Total Food and Food Pantry Costs for 5 weeks: $353.07
- 105 Meals over the 5 Weeks averages out to $3.36/Meal
- That results in $70.61 food costs per week x 52 =$3671.93/year
- Annual food costs divided by 12 equals $305.99/month on the "5 Week Menu" versus National average for Young adults' monthly food spending of $749.66
That's a savings of $443.67/month or $5,324/year.
"Young adults' average weekly food spending is $173", From 2012 Gallup Poll With inflation over the intervening 7 years that disparity is even greater.
If you've been used to a lot of prepared foods, fast foods and restaurant foods, your taste very likely has become accustomed to greater and greater amounts of added salt, sugars and fats.
Give yourself three weeks for your toungue-- your amazing taste buds, to re-acclimate to reduced amounts of salt, sugar and fats. You'll find that very quickly your taste buds will require less and less salt to find your food flavorful. In fact, instead of just tasting salt or sugar, you'll start noticing a broader range of flavors; lots of subtleties that have either not been in your normal diet due to low quality produce or have been masked by excessive salts.
The saltiness of our national diet has increased greatly over the years in an attempt to fulfill the "flavor" requirements of increasingly overwhelmed taste buds. It's a wonderful thing that our taste buds can recover so quickly. The downside is that you'll find that many foods you used to like will just taste like too much salt and sugar....you will start wanting a full range of FLAVOR!
Your nutrition will improve simply with reduced sugars, salts and fats but the other nutritional benefit that occurs, when you start cooking all your meals, comes from the resulting desire for a broader range of flavors.
That large pallette of flavors is representative of a large pallete of nutrients. A quick rule of thumb is to "Eat Your Colors"...more greens, reds, oranges, purples.
A bit of a warning though: Not all produce are good representatives of their forbears; the way they are grown can reduce the nutrients in the vegetables and the resulting lack of associated flavors. You may start hunting for more and more flavorful produce. It's a good hunt to go on because, when you find it, you'll find good nutrition and better health along with better flavor.
Conviviality is a great word.
It sums up all these synonyms in one word: friendliness, geniality, affability, amiability, congeniality, good humor, cordiality, warmth, warm-heartedness, good nature, sociability, gregariousness, companionability; cheerfulness, cheeriness, good cheer, joviality, jollity, gaiety, liveliness, festivity and bonhomie.
And it all happens around cooking good food for friends, soon to be friends and family.