Retire Sooner with These 3 Quick and Easy Recipes

by | Sep 20, 2021 | Hustle

This Saturday is National Cooking Day! And in honor of the fake internet holiday, let’s talk about food! But first, I want to share how food can affect our retirement. 

For anyone wanting to reach OPULENCE– the HOMO Money stage where the compound interest of your money works for you and you have the freedom to live the life you want – the key is to strive for a high savings rate.

In short, spend 10-15 years of HUSTLE living with the highest savings rate possible and you can achieve the freedom to retire or pursue a new career that’s not driven by salary. As it was written in detail by Mr. Money Moustache of the FIRE community, a savings rate of 50% of your take home pay will set you on a path to financial freedom in roughly 17 years. Increase your savings rate a little bit more to 60%, and you’ll hit financial freedom even sooner, in just 12.5 years!

Savings rate spreadsheet by Mr Money Mustache

But what’s all this financial independence jibber-jabber got to do with food? Girl, I’m hungry!

Hangry Queen

Don’t worry, I’m almost to the recipes. Eat a cookie and get that blood sugar up, girl!

Homo Money

Sorry about that. She a thirsty queen.

You see, achieving a high savings rate can be attacked from two different angles: (a) make more money or (b) save more money. Ideally, a person will go at it from both sides at once. Let’s use food as a way to take a closer look at saving more. According to The Motley Fool, the five biggest household expenses are housing, transportation, taxes, utilities, and food. That fifth category (food) has always been my biggest area for improvement when it comes to my monthly spending.

As a takeout ordering, non-cooking hot mess, I had always seen food as a luxury that I had no choice but to pay a lot for. And as one of those boughie gays keeping “Whole Paycheck” in business, high quality food is my favorite way to treat myself.

Treat Yourself as said by Aziz Ansari

If you’re a high-spending foodie like me, you’ll appreciate my 3 favorite recipes that are quick, easy, healthy, and will slash through your food bill faster than Project Runway contestants cutting through fabric on a timed challenge.

1. Avocado toast

With most cafes charging around $15 per serving, this is the infamous dish sending millennials to the poor house… or more accurately, keeping them living at Mom’s house. With just a couple ingredients from Costco, you can treat yourself to this delicious, nutritious treat and make two week’s worth of it for the cost of one serving at a café (after adding tax and tip).

SHOPPING LIST:

  • Dave’s Killer Organic Bread ($8). This is a hearty, nutty bread that’s perfect at handling the weight of any topping you want to pile onto your toast. It’s sold as a two-pack at Costco, so just pop the second loaf into the freezer until you need it.
  • Kirkland Organic Chunky Guacamole 16-pack cups ($10). The great thing about these being individually packaged is that you can pop them in the freezer if they get too close to their expiration date. And then, you just hold a frozen packet under some warm running water to get it ready to eat. Easy!

avocado toast ingredients

RECIPE:

  • STEP 1: toast bread.
  • STEP 2: spread on one packet of guac.
  • OPTIONAL: sprinkle on alfalfa sprouts, crumbled goat cheese, cherry tomatoes, or Trader Joe’s “Everything But The Bagel” spice (shout-out to my friend Irene for this tip).

slice of avocado toast

    COST PER SERVING AT A CAFÉ: $15.00

    COST PER SERVING BY MAKING IT AT HOME: $1.00

    2. Overnight oats

    Similar to the first recipe above, overnight oats is another breakfast dish that is stupid-easy to make. That’s why it always shocks me to see brands like MUSH selling theirs in grocery stores and online for $5/serving! Here’s my shopping list for a week’s worth of this dish, courtesy of Trader Joe’s:

    SHOPPING LIST:

    • Old-fashioned organic oats ($3)
    • Flavored non-dairy milk ($3)
    • OPTIONAL: Cinnamon and baking walnuts. The baking kind are much cheaper than a traditional bag of walnuts and easier to add to the oats since they’re already broken up into smaller chunks.

    overnight oats ingredients

    RECIPE:

    • STEP 1: scoop 1/3 cup of oats into small bowls or glasses so you have enough servings for the week.
    • STEP 2: pour the nut milk over the oats, being sure to fill it high enough to soak up all the oats.
    • STEP 3: place in the fridge overnight until ready to eat.
    slice of avocado toast

      COST PER SERVING IF BUYING IT PREMADE: $5.00

      COST PER SERVING BY MAKING IT AT HOME: $1.00

      3. Three-day salad

      As a die-hard fan of Trader Joe’s, I would often buy 2-3 of their individual salad kits during every trip to do my grocery shopping. At around $5 per salad kit, I figured I was saving money compared to the cost of buying a salad out in town. But to be even more cost effective, this three-day salad will slash that cost down by half or more by having enough for breakfast, lunch and dinner over the course of three days (before the greens start to wilt), which will produce the equivalent of 9 side salads.

      SHOPPING LIST:

      • Organic greens ($4)
      • Cherry tomatoes ($3). My favorites are the organic ones sold on the vine.
      • Balsamic and olive oil dressing ($5). One bottle will last you a while.
      salad kit
      vine-ripened cherry tomatoes

      RECIPE:

      • STEP 1: put a handful of greens in a bowl. Most of the salad greens sold in bulk are triple-rinsed, so as far as ease of meal prep, it’s a non-cooker’s dream.
      • STEP 2: grab a handful of cherry tomatoes, slice them in half (to make them easier to stab with a fork), and add to the bowl.
      • STEP 3: drizzle dressing over everything.

        COST OF A SIDE SALAD AT A CAFÉ: $8.00

        COST PER SERVING BY MAKING IT AT HOME: $1.00

        Man cooking in the kitchen

        TO WRAP UP: If you ordered each of these dishes once a day five days a week, you’ll be spending $28/day or $140/week. And now, compare that to making these three dishes at home and you’ll only be spending $3/day or $15/week!

            HOT-MESS SPENDING BEFORE: $140/week

            HOMO-MONEY SPENDING AFTER: $15/week

            That adds up to $125 of savings per week, which is $500 of “found money” every month! Incidentally, the maximum contribution to a Roth IRA is $500/month, so the savings from these three quick recipes could be just the thing to fund your retirement, set your personal finances on autopilot, and hit $1 Million dollars in 34 years without doing ANYTHING else to earn more or save more money.

            Girrrrrrrrrl, that homemade avocado toast is tasting better and better by the day! Pay it forward with this power tip and share this post with a hot-mess avocado toast-ordering millennial in your life.

            Your turn! Do you have a quick and easy recipe to save money with your food budget? Leave a comment below and tell us about it.

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