We’ve spent the past week packing and now unpacking, and the result is that we’re eating lots of fast food and prepared meals from the grocery store.

This is not how we usually live. I’m frugal and prefer home cooking (i.e. meals made from scratch), so I’m accustomed to cooking all of our meals. Our transition from old house to new house may have given me a break from cooking, but it’s also shown me how much waste there is in eating this way.

First off, it’s a waste of money. For example, I spent $16 for breakfast for four at McDonald’s our first morning here. All we had was coffee or juice and Egg McMuffins. I could have made that much cheaper at home!

Then there’s the garbage that little breakfast created. Wrappers, paper napkins, plastic and paper cups and lids, cardboard cup holder….we had quite a little mountain of trash to pitch afterwards.

Once I found the paper plates, I did buy some prepared meals that I could just microwave or throw in the oven. They’re cheaper than eating out, but not by all that much. And again, there is waste in all the packaging involved that you then throw out. Tonight’s dinner of Stouffer’s Chicken Alfredo resulted in a large box and a large plastic pan being thrown out.

Finally, whether we eat in a restaurant or buy prepared food at the grocery, I know what we’re eating is not nearly as healthy as eating home-cooked meals. In some ways, it’s a waste of calories. Who knows what’s in the stuff we’ve been eating? At least when I cook, I know what’s in our meals: less fat, less salt, few preservatives……and more nutrition.

7 thoughts on “Waste

  1. AMEN! I’ve had to rely on fast food and convenience food a bit too much this summer too, as we’ve had lots of big projects around the house going on. I can taste the salt and fat! Not to mention the price tag doesn’t make my checkbook feel nice!

  2. Eating out is nice in moderation, as a break from the routine, I think. But when you have to b/c circumstances dictate it, and just have a taste for regular, homemade food, it isn’t as appealing. So here’s to you getting boxes unpacked and getting settled and back to normal cooking. 🙂 What’s the first home cooked meal on the menu?

  3. I LOVE to eat out, but we only do it once a month, as a treat for our date night. As a family, we don’t eat out very often. Like you, I feel like I could make much healthier meals at home, plus it’s just SO expensive for our big family. That being said, I think it’s important for kiddos to learn to eat in a restaurant in a quiet and polite way. Nothing worse than seeing hooligans race around a restaurant when you’ve paid for an expensive meal and would like a little peace. LOL!

  4. Yesterday was the day to take a van-load of my son’s stuff to college and drop it off. After unloading the van, I needed some calories and ordered a baked potato at Wendy’s. While waiting for my food, I noticed what happened at the deep fryer. A new batch of fries had finished cooking. Before dumping the fresh, hot fries out of the fry-basket, the employee removed all the older fries and put them in the garbage pail. Oh my goodness, that garbage pail held about FIVE GALLONS of old fries that were being discarded. Now, I don’t know if that’s the whole day’s worth or just a few hours’ worth; I can’t imagine that they leave them overnight. I was stunned!!! But that’s how it is: stores and restaurants throw out all sorts of edible foods because we all want the freshest and the best-est. It really bothered me to see that.

  5. My husband and I enjoyed an anniversary lunch out this week (rarely eat at restaurants) and while we truly enjoyed the time together, we both quickly recognized how unhealthy it would be to do that regularly – all the salt, fat and who knows what else in restaurant food. Well, it could be different, perhaps, if we had any healthy vegan-type places around?! Anyways, while I sometimes wish we had the $ to enjoy a meal out more often, I see the multiple benefits of living within our means.

  6. The realization of the waste is always such a shock when you’ve been cooking exclusively at home for a while, isn’t it? I noticed that as well for the same reasons you did – we moved recently and, while it was convenient not to have to cook, it was pretty wasteful as well to eat out. Thankfully, we’re back to the old homecooking!

  7. Sorry for the double comments. For some reason in the earlier comment the website got messed up. Thanks for your blog. An online friend sent me a link to it and I love it!!!

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