Author Topic: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in  (Read 18788 times)

SisterX

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #150 on: February 06, 2019, 09:04:47 AM »
lol ... careful ... this is the perfect place for a fake financial disaster story.      (edit: changed "to" to "for")

Even if it is, there are plenty of people out there in pretty much the same shape. How many people making over 100k/year are still living paycheck to paycheck, or in debt? How many people simply *don't* cook, and don't see a problem with that? If this is real, the measured tone and solid advice of others was clearly not having an impact. If someone who's not the OP but in similar circumstances runs across this, then they need to understand exactly what they're doing to their families. I did think about the possibility of if being fake, however we all know people for whom this could be real.

OtherJen

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #151 on: February 06, 2019, 10:28:14 AM »
lol ... careful ... this is the perfect place for a fake financial disaster story.      (edit: changed "to" to "for")

Even if it is, there are plenty of people out there in pretty much the same shape. How many people making over 100k/year are still living paycheck to paycheck, or in debt? How many people simply *don't* cook, and don't see a problem with that? If this is real, the measured tone and solid advice of others was clearly not having an impact. If someone who's not the OP but in similar circumstances runs across this, then they need to understand exactly what they're doing to their families. I did think about the possibility of if being fake, however we all know people for whom this could be real.

Yeah, I definitely know people in a similarly dire financial situation. Probably the only thing that keeps them afloat is that both spouses have traditional W-2 jobs and taxes are withheld for them (although they also live in a ridiculously high property tax area and might be screwed this year because they won't be able to deduct all of it).

Financial infidelity (i.e., keeping one's spouse in the dark about debt and spending) is also very common. Troll or not, maybe the responses will shake a lurker out of delusion.

Pizzabrewer

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #152 on: February 06, 2019, 11:08:59 AM »
I'm just curious why the wife doesn't cook their meals.

Roadrunner53

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #153 on: February 06, 2019, 11:47:56 AM »
Doesn't seem like OP is posting anymore but one thing he should seriously think about is what will he do if he suddenly loses his job. And that does happen to a lot of us. It happened to me 3 times. Maybe he can get a new job instantly and maybe not.

Secondly, he mentioned his wife could work part time making something like $1,000 a month but didn't think it was all that worthwhile. REALLY? First off, he admitted that being a SAHM was not always her cup of tea. This might give her some time away from being a mom and now being part of the working world. She will be able to bring home a paycheck and she will also be paying into SS for retirement purposes. $1,000 a month is nothing to sniff at and could use her money for food purchases from grocery store. Costco would be a good place to shop in bulk.

They both need to get on board on the cooking thing. In my area we have this grocery delivery service called Peapod. You order all the groceries on line and pick a delivery day and time. They could do something like that and he could be home like on a Thursday night when the delivery comes to help the wife out putting the stuff away. Then on the weekend, they could have a couple of cooking sessions making some chicken, beef, casseroles. Boil up several lbs of spaghetti. Under cook it by a few minutes. Drain with cold water then add olive oil and massage it in. Divide it up into 4 ziplock flatten and freeze. Do the same thing with rice. Cook it up, cool it down, bag it up in several bags and freeze. Stock up on frozen veggies. They could make up ham and cheese with mustard sandwiches, wrap and freeze. I have a little sandwich maker where you put in egg, cheese, Canadian bacon and English muffin. It makes two sandwiches at a time. They can be frozen. Make up a batch or buy meatballs. Make a meatloaf, slice it up and freeze slices. Make a gravy or jarred and warm up slices. Make instant mashed potatoes from the box. You can make up a large batch and keep in fridge for several days. Even if the wife hates to cook, she could do two simple things a day and freeze. She doesn't have to make 100 meals. They should also look into freezer meals where they cook for a day and eat for two weeks or more. If the guy can make $135K a year he must be capable of putting together a family menu. Like others have mentioned, make up a big pot of oatmeal, have cereal, PB&J sammies. Like others have said keep it simple! We buy hamburgers and cook up 10 at a time put cheese on them, cook and freeze them. We freeze the buns too so we have them on hand. Frozen pizza is always great and you can doctor them up with veggies or meat. Tuna melt sandwiches, salads with veggies and chicken or tuna or anything you like. Buy canned soup or make a batch of soup. Not that difficult to cut a bunch of veggies, dump a few cans of diced tomatoes, add in some chopped meat like chicken, or beef, or pork, or sausage, or ham or beans.

OP needs to sit down with wife and discuss finances and steps they need to clean up their act.

401K needs to be totally off limits and savings in that area need to be increased each year when raises occur. Pretend you never got the raise and put it into 401K. No fancy vacations till all debt is paid off. After that, plan some staycations visiting local attractions, petting zoos, water parks. Maybe a driving vacation with a limit on spending. There is so much room for improvement in this OP's spending habits.

If I were him, after getting the wife on board, they need to sit down and plan a month's menu. Buy the ingredients and staples to make a months worth of meals then plan the time to cook up the stuff and freeze it. They have to also think in bulk. If they are going to make meatballs, make 50. Easy to do by cooking on two sheet pans in the oven. Plan meals around the 50 meatballs. Week one spaghetti and meatballs, week two meatball grinders, week three meatballs over fettucine and alfredo sauce, Week 4 minestroni soup with meatballs or mashed potatoes with meatballs and brown gravy.

I hope OP is working on something to improve things.

Another thing OP could do would be to go thru all of his insurance and see if he is getting the lowest rates for the insurance he is paying for. He may be able to lower his rates and keep the same amount of insurance.

2Birds1Stone

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #154 on: February 06, 2019, 12:28:58 PM »
Hang onto something, because I am NOT going to be kind.....*snip*

You are my hero!

MountainFlower

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #155 on: February 06, 2019, 12:55:11 PM »
Dear OP, if you are out there, Sister X wrote an excellent post.  I've got to believe that it hurts to read it, but take a deep breath and read it again and remember that someone on the internet took the time to stage a virtual intervention for you, a complete stranger. 

My 2 cents on the job is that the wife should take the job.  The longer you are out of the workforce, the harder it is to get back in.  I see resumes all the time that are clearly from stay at home moms and while I want to hire them, there are 20 other resumes with recent, relevant experience.  I also think getting a job could help break the cycle of non-action. 

Did anyone else wake up thinking about this thread?  I sure did!  There is so much more happening here than we can ever know.  A stay at home parent who doesn't shop for groceries or make more than 1-2 meals a week?  Something is seriously wrong. 

As far as my generic advice goes...the best way to handle meals is to create a template.  Another poster created one above, but I want to reiterat that.  Eat the same things on a weekly basis...or daily basis (I eat scrambled eggs every day cooked in large batch on Sunday and salads for lunch.)  It can really simplify that head explosion moment of "What are we having for dinner?) 

