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Please don't remind me that I'm poor; I'm having too much fun pretending I'm simply "living green" like everyone else these days.


Monday, July 12, 2010

Paying for convenience?

I've talked about not paying for convenience food several times on this blog site.  It goes against my nature to pay a manufacturer to be my personal chef.  Things like adding butter sauce to a vegetable at double the cost of plain vegetables is probably the worst example I can think of but this next example comes in as a close second to that.

Pudding cups.  Aww.... come on now.  Paying someone to stir your pudding and put it into little cups for you?  Can you afford that personal chef's wages?  Let's talk about it for a minute.

See the price of the pudding cups?  If you buy 10 items you can get .50 cents off.  Let's say you don't have a sale like this so the normal price is $2.49 for 6 little cups containing about  3 or 4 tablespoons of pudding.  That works out to about .41 cents for each pudding cup.  We can figure up the hourly wage of this personal chef in a minute. 

If you are serious about saving money.... stop paying for convenience!  Learn to cook.  Hmm.... I mean learn to stir your own pudding.    It's not that hard.  

Hmm..... let me show you how it's done.  Maybe a visual demonstration will help you remember what it's costing for that personal chef to stir your pudding the next time you are tempted to purchase pudding cups.  This is all the cooking equipment you need. 

Oh yes, you will need a few of these.  I asked my neighbor to give these to me because she buys KFC several times a week.  Don't get me started on that convenience, it would take all day.  Baby food containers or any small container with a tight fitting lid will work for this cooking technique.

Pour 2 cups of cold milk into the measuring cup.  The measuring cup is the thingie with numbers on it.  Stop pouring the milk when it reaches the 2 cup mark.

Now pour the milk into the bowl.  Open the pudding box and pour the pudding powder into the milk.... like this.  Take the stirring thingie and start moving it around the bowl to mix the pudding and the milk together.  A little rapid movement every now and then helps too.

You will notice the pudding mixture starts to get thick in about 30 seconds.  Keep stirring for 30 seconds more to be sure you got it all mixed together.  That's it.  Your done.  The pudding is now officially pudding.  It took one minute to make.  Was that so hard?  Let it set for another 60 seconds to thicken up some more while you line up your containers. 

tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, DING..... ok, times up. 

The next step is to take an ordinary spoon and put a little pudding into each container.  Add the lids and put them all in the refrigerator. 

Oops!  You made 5 containers instead of 6.  Ok, so you like a little more pudding than comes in those little cups.  I can understand that.  You now have one container for lunch each day at work this week.  Now let's figure up the cost of the personal chef's wages.

The cost of the box of instant pudding was .49 cents at Aldi.  Five self-made pudding cups is about .12 cents each if you add a little for the cost of 2 cups milk.  Total for 5 containers is .60 cents. 

You are saving about $1.89 of the cost of the prepared pudding cups.  It only took about 1 minute to stir.  At $1.89 per minute, your personal chef wants you to pay him $114.40 an hour to stir your pudding for you.  Can you afford that?  Wouldn't you want to be the one earning the $114.40 per hour instead of paying a personal chef? 
I don't know about you, but I believe $1.89 in actual savings, multiplied a few times, might work out to be enough to pay for some electricity or water once or twice a year. 

Hmm.... you want to know how to get the cost down to even less for pudding cups?  It will require some different cooking utensils but the technique is still just stirring.  Buy yourself some corn starch.  I believe this corn starch cost me around .69 cents when I bought it.  It goes on sale most often around Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter.


The cost goes down to about .02 cents per pudding container if you make your own pudding cups with corn starch, sugar, and milk. That would be .10 cents for 5 pudding cups.  A savings of  2.39 for one minute of stirring.  At 2.39 per minute you would be paying yourself  $143.40 an hour to make your own pudding cups. 
Go to the Argo website and click on the recipe button to find all kinds of neat ways to cook with it. 

You get it now?  I hope my little spoof on stirring pudding helps you mentally see how to save money easily the next time you are tempted to pay for convenience.  Stop paying for a personal chef until you become a millionaire!   Oh, I forgot, millionaires don't pay those kinds of wages either.  How do you think they became millionaires?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love your ideas. You are so smart and thrifty.