fridge before I start eating. If I wait until after I am likely to just keep eating.

Future Lazy

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Re: Work fridge not all it's cracked up to be?
« Reply #16 on: January 09, 2015, 09:21:13 AM »
Quote
I have tried bringing extra stuff from home, but found myself sometimes eating the planned leftovers as seconds after dinner :).

I have had that problem in the past as well. What worked for me was to take a portion, pack it in tupperware, and put it away in the fridge before I start eating. If I wait until after I am likely to just keep eating.

+ 1 billion to this.

It goes: Make dinner, serve your plate, store the rest in the fridge, stack (or wash) dishes, THEN eat.

This also keeps me from overeating at dinnertime. Two birds with one stone.

lhamo

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Re: Work fridge not all it's cracked up to be?
« Reply #17 on: January 09, 2015, 09:25:41 AM »
Have you ever tried making your own dressing?  It is WAAAAY cheaper (and usually healthier) than the prepackaged stuff.  Get yourself a bottle of olive oil and some different types of vinegar as the base.  I don't do it often, but when I do DH/DS typically comment on how much they like it.  There are some great basic recipes in "How to Cook Everything", including Bittman's typical riff on how to change a basic dressing recipe for different flavor profiles.

Imustacheyouaquestion

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Re: Work fridge not all it's cracked up to be?
« Reply #18 on: January 09, 2015, 10:04:29 AM »
Extra grocery time is negligible if you buy everything once a week (I like Sunday mornings, off-peak), pre-cook meals for the week, and take leftovers to work. Grocery shopping and assembling at work sounds terrible - just buy food and prepare at home.

There are TONS of paleo crockpot and soup options. Generally, meat + liquid (broth, water, etc) + spices = extremely low-effort paleo crockpot meal. Add sauteed kale, collards, or other hearty greens for veggies.

Do you have a microwave at work? If yes, you could even make that bibimbap at home (for cheaper than $6) and microwave it hot for lunch.

I like to cook 3-4 recipes on Sunday, then portion it out into dinners and lunches for the week. You can make a giant recipe of 10 meals and eat the same thing for lunch and dinner 5 days a week, but I think it's too boring and leads to going out to lunch more just to try some variety. I bring a bag of fruit (apples and oranges mostly, sometimes bananas) in on Monday and eat them throughout the week. A 5lb bag of almonds from Costco is a good snack you can store at work (assuming you are not tempted to overeat, since they are very calorically dense).

Hotstreak

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Re: Work fridge not all it's cracked up to be?
« Reply #19 on: January 09, 2015, 10:48:50 AM »
Quote
I have tried bringing extra stuff from home, but found myself sometimes eating the planned leftovers as seconds after dinner :).

I have had that problem in the past as well. What worked for me was to take a portion, pack it in tupperware, and put it away in the fridge before I start eating. If I wait until after I am likely to just keep eating.

+ 1 billion to this.

It goes: Make dinner, serve your plate, store the rest in the fridge, stack (or wash) dishes, THEN eat.

This also keeps me from overeating at dinnertime. Two birds with one stone.

If you are making hot foods, you can dish the "leftovers" right before they're done cooking.  They will finish when you microwave them the next day & as soon as you serve your plate for the night, you can eat it.
 
Also a comment on the salad's you're making (OP), they do sound expensive, and I think a part of that is the toppings you're using.  Fancy cheese, fancy olives, fancy sprouts, that adds up!  I suggest shopping sales for these as you would other food.  At my store cucumber, radish, broccoli, and onions are cheap, so I buy these.  Avocado are very expensive at the moment so I don't use it (substitute olive oil for the calories) or use 1/3 at a time.  The suggestion to make your own dressing is great, or you can "water it down" by adding olive oil or some other filler, based on the ingredients of the dressing. 

Scandium

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Re: Work fridge not all it's cracked up to be?
« Reply #20 on: January 09, 2015, 11:53:26 AM »
Quote
I have tried bringing extra stuff from home, but found myself sometimes eating the planned leftovers as seconds after dinner :).

I have had that problem in the past as well. What worked for me was to take a portion, pack it in tupperware, and put it away in the fridge before I start eating. If I wait until after I am likely to just keep eating.