So,
Monday is burger night (cook costco frozen 1/4 pound burgers in the oven for about 15 minutes at 400.  Use foil on the pan and flip half-way through)
Tuesday is Taco night (cook 5 pounds of taco meat and freeze in ziplocs for future meals)
Wednesday is deli chicken night (fried or rotisserie from your local store, mashed potatoes from costco and instant gravy)
Thursday is soup/sandwich night (make a pound of bacon in your oven once a week for breakfast or BLTs)
Friday is take out night
Saturday is try a new recipe night.  Cook together, double the recipe and eat leftovers for lunch
Sunday is spaghetti night.  Make a ton and use as leftovers

Does anyone remember Trent Hamm and The Simple Dollar blog.  He went through a similar rock bottom, had an epiphany and turned his life around.  He wrote a book that might be helpful.  I don't think he still writes the blog...it was taken over a few years ago. 


HBFIRE

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #156 on: February 06, 2019, 01:06:43 PM »
So far, everyone has given very good financial advice.  It's straight forward, rational, and would lead to a much better financial situation for the OP.

The problem is, personal finance is mostly a behavioral (psychological) problem to solve and not a rational one.  We can point to the math all day long and this will have zero impact on the OP.  The OP needs to solve the root behavioral problems which are psychological.  Unfortunately this is mostly an introspective and philosophical exercise, so I'm not sure there is much else we can do on these lines.  OP, I would advise you to read "Your Money or Your Life" and start thinking really hard about what you value.  I think this is the first step to seeing a switch in your thinking.

partgypsy

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #157 on: February 06, 2019, 01:21:23 PM »
Yes, I keep coming back to this thread, to see if they have started any changes, in particular with the food. I recently found out that my lil brother eats out (fast food) at least 2x a day during the work week. I don't know about his wallet but it has def been not good for his health, and the longer you are on that kind of diet, it makes regular food seem less palatable...

It also sounds like there is something else that is going on (spending addiction, depression?) than a simple budget issue.
I would love an update on this thread from the OP at some point.

Roadrunner53

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #158 on: February 06, 2019, 01:35:44 PM »
I think the wife is depressed and is not up to making food which is a pretty simple task even with two children. There is more going on than the OP is admitting. If the kids are in part time school, why can't she make up a quick dinner? Nothing is difficult about making dinner. Most dinners revolve around a starch which is either rice or potatoes or pasta. A protein which is usually beef, chicken, pork, fish, beans. Then a green vegetable which can be either fresh veggies or frozen. Some canned veggies too. So with those three things in mind, it isn't that difficult to pick one item from each category and make dinner!

Costco has some great bags of salad with toppings included. Plop some of Costco's rotisserie chicken on top and have a cup of soup. Dinner is served.

Costco has premade pizza's. Buy it, cook it. Dinner is served.

If they spent $1,000 a month at Costco and loaded up their freezer and pantry they would have a great variety of foods. Still would be spending a lot but much less than now.

charis

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #159 on: February 06, 2019, 02:17:01 PM »
I think the wife is depressed and is not up to making food which is a pretty simple task even with two children. There is more going on than the OP is admitting. If the kids are in part time school, why can't she make up a quick dinner? Nothing is difficult about making dinner. Most dinners revolve around a starch which is either rice or potatoes or pasta. A protein which is usually beef, chicken, pork, fish, beans. Then a green vegetable which can be either fresh veggies or frozen. Some canned veggies too. So with those three things in mind, it isn't that difficult to pick one item from each category and make dinner!

Costco has some great bags of salad with toppings included. Plop some of Costco's rotisserie chicken on top and have a cup of soup. Dinner is served.

Costco has premade pizza's. Buy it, cook it. Dinner is served.

If they spent $1,000 a month at Costco and loaded up their freezer and pantry they would have a great variety of foods. Still would be spending a lot but much less than now.

Yeah, I will (somewhat) shamefully admit that we stock up on and regularly consume quick/convenience-type meals during the week in our 2 FT working parent/2 small kid house, including relatively healthy healthy versions of mac and cheese, ramen, tacos, frozen veggies/pizza/chicken nuggets, pasta (sometimes with meatballs from frozen). 

But my favorite go-to is a whole chicken or a simple soup in our crock pot on Monday morning and whoever gets home from work first throws a pot of white or brown rice on the stove and/or microwaves a veggie.  It's healthy, quick, tasty, cheap, and lasts for days.  What's not to love? 

We keep things very simple by rotating through a relatively short list of very simple meals.

englishteacheralex

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #160 on: February 06, 2019, 02:25:25 PM »
I think the wife is depressed and is not up to making food which is a pretty simple task even with two children. There is more going on than the OP is admitting. If the kids are in part time school, why can't she make up a quick dinner? Nothing is difficult about making dinner. Most dinners revolve around a starch which is either rice or potatoes or pasta. A protein which is usually beef, chicken, pork, fish, beans. Then a green vegetable which can be either fresh veggies or frozen. Some canned veggies too. So with those three things in mind, it isn't that difficult to pick one item from each category and make dinner!

Costco has some great bags of salad with toppings included. Plop some of Costco's rotisserie chicken on top and have a cup of soup. Dinner is served.

Costco has premade pizza's. Buy it, cook it. Dinner is served.

If they spent $1,000 a month at Costco and loaded up their freezer and pantry they would have a great variety of foods. Still would be spending a lot but much less than now.

Yeah, I will (somewhat) shamefully admit that we stock up on and regularly consume quick/convenience-type meals during the week in our 2 FT working parent/2 small kid house, including relatively healthy healthy versions of mac and cheese, ramen, tacos, frozen veggies/pizza/chicken nuggets, pasta (sometimes with meatballs from frozen). 

But my favorite go-to is a whole chicken or a simple soup in our crock pot on Monday morning and whoever gets home from work first throws a pot of white or brown rice on the stove and/or microwaves a veggie.  It's healthy, quick, tasty, cheap, and lasts for days.  What's not to love? 

We keep things very simple by rotating through a relatively short list of very simple meals.

This is extremely encouraging because we do the exact same thing and we are also a two toddler, two full time job parent household.

Jon Bon

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #161 on: February 06, 2019, 03:11:37 PM »
That beetles post was pretty magic, I enjoyed that for days.....

It had to have been fake right? I mean the way he would just let slip new details. Like "Oh I might just declare bankruptcy then go on a Hawaiian vacation" Or the whole thing with the rental house with the "questionable" behavior when it came to the IRS. Mainly the fact he kept at it like 5-10 post a day for a week or 2.

But back to the OP. $34 per meal every day is the current spend including breakfast! More likely its $50 bucks per lunch and dinner as who goes out for breakfast?!

I don't think that number is all legit, either the tracking is off or other items are making into the category. Either way, wow.




