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post #1 of (permalink) Old 04-12-2014, 10:00 AM Thread Starter
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I Do Not Understand Mother's Advice on Groceries, Please Explain

So I moved into an disabled and elderly apartment. My rent is slightly over $100 and I bundled TV, Net, and Phone. I also have power and that's it. Those are my mandatory bills. They total around $250 per month.

I am disabled because I have a severe mental illness. I see and hear hallucinations and had an episode of grandiose delusions lately. This mental sickness has caused me to withdraw from college 3 times in a row.

So I get food stamps because my limited income is low. My SNAP, however, isn't much. In total, I spend $200 on food per month. SNAP helps, but not like it helped when I was paying $350 for rent.

Anyway, I just got back from grocery shopping and my mother said if I cooked instead of buying food already prepared, I would save money on food. I don't see it and I am going to use 2 examples to show what my mother and I see and say.

I am going to use a canned food and a fried food. I am going to use canned chicken and dumplings and a hamburger.

Example 1: I just paid $3 for 1 can of chicken and dumplings that provides 3 meals.

Mother's thoughts:
"You can make them at home. Buy the flour, the chicken noddle soup, the chicken. You'll get more than 3 meals. I had to buy for a family, so I needed 5 meals for everyone in the household at dinner time. I also used my flour to fry chicken and on other types of foods I cooked."

My thoughts:
"A sack of flour around here is $2-$3. Campbell's Chicken noddle soup is $1.50 per can. A whole chicken unbaked or not cooked costs $3-$4.

I spent $3 for 3 meals, and you just spent around $7 for 5 meals. If you do the math mother, I just came out better.

Example 2: I went to a place called Sonic's and bought 1 Supersonic double cheeseburger for $5. It is 1200 calories, enough for 3 - 4 meals.

Mother's thoughts:
"Why don't you just buy you some ground chuck or ground beef hamburger meat, buns, lettuce, tomato, cheese, and make your own hamburgers? It's just like Subway, you can make your own sub."

My thoughts:
"Okay, let's go with the less expensive meat, ground chuck. Ground chuck is $2 per lb. If I go in the store, I'm going to spend $4 on the meat alone. Buns is $1.60. I only like cheese on my hamburgers and processed cheese is Kraft's 2.80.

You just spent around $8 on enough to make 2 hamburgers. Yes, you beat my $5 per hamburger, but I am only paying 1 dollar more not to prepare it and it tastes better."

So, can anyone break this down a little bit more? Or am I right and cooking is not less expensive than buying already prepared?
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