Wednesday, October 19, 2011

How to Save For Retirement by Eating a Healthier Dinner

Source: Crown Fried Chicken

It’s a story we’ve heard over and over– Americans are obese because many can’t afford to eat a healthy diet.  Really?! Is that even possible? I’m no genius, but the math in that equation never seemed right. 
To me, it seems more likely that most people are just too L-A-Z-Y to bother with meal planning and cooking. So, I was excited when I came across this article in the NY Times that supported my assumption.

Source: Martha Stewart
Inspired by my reading and the recent economic protest kerfuffle, I decided to conduct my own experiment for our two person household. Without further ado, I bring you NYCitified’s first ever homemade versus fast food price challenge!

Night 2: Mom’s Chicken Corn Chowder

Now let’s see how my recipes compared economically to the NYC favorite, Crown Fried Chicken, with a super nerdy cost analysis spreadsheet. And yes, this is what I do with my Friday nights…..

Grocery Total
Recipe Total
Cost per person/per night
Chicken Breast with Ribs (2 pieces/2lbs)
Golden Creamer Potatoes (24 oz bag)
Lemons (2)
Butter (2 sticks)
Lipton Noodle Soup (2 packets)
Fat Free Milk (1 quart)
Creamed Corn
Takeout Comparison
Total Cost
Dinner Cost
Cost per person/per night
Crown Fried Chicken Dinner Box includes: 3 pieces of chicken, mashed potatoes, coleslaw & 2 rolls
Total savings for the week
Total savings for the year
1Grocery cost based on Fresh Direct standard prices

There you have it, making a healthy dinner just two nights every week for a year can put over $400 into that retirement account; not to mention a serious dent in that expanding waistline.
So what do you think readers? Are you convinced that making dinner saves money or do you still think fast food is cheaper?


  1. A topic I am truely passionate about. I have read the New York times article and definitely found it interesting however, I think this is a far larger issue than what is presented in the article. I guess my issue is that truely healthy food is still out of reach. Yes, people are better off eating and cooking at home but why is it still the case that organic and free range foods are still priced out of the average families budget. I think the system needs to be updated so that all familys have access to the "best" food out there.

  2. I am in absolute agreement that making dinner is a much healthier and cheaper option than fast food. Having too many take-outs over the week from sheer laziness and convenience, I miss the sit-down dinners where I can share with my family or a loved one.

  3. Bravo! I am quite impressed by the number of people obsessed in this country, and you just proud that one reason is that they are super lazy to prepare to cook! and the recipes look so yummy!! keep posting healthy food...I will totally prepare it at home!

  4. Thanks Nadiah and BidendumNY! It is so important to actually take the time to cook and eat a healthy dinner. I saw a kid on the subway today eating a packet of Oreos & chocolate milk for broke my heart a little bit :(

  5. I agree with these ladies! BRAVO indeed! What a great Blog to connect with. Thank You for being so incredibly honest! We sure do have the tendency to be incredibly L-A-Z-Y. This blog certainly will help :)

  6. I just found your blog through your comment on The Pioneer Woman's website. I fully agree with you on this point. Homemade dinners are definitely the way to go. I loved looking through your blog. I used to live in Hoboken and work in the city. I still miss the buzz of New York.

  7. @ Irish American Mom: so glad you liked the post! This is a topic that I feel very strongly about....especially after some of the horrifying nutrition I've seen on the NYC subway.

  8. Couple of days back threw my uncle a retirement party at one of the best San Francisco venues. Did amazing arrangements there. All decor ideas I took from internet and arrange delicious buffet too. All his family and friends were present there and enjoyed the party.