What's wrong with eat till you're full, pack up the rest? Isn't that the point of eating, you know; not be hungry? I've never had a problem with doing it that way. Alternatively just double the recipe, then you'll have leftovers.

vhalros

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Re: Work fridge not all it's cracked up to be?
« Reply #21 on: January 09, 2015, 12:01:38 PM »
Quote
What's wrong with eat till you're full, pack up the rest? Isn't that the point of eating, you know; not be hungry? I've never had a problem with doing it that way. Alternatively just double the recipe, then you'll have leftovers.

If that works for you, it works. For me, I don't feel hungry using my method. However, not putting the extra portion of food away first will usually result in it being eaten, and me consuming too many calories.

Doubling the recipe further is more than I can cook at once because it exceeds the size of the largest pans, pots, etc. that I own.

Future Lazy

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Re: Work fridge not all it's cracked up to be?
« Reply #22 on: January 09, 2015, 12:11:38 PM »
Quote
What's wrong with eat till you're full, pack up the rest? Isn't that the point of eating, you know; not be hungry? I've never had a problem with doing it that way. Alternatively just double the recipe, then you'll have leftovers.

If that works for you, it works. For me, I don't feel hungry using my method. However, not putting the extra portion of food away first will usually result in it being eaten, and me consuming too many calories.

Doubling the recipe further is more than I can cook at once because it exceeds the size of the largest pans, pots, etc. that I own.

Same here. I can and will eat two boxes of mac n cheese by myself, in one sitting, if I don't put the rest away as soon as I serve myself. Then I fall into a food coma and the cheese goo dries up in the pan before I can clean it properly, and then I never do dishes, and then my kitchen gets cluttered with old crusty pans, and then I don't want to cook or clean, so I go out for dinner instead, and then... You get the idea. So, putting things away ASAP is a great stopgap to preventing that horrendous cycle from even starting.

My DH actually started it, now that I think about it, because he was always stuck with putting things away/cleaning up. :)

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Re: Work fridge not all it's cracked up to be?
« Reply #23 on: January 09, 2015, 12:17:51 PM »
Sounds like you just need to meal prep on weekends better. Buy enough containers to store lunches and snacks for the week, then cook all your meals on Saturday or Sunday and store them. Microwave at work. Easy. If you want a salad pour your dressing in a tall Ball jar, add in hard veggies (carrots, broccoli, etc.), then greens on top. Flip and shake when ready to eat. Don't keep ingredients at work, just bring ready-to-eat meals; anything that cuts down on the need for willpower is a win.

sunnyca

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Re: Work fridge not all it's cracked up to be?
« Reply #24 on: January 09, 2015, 01:10:43 PM »
That means no lean cuisines, no hot pockets, and probably no pre-made crock pot meals or soups. Add to the small savings the lack of variety flowing from my work fridge and I wonder if it's worth it.


I don't follow the paleo diet anymore, but I haven't found the above statement to be true.  You can make crock pot soups, paleo breakfast muffins, etc. which can be made in bulk and then frozen to eat throughout the week.

Here are links to a few good paleo sites with crockpot recipes:

http://paleomg.com/category/crockpot/

http://civilizedcavemancooking.com/tag/crock-pot/


Scandium

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Re: Work fridge not all it's cracked up to be?
« Reply #25 on: January 09, 2015, 01:32:36 PM »
Quote
What's wrong with eat till you're full, pack up the rest? Isn't that the point of eating, you know; not be hungry? I've never had a problem with doing it that way. Alternatively just double the recipe, then you'll have leftovers.

If that works for you, it works. For me, I don't feel hungry using my method. However, not putting the extra portion of food away first will usually result in it being eaten, and me consuming too many calories.

Doubling the recipe further is more than I can cook at once because it exceeds the size of the largest pans, pots, etc. that I own.
Same here. I can and will eat two boxes of mac n cheese by myself, in one sitting, if I don't put the rest away as soon as I serve myself. Then I fall into a food coma and the cheese goo dries up in the pan before I can clean it properly, and then I never do dishes, and then my kitchen gets cluttered with old crusty pans, and then I don't want to cook or clean, so I go out for dinner instead, and then... You get the idea. So, putting things away ASAP is a great stopgap to preventing that horrendous cycle from even starting.