Roadrunner53

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #162 on: February 06, 2019, 04:08:55 PM »
There is nothing really wrong with using convenience foods. Yes, it is cheaper to cook from scratch but is more time consuming. I would suggest doing a 50%/50% mix of convenience foods and home made foods. Use the convenience foods when you are rushed and at your wits end and when  you have some extra time, cook some home made things. There are lots of home made things that are not that time consuming either. You can make a beef stew in a short time. Even cut up the veggies the night before and let the carrots and taters sit in water in the fridge over night. The next morning throw in your cut up onions, taters, carrots and stew meat into your slow cooker. You can brown up the meat the night before or not brown it at all. I usually throw in a packet of dehydrated onion soup and two large cans of chopped tomatoes or San Marzano tomatoes. Cook on low all day long. You can add in canned corn or green beans too.

I am sure women from the 1920's would be in heaven to have convenience foods rather than cooking over hot caldrons and cooking from scratch 3 meals a day for a family of 9 people!

AlexMar

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #163 on: February 06, 2019, 04:14:19 PM »
There is nothing really wrong with using convenience foods. Yes, it is cheaper to cook from scratch but is more time consuming. I would suggest doing a 50%/50% mix of convenience foods and home made foods. Use the convenience foods when you are rushed and at your wits end and when  you have some extra time, cook some home made things. There are lots of home made things that are not that time consuming either. You can make a beef stew in a short time. Even cut up the veggies the night before and let the carrots and taters sit in water in the fridge over night. The next morning throw in your cut up onions, taters, carrots and stew meat into your slow cooker. You can brown up the meat the night before or not brown it at all. I usually throw in a packet of dehydrated onion soup and two large cans of chopped tomatoes or San Marzano tomatoes. Cook on low all day long. You can add in canned corn or green beans too.

I am sure women from the 1920's would be in heaven to have convenience foods rather than cooking over hot caldrons and cooking from scratch 3 meals a day for a family of 9 people!

I don't know anyone who can't spare 30 - 40 minutes a day to prepare decent meals without convenience foods.  We all THINK we can't spare the time but really can.  I still love some convenience foods but only when pricing is similar to, or cheaper than making fresh.  For example, I love my breakfast sandwiches in the morning.  The Jimmy Dean ones are less than $1 at Costco.  Or I'll grab frozen Smart Ones or Lean Cuisine when on sale for under $2.00.  There are some good options here and there but need to be very cautious about spending $4 - $10 on a meal for convenience.  It adds up big time.

Heck, yesterday I roasted a turkey breast then sliced it up this morning because it's 1/4 the price of buying quality packaged deli turkey slices.  Worked out great and tastes better, too.  Almost no effort at all and saved me about $20.

Roadrunner53

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #164 on: February 06, 2019, 04:41:56 PM »
There is nothing really wrong with using convenience foods. Yes, it is cheaper to cook from scratch but is more time consuming. I would suggest doing a 50%/50% mix of convenience foods and home made foods. Use the convenience foods when you are rushed and at your wits end and when  you have some extra time, cook some home made things. There are lots of home made things that are not that time consuming either. You can make a beef stew in a short time. Even cut up the veggies the night before and let the carrots and taters sit in water in the fridge over night. The next morning throw in your cut up onions, taters, carrots and stew meat into your slow cooker. You can brown up the meat the night before or not brown it at all. I usually throw in a packet of dehydrated onion soup and two large cans of chopped tomatoes or San Marzano tomatoes. Cook on low all day long. You can add in canned corn or green beans too.

I am sure women from the 1920's would be in heaven to have convenience foods rather than cooking over hot caldrons and cooking from scratch 3 meals a day for a family of 9 people!

I don't know anyone who can't spare 30 - 40 minutes a day to prepare decent meals without convenience foods.  We all THINK we can't spare the time but really can.  I still love some convenience foods but only when pricing is similar to, or cheaper than making fresh.  For example, I love my breakfast sandwiches in the morning.  The Jimmy Dean ones are less than $1 at Costco.  Or I'll grab frozen Smart Ones or Lean Cuisine when on sale for under $2.00.  There are some good options here and there but need to be very cautious about spending $4 - $10 on a meal for convenience.  It adds up big time.

Heck, yesterday I roasted a turkey breast then sliced it up this morning because it's 1/4 the price of buying quality packaged deli turkey slices.  Worked out great and tastes better, too.  Almost no effort at all and saved me about $20.

Unfortunately, people are just not cooking as much anymore. It is too bad because there are millions of recipes on the internet for free, cookbooks on every subject and in every language you can imagine. You can borrow free cookbooks from the library. There are tons of cooking shows on tv to show people how easy some recipes can be. I don't get the disconnect on people trying to cook simple meals. I am not a frugal food shopper and buy things on a whim and I do buy things on sale. I do not limit myself but rarely eat in a restaurant and cook most meals at home. Everyone can improve for sure.

SisterX

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #165 on: February 06, 2019, 04:44:01 PM »
There is nothing really wrong with using convenience foods. Yes, it is cheaper to cook from scratch but is more time consuming. I would suggest doing a 50%/50% mix of convenience foods and home made foods. Use the convenience foods when you are rushed and at your wits end and when  you have some extra time, cook some home made things. There are lots of home made things that are not that time consuming either. You can make a beef stew in a short time. Even cut up the veggies the night before and let the carrots and taters sit in water in the fridge over night. The next morning throw in your cut up onions, taters, carrots and stew meat into your slow cooker. You can brown up the meat the night before or not brown it at all. I usually throw in a packet of dehydrated onion soup and two large cans of chopped tomatoes or San Marzano tomatoes. Cook on low all day long. You can add in canned corn or green beans too.

I am sure women from the 1920's would be in heaven to have convenience foods rather than cooking over hot caldrons and cooking from scratch 3 meals a day for a family of 9 people!

I don't know anyone who can't spare 30 - 40 minutes a day to prepare decent meals without convenience foods.  We all THINK we can't spare the time but really can.  I still love some convenience foods but only when pricing is similar to, or cheaper than making fresh.  For example, I love my breakfast sandwiches in the morning.  The Jimmy Dean ones are less than $1 at Costco.  Or I'll grab frozen Smart Ones or Lean Cuisine when on sale for under $2.00.  There are some good options here and there but need to be very cautious about spending $4 - $10 on a meal for convenience.  It adds up big time.

Heck, yesterday I roasted a turkey breast then sliced it up this morning because it's 1/4 the price of buying quality packaged deli turkey slices.  Worked out great and tastes better, too.  Almost no effort at all and saved me about $20.

It's not always just about the time, though. Some of it is also the energy. It is HARD when it's a two earner + small children household. The job and commute take energy. The kids take energy. What are you going to do, be less of a parent or less of an employee? Sometimes the thing that's easiest to give and doesn't compromise a person's values as much is to ditch home cooking a few nights a week.

We do almost entirely from-scratch cooking but I definitely keep some boxes of tomato soup on hand for nights when HX and I just couldn't GAF because we're totally tapped out. A grilled cheese or quesadillas as a side and dinner is served. Not the most wholesome meal but far from the worst and it's both easy and fast.

Pro tip for cooking with very young children: sometimes our baby fusses at us when we're trying to make dinner. We just pop her in the baby backpack and that soothes her. She loves to bustle around the kitchen with us and watch the action. Won't work on all kids but it might work for someone's here, and it has kept me from losing my mind some nights so I figured I'd pass it along.

