We've all been there. The clock strikes 5:00pm and we are still looking in our cabinet trying to decode a dish to feed our starving families. Shoot... sometimes we don't even make it into the kitchen at 5:00pm - sometimes it's more like 6:25pm... guilty!
Frequently the act of frugality is often associated with the idea of cooking everything from scratch to save money. But this is not necessarily the case. While the word "frugal" can mean different things to similar people the outcome is always the same: Saving money. Now there are some people out there that believe that making all meals from scratch to be not only less expensive but healthier for you as well. While the healthier factor is likely true the "less expensive" factor is not always. My perfect example is: Hamburger Helper!
There are four reasons why this boxed meal will always be close to my heart:
Making this skillet dish requires 3 ingredients (in addition to the box mix of course): Ground beef, milk and water. These are items we tend to try to save money on everyday and usually have on hand already so no inconvenience there!
Preparation time - you cannot beat a 20 minute cook time from pan to plate.
Price: Cheap. The typical shelf price at Walmart is around $1.58 per box but many grocery stores in my area (and I'm pretty sure all over the country) will quite frequently put every variety on sale for $1.00 each and I have even seen them as low as $.79! There are constantly coupons out there whether they are printable from home or a tear pad at the grocery store which is usually around a $.20 per box discount too which makes it even cheaper.
Variety. There are so many options you could have a different one once a week for a few months before repeating. Don't forget the chicken or tuna varieties!
Whenever I whip up a box for dinner last minute I almost always use a boxed potato mix with it because if I'm gonna go boxed meal... I go all out! It's hard to beat 5 minute potatoes. Boil up a canned veg and you have dinner in literally 20 minutes. BOOM!
Now, it's not the healthiest meal but I do think it's better for you than an ordered pizza and much better for your wallet too. I always have a shelf in my cabinet dedicated to Hamburger Helper because even though I meal plan... something always seems to go off course and I need these to keep me on track! Like tonight... allergies hit our house hard and the last thing I wanted to do was stand around in the kitchen cooking. Hamburger Helper to the rescue!