In the past few months I have been looking at ways to cut our budget along with eating healthier, and there is a trend in some staples like, rice and oatmeal, that I have come accustomed to growing up.
This revelation got me to
thinking - why? Why do I buy these bags of rice that force a specific
amount of portions on me. I realized I do it only because it is what I
have always done, it is a repeat of what I have seen my mother do when I
was growing up. Well - I am done with that. I will now purchase my
rice in the bag, measure out exactly what I want or need for the meal -
and cook it up in a pot (I know the rice cooker is for convenience, but
really - I am already at the stove cooking other stuff) - and now I am
free from spending extra money on those bags of rice in a box. Free
from trying to figure out the best way to reheat the rice that I didn't
need - and so on.
Don't get me wrong - I will still
purchase the rice with seasonings, like Zatarain's - but I will start
purchasing my bags of brown rice by the bag and not the box of bags.
This line of thinking even spilled over to my oatmeal. I
enjoy Quaker oatmeal, and usually get the boxes of the little packets.
Again - for the seasoning - but really, seasoning oatmeal isn't a
mystery, and I tend to add some extra anyway. Chop up some apples, find
some raising, sprinkle some cinnamon, dribble some honey - how hard is
that? I have this stuff in my home anyway. The way I see it a medium
apple and small box of raisins could easily supplement my morning
oatmeal. So - why not by the big thing of plain oatmeal and try this on
my own? Wouldn't that be considerably cheaper? I think I am going to
try it - what is the worse that could happen?
So take a
minute - look at what you are doing. Are you really saving yourself
time? or are you just doing the same thing you have always done -
spending extra money that is really unnecessary to spend - because there
really is no added convenience? (In my opinion instant potatoes do
add convenience - they aren't as good, but they are convenient)
This was originally posted in an old blog of mine on 10/25/11
Update: Since this post, I only purchase rice and grits in the bags. The grits I get are usually the 'quick cook' kind, only because when I am cooking them I have already spent enough time at the stove cooking the bacon. It is nice to quickly move through the eggs and the grits. I always purchase my rice in the bag, or in pre-seasoned boxes (if I am not looking for white or brown rice). I always cook it in a small sauce pan over the stove. Once I mastered that, I saw no point in purchasing a rice cooker. Yes sometimes I still burn it if I stop paying attention, but not often enough to change my new habits.
The only 'do-it-yourself' quick cook skill I have not learned is how to appropriately flavor oatmeal. At this time I still prefer the instant packets to making it on my own - but I think I just need to learn the magic mix of ingredients before I kick those to the curb too.