AlexMar

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #166 on: February 06, 2019, 04:49:47 PM »
The issue is that so few people know how to actually cook. I would never cook if I were following recipes all the time.  That is so draining.  Once you know the basics you cook obscene amounts of things.  Especially simple dinners... Rice, veggie, roasted chicken breast. Stir fry, Italian basics, etc.  Dinner takes no time at all to make from scratch. Often 10 minutes or so.

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #167 on: February 06, 2019, 06:35:40 PM »
Unfortunately, people are just not cooking as much anymore. It is too bad because there are millions of recipes on the internet for free, cookbooks on every subject and in every language you can imagine. You can borrow free cookbooks from the library. There are tons of cooking shows on tv to show people how easy some recipes can be. I don't get the disconnect on people trying to cook simple meals. I am not a frugal food shopper and buy things on a whim and I do buy things on sale. I do not limit myself but rarely eat in a restaurant and cook most meals at home. Everyone can improve for sure.

I despise cooking. I do not enjoy any part of it - the planning, the shopping, the endless chopping and stirring. That is why I do not cook as much anymore. For some reason cooking has become a moral issue, I'm not sure why. Furthermore, in many hetero relationships the woman/wife/mother is the default cook, which is a DAILY UNPAID JOB (it's a job if you don't enjoy it). I decided a few boyfriends ago that in any future dating relationship I would declare my hatred for cooking early on, stick to my guns, and refuse to feel guilty for not cooking for the man in my life. Luckily this strategy worked and I met a guy who loves to cook.

That all said there are ways to eat reasonably healthily without going out to eat and with minimal prep or actual cooking nonsense, such as bagged salads, packaged stir-fry kits, oatmeal, and healthy "snack" foods like fruit, hummus, and all manner of things spread on toast.

JZinCO

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #168 on: February 06, 2019, 07:35:33 PM »
Doesn't seem like OP is posting anymore but one thing he should seriously think about is what will he do if he suddenly loses his job. And that does happen to a lot of us. It happened to me 3 times. Maybe he can get a new job instantly and maybe not.


It is so demoralizing to find yourself at rock bottom once you were living large. In the scenario I described earlier in this thread, the person making 250K found that the economy soured. Noone wants to hire him at his age he said, even if the economy improved. 'Cant you transfer your skill set?', I said. 'No its not worth the learning curve or work rebranding myself' was the gist of the response. I didn't ask 'Can you find lower paid work?' because that would have been heard as 'Can't you accept that you aren't as talented as you think you are?'.... There are a million things someone might say to put off being proactive or taking command of the situation. Instead it's futile grasps of hope as you have to cash in your retirement and sell everything off. By that time you've truly convinced yourself that you are worthless.
Making alot of money can have some disastrous consequences when things go south.

Anyway.. I hope this person does some deep introspection and was only excuse-making as a defensive tactic.

AlexMar

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #169 on: February 06, 2019, 07:52:34 PM »
Unfortunately, people are just not cooking as much anymore. It is too bad because there are millions of recipes on the internet for free, cookbooks on every subject and in every language you can imagine. You can borrow free cookbooks from the library. There are tons of cooking shows on tv to show people how easy some recipes can be. I don't get the disconnect on people trying to cook simple meals. I am not a frugal food shopper and buy things on a whim and I do buy things on sale. I do not limit myself but rarely eat in a restaurant and cook most meals at home. Everyone can improve for sure.

I despise cooking. I do not enjoy any part of it - the planning, the shopping, the endless chopping and stirring. That is why I do not cook as much anymore. For some reason cooking has become a moral issue, I'm not sure why. Furthermore, in many hetero relationships the woman/wife/mother is the default cook, which is a DAILY UNPAID JOB (it's a job if you don't enjoy it). I decided a few boyfriends ago that in any future dating relationship I would declare my hatred for cooking early on, stick to my guns, and refuse to feel guilty for not cooking for the man in my life. Luckily this strategy worked and I met a guy who loves to cook.

That all said there are ways to eat reasonably healthily without going out to eat and with minimal prep or actual cooking nonsense, such as bagged salads, packaged stir-fry kits, oatmeal, and healthy "snack" foods like fruit, hummus, and all manner of things spread on toast.

Funny thing is, the packaged stir fry kits aren't far off from just making a stir fry - not from a package.  Takes under 1 minute to chop a few veggies.  Oatmeal you probably have to add water and prepare in the microwave, right?  Spreading stuff on toast, making sandwiches, etc.  I'm glad you found something that works for you - or someone that "works" for you!  But I think you have also convinced yourself that cooking is long and tedious.  I would never cook if it took an hour of reading cookbooks, chopping this and that, blah blah.  Maybe I like cooking because I can make a really nice dinner faster than you would make that stir fry from the package :)  It doesn't have to be such an awful experience to make something homemade.

AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #170 on: February 06, 2019, 09:26:40 PM »
The issue is that so few people know how to actually cook. I would never cook if I were following recipes all the time.  That is so draining.  Once you know the basics you cook obscene amounts of things.  Especially simple dinners... Rice, veggie, roasted chicken breast. Stir fry, Italian basics, etc.  Dinner takes no time at all to make from scratch. Often 10 minutes or so.

This. Even baking and cakes are quite simple once you've mastered a basic recipe.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #171 on: February 07, 2019, 06:37:10 AM »
TL:DR You don't have to love cooking to be a competent cook.

I'm not an inspired cook and I don't really like to cook (there are so many other things I would rather be doing) but I do like to eat reasonably tasty meals, so I cook.   My sister is a great cook, I get ideas from her.

Absolutely delicious green beans:

Green beans (thin round ones are best), washed, dried, ends off.
Chopped shallots or onion
minced garlic
olive oil
water

Put olive oil in pan, heat (high setting), add beans and shallots, cook until shallots/onion are browning and beans are slightly blackened.  Add garlic and a bit of water, shake pan and let water evaporate.  Take off heat (remember to turn burner off) and let sit until all water is gone.

These are yummier than any green beans I have eaten in a restaurant.

So delicious, not a lot of work, you can get garlic in a jar at Costco if you don't want to have to mince garlic.


Moonwaves

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #172 on: February 07, 2019, 08:21:35 AM »
Funny thing is, the packaged stir fry kits aren't far off from just making a stir fry - not from a package.  Takes under 1 minute to chop a few veggies.  Oatmeal you probably have to add water and prepare in the microwave, right?  Spreading stuff on toast, making sandwiches, etc.  I'm glad you found something that works for you - or someone that "works" for you!  But I think you have also convinced yourself that cooking is long and tedious.  I would never cook if it took an hour of reading cookbooks, chopping this and that, blah blah.  Maybe I like cooking because I can make a really nice dinner faster than you would make that stir fry from the package :)  It doesn't have to be such an awful experience to make something homemade.
As SisterX mentioned though, sometimes it is the sheer effort rather than the time. Often it is the effort rather than the time. And it's not even the physical effort, it's the mental one. (And it's not just the 1 minute to chop some vegetables. It's washing the dishes afterwards as well although I realise most people have dishwashers and this may not be a factor for them. :) )

You have reminded me of a good point though, it's not just learning to cook that is a good idea, learning good knife skills is at least if not more important.


