$4.90/day – return of the “helper”

Ever a good sport, my wife made the homemade “hamburger helper” and here it is

While trying to live off a very small amount of money last week, I got into a discussion about the merits of hamburger helper (home made version pictured above).  I remembered liking it quite a bit as a kid, so I thought when I stumbled on this recipe last week I’d check it out.  Now, people’s palates differ