Thursday before we made our trip to Sam's Club, I had a long talk with myself. You see, any trip that involves our being in the metropolitan Kansas City area is fraught with temptations to eat out, at least for me. Cliff prefers home cooking, but he's always glad to oblige me when I want to eat out.
We're losing weight around here, both of us. We're also budgeting, practicing for retirement. So before we left, I gave myself the following pep talk.
"Self," I said, "we are going to be in the vicinity of an Olive Garden restaurant. You know very well that the soup, salad, and breadsticks meal will cost fifteen bucks for the two of us, plus a $5 tip (If you can't afford to tip, you can't afford to eat out). Twenty dollars would buy a lot of beans and rice or chicken leg quarters. Also, foolish Self, you know that the Zuppa Toscana you always order is 170 calories per bowl, and you always have at least two bowls. Furthermore, dear Self, one breadstick is 140 calories, and you never stop at less than three."
We won't even talk about the sodium involved. Probably three times as much as we should have in one day. If you eat out ANYWHERE, you are getting too much sodium. It's a given.
The talk did me good, but while we were in Sam's Club I realized I had not prepared anything ahead of time for our dinner at home; by the time we got home, I wouldn't have time to fix much of anything before Cliff had to leave for work. So I bought one of their roasted chickens for five dollars.
Back home, I microwaved a baked potato and cooked some frozen vegetables, and dinner was ready within twenty minutes.
Friday I used 2 1/2 cups of the leftover roast chicken in a new recipe, "Healthified" chicken tortilla casserole (very yummy!). That was our main dish both Friday and Saturday, as well as Cliff's lunch for work Friday night. Today there's just enough of that roast chicken left for a chef salad; that will be our Sunday dinner.
A five dollar chicken can go a long way, baby.