That all said there are ways to eat reasonably healthily without going out to eat and with minimal prep or actual cooking nonsense, such as bagged salads, packaged stir-fry kits, oatmeal, and healthy "snack" foods like fruit, hummus, and all manner of things spread on toast.
Hmmm, hummus on toast, yummm. Had this for dinner last night, actually, after sheer force of will kept me walking past the kebab place on my way home late after choir. I knew this week was going to be very hectic though, so last weekend I sauteed a leek, an onion and some lardons in preparation and left them in the fridge for "emergencies". Better than just hummus on toast? Leeks/onion/lardons on hummus on toast.

partgypsy

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #173 on: February 07, 2019, 08:56:32 AM »
The issue is that so few people know how to actually cook. I would never cook if I were following recipes all the time.  That is so draining.  Once you know the basics you cook obscene amounts of things.  Especially simple dinners... Rice, veggie, roasted chicken breast. Stir fry, Italian basics, etc.  Dinner takes no time at all to make from scratch. Often 10 minutes or so.

This. Even baking and cakes are quite simple once you've mastered a basic recipe.

I love baking. I mostly cook because I have to. I am an extremely lazy person so if I think cooking (especially when you use prepared meals sometimes) is less work than calling up, picking up food, etc it probably is. Made two quiches the other day and the most time consuming part was grating the cheese (I did use prepared pie shells). I also saved time by using a box of frozen chopped spinach instead of fresh (cheaper too).
I feel I eat well. The kids get lots of yummy things to put in their lunch like fresh fruit, babybel or string cheese, hummus, fun snacks and decent bread. They get a hot meal every night. I have the kids 4 of the 7 nights but the grocery also includes food for a dog and cat and household stuff. One thing I do is since my kids often don't like overly complicated meals, I often pre-feed them the vegetables separately (either raw or steamed) ahead of the meal. They are hungry and it is like an appetizer for rest of meal.   
I looked at last month and spent 581 on grocery and 149 on eating out.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2019, 09:04:57 AM by partgypsy »

charis

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #174 on: February 07, 2019, 09:05:08 AM »
I don't know anyone who can't spare 30 - 40 minutes a day to prepare decent meals without convenience foods.  We all THINK we can't spare the time but really can.  I still love some convenience foods but only when pricing is similar to, or cheaper than making fresh.  For example, I love my breakfast sandwiches in the morning.  The Jimmy Dean ones are less than $1 at Costco.  Or I'll grab frozen Smart Ones or Lean Cuisine when on sale for under $2.00.  There are some good options here and there but need to be very cautious about spending $4 - $10 on a meal for convenience.  It adds up big time.

Heck, yesterday I roasted a turkey breast then sliced it up this morning because it's 1/4 the price of buying quality packaged deli turkey slices.  Worked out great and tastes better, too.  Almost no effort at all and saved me about $20.

There is a good deal in between a daily 40-minute scratch cooking session and a package of Lean Cuisine.  I wasn't  talking about microwave meals or heating up breakfast sandwiches (both things my family would never eat anyway).  People can use perfectly health and inexpensive meal hacks in addition to scratch cooking, as I mentioned.   There is not one right way to do things. 

There are several nights a week that we actually don't have 40 minutes to spend cooking before the kids get hungry by 6pm, or we need/want to spend that time eating as a family and/or doing other things. 

ABC123

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #175 on: February 07, 2019, 09:31:52 AM »
Three restaurant meals a day with 2 young kids sounds like a lot of work.  We both work full time, with 3 kids ages 10, 8, and 2.  My husband works nights, so evenings all the work is on me.  When I get home from work, I have no mental energy to spare on cooking or meal planning.  So I cook up meals on the weekend with extra for leftovers during the week.  When we run out of leftovers, dinner is grilled cheese and Campbells tomato soup, or quesadillas with lunch meat and a slice of american cheese, or if I'm really planning ahead a pre made meal I remembered to take out of the freezer that morning.  So much easier than going to a restaurant with young kids, or even ordering and picking up. 

I do understand, in an abstract way, that there are people out there who spend $3k a month on food, while being loaded down with debt.  I understand there are people who buy stuff, even when they know there is no way they can ever pay it back.  But that is so far from my own experience, that it just doesn't make any sense to me why anyone would CHOOSE to live that way.  Why would you choose to have a constantly $0 checking account, when it would be so easy to not have it that way?  It's not like OP is living on minimum wage.  It would not take living a poverty lifestyle to get themselves out of this hole they have chosen to dig.  I'm sure there are plenty of things the OP hasn't said.  But seriously, WHY ARE YOU CHOOSING TO DO THIS TO YOURSELVES AND YOUR CHILDREN?????

Rant over. 

AlexMar

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #176 on: February 07, 2019, 10:20:36 AM »
I don't know anyone who can't spare 30 - 40 minutes a day to prepare decent meals without convenience foods.  We all THINK we can't spare the time but really can.  I still love some convenience foods but only when pricing is similar to, or cheaper than making fresh.  For example, I love my breakfast sandwiches in the morning.  The Jimmy Dean ones are less than $1 at Costco.  Or I'll grab frozen Smart Ones or Lean Cuisine when on sale for under $2.00.  There are some good options here and there but need to be very cautious about spending $4 - $10 on a meal for convenience.  It adds up big time.

Heck, yesterday I roasted a turkey breast then sliced it up this morning because it's 1/4 the price of buying quality packaged deli turkey slices.  Worked out great and tastes better, too.  Almost no effort at all and saved me about $20.

There is a good deal in between a daily 40-minute scratch cooking session and a package of Lean Cuisine.  I wasn't  talking about microwave meals or heating up breakfast sandwiches (both things my family would never eat anyway).  People can use perfectly health and inexpensive meal hacks in addition to scratch cooking, as I mentioned.   There is not one right way to do things. 

There are several nights a week that we actually don't have 40 minutes to spend cooking before the kids get hungry by 6pm, or we need/want to spend that time eating as a family and/or doing other things.

30-40 minutes PER DAY. Total.  I don't always eat microwave breakfast sandwiches, either.  And that was merely pointing out convenience foods can be super cheap.  I could make an entire day worth of food in 30 minutes easily and eat very well.  Anyways, my point was that people are full of excuses but the truth is that nearly everyone can easily carve out a little time to make dinner as opposed to burying your head in your smartphone or watching TV.

I have personally never met anyone who doesn't have SOME free time nearly every day.

Roadrunner53

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #177 on: February 07, 2019, 10:42:10 AM »
I would suggest that OP and his wife make time for a one day during the weekend cooking session. The goal would be to keep it pretty simple but the goal would be to produce as much food to put in the freezer as possible. Of course, they need to have room in the freezer to begin with or maybe they could buy a $350 smaller freezer just for cooking sessions.