My DH actually started it, now that I think about it, because he was always stuck with putting things away/cleaning up. :)

I don't eat mac n cheese boxes, is two a lot? They're not that large, doesn't sound like that much..
I guess I just fill up too fast. I've been trying to gain weight but it just doesn't work. I take in about what I use apparently, no matter how much I try to stuff myself. Out body is great at regulating itself. 

ps: Buying larger pots seems like a good way to save on food prep time:) We make a week+ worth of soup in a giant pot. Great to only cook on sunday for the whole week

Future Lazy

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Re: Work fridge not all it's cracked up to be?
« Reply #26 on: January 09, 2015, 01:39:13 PM »
Quote
What's wrong with eat till you're full, pack up the rest? Isn't that the point of eating, you know; not be hungry? I've never had a problem with doing it that way. Alternatively just double the recipe, then you'll have leftovers.

If that works for you, it works. For me, I don't feel hungry using my method. However, not putting the extra portion of food away first will usually result in it being eaten, and me consuming too many calories.

Doubling the recipe further is more than I can cook at once because it exceeds the size of the largest pans, pots, etc. that I own.
Same here. I can and will eat two boxes of mac n cheese by myself, in one sitting, if I don't put the rest away as soon as I serve myself. Then I fall into a food coma and the cheese goo dries up in the pan before I can clean it properly, and then I never do dishes, and then my kitchen gets cluttered with old crusty pans, and then I don't want to cook or clean, so I go out for dinner instead, and then... You get the idea. So, putting things away ASAP is a great stopgap to preventing that horrendous cycle from even starting.

My DH actually started it, now that I think about it, because he was always stuck with putting things away/cleaning up. :)

I don't eat mac n cheese boxes, is two a lot? They're not that large, doesn't sound like that much..
I guess I just fill up too fast. I've been trying to gain weight but it just doesn't work. I take in about what I use apparently, no matter how much I try to stuff myself. Out body is great at regulating itself. 

ps: Buying larger pots seems like a good way to save on food prep time:) We make a week+ worth of soup in a giant pot. Great to only cook on sunday for the whole week

Two boxes is 4-5 servings of pasta. Think of it like eating a whole box of spaghetti by yourself, all at once. Not to mention the main ingredient in reconstituted cheese sauce is butter... Mmm.
http://www.annies.com/products/pastas/bunny-pasta-shapes-cheese

Scandium

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Re: Work fridge not all it's cracked up to be?
« Reply #27 on: January 09, 2015, 01:45:43 PM »
Quote
What's wrong with eat till you're full, pack up the rest? Isn't that the point of eating, you know; not be hungry? I've never had a problem with doing it that way. Alternatively just double the recipe, then you'll have leftovers.

If that works for you, it works. For me, I don't feel hungry using my method. However, not putting the extra portion of food away first will usually result in it being eaten, and me consuming too many calories.

Doubling the recipe further is more than I can cook at once because it exceeds the size of the largest pans, pots, etc. that I own.
Same here. I can and will eat two boxes of mac n cheese by myself, in one sitting, if I don't put the rest away as soon as I serve myself. Then I fall into a food coma and the cheese goo dries up in the pan before I can clean it properly, and then I never do dishes, and then my kitchen gets cluttered with old crusty pans, and then I don't want to cook or clean, so I go out for dinner instead, and then... You get the idea. So, putting things away ASAP is a great stopgap to preventing that horrendous cycle from even starting.

