The Range Office "Alien Hive"
DIY is a great concept (except for perhaps brain surgery) and with a little practice, especially in the kitchen, you can cut your food budget by quite a bit.
Case in point. Taco salad night. I had just grabbed essentials at the store as far as perishable items after being away three weeks and wanting to finish the shopping after my work week. So tonight, it was just lettuce, chips, cheese and meat. But feel free to add corn, olives, beans, cherry tomatoes, etc. Half the fun is just making it up as you go along, but a good seasoning is essential, as not everyone likes boring and bland.
They 75 year old Range range. There lies a treaty of
mutually assured destruction between us, that so far seems to be working.
The prepackaged taco seasoning can run from fifty cents to $2. A package of the generic store brand at the local grocers here is $1.29. That sounds cheap but it adds up over time. You can buy generic spices, which can be used in many other dishes, and make your own, for about 15 cents a serving, buying in bulk.
Plus you don't have all of the mystery ingredients in the packaged items, such as whey, maltodextrin, autolyzed yeast extract (their clever way of saying MSG), cellulose and "natural" flavor (if it's natural, why not tell us what it is?)
The DIY Catalina? Oil, honey, vinegar, onion, Worcestershire sauce and some spices you likely already have on hand. That's it. It's not as thick, but it has the same wonderful flavor and the remaining dressing will marinade a cheap skirt steak for grilling later in the week.
Then go down and enjoy some time in the shop with the tools you bought with the money saved in the kitchen.