I don't want to spend all this time thinking about food. I just want to get dinner on the table.
This is a comment you'll often see online (and hear in real life) whenever the subject of food and frugality comes up. It's a fascinating comment because in one fell swoop it both over-complicates and misses the entire point of everything.
To see what I mean, I'll share with you a recent trip I made to the grocery store, at a time when I really didn't want to spend any time thinking or cooking. And I didn't want to spend a lot of money either. So, I bought:
1 pound of generic white beans,
1 pound of generic lentils,
Carrots and celery,
2 cans whole peeled tomatoes and 1 can diced tomatoes.
These items enabled me to make a hug pot of Lentil Soup and another big pot of hilariously easy White Bean Stew. Voila: Dinner and lunches for several days at a total cost of maybe ten bucks, and done literally without thought.
There's a catch, however. I can do this without thought because at one time in the past I spent some time thinking about exactly what makes a given recipe cheap, easy, healthy and good. Then, I spent time looking for (and in some cases creating) many such easy and cheap recipes.
And yet our hypothetical person making the statement above doesn't have to worry about this catch: He doesn't have to spend any time thinking about this at all. He doesn't have to figure out what qualities make for easy and cheap recipes, much less does he have to come up with them. Those recipes and those ideas are already here, waiting for him!
In other words, the high-level thinking only has to occur once. Just once. Better yet, the thinking doesn't even have to happen in his head--it has to happen in mine, so I can render the ideas here, in writing, for you.
You then get to use the concepts, the ideas and all of the recipes to make your own hilariously easy and cheap meals whenever you want to.
The notion of "spending all this time thinking about food" is a canard. It's just pushback. The solutions have already been figured out, and they're waiting for you. If you're willing to see them.
Read Next: The Top Lame-Ass Excuses Between You and Better Health
How can I support Casual Kitchen?
Easy. Do all your shopping at Amazon.com via the links on this site! You can also link to me or subscribe to my RSS feed. Finally, consider sharing this article, or any other article you particularly enjoyed here, to Facebook, Twitter (follow me @danielckoontz!) or to bookmarking sites like reddit, digg or stumbleupon. I'm deeply grateful to my readers for their ongoing support.