My DH actually started it, now that I think about it, because he was always stuck with putting things away/cleaning up. :)

I don't eat mac n cheese boxes, is two a lot? They're not that large, doesn't sound like that much..
I guess I just fill up too fast. I've been trying to gain weight but it just doesn't work. I take in about what I use apparently, no matter how much I try to stuff myself. Out body is great at regulating itself. 

ps: Buying larger pots seems like a good way to save on food prep time:) We make a week+ worth of soup in a giant pot. Great to only cook on sunday for the whole week

Two boxes is 4-5 servings of pasta. Think of it like eating a whole box of spaghetti by yourself, all at once. Not to mention the main ingredient in reconstituted cheese sauce is butter... Mmm.
http://www.annies.com/products/pastas/bunny-pasta-shapes-cheese
Hm. Two would just be 1,000 calories, and 50 g of protein. Not bad! Sounds like a great diet to me. Maybe I should try that to bulk up some..

eil

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Re: Work fridge not all it's cracked up to be?
« Reply #28 on: January 09, 2015, 01:51:54 PM »
I follow a semi-strict LCHF diet (which has lots of overlap with paleo) and if it weren't for my wife cooking dinner most nights, I would practically live off:

- celery and peanut butter (my favorite)
- salads made of romaine lettuce (the kind you have to cut yourself, not "instant salads" in plastic baggies) and home-made dressings.
- eggs
- cheese (mostly mozzarella)
- tuna salad
- roasted salted almonds for snacks

The tuna, cheese, and almonds are not especially cheap but they're still an order of magnitude more affordable than a $10 lunch every day.

Pro-tip: Most salad dressings are extremely easy and cheap to make, and taste way better than store-bought versions. I make an excellent ceasar out of mayo and olive oil as well as an okayish greek.

Spork

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Re: Work fridge not all it's cracked up to be?
« Reply #29 on: January 09, 2015, 02:36:27 PM »

Two boxes is 4-5 servings of pasta. Think of it like eating a whole box of spaghetti by yourself, all at once. Not to mention the main ingredient in reconstituted cheese sauce is butter... Mmm.
http://www.annies.com/products/pastas/bunny-pasta-shapes-cheese

I bet there is no butter in fake mac-n-cheese.  I suspect the ingredient list is a smörgåsbord of chemicals with pretty much nothing that is "food."

homehandymum

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Re: Work fridge not all it's cracked up to be?
« Reply #30 on: January 09, 2015, 02:53:22 PM »
We eat fairly low-carb/high fat here, too.  (Used to be paleo, but take a more 'nourishing traditions' angle now).

An easy lunch is a boiled egg (or 2), a piece of fruit, some cheese sticks (if eating dairy) and some almonds.  A raw carrot can replace the cheese.

Or paleo granola with coconut cream?

And absolutely, soups and casseroles and stews are fabulous ways to paleo on a budget.  Just google "budget paleo lunch" and you'll find heaps of suggestions :)

Jack

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Re: Work fridge not all it's cracked up to be?
« Reply #31 on: January 09, 2015, 02:58:29 PM »

Two boxes is 4-5 servings of pasta. Think of it like eating a whole box of spaghetti by yourself, all at once. Not to mention the main ingredient in reconstituted cheese sauce is butter... Mmm.
http://www.annies.com/products/pastas/bunny-pasta-shapes-cheese

I bet there is no butter in fake mac-n-cheese.  I suspect the ingredient list is a smörgåsbord of chemicals with pretty much nothing that is "food."

Props for the unicode characters, but you're wrong: if you read the fake-mac-and-cheese box directions, one of the steps is "add milk and butter." (And that's just as true of the non-organic Kraft kind as it is for the fancy Annie's.)

Spork

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Re: Work fridge not all it's cracked up to be?
« Reply #32 on: January 09, 2015, 03:27:13 PM »

Two boxes is 4-5 servings of pasta. Think of it like eating a whole box of spaghetti by yourself, all at once. Not to mention the main ingredient in reconstituted cheese sauce is butter... Mmm.
http://www.annies.com/products/pastas/bunny-pasta-shapes-cheese

I bet there is no butter in fake mac-n-cheese.  I suspect the ingredient list is a smörgåsbord of chemicals with pretty much nothing that is "food."

Props for the unicode characters, but you're wrong: if you read the fake-mac-and-cheese box directions, one of the steps is "add milk and butter." (And that's just as true of the non-organic Kraft kind as it is for the fancy Annie's.)

aaaah.   Added butter.  Got it.  I was thinking this was saying there was butter in the oddly colored imitation cheese dust.

