Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Planning versus Ease

Lately, I've had time to consider the advantages of planning versus the ease of all the convenience items that are available. One item that's been brought into focus is brown rice. We love it, it's good for you and requires around 45+ minutes to cook on the stove or an hour to bake it in the oven and around the same amount of time in my rice cooker. Brown rice requires thought and planning to work in our meals. We always make a large batch providing leftover rice, it can be frozen or put in the fridge for another meal, like fried rice or use in soups or for breakfast.

We buy brown rice in bulk it's around $0.70 a pound and pound of dry rice will make 6-7 cups of cooked rice. I saw microwavable brown rice, it was just brown rice and water, it was approximately 6 cups for $6.99. There were six plastic containers that would go into my garbage as well as the lids and the box with plastic they came in. The difference between $6.99 and $0.70 is $6.29. That's a pretty big difference.

Electricity is needed to cook the rice, both require some. The microwave is around 9 minutes (1.5 X 6) and the bulk is on the stove or in the rice cooker, I don't have the conversions for the electric use for those methods. However, in the oven when I'm cooking something else, well, I'm using heat that already there. To do it requires planning and a little less initial ease, but it comes around later...and sometimes if I remember that my planning is worth an extra $6.29 it makes it a little easier to do.

What have you found that requires a little planning and is giving you savings versus the ease of


  1. Right now with our small little living arrangements everything takes planning! lol. A big thing for me is cloth diapers vs disposables. I have all of the diapers. The planning involved is making sure that I get to the laundromat before we are down to needing to raid the dish towel drawer for a diaper substitute (I haven't really done that just thought about it).
    Another thing that I have always loved for the savings is dry beans. We have been eating them on a regular basis for over a year now. Remembering to put them on to soak the day before is sometimes my challenge. I have found that adding a 'to do' section to my weekly menu helps me with that.

  2. My fiance eats more cheese pizza than any human should (very strange dietary reasons). Previously we have:

    - bought takeaway pizza from the lower ranking Dominoes/Pizza-Hut chains $5.95 IF there is a savings voucher. This doesn't include delivery.
    -bought takeaway pizza from the more expensive Italian restaurants at $15 - $20 a pizza.
    -bought pre-packaged pizzas from the supermarket for $6.95.
    -bought pizza bases at the supermarket for $3.95 for two and made the pizzas at home.

    Recently, I've been making pizza bases at home from scratch and finding this has been a great deal cheaper and even more convenient than all the other options.

    The planning part is that I've been making 2 or 3 scone-style pizza bases at once and freezing them so it's less time and work for the next few times.

  3. We home make pizza dough and dry beans, I like home made better for both, plus the savings too. I like them soaked and don't care for the way they turn out with the quick boil version, just me.

    I used cloth diapers for my girls, but I had a diaper service. Is that cheating?