Now, now. I’ve met the sublimely fascinating Mr. ChatMom, and he didn’t strike me as quick. He didn’t strike me as cheap. He didn’t strike me as easy. In fact, he only struck me when I started talkin’ dirty to you while you whipped up the mashed taters !!
I’m with MsRobyn on this one. Cheaper and as easy to fancy up yourself with a few ingredients on hand. The only downside is that I don’t get to serve dinner while talking like Randy Quaid.
This is my thought. If I have to brown the ground beef first, I might just as well just make hamburgers. I have bought the Tuna Helper a few times (and liked it) … now I just mix in a couple cans of tuna w/Mac & Cheese (and ditto above about tuna being .50 to .65 per can)
Seriously, when I was a kid, back in the 70’s when meat got really, really expensive for a while there and some grocery stores were even selling horsemeat (I mean, admitting to it), my mom made it for dinner once. Don’t remember which “flavor”.
That was the only meal ever where I was allowed to leave the table without cleaning my plate. Nobody finished theirs. In fact, Mom tried to give the leftovers to the dog, and she wouldn’t eat it, either. And, y’know, this is a dog that would eat a dead rat it found in the street.
I love packaged foods. I know that, when I die, my body will not decay because of all the artificial stuff I have eaten, and I will probably eventually be dug up as a vampire because of it. Or venerated as a saint, who knows. But I love that kind of stuff.
Hamburger Helper is (obviously) not kosher, so I don’t eat it any more. I used to eat it and like it in college, though. I eat the Tuna Melt flavor of Tuna Helper when I can find it, which isn’t very often. I usually just make Kraft mac ‘n’ cheese and mix in a can of tuna when I’m putting the milk and powdered cheese in. I make real mac and cheese too, and sometimes put tuna in that, but sometimes I have a craving for the Kraft stuff and nothing else will do.
You’re not buying imported Italian tuna packed in olive oil or something like that, are you? Starkist or Chicken of the Sea or store-brand tuna work just fine in Tuna Helper. The supermarkets near me almost always have some tuna on sale, multiple cans for $1. It’s something I commonly buy if I’m buying stuff to donate to a food drive.
Generic canned tuna at wal-mart is 50 cents. Add a 33 cent box of generic macaroni & cheese and you’ve got a rockin’ cheap dinner
Chili Mac Hamburger Helper is what took me away from a life of vegetarianism (You eat a whole box of HH with over a pound of beef in one sitting after not eating meat for over a year and not puke. I am the eating goddes).
Generic HH is 96 cents + a pound of HH ($2.08 at wal-mart or 1.69 at winn-dixie) and you have a cheap dinner. I may save a dollar here or there by making it from scratch, but it is well below the amount I will pay when I am cooking solo with a five year old and 18 mo. old literally at my feet (with occasional forays by the 5 y/o to the kitchen floor to let me know that he is dying of starvation).
It never occurred to me that one could do homemade HH. Which tells you what an inspired cook I am. :smack:
Not that anyone cares, but the idea for this thread was my shopping trek last week when I grabbed a coupla boxes of HH. We had one last week, and I made the other yesterday. I’ll probably not buy it again for another year or so. In fact, I may never buy it again, if I succeed in concocting a homemade version.
Dinner tonight was mac n cheese from a box. I’ll be glad when my husband gets home and we eat real food again…
When Mr. Neville’s not around, at least. He grew up keeping kosher, unlike me, so this stuff isn’t comfort food for him- he thinks it’s weird and won’t eat it (I’m a pickier eater than he is, so I’m quite willing to be tolerant of his food quirks). He likes tuna mac, though. And the Neville kitties LOVE it when I make tuna mac, because they get the “juice” that I squeeze out of the tuna can, which they love. They come running every time I run the can opener, just in case the can is tuna (I never open their cat food with the electric can opener, so it’s not that).
I usually have problems finding noodles like the ones that come in the HH lasagna. I love love love that shape of noodles (they remind me of a canned pasta I used to eat as a kid, Roller Coasters, and are uber comfort food for that reason), but for some reason they only seem to be available in HH or maybe TH. I can find all kinds of other esoteric pasta shapes without too much trouble in the Bay Area, but somehow not that one.
I make something that’s sort of like a homemade HH- I take pasta, jarred marinara sauce, Morningstar Farms Grillers Crumbles, and Parmesan (not from a can- I think that stuff’s illegal in the Bay Area ), and put them together. The result is quite a bit like a meatless version of HH lasagna (except for noodle shape). The crumbles are nice because you don’t have to brown them- I just put the frozen crumbles in the sauce and let them heat up there. It makes a good “it’s a weeknight and we’re totally exhausted” dinner- it uses things we normally have around and that don’t go bad, and there’s not much thinking or cooking skills required. It doesn’t require any equipment that can’t be put in the dishwasher to clean it (like chef’s knives), either, which is another big plus.
Yup: usually if it’s gotten to the point where we’re considering a not-from-scratch meal, it’s because we’re too tired to do anything more complex then rip open packages and dump 'em into the pot and too hungry for salad or the other usual ‘low brain power needed’ meals. (We also usually don’t use the reccomended amount of meat: it’ll be whatever we have on hand, which may or may not be the amount asked for in the directions.)
Hamish and I used to eat a lot of HH. Then we decided it was too expensive for what it gave us; instead, we started making Lipton Noodles and mixing them with the ground beef, which was good (and more flavours, too!). That lasted for a long time. Then we started just making regular pasta.
I wouldn’t object to a box now and again, but it just seems so… pointless. Why spend more money and eat lots of chemicals when I can cook something that at least my ancestors would have recognized as food?
That can’t be the actual label…a single serving is not the whole box! Come on, a tiny bag of potato chips even claims to be three servings! Can someone with an actual physical box in their hand confirm that The HH people list a single serving as the whole box?