CommonCents

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Re: Work fridge not all it's cracked up to be?
« Reply #33 on: January 09, 2015, 03:37:02 PM »
And are you sure you're making salads and not Salad Dressing Soup?

+1

aspiringnomad

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Re: Work fridge not all it's cracked up to be?
« Reply #34 on: January 09, 2015, 04:23:37 PM »
And are you sure you're making salads and not Salad Dressing Soup?

+1

Some might call it that, but maybe it's the size of the salads (massive tupperware bowl) rather than excessive use of dressing. Will have to start making my own dressing again this weekend. I used to make a mean lemon tarragon vinaigrette. I agree that my ingredients are fancy. Would have to slowly ease into any changes there. Thanks for the suggestions, everyone.

netskyblue

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Re: Work fridge not all it's cracked up to be?
« Reply #35 on: January 09, 2015, 04:45:32 PM »

Two boxes is 4-5 servings of pasta. Think of it like eating a whole box of spaghetti by yourself, all at once. Not to mention the main ingredient in reconstituted cheese sauce is butter... Mmm.
http://www.annies.com/products/pastas/bunny-pasta-shapes-cheese

I bet there is no butter in fake mac-n-cheese.  I suspect the ingredient list is a smörgåsbord of chemicals with pretty much nothing that is "food."

Props for the unicode characters, but you're wrong: if you read the fake-mac-and-cheese box directions, one of the steps is "add milk and butter." (And that's just as true of the non-organic Kraft kind as it is for the fancy Annie's.)

aaaah.   Added butter.  Got it.  I was thinking this was saying there was butter in the oddly colored imitation cheese dust.

That's if you actually ADD all that butter.  I love me some butter, but 4 tbsp of butter in one box of mac & cheese...nasty slime.  If/when I make box mac & cheese, I add 1 tbsp of butter.  Generally though, I make mac & cheese with dry macaroni, american cheese (the slices but not the singles...those taste of plastic), and milk.  No butter.

caliq

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Re: Work fridge not all it's cracked up to be?
« Reply #36 on: January 09, 2015, 05:13:39 PM »

Two boxes is 4-5 servings of pasta. Think of it like eating a whole box of spaghetti by yourself, all at once. Not to mention the main ingredient in reconstituted cheese sauce is butter... Mmm.
http://www.annies.com/products/pastas/bunny-pasta-shapes-cheese

I bet there is no butter in fake mac-n-cheese.  I suspect the ingredient list is a smörgåsbord of chemicals with pretty much nothing that is "food."

Props for the unicode characters, but you're wrong: if you read the fake-mac-and-cheese box directions, one of the steps is "add milk and butter." (And that's just as true of the non-organic Kraft kind as it is for the fancy Annie's.)

aaaah.   Added butter.  Got it.  I was thinking this was saying there was butter in the oddly colored imitation cheese dust.

That's if you actually ADD all that butter.  I love me some butter, but 4 tbsp of butter in one box of mac & cheese...nasty slime.  If/when I make box mac & cheese, I add 1 tbsp of butter.  Generally though, I make mac & cheese with dry macaroni, american cheese (the slices but not the singles...those taste of plastic), and milk.  No butter.

+1

I make plain boxed macaroni (Kraft type but store brand) with just 1% milk, on the rare occasions I still make it.  It tastes just fine, but I think this is how my parents made it so I'm not used to anything else.

I dated a guy once that insisted I use only butter.  A month after I left him he ended up in the hospital with a new diagnosis of type 2 diabetes...

CrazyinVA

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Re: Work fridge not all it's cracked up to be?
« Reply #37 on: January 09, 2015, 08:44:00 PM »
Darn I thought this thread was going to be about food storage wars in the shared work fridge.

TerriM

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Re: Work fridge not all it's cracked up to be?
« Reply #38 on: January 09, 2015, 09:21:43 PM »
I hear ya.  I can spend more on dinner at home than eating out, but the quality of the food at home is better.   When i buy food for home, it's organic veggies and pastured meat which can be quite pricey.

Good food costs.  You're right that non-wheat/corn products are not subsidized and cost more.  Eating well costs more.   I don't mind that.

