Pork and Economics

Source: tumblr.com via Lauren on Pinterest

So after the bacon post I received a few comments about the cost effectiveness of such an undertaking.    I guess it never occurred to me to mention that.  Sometimes what seems like a "fancy food" really isn't that fancy.  To break down the cost of the previous post I'll share how much the ingredients cost me.  First, one pound of pork belly cost me exactly $3.29 before tax.  Second, the spices and herbs probably cost me less than a buck total.  All in all, it cost me less than $5 for a lb of bacon.  Cool.

I really want to take the time to explain how cooking from scratch can actually be more budget friendly than you think.  Let me break it down in three main points.

1) You're paying for the convenience:  It makes sense to me.  When you buy something already put into individual packages, or pre-butchered, you're paying for the time someone spent doing that.  I mean, when you buy chicken already de-boned and skinless, it comes at a cost.  If you do research and take the time to learn, you can break down a much cheaper whole chicken into the parts you need and save yourself some dough.  This is especially true with things like 100 calorie packs.  Do you have a problem with over eating?  Split up that whole back into smaller portions and store it like that.  I do want to add here that this can increase your waste astronomically.  Please be careful with how much plastic and leftovers you put in the trash.

2)  Buy Local:  This topic is harped on all the time.  People keep complaining that healthy, all natural eating is so dang pricey.  It really isn't.  Grow a garden, go to the farmers market, go to the local butcher. It costs less because you're not paying for the gas that it takes to get to your kitchen table.  Please be aware that chain health food stores really are more expensive, but they do not focus on things nearby or simple ingredients which are not processed into ready made food.  It also helps to buy in bulk.  I like to buy larger chunks of meat, break it down myself and portion it out accordingly.  I also like to buy huge bags of rice and grain from my local Merc and use over time.  Also, don't discount that buying local does help your local economy.  Put money into the community you're a part of.  Easy peasy.

3) You're paying for quality:  Okay, so you'd rather buy the cheap bacon that costs $2.99 a lb?  Cool, but you have to understand that that bacon is going to taste like it came out of the dumpster.  It will be paper thin, and rip as you pull it out of the package.  This does not equal good eats.  You'll find that when you buy quality, you do not need to eat as much.  You're satisfied with a slice glorious bacon and beautiful runny eggs, therefore you can keep the potato hash, condiments, and whatever else out of the picture.   I have found that I'm also consuming healthier food.  I drink skim milk from the local dairy, I enjoy it, and it tastes like heaven.  I eat more vegetables because they taste better, fresher, and the way God probably intended them to taste.  The same goes with fruits, meats, cheeses, and grains.  I don't eat as much because I'm satisfied, and I eat healthier more nutritious food.  Why waste your money on food you'll eventually throw out because it was so gross that you didn't finish it up.

I completely understand that I will get some disagreements from this, but I've found that it's completely true.  Make it from scratch, buy it in bulk and learn how to do things like de-boning your own chicken.
I will admit that sometimes making it from scratch is not that cheap.  There are a few ingredients which cost a lot of money.  Some examples are cream, good cheese.  Obviously, those are not foods which should be a part of your every day diet, but you know, they're nice every once in awhile.

Anyway, I hope this is a good explanation of why I do some of the things I do.  They're really not as time consuming or involving as one may think.  I promise once you start learning and practicing some of these things you'll see what I mean.

Happy Saturday

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