Since I am not a vegetarian I cannot suggest meals for those people. If they are meat eaters, I would suggest them making as an example:

4 medium sized meatloaves. Bake in oven.

While meatloaves are baking, jump right in and make up around 50 meatballs.

You can basically use the same recipe for meatballs as meatloaf. As soon as the meatloaves are baked, pull them out and put in two trays of the meatballs and bake them.

Bag up meatballs in ziplock bags, lay flat in freezer. For meatloaves you can either slice them up or freeze as loaves in ziplock bags. Let all cool before bagging.

Next, assuming you can buy rotisserie chicken at Costco, buy two-three chickens. These chickens will need to be deboned into a bowl and separated out into 4 portions.

Portion one will be a chicken pot pie. Buy frozen mixed veggies 2 bags, add large two cans of cream of chicken soup, add some spices, add one portion of chicken. Mix and put into a 9x11 aluminum casserole dish. wrap then freeze.

For second portion of chicken (barbeque chicken rolls) could be mixed with barbeque sauce and spread inside a package of Hawaiian rolls add cheese or not. Freeze bake later on.

For third chicken portion (alfredo broccoli chicken) mix chicken with 2 jars of alfredo sauce, a package of frozen broccoli florets and 3/4-1 lb cooked al dente spaghetti. Mix well and put in a ziplock bag, lay flat to freeze.

For 4th portion of chicken (chicken soup) put chicken, mixed frozen veggies, black beans or kidney beans, drain cans/rinse beans, diced onions and diced celery. Put all in a ziplock. On day you have this add liquid chicken broth to cover all and simmer till hot.

Lastly, make up 2-4 ziti or shells casseroles. Find a recipe you like. Fill 4 aluminum casseroles, cover and freeze.

So now you have:

4 meatloaves
50 meatballs
Chicken pot pie
Barbeque chicken rolls
Chicken Alfredo
Chicken soup
4 ziti or shells casseroles

Left over meat from meat loaf can be thrown into jarred spaghetti sauce to make meaty sauce.
Meatballs can be used in spag sauce, grinders or just on a plate.
Chicken pot pie, after it is warmed up in the oven and is hot, Pillsbury Grands biscuits can be added and browned (watch they don't burn).

Cooking tips:
~If you use a slow cooker, buy Reynolds slow cooker liners. Makes clean up a breeze. No scrubbing the crock pot.
~Buy aluminum pans at the dollar store to cook casseroles in the oven. If you don't feel like dishwashing they can be tossed.
~Get a pad of paper and make your shopping list.
~Clean off you cooking surfaces and have a production line so you are not running back and forth around the kitchen. Have your ingredients out. You may need to set up an extra table.
~Work on one recipe at a time. You can make one huge batch and break it into 4 portions if that is your intention. Sometimes it might be too big to mix so take that into consideration.
~You can cook pasta day before al dente, run under cool water, drain, coat with some olive oil so the pasta is less apt to stick. Next day you can assemble recipes using the cooked, cooled pasta.

None of this is gourmet by any stretch of the imagination but you will get meals on the table.


RetiredAt63

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #178 on: February 07, 2019, 10:46:12 AM »
What was the advice on one of the ask a mustachian threads?  Don't put more effort into solving a problem than the person who has the problem?

We seem to have lost the OP.  Until he comes back and lets us know what he and his wife have done, there is really no point adding to this thread.

Seriously, there is masses of information here now, but if he doesn't read it and incorporate it into his (their) life, we are all just talking into a gale.  Lips are moving, nothing can be heard.


EnjoyIt

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #179 on: February 07, 2019, 10:49:42 AM »
I have a feeling that many here are wasting their breath (or their fingers.)  I hope not, but I figure if OP was truly interested in making changes we would start hearing about it.  So far all we have seen is reporting of problems with no signs of any changes.

former player

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #180 on: February 07, 2019, 11:04:06 AM »
I have a feeling that many here are wasting their breath (or their fingers.)  I hope not, but I figure if OP was truly interested in making changes we would start hearing about it.  So far all we have seen is reporting of problems with no signs of any changes.


OP is a part of the problem but most of it seems to be OP's spouse.  If the spouse is unwilling to recognise that there is a problem or do anything about it then OP is stuck, good and proper.  What are they supposed to come back and say to us then?

Malkynn

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #181 on: February 07, 2019, 11:14:18 AM »
I have a feeling that many here are wasting their breath (or their fingers.) 

Y'think?

OP barely posted to begin with, rarely replied to anyone, only posted to add more sensational detail, and hasn't posted since page 2 back when a bunch of us started posting that it was likely a troll thread

...unless I've missed a reply in the last 2 loooong pages. I admit, I basically stopped reading the replies because they were all long and I assumed the OP was gone.

If OP isn't a troll, then that sucks because their life is a mess and they don't seem very committed to cleaning it up.

JZinCO

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #182 on: February 07, 2019, 11:21:02 AM »
What was the advice on one of the ask a mustachian threads?  Don't put more effort into solving a problem than the person who has the problem?

We seem to have lost the OP.  Until he comes back and lets us know what he and his wife have done, there is really no point adding to this thread.

The net result of this thread is all this talk about cooking is making me hungry...

AlexMar

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #183 on: February 07, 2019, 11:27:18 AM »
The thread can take a life of it's own.  I think plenty of other posters are finding value in the posts even if OP never returns.

Roadrunner53

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #184 on: February 07, 2019, 01:14:45 PM »
The thread can take a life of it's own.  I think plenty of other posters are finding value in the posts even if OP never returns.

AlexMar, you are right. Maybe we could turn this thread into encouragement to those who need help.

When I was first married I didn't know how to cook but we sure couldn't eat out every night either. Slowly we found recipes, and that was before internet days, and made good things. It was hit and miss and even today, mistakes are made. I have trouble with soups sometimes and the salt level. I want as little salt as possible which sometimes makes the flavor blah. Then I get my husband to taste and his answer to everything is hot crushed pepper! LOL, sometimes he is right!

cats

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #185 on: February 07, 2019, 01:34:54 PM »
The thread can take a life of it's own.  I think plenty of other posters are finding value in the posts even if OP never returns.

AlexMar, you are right. Maybe we could turn this thread into encouragement to those who need help.

When I was first married I didn't know how to cook but we sure couldn't eat out every night either. Slowly we found recipes, and that was before internet days, and made good things. It was hit and miss and even today, mistakes are made. I have trouble with soups sometimes and the salt level. I want as little salt as possible which sometimes makes the flavor blah. Then I get my husband to taste and his answer to everything is hot crushed pepper! LOL, sometimes he is right!

Wait, is my husband a bigamist???

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #186 on: February 07, 2019, 01:45:23 PM »
The thread can take a life of it's own.  I think plenty of other posters are finding value in the posts even if OP never returns.