As for waste, I recommend, planning a menu before you shop.  That's the best way to cut down on splurge purchases or overbuying.  Go shopping every 4 days if you must, but buy what you'll eat in that time.  Or buy things that will last a while like carrots/apples.

sideofcash

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Re: Work fridge not all it's cracked up to be?
« Reply #39 on: January 09, 2015, 09:43:33 PM »
I used to work at a Sub Shop 345 years ago and still remember a thing or two about making sandwiches. I shop for the ingredients every Sunday. My lunch for the entire 5 day work week costs me less than $20 and I get a better sandwich and more food than most places near my work.

When I used to go out to eat, I would spend between $9 and $15 per lunch. My sandwiches are saving me big!

Hotstreak

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Re: Work fridge not all it's cracked up to be?
« Reply #40 on: January 09, 2015, 09:50:34 PM »
I used to work at a Sub Shop 345 years ago and still remember a thing or two about making sandwiches. I shop for the ingredients every Sunday. My lunch for the entire 5 day work week costs me less than $20 and I get a better sandwich and more food than most places near my work.

When I used to go out to eat, I would spend between $9 and $15 per lunch. My sandwiches are saving me big!


Really great point - you don't have to eat rice and beans to save money on food, you just need to spend less than you would for a quality meal out.  $4/meal seems reasonable.  Although some on this board would call you crazy for spending more than that in an entire DAY, ... maybe those folks are the crazy ones :)

Spork

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Re: Work fridge not all it's cracked up to be?
« Reply #41 on: January 09, 2015, 10:13:41 PM »

+1

I make plain boxed macaroni (Kraft type but store brand) with just 1% milk, on the rare occasions I still make it.  It tastes just fine, but I think this is how my parents made it so I'm not used to anything else.

I dated a guy once that insisted I use only butter.  A month after I left him he ended up in the hospital with a new diagnosis of type 2 diabetes...

so... fundamental misunderstanding there....  Butter is NOT likely to give you type 2 diabetes.  Whole milk... not.  Skim milk, margarine ... somewhat.  Pasta: omigod, yes.

Type 2 diabetes is the body dealing with storage of sugar.  Too much sugar provokes insulin and ... well, you eventually wear the system out.

Fat: not so much.

Margarine and skim milk, interestingly enough, were known triggers 40 years or more ago.  Skim milk was originally a throw away product (after making butter and cream) that was used to fatten farm animals. 

It ain't the butter.  Butter is food.  Boxed mac/cheese is an amalgam of raw carbs and chemicals.

caliq

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Re: Work fridge not all it's cracked up to be?
« Reply #42 on: January 09, 2015, 10:16:35 PM »

+1

I make plain boxed macaroni (Kraft type but store brand) with just 1% milk, on the rare occasions I still make it.  It tastes just fine, but I think this is how my parents made it so I'm not used to anything else.

I dated a guy once that insisted I use only butter.  A month after I left him he ended up in the hospital with a new diagnosis of type 2 diabetes...

so... fundamental misunderstanding there....  Butter is NOT likely to give you type 2 diabetes.  Whole milk... not.  Skim milk, margarine ... somewhat.  Pasta: omigod, yes.

Type 2 diabetes is the body dealing with storage of sugar.  Too much sugar provokes insulin and ... well, you eventually wear the system out.

Fat: not so much.

Margarine and skim milk, interestingly enough, were known triggers 40 years or more ago.  Skim milk was originally a throw away product (after making butter and cream) that was used to fatten farm animals. 

It ain't the butter.  Butter is food.  Boxed mac/cheese is an amalgam of raw carbs and chemicals.

Thanks -- I did/should actually know that, considering I've been on/off Paleo for a couple years.  Momentary brain fart I guess -- or perhaps a sign it's time to get back to the paleo!  My bad.  Guess it was the rest of his eating habits :/

Future Lazy

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Re: Work fridge not all it's cracked up to be?
« Reply #43 on: January 10, 2015, 02:34:52 PM »
Darn I thought this thread was going to be about food storage wars in the shared work fridge.

JK, just bag lunches and boxed mac n cheese. :)