I’m Such a Nerd (Cost-Benefit Analysis)

Hey y’all,

So, I realized (again) this morning that I’m a huge nerd. I knew that, but hard-core examples of it keep popping up.

I have a hard time wanting things just because they’re pretty or sound good. I always (and I’ve been doing this for as long as I can remember) analyze the cost to me (monetary or time/effort-wise) vs how much benefit I will receive from it. This sounds intense, but I swear it’s pretty much just asking myself if “Is it worth it?”

I remember talking to a friend years ago about what kind of chips to get out of the vending machine. She was debating over the choices, but I told her it’d be best to get the regular Cheetos rather than something like potato chips. Cheetos are more dense than potato chips. Plus, there are usually more in a bag; potato chips are mostly air because of how they’re packed. For the same price, the Cheetos were the better deal.

That was specifically about money, but I do the same thing with food prep at home. I don’t really eat snacks. If I do eat snacks, it’s because I had made a large quantity in advance. I never like to take the last of something. If I do that, then there wouldn’t be any for later (Sometimes this get me in trouble with food going bad – I’ve had to do some life learning). I pretty much always make a large batch of food. That way, I don’t have to cook quite as much – although I just use the extra time to cook different things… But back on snacks, I don’t like to spend time in the kitchen for something that will only stave off hunger for a few minutes. For example, I do enjoy a fruit salad, but only when someone else makes it. Fruit salad alone definitely won’t keep hunger at bay for more than an hour – and that’s if it’s a pretty dense salad. Instead, I just grab a piece of fruit and eat it on the spot. The fruit alone takes absolutely no time – especially since I pre-wash it all when I get home from the store. Making a fruit salad takes time. You have to chop things and decide what fruit to put in and sometimes make a sauce. And all of that work gets you what? Maybe 200-300 calories? And that’s in-between other meals.

I cook for myself and my spouse 2-3 times a day. I don’t want to spend anymore time in the kitchen to prepare snacks. That’s probably why I love the smoothie meal-replacement idea. It only takes a few minutes to get a smoothie together, and there are minimal dishes. I wouldn’t want a regular smoothie, as they can leave you hungry, but meal-replacement smoothies are so dense that they actually fill you up for a while.

I love taking inspiration from body-builders. They have to pack a lot calories in in a day, and they’re out training and don’t have all day to cook. The foods they eat are typically dense and quick, just like I like my food. Some of the bodybuilding staple foods are Cream of Rice (one guy called it cream of GAINZ), dense smoothies, and nut butters. That’s most of what I eat!

To me, snacks (unless it’s something like trail-mix that can be made in advance en mass) just aren’t worth it. Either you spend time in the kitchen preparing something with not many calories, or you pay too much money for the convenience of having someone else do it. There are multiple restaurants near me that serve pasta, pizza, and fried rice for exorbitant prices. I’ve priced it out, and I can make those exact foods at home (with copycat recipes) for $1 or less! Once I learned that, there’s no way I would go and spend $30 on a plate of food. I get that I’d be paying the people for their time and not so much for the food, but I can’t bring myself do it.

I feel like this post is a train-wreck, but maybe it’s giving some small piece of knowledge to someone. Have a GREAT DAY guys!

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