Thursday, June 21, 2012

MYTHBUSTING DINNER! Cheaper Than Drive-Thru?

Hello all! This afternoon I got the biggest hankering for a cheeseburger and fries-ever get one of those?
The drive thru? Not for me, thanks!
I had plenty of Weight Watchers pointsplus left for the day (not to mention the week) and yes, I could TOTALLY have hit the drive-thru without destroying my diet for the week.

HOWEVER-when I stopped and thought about it I realized that, since my local supermarket it actually closer to my home than the nearest fast food joint, it would actually be faster to pick up all the ingredients and cook them at home than it would be to drive all the way to the fast food place, wait in the rush hour line at the drive-thru, order, pick up the food, drive it home and serve it to my family. Who knew?

Something else, though. Not only was it faster, it was (of course) healthier and also...

WAAAAAAAY CHEAPER!!!


A MEDIUM sized deluxe cheese-burger combo (with drink and fries) at my local fast food restaurant costs $6.59. That's for just ONE person, mind you. Sounds pretty cheap, right? WRONG!
As some of you know, I am an avid couponer. But even without coupons, just by using my supermarket loyalty card, my homemade "combo meal" comes in way under the drive thru!


Here's how it breaks down:

One 5lb bag of potatoes: $1.49 (makes 14 medium-sized servings of baked "fries")
One pound 85% lean ground beef: $1.05 (I made 5 LARGE patties from this)
One case of diet root beer: $2.00 (for 12 cans)
1 pack gourmet burger rolls: $3.69 (for 8 rolls)
1 jar premium pickles: $1.99 (probably 9 servings worth?)
1 bag shredded cheese: $2 (10 servings)

TOTAL GROCERY BILL: $12.22
DRIVE THRU TOTAL FOR 2 MEDIUM COMBO MEALS: $13.18

So, for less than the price of dinner for just my husband and myself (but NOT our two kids), I had enough to make at least 5 adult-sized "combo meals"!!

Cost breakdown per meal:
One serving of baked "fries":  15 cents
One cheeseburger with pickles on a gourmet roll: $1.09
One can of soda: 17 cents

TOTAL COST FOR SINGLE HOMEMADE COMBO MEAL: $1.41
ONE DOLLAR AND FORTY-ONE CENTS!!!

That means that the price of a single drive-thru combo meal is almost FIVE TIMES the price of making it at home.

And that's not even considering the HEALTH benefits. By making my meal at home and baking the fries, my homemade meal was 13 pointsplus (for A LOT of food!) while the drive-thru equivalent is 24 pointsplus.

How do you make those fries again?

I thought you'd never ask! First I preheat my oven to 450. I spray a cookie sheet with my oil mister, then arrange thinly sliced potatos on the sheet, hit with another spritz of oil and sprinkle with garlic salt. Then I put the "fries" in the oven and bake until they just start to look like real french fries, crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. The time for this can very wildly, from 5-10 minutes or more, depending on how large a potato you've used and how thick or thin your fries are, SO KEEP YOUR EYES ON THOSE FRIES!!

Are they good? YES. But you don't have to take my word for it, just ask my 3-year-old...

So next time you find yourself thinking about drive-thru? THINK AGAIN. Your waistline and your wallet will thank you!

Wishing you love with extra cheese-
Nacho Mama

1 comment:

Smash Bravo said...

Very smart shopping Margo. I can never find ground beef at that price. And yes, your dinner even sounds much yummier. Most times after take out, instead of feeling good, I feel grossed out and mad at myself. This is a much better way to go, especially for large families like mine, there are 9 of us!! Great post.