March 20th, 2009 by katie

I really like burgers for dinner: they are such as easy, fun, and satisfying meal.  So I was hoping I could fit them into the budget now that we are being conscious of how much our meals are per serving.  I have been in the mood for sliders lately so I picked up some dinner rolls and ground beef and my favorite sweet potato fries.  There is no recipe here, I formed 2 pounds of ground beef into 16 mini patties and cooked them on the stove-top.  We set out the toppings and made the fries and dinner was ready.

Cost Analysis:

  • 16 dinner rolls: $4.98
  • 2 lb grass fed beef: $9.99
  • 4 slices American cheese: $1.25
  • frozen sweet potato fries: $3.39
  • Total cost for 6 servings: $19.61 or $3.27 per serving

And whoa was it expensive once I ran the numbers.  I did learn a few things though.  First, the pre-cut julienned sweet potato fries and pre-made dinner rolls were the budget busters.  Homemade dinner rolls and whole, fresh sweet potatoes would have actually brought this meal down into the recession category.  Second, for $20 I treated a family of six to sliders and fries in about 15 minutes.  So, really, we did better than if we had hit a drive thru both nutritionally and budget-wise.  Sometimes it is worth a little extra to have a quick meal ready when your fingers start to reach for the car keys.  Of course if I had extra dinner rolls stashed away in the freezer or the inclination to chop up a sweet potato, I would be ahead of the game with this meal.

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Posted in Fast, Snacks/Appetizers

12 Responses

  1. noble pig

    Yes but homemade might have required more energy from the oven to make and brought you to the same amount. I think you did good.

  2. Tami Lyn

    When they are so small, it makes me think I can have 2, or maybe like 6! They look yummy

  3. sweetbird

    I love sliders…mini food makes me weak in the knees.

    Now, can you make a version of crab cake sliders that’s recession friendly? I think I’d consider worshiping you if that were the case.

    Oh, and the paper’s finished. It was on banning fast food restaurants in “food deserts.” I think it’s impossible for me to write a paper that’s not on food by now…

  4. Kristen

    I love your cost analysis feature – so helpful!
    These sliders look delish!

  5. nancy

    I love burgers. Your sliders look so tasty. We’re doing burgers on the grill tonight and homemade fries.

    Glad you’re back; I was beginning to miss you. Love your site.

  6. Grass Fed Beef

    $5/lb for grass fed ground beef? Where do you get it? (And adding bacon always makes a burger better. Looks delicious)

  7. Lindsay

    I love Hawaiian rolls.. I never thought of using them on burgers…. but I will from now on. My husband makes the best breakfast sandwiches with them using spicy sausage and American cheese… delicious.

  8. stephen

    I’m all about the economics of food. Local fresh and less pain on the pocket book

  9. Melissa

    Mmm burgers. I’ve decided they’re one of my favorite foods, now that I only make them at home and I make them medium rare, dang it! So good.

    Buying the pre-made stuff can eat into the budget, but yes, you definitely came out a winner overall. And you got to stress over dinner so little, that’s priceless!

  10. alexandra

    very interesting analysis. i am loving your cooking-the-recession series. it’s amazing how making bread or using potatoes from scratch can make such a big difference cost-wise. it is, however, as you mention, important to weigh “life minutes.”

    Those sliders look awesome!

  11. marguerite

    Those look AWESOME!

  12. Heidi / Savory Tv

    I am a huge burger fan! You did great, and you never would have had the grass fed beef at a drive through! And a healthy dose of Vitamin A w/ the sweet potato fries!

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About chaos

cha·os -noun 1. a condition or place of great disorder or confusion. My chaotic kitchen is the result of three kids, two adults, dog, cat, and fish, a food obsession, a wine drinking hobby, and too few hours in the day. Between trying to feed a family of five healthy, happy meals, watching my weight, saving my pennies, and staying partially sane I have picked up a few tricks along the way. So here they are: the very best tips, tricks, and recipes from my chaotic kitchen-to yours!

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