Saturday, December 3, 2016

Economics of Shake and Bake

We enjoy a childlike approach to life, so we eat a lot of kids' meal-type foods such as chicken fingers; shaped fish nuggets, and cracker-and-spread snack foods. Switching to our veggie and fruit-based diet almost overnight meant that we sometimes found ourselves stubbornly wishing for our high-fat, breaded favorites. It seemed like a good idea to make our own nuggets so that we could control the fat content and eliminate the high fructose corn syrup and salt in most commercial coating mixes. Convenience won this week, so I found myself hunting for Shake and Bake so that we could try making some breaded tofu chunks.

I had a case of sticker shock when I realized that I was about to pay $3.99 for a 5-ounce box, especially when I saw that it was just bread crumbs, spices, and high fructose corn syrup. Near the Shake and Bake, I saw that seasoned bread crumbs were just $1.39 per pound. I wanted barbecue flavor, though, so I looked at the spice aisle and found A-1 dry spice rub for $2.99 for  a four-ounce bottle. I mixed the two together and wound up paying just under $4.50 for a full pound of spiced coating mix. I would have paid close to $12 for 15 ounces of Shake and Bake.

Kid-fu tofu chunks
Photo by Jack V. Sage 12/04/2016

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