Sure, I guess. But there are better threads on food budgets. People are coming here to rubberneck. The OP hasnít been in the forums for the last 4 days and is nowhere close to going from spending $3k on food to meal prep everyoneís favorite recipes. This thread is about one persons extraordinary living and if they arenít engaging, then people should move on and put that energy to posts that make more sense for people to find helpful information. Just my 2 cents...

englishteacheralex

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #187 on: February 07, 2019, 01:55:46 PM »
Yep, that was my thinking, too. There are threads for efficient food spending ideas that are specifically for that purpose. Searchable.

galliver

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #188 on: February 07, 2019, 02:18:54 PM »
The issue is that so few people know how to actually cook. I would never cook if I were following recipes all the time.  That is so draining.  Once you know the basics you cook obscene amounts of things.  Especially simple dinners... Rice, veggie, roasted chicken breast. Stir fry, Italian basics, etc.  Dinner takes no time at all to make from scratch. Often 10 minutes or so.
I have been cooking since I was 6 and I call BS on this and on chopping "a few veggies" in a minute unless I see a video. 

It maybe takes me a minute to chop *one* easy vegetable (onion, pepper, zucchini) if it's already washed/cleaned/peeled.  Water takes like 10 min to boil so starches take at least 15-20 min to cook start to finish. Unless you're starting from something partially cooked... I don't think I've ever finished a full meal (protein/veg/starch, 4+ servings) from scratch in less than an hour. I can do a rice bowl in 30 mins w/ crab sticks, that's about it.

Obviously, you can do your own bulk prep, make a big batch of starch or protein in advance, use minimally processed shortcuts (frozen veg, sauces). But then your nightly prep is more like "assembly" than "from scratch"; it's incorrect to compare it to someone starting from 0 on Weds at 6.

To be clear, I'm not saying cooking at home is impossible, or even inordinately difficult, or that OP can't do it. I take issue  specifically with your claim it can be done in 10 min without shortcuts.

BicycleB

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #189 on: February 07, 2019, 04:24:47 PM »
The issue is that so few people know how to actually cook. I would never cook if I were following recipes all the time.  That is so draining.  Once you know the basics you cook obscene amounts of things.  Especially simple dinners... Rice, veggie, roasted chicken breast. Stir fry, Italian basics, etc.  Dinner takes no time at all to make from scratch. Often 10 minutes or so.
I have been cooking since I was 6 and I call BS on this and on chopping "a few veggies" in a minute unless I see a video. 

It maybe takes me a minute to chop *one* easy vegetable (onion, pepper, zucchini) if it's already washed/cleaned/peeled.  Water takes like 10 min to boil so starches take at least 15-20 min to cook start to finish. Unless you're starting from something partially cooked... I don't think I've ever finished a full meal (protein/veg/starch, 4+ servings) from scratch in less than an hour. I can do a rice bowl in 30 mins w/ crab sticks, that's about it.

Obviously, you can do your own bulk prep, make a big batch of starch or protein in advance, use minimally processed shortcuts (frozen veg, sauces). But then your nightly prep is more like "assembly" than "from scratch"; it's incorrect to compare it to someone starting from 0 on Weds at 6.

To be clear, I'm not saying cooking at home is impossible, or even inordinately difficult, or that OP can't do it. I take issue  specifically with your claim it can be done in 10 min without shortcuts.

^What I relief! I was feeling inadequate. Also, a faint bs-like odor was interfering with my enjoyment of reading about all this lightning-like scratch food.

My 3-vegie-plus-bean tacos take me 15-20 min from walking into the kitchen to eating the delicious tacos, assuming beans were cooked before. Granted that includes washing the prep dishes by hand, heating the tortillas to exquisite toastiness, setting the table, etc.

I'm not fast, I'm retired!  ;)

kei te pai

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #190 on: February 07, 2019, 04:46:26 PM »
Well its no fun if the OP wont come back and tell us why he cant do any of this stuff. I vote we quit.

Fomerly known as something

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #191 on: February 07, 2019, 05:12:09 PM »
I have a feeling that many here are wasting their breath (or their fingers.)  I hope not, but I figure if OP was truly interested in making changes we would start hearing about it.  So far all we have seen is reporting of problems with no signs of any changes.


OP is a part of the problem but most of it seems to be OP's spouse.  If the spouse is unwilling to recognise that there is a problem or do anything about it then OP is stuck, good and proper.  What are they supposed to come back and say to us then?

Yup blame the spouse.  My guess the spouse has no clue what the household cash flow looks like.  The spouse likely spends what she thinks is available. 

former player

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #192 on: February 07, 2019, 06:15:57 PM »
I have a feeling that many here are wasting their breath (or their fingers.)  I hope not, but I figure if OP was truly interested in making changes we would start hearing about it.  So far all we have seen is reporting of problems with no signs of any changes.


OP is a part of the problem but most of it seems to be OP's spouse.  If the spouse is unwilling to recognise that there is a problem or do anything about it then OP is stuck, good and proper.  What are they supposed to come back and say to us then?

Yup blame the spouse.  My guess the spouse has no clue what the household cash flow looks like.  The spouse likely spends what she thinks is available.

Is this still the MMM forum?

okits

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #193 on: February 07, 2019, 07:32:25 PM »
@galliver - I am also a slow vegetable washer-and-chopper.  I usually assume the time estimate on a recipe involves a magical sous-chef who prepares everything.  😝

The thread can take a life of it's own.  I think plenty of other posters are finding value in the posts even if OP never returns.

Sure, I guess. But there are better threads on food budgets. People are coming here to rubberneck. The OP hasnít been in the forums for the last 4 days and is nowhere close to going from spending $3k on food to meal prep everyoneís favorite recipes. This thread is about one persons extraordinary living and if they arenít engaging, then people should move on and put that energy to posts that make more sense for people to find helpful information. Just my 2 cents...

Not everybody.  I keep coming back, hoping the OP & DW have made a breakthrough somewhere or turned things around.  OP hasnít logged on in a few days, though.  :( 

I hope they get there, though.  Pretty easy to get rich in a hurry if you earn a decent amount and get expenses under control.

peeps_be_peeping

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #194 on: February 07, 2019, 07:44:05 PM »
The issue is that so few people know how to actually cook. I would never cook if I were following recipes all the time.  That is so draining.  Once you know the basics you cook obscene amounts of things.  Especially simple dinners... Rice, veggie, roasted chicken breast. Stir fry, Italian basics, etc.  Dinner takes no time at all to make from scratch. Often 10 minutes or so.
I have been cooking since I was 6 and I call BS on this and on chopping "a few veggies" in a minute unless I see a video. 

It maybe takes me a minute to chop *one* easy vegetable (onion, pepper, zucchini) if it's already washed/cleaned/peeled.  Water takes like 10 min to boil so starches take at least 15-20 min to cook start to finish. Unless you're starting from something partially cooked... I don't think I've ever finished a full meal (protein/veg/starch, 4+ servings) from scratch in less than an hour. I can do a rice bowl in 30 mins w/ crab sticks, that's about it.

