Us here at Financial Uproar (me and 14,000 bed bugs I just can’t kill) are big fans of eating at home. I’ve gone from barely being able to make toast to being a halfway skilled amateur cook. It turns out following recipes isn’t hard. Some moron before you did all the work. You get to follow his lead and take credit!

What a country.

Look at some of the stuff I’ve made:

As long as my wife pretends to like it that’s good enough for me.

But sometimes you don’t have the extra half hour needed to throw together a home cooked meal. You might be pressed for time. Or you might need to eat out because you’re far from home. Or maybe you’re just feeling lazy tonight and just want someone to cook for you. Hey, we’re not here to judge.

Uh, I’m actually very much here to judge. And you won’t let me leave.

Don’t worry about Italics Man. I’mma going to smother him with a pillow sometime soon.

Let me help you with convenience eating. Here are some ways to get the best value for your money.

Frozen pizza

Oh, frozen pizza. I used to live off that stuff. I even did a blog post outlining the best frozen pizzas out there.

Frozen pizza is pretty much the epitome of convenience eating. It’s delicious, terrible for you, and you don’t even need to put on pants if you’ve got one hanging out in the freezer.

These days I pretty much stick to the thin crust Delissio. I’ll buy either the 4 meat or the deluxe one for myself, while the wife prefers Canadian. These are purchased at the local Wal-Mart for approximately $3 each when on sale, which is almost always.

Honestly, you can’t really go wrong with frozen pizza. Just make sure you cook it long enough (you want the cheese to be golden brown, not white) and you’re in business. Even if you’re a gluttonous pig like me you’re still getting a simple dinner for less than $4 a person.

Ramen

You can cook ramen the really lazy way or the mostly lazy way.

The really lazy way is the preparation instructions on the package. Everyone knows how to do that, so I won’t elaborate.

The mostly lazy way is to boil your ramen and use it as a base for a stir fry. My wife makes one that’s just ramen, green onions, soy sauce, and some leftover meat of our choice. It takes about 10 minutes and you’re eating. It’s really good, too.

Mac and Cheese

You can find the store brand mac and cheese for about $0.50 a box, which makes it some of the cheapest foods in the grocery store on a per calorie basis. It’s pretty damn delicious, too.

Don’t fall for the fancy Kraft Dinner plot. The regular stuff is overpriced as it is. The fancy shapes are an even bigger ripoff. $2 for different shapes? NICE TRY, BUFFETT.

Restaurants

Buffets win

If you’re interested in getting the best value for your buck when convenience eating, a great place to start is your local Chinese buffet.

It’s a shame most of the meat ends up being coated with batter and sauce, but whatever. That stuff is still damn tasty. Us Albertans get to enjoy ginger beef as well, a local variation of Chinese food that hasn’t really caught on anywhere else in the country. Suckers. More ginger beef for Nelly.

It’s an even better value if you go for lunch. I’ve been known to eat enough for lunch at the local Chinese food place I’m not interested in supper. Not bad for $12.99.

Remember what you can make at home

One skill every man should have is the ability to grill a nice steak. It’s actually pretty damn easy. Just make sure you have a good cut of meat, a hot grill, and enough Montreal Steak Spice to clog your grandfather’s arteries once and for all. It takes 3-4 minutes a side to have a nice medium-rare steak, assuming a one inch thickness.

I can cook a steak at home that’s pretty much as good as going out to a restaurant, for about a third to a quarter of the cost depending on how good the meat sale was. So why would I ever order such a thing when I go out?

A good restaurant pizza is amazing. Nachos are time consuming to make at home. I can’t make a decent calzone either. These are the things you order at a restaurant. Not the things you already make well on your own.

Fast food

I like fast food because you don’t have to tip 20% on top of an already overpriced meal. It’s kinda the same at buffets, actually.

Here are some random observations about getting good value out of fast food.

  • Two words: McDonald’s Value Menu
  • Pizza Hut offers an $8 large pizza of the day on its app
  • The meatball sub is the best value at Subway, although even it’s getting a little pricey
  • Those Dairy Queen $6 meal deals that come with the sundae? That’s the good shit right there
  • Pretty much anything at Taco Bell
  • 7-11 hot dogs are underrated, especially if they still do that 2/$5 deal

Okay, let’s wrap this up

You have two options when it comes to convenience eating. You can go for quality and eat out at fancy places that will cost you $50 after you have a couple of drinks. Or you can do it on the cheap.

I prefer the second option.

Just remember to eat good most of the time. Or don’t. See if I care. Warren Buffett has eaten like trash for 89 years now and look where it’s gotten him.

Tell everyone, yo!