Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Fast Food Nation

Or should we say Fat Food Nation? Have you ever stopped to think of the serving sizes fast food restaurants try to sell us each and every day, 24 hours a day? Take a look at the recommended serving sizes of food and you will see that the restaurants are trying to tempt you to eat double or even triple the amounts that you should eat. And to tempt you even further they load their foods with way to much salt, sugar and fats thus helping more and more Americans eat their way to diabetes and high blood pressure among other health issues. Is it any wonder why Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure are on the rise?

And then there is the cost of eating a meal out. Yes its nice not to have to cook and do the dishes but what about all the money that you spend eating out? Could you find something better to use it for if you didn't spend it at restaurants?

Let take a look at the cost of a breakfast bought and a restaurant versus the cost of making it at home. I am going to use prices from my neck of the woods and the ones in your area may be higher or lower than in mine.

Take a typical breakfast of 2 eggs, 2 strips of bacon, hash browns and 2 pancakes. Around here a breakfast like that is going to set you back about $7-8 depending on the restaurant. Now lets break down the cost of what it would cost me to make the same exact meal at home.

Bacon $4.50 a lb, 16 slices to a lb breaks down to about 56 cents for two slices if my math is right.
A dozen large eggs is running $1.49 a dozen which breaks down to 25 cents for two eggs.
Homemade pancake mix will cost you pennies to make per serving size but to you need to add in the cost of an egg, oil and milk so we will say 25 cents of two pancakes.
Potatoes are kind of expensive in my area but still a serving of hash browns should only cost you about 35 cents. So for a grand total of about a $1.50 just for the cost of the food you would save around $6 if you cooked the same meal at home. And if 4 people ate that same meal it would cost you about $28-$30 plus the cost of drinks and a tip so that would bring you up to around $40 and you could fix the same meal at home for 4 people including the cost of the cooking and cleaning up for less than $15. If you cooked that one meal at home once a month of 12 months you would save a total of around $180. That could make small dent in a bill or buy gifts for some of the family members or even be a nice start to a small nest egg. If spent carefully it could even buy about a month's worth of groceries for a family of 4.

One other good thing about preparing meals at home verses eating out is the fact that you can control the amounts of fats, salt and sugar that you and your family are eating. Thus helping yourself and your family live in better health.

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