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Sorta Random Sunday: The Least Expensive Meal I’ve Ever Had

Last week, I talk about the most expensive meal I’ve ever had with Selenid at Ko in NYC. Our conclusion was that this $1,000 tasting menu meal was worth it and we were intentional about it. But with that fresh on our mind, I want to talk about the least expensive meal I’ve ever had.

If I had a million dollars…

I’m paraphrasing but one of the best lines in the classic Barenaked Ladies song “If I Had A Million Dollars” is when the riff saying,

If I had a million dollars
We wouldn’t have to eat Kraft dinner
But we would eat Kraft dinner
Of course we would we’d just eat more

I often think about this when I think about living like a resident after graduating training. This perfectly encapsulates that.

But Mac & Cheese isn’t my go-to…

My favorite least expensive meal is actually cereal

Oh yes!

I love cereal. Really all kinds for the most part. Selenid too. I’m pretty sure that’s why we are such a good pair. We always have 5-7 boxes of cereal stocked in our cabinet. In NYC, they used to be stacked on top of the fridge. But we always had cereal.

And milk. Selenid is an almond milk person. I’m more traditional. But I do go with skim to keep it healthy.

least expensive meal
I’m drooling…

Cereal through the years

For us, cereal is the perfect intersection of tasty, quick, filling, and cheap. This last feature especially was important when we were in school and training (my residency and her PhD).

So we would often just eat cereal for breakfast of course. But also pretty frequently for dinner. Sometimes lunch. Usually not all in the same day. But can I lie and say I never pulled a 3-for-3 day…no, I can’t.

But, just like Kraft Mac & Cheese for the Barenaked Ladies, this culinary preference didn’t change when we both got real jobs and started making money money.

We still love cereal. And I’m not even kidding, I had it for dinner last night.

How I eat cereal

It’s important that I note that I’m now just talking about me. Selenid eats cereal in a more, let’s say traditional, way – just cereal and milk.

Not me. I really go for it. I dress it up.

First, my favorite cereals through the years are:

  • Frosted Mini Wheats
  • Chocolate Chex
  • Honey Nut Cheerios

So, of course I start with the actual cereal. Often times I mix them up. In the morning though, it’s always Mini Wheats because they’re the most filling.

Next though, I add a smorgasbord of toppings:

  • Chocolate chips
  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Really any kind of berry
  • Peanut butter puffs AKA Bambas (Not the socks!)
  • Nuts

Sometimes this is all in one bowl but often it’s mixed and matched to my preference.

Then comes the milk. Filled to the brim.

And as an aside, someone recently told me they pour the milk first when they have cereal. I think we can all agree this is crazy, right?

So there you have it. That is my favorite least expensive meal that I have pretty much every day.

A second is peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. That was my everyday work lunch in residency.

So grab a spoon and join me!

What do you think? What’s your favorite least expensive meal? Did your culinary tastes change when your income rose? Let me know in the comments below!

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    Jordan Frey MD, a plastic surgeon in Buffalo, NY, is one of the fastest-growing physician finance bloggers in the world. See how he went from financially clueless to increasing his net worth by $1M in 1 year and how you can do the same! Feel free to send Jordan a message at [email protected].

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