When I moved back to Memphis, one thing I was a little worried about was my spending on eating out. Usually when I get together with my mom and my brother, we would eat out, and I would invariably pick up the tab (they simply just don't have any money...). And shortly after I moved back, I did take them out for some budget-buster meals, including dinner for the three of us at Rafferty's (we all had steaks, salad, and my mom and I had wine), which cost, I think, with tip, about $80 for the three of us. My mom and I hit Ruby Tuesday, had an appetizer, salad bar, and a margarita each, and it ended up costing over $50 (which I thought was ridiculous--plus we had very poor service). A trip to Olive Garden (which I don't exactly despise, but they LOVE it..) was $90. OUCH. Lately, however, we've been doing Sunday night TV and dinner. I generally cook. Last week was a very cheap meal--a chicken florentine casserole that was DELICIOUS, and only cost, with pasta, salad, and homemade butterscotch brownies (I cheated and bought the baby herb salad), cost me about $16, and we had a lot of leftovers. Yeah, we did each have a glass of Yellowtail. Last night was a more expensive meal--salmon, Israeli couscous with cranberries and onions, salad with pears, walnuts and havarti, and I bought my fave strawberry cake at Whole Foods. I had 6 servings of salmon, so we had dinner and each got another plate of food for lunch or dinner over the next couple of days. Total dinner was around $60, but that's 2 meals each, or a per-meal cost of $5 a person. The reaason we had the salmon last night was because I forgot the thaw the giant 7 lb roast that I bought after Thanksgiving, on sale for only $18. I should have cut it in half before I froze it, but didn't. So I'm cooking that tonight, having mashed potatoes and gravy, and some asparagus from Whole Foods, along with the remainder of the strawberry cake. The asparagus was $4, the cost of the potatoes maybe two, and we'll all be eating on the roast all week, or in the future if either I or my mom freeze our portion (yes, I will be bringing quite a bit home). We've also had some pretty cheap and simple spaghetti and meatball nights, things like that.All of these have been pretty excellent meals, and while maybe not the cheapest meals to fix at home, they are saving me a fortune compared to taking them out to dinner. It has the added bonus of leftovers, which you don't always have with restaurant meals, which is good for my mom, because with her Parkinson's its getting harder for her to cook. Plus I have some peace of mind, too, because I've noticed that mom doesn't eat very well these days, when left to her own devices (and my brother)--they were eating Subway a lot, McDonald's and a bunch of other stuff that's not great, and frankly, relatively expensive. Plus, I don't have TV at home, so I get to watch a little TV and hang with my family.
That's great.I have a standing subscription with friends to a local theatre company. We used to go out to eat before every play. But about 3 years ago we decided to eat at each others' houses as potluck instead. One person does the main meal, another dessert and another a side dish or salad. The food was better and it was WAY cheaper. Down from $20 - $40/person to $5 - $8/person. And so relaxing and fun.
MissEdithKeeler, delicious! I am drooling reading all this and I already had a good breakfast. You are a wonderful cook and make some wonderfully varied meals.All of these have been pretty excellent meals, and while maybe not the cheapest meals to fix at home, they are saving me a fortune compared to taking them out to dinner. It has the added bonus of leftovers, which you don't always have with restaurant meals, which is good for my mom, because with her Parkinson's its getting harder for her to cook. Plus I have some peace of mind, too, because I've noticed that mom doesn't eat very well these days, when left to her own devices (and my brother)--they were eating Subway a lot, McDonald's and a bunch of other stuff that's not great, and frankly, relatively expensive.It came to my mind that it would be a great idea to cook with the specific intention of leftovers (fresh for next day, or frozen for later consumption) for your mother. Depending on her abilities and energy level, it might be nice to prepackage leftovers in meal-sized containers for eating as-is, or quick reheating in a microwave.And my mind is wandering now, MissEdithKeeler, forgive me for taking your thread on a tangent.Due to either incapacity, or weakness and fatigue, I've heard of homebound ill or elderly people rely on junk food because they only need to open the package and consume immediately. No refrigeration and immediate access (they can keep it by their bedside, or chair), and very little clean up. In other cases, they have enough energy to open canned food, or microwave convenience foods, but too little energy to follow up with clean up after eating. Sometimes they may say they aren't hungry when they really don't have the energy to prepare something to eat and clean up. Sometimes having to stand upright or walking back and forth for several minutes as they prepare meals might be too much. When we are healthy, making something as simple as a sandwich seems simple, but for someone who is frail or debilitated, making a sandwich is nearly impossible.As you've noted with your mother, there are some who have the mobility and (still limited) resources to go out for a quick visit to a fast food restaurant (such as McDonald's, Subways), but not cheap long term, and not as nutritious (or as tasty!) as a properly prepared homecooked meal. If they have other health conditions (high blood pressure, diabetes), eating most of their food out of convenience meals can also seriously impair their health.If anyone out there has an elderly or infirmed relative, friend, or neighbor that you are concerned about and you're not sure if they are eating adequately, or they are eating too much fast food or junk food, find out if they are able to prepare adequate meals for themselves. If your loved one is very proud, you may need to snoop for signs in their kitchen if they have been preparing meals, or able to clean up. Of course, you can offer to cook for them, but this may not be a reasonable solution for many.Reading this reminded me about local home-delivered meals programs (best known as "Meals on Wheels" programs) for the homebound, elderly, or infirmed.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meals_on_WheelsYears ago, I volunteered for this local program, God's Love We Deliver, that started with a hospice volunteer who discovered the need on a home visit with one of her patients:https://www.glwd.org/about/overview.jspThis organization was founded in 1985 to serve people living with HIV/AIDS, but now expanded to serve people with cancer and other serious illnesses. From GLWD's mission statement, "We prepare and deliver nutritious, high-quality meals to people who, because of their illness, are unable to provide or prepare meals for themselves. We also provide illness-specific nutrition education and counseling to our clients, families, care providers and other service organizations." Persons living with medical conditions may need some assistance or guidance with eating adequately.MissEdithKeeler, sorry for going on a tangent. At the same time, I also thank you for being able to do so much for your mother. Many people lack the ability, willingness, or even basic competence to care for someone else and you have all of this and then some.Lois Carmen D.
MissEdithKeeler, sorry for going on a tangent. At the same time, I also thank you for being able to do so much for your mother. Many people lack the ability, willingness, or even basic competence to care for someone else and you have all of this and then some.Hey, it was a great tangent!! I moved back here to be closer to my mom, because I was seeing some signs of the poor nutrition, etc. With her, she's not especially incapacited, but she is very depressed, and I think a lot of her depression was loneliness. Since I see her at least once a week, call her every day, and get her to get out and about from time to time, a lot of this loneliness is abating, I think. The other thing is--my mom knows how to push my buttons! She is always very complimentary of my cooking, which means I'll cook for her more. I love to cook, and I love to cook for people who enjoy my food. I do cook extra stuff and share--last week I made a huge pot of lentil soup and gave them half; a few weeks ago it was chili (which my mom was raving about again last night--I think that's a hint for more chili!!). I also think there's a tendency to just enjoy food you don't have to cook yourself--why we go to restaurants, I suppose. And it's a win for me, too. As a single person who loves to cook, sometimes it's hard to cook for just one. I make a big pot of chili, I get sick of it before it's gone, and I don't always like the quality when I freeze and reheat. I mentioned a few days ago I was going to cook a pot of beans. My mom asked me about it last night "Hey, how did your beans turn out?" "I didn't get around to making them yet." "Oh. I was hoping to have some with some cornbread." Is that a hint or what? I better get cooking....
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