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The $4.00 Lunch

October 2012

I’ve made quite the big deal about my love and indulgence of fast food.  I like them all.  Arby’s three cheese and bacon dealio, Wendy’s spicy chicken sandwich (and a single – no toms or onions of course), Burger King’s Classic Chicken Sandwich (with a Whopper on the side just for good measure – that was my dinner of choice after my Tuesday night club ride), and from McDonald’s I’ve always been partial to the Fish O’ Filet with a 4 piece chicken nuggets (and barbecue sauce).  Don’t even get me started on KFC – man, you know it’s gonna be bad when I walk into a KFC, you just better keep your hands away from my head and shoulder area, lest they get shoveled in with that yummy chicken.

While I’d love to be able to eat that stuff all of the time, the reality is that it’s pretty rare that I do.  I like to write about it because some of the reactions are funny and because I’d love nothing more than to put the myth that it’s bad for you to bed where it belongs.  While there are plenty of better options, a Spicy Chicken Sandwich from Wendy’s with a nice order of fries every now and again never hurt anybody – nor will any of the other items I listed.

There is a problem though, and that’s cost.  My Tuesday night club ride meal (the Whopper and Chicken Sammich Combo) costs a little more than $10.  For a Fish O Filet and Chicken McNuggets meal, that’s almost $6.50 Price went up:  $7.25 (forgot about that).  God forbid we start talking about something like Chili’s or my favorite sit down place, On the Border Cantina or Qdoba – now you’re looking at some cheese.

How about Jimmy John’s?  Who could resist a Hunter’s Club?  Or how about Jared’s favorite, Subway?

Folks, I ate great today for lunch for less than half the price of a Hunter’s Club:

3 Slices Free Range, Grain Fed Turkey Ham (Smoked of course), Hand Shredded Colby Jack Cheese and Spinach Leaves (with a kiss of ranch dressing) – Each of course

Now, as much as I love my wife, she goes a little crazy to get the grainiest fed – free rangest – non-steroid eatin’est food out there, and she’s not afraid to flash the cash to do it either.  I personally think it’s quite silly and a great marketing ploy to separate the gullible from their hard-earned dollar, but I love her with all of my heart so I let it go…  Even so, with the ridiculous amount that she paid for that smoked ham in those sammiches ($7 per pound), the meal you see before you – completely balanced with all food groups represented (including a honey crisp apple not shown), costs all of about $4 – maybe $3…  And it only took 7 mintes and 28 seconds to prepare before I left for work this morning – approximately one third the time it would take for me to get to Mickey D’s, wait in line, order, wait in line, get my food and get back to my office.

Now here’s where it gets fun…  My free time – the time that I’m not at my desk – is worth about $125 per hour to me.  In fact, I won’t bother cutting coupons because I can’t save enough money for the effort to be worth my time…  But, if I’m not wasting my time driving to and from the fast food joint, that’s another $31.25 on top of that $7.25 Filet Combo meal.  Most people don’t think like that – they don’t place a value on their time.

So where, I wonder, does all of this hoo-haa about McDonald’s being cheap food come from?  I pay an arm and a leg to eat fast food compared to the feast you see before you.  Fast food is expensive as hell when considered against normal grocery store food…  This much is obvious:  It has to be, somebody is cooking it for you.

In any event, before I get off on another unintended tangent, even though I don’t give the good food much press, this is how I normally eat.  So rest assured fitties, though I’d love to give it a shot, I don’t live on fast food alone.

In other news, I’ve begun the ratcheting back process for the winter.  I’ve begun to change my diet – or more correctly stated, cut back on my caloric intake – so that I don’t gain a bunch of unwanted weight over the winter months.  I’ll be riding regularly still, but the Tuesday night club ride and any other centuries that may pop up are out.  I’m going for the easy miles over the next month or so.  No more riding down to the running club (it’ll be running only on Saturdays now), no more rides over 40 miles, just nice and easy for the next four or five months.  I’ve earned it.

Don’t get the wrong impression, I’m not cashing it in…  My idea of taking it easy consists of a 30 – 45 minute spin, 4 days a week and a long and a short run every week and a 10-15 mile trail ride just for fun.  My “slow” is more than most people’s “holy crap, I can’t believe I’m working out this much”.


  1. Katie says:

    Fast food can get expensive. Even if you’re just eating it once a week, it definitely adds up!

  2. Chatter says:

    Another quality post. My wife is the same about organic, whole something or other, no hormones something… it never ends, but makes her happy and if you can find a trader joes and sometimes whole foods that stuff can be gotten for cheaper.

    • bgddyjim says:

      I don’t worry about the cost when it comes to my wife’s grocery shopping. I let her have at it. She’s better with a budget than I am anyway.

      I had a discussion with a friend of mine who just happens to own a grocery store chain – he confirmed my take on the fad… Oh well. Happy wife = Happy life

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