Obviously, you can do your own bulk prep, make a big batch of starch or protein in advance, use minimally processed shortcuts (frozen veg, sauces). But then your nightly prep is more like "assembly" than "from scratch"; it's incorrect to compare it to someone starting from 0 on Weds at 6.

To be clear, I'm not saying cooking at home is impossible, or even inordinately difficult, or that OP can't do it. I take issue  specifically with your claim it can be done in 10 min without shortcuts.

Exactly! Also add in time to think of something to cook, making a list of ingredients, trying to remember what you already have at home, going to the store, picking out the items, yelling at the stupid self-checkout kiosk that tells you over and over again to "remove the unscanned item from the bagging area" when you already scanned it, trying not to run over other shoppers in the parking lot, washing the dishes you need to use to cook with before starting to cook, etc. I used to cook, but now my time is more valuable. My arbitrary rule is that anything made in the toaster oven is not cooking. ;-)

APowers

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #195 on: February 07, 2019, 09:49:18 PM »

The thread can take a life of it's own.  I think plenty of other posters are finding value in the posts even if OP never returns.

Sure, I guess. But there are better threads on food budgets. People are coming here to rubberneck. The OP hasnít been in the forums for the last 4 days and is nowhere close to going from spending $3k on food to meal prep everyoneís favorite recipes. This thread is about one persons extraordinary living and if they arenít engaging, then people should move on and put that energy to posts that make more sense for people to find helpful information. Just my 2 cents...

Not everybody.  I keep coming back, hoping the OP & DW have made a breakthrough somewhere or turned things around.  OP hasnít logged on in a few days, though.  :( 

I hope they get there, though.  Pretty easy to get rich in a hurry if you earn a decent amount and get expenses under control.

I'm just here to post Owen Wilson GIFs.

Fomerly known as something

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #196 on: February 08, 2019, 05:05:15 AM »
I have a feeling that many here are wasting their breath (or their fingers.)  I hope not, but I figure if OP was truly interested in making changes we would start hearing about it.  So far all we have seen is reporting of problems with no signs of any changes.


OP is a part of the problem but most of it seems to be OP's spouse.  If the spouse is unwilling to recognise that there is a problem or do anything about it then OP is stuck, good and proper.  What are they supposed to come back and say to us then?

Yup blame the spouse.  My guess the spouse has no clue what the household cash flow looks like.  The spouse likely spends what she thinks is available.

Is this still the MMM forum?

What someone can't point out an obviously sexist opinion on MMM.  From what I can see the OP is just as responsible for his situation as his spouse but somehow it's mostly the spouses fault.

former player

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #197 on: February 08, 2019, 07:25:48 AM »
I have a feeling that many here are wasting their breath (or their fingers.)  I hope not, but I figure if OP was truly interested in making changes we would start hearing about it.  So far all we have seen is reporting of problems with no signs of any changes.


OP is a part of the problem but most of it seems to be OP's spouse.  If the spouse is unwilling to recognise that there is a problem or do anything about it then OP is stuck, good and proper.  What are they supposed to come back and say to us then?

Yup blame the spouse.  My guess the spouse has no clue what the household cash flow looks like.  The spouse likely spends what she thinks is available.

Is this still the MMM forum?

What someone can't point out an obviously sexist opinion on MMM.  From what I can see the OP is just as responsible for his situation as his spouse but somehow it's mostly the spouses fault.

It took me a bit of searching to even realise that we knew the sexes of OP and their spouse - note that I kept it neutral because I didn't know when posting.

Your excuse for OP's spouse is that they have no clue what the household cash flow is and spend regardless?  That seems patronising and sexist in the extreme, particularly given that you were apparently assuming (which I was not) that OP's spouse was female.  And even without the patronage and sexism, the idea that someone could 1) not know what their income is, 2) spend regardless and 3) that those facts were any sort of excuse for a grown adult is fit for the Antimustachian Shame and Comedy thread.

 

RetiredAt63

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #198 on: February 08, 2019, 09:27:35 AM »

Your excuse for OP's spouse is that they have no clue what the household cash flow is and spend regardless?  That seems patronising and sexist in the extreme, particularly given that you were apparently assuming (which I was not) that OP's spouse was female.  And even without the patronage and sexism, the idea that someone could 1) not know what their income is, 2) spend regardless and 3) that those facts were any sort of excuse for a grown adult is fit for the Antimustachian Shame and Comedy thread.

We have no idea what OP's spouse is doing/thinking because OP never told us.  All we know is that she is a SAHM who is thinking of taking a part time job.  So any comments about what she is or should be doing are pure speculation.


FenderBender

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #199 on: February 08, 2019, 10:01:27 AM »
There is nothing really wrong with using convenience foods. Yes, it is cheaper to cook from scratch but is more time consuming. I would suggest doing a 50%/50% mix of convenience foods and home made foods. Use the convenience foods when you are rushed and at your wits end and when  you have some extra time, cook some home made things. There are lots of home made things that are not that time consuming either. You can make a beef stew in a short time. Even cut up the veggies the night before and let the carrots and taters sit in water in the fridge over night. The next morning throw in your cut up onions, taters, carrots and stew meat into your slow cooker. You can brown up the meat the night before or not brown it at all. I usually throw in a packet of dehydrated onion soup and two large cans of chopped tomatoes or San Marzano tomatoes. Cook on low all day long. You can add in canned corn or green beans too.

I am sure women from the 1920's would be in heaven to have convenience foods rather than cooking over hot caldrons and cooking from scratch 3 meals a day for a family of 9 people!

I don't know anyone who can't spare 30 - 40 minutes a day to prepare decent meals without convenience foods.  We all THINK we can't spare the time but really can.  I still love some convenience foods but only when pricing is similar to, or cheaper than making fresh.  For example, I love my breakfast sandwiches in the morning.  The Jimmy Dean ones are less than $1 at Costco.  Or I'll grab frozen Smart Ones or Lean Cuisine when on sale for under $2.00.  There are some good options here and there but need to be very cautious about spending $4 - $10 on a meal for convenience.  It adds up big time.

Heck, yesterday I roasted a turkey breast then sliced it up this morning because it's 1/4 the price of buying quality packaged deli turkey slices.  Worked out great and tastes better, too.  Almost no effort at all and saved me about $20.

It's not always just about the time, though. Some of it is also the energy. It is HARD when it's a two earner + small children household. The job and commute take energy. The kids take energy. What are you going to do, be less of a parent or less of an employee? Sometimes the thing that's easiest to give and doesn't compromise a person's values as much is to ditch home cooking a few nights a week.

i've noticed that the employer usually gets the lesser.   parent shows up at work just in time and leaves a second after quitting time routinely while those not on kid duty show up early and leave well beyond quitting time then the one working longer hours receives a larger raise year over year and makes more income while doing the same job.  interesting the result when giving more to the employer.  this is usually be the result when work ethic values are compromised.