Frugality is something that I try to adhere to in general. We do have three daughters to support, and two of them are now in college. My husband and I, of course, have been finding ways to earn money in addition to cutting back on unnecessary expenses.

At my house, the biggest chunk of our expenses go to food, largely consisting of the groceries we buy and the food that we eat out.

With us trying to save more money, when we buy convenience food, I have noticed that we tend to go for fast food rather than restaurant food. However, with the recent talks about fast food and prepared foods in general, we have been cutting down a lot on eating out. Especially junk food.

A few months ago, I read this article on the Simple Dollar referring to the revelation that Taco Bell (one of favorite go-to fast food chains) is not using 100% beef in their products as we would assume. But they are not alone in that. It is a common practice in most fast-food places and I'm sure even in some restaurants.

The following is an excerpt from the Simple Dollar (one of my favorite blogs for being frugal and healthy) about making your own convenience food at home.

Over the past week, the fast food restaurant chain Taco Bell was sued for claiming that the taco mixture used in their products was actually beef. According to USDA standards, a beef mixture served by businesses must contain at least 40% beef in ordered to be labeled as such, and the lawsuit alleges (with some evidence) that their taco mixture only contains 36% beef., not the 88% beef that they claim.

Taco Bell themselves list ingredients in their “meat filling products” that include “water, isolated oat product, wheat oats, maltodrextrin, soy lecithin, maltodrextrin, anti-dusting agent, autolyzed yeast extract, modified corn starch, sodium phosphate and silicon dioxide.”

Silicon dioxide?

Here’s the thing: the lawsuit itself isn’t really all that important. It’s the broader issue that scares me. Consider that the USDA only requires that something contain 40% meat to be called “meat,” whether at Taco Bell or anywhere else you might buy a “meat product.” ~ The Simple Dollar

As mentioned in the article, it's just as easy to make your own "fast food" at home rather than subjecting your family's health to subpar ingredients and toxic additives. The Simple Dollar, by the way is a personal finance blog that gives practical advice and solutions to financial problems that we all encounter. While he advises on ways to increase your income stream, he is not one of those sites that promote make money online schemes so THEY can make money online. The topics he discusses and the advice he doles out are all practical and sensible for everyday folks like us. I also like it that he talks about the meals that they prepare in their family, meals that are healthy but also frugal.


  1. autovit // 7/26/2011 2:00 AM  

    Oh my God this looks so good and i`m sure that it is delicious too. I think it is not a very difficult recipe so i will give it a try, thanks a lot for sharing.

  2. // 10/01/2011 11:31 AM  

    "cooking with green tomatoes" surface. Try slicing some into 1/2 inch slices and arrange them in a one, to two inch rectangle pan. Then simply season some chicken parts with lemon pepper, onion powder and ginger powder. Lay the chicken parts on top of the green tomato slices and bake at 385, skin side up, until crispy brown. Another seasoning option for this recipe is to use an inexpensive (meatloaf seasoning mix only) on the chicken, for a different flavor. Trust me, it works very well. After about 35 minutes of baking (2/3 cooking time), add an inexpensive, (MSG)free chicken stock to the pan. With both of these seasoning options, finish it off with whatever sauce/rue/gravy that you like. Then there are the pork roasts, steaks and chops, on the same bed of sliced green tomatoes. All can be seasoned, using the seasoning packs from any inexpensive brand of pork flavored Oriental noodles ie; "Oodles of Noodles" (MSG)free preferred. Bake chops and steaks at 385, covered with foil/lid for the first 35 minutes of baking. Then remove foil/lid, add your favorite broth/liquid and continue baking at 400 uncovered. With the pork roast, put green tomato slices underneath and on top of the roast, in a deep pan/casserole dish, with lid and cook at 430 for at least one and a half hours, or until well done for small ones. Larger roasts will require more time. Again, add favorite broth/liquid about 2/3 the way through cooking time. Green tomatoes can also be used to cook beef roasts, flake fishes and they do something special to smoked sausage, in a skillet, on top of the stove.

  3. make money online // 1/01/2012 5:28 PM  

    I am really like food also like your this article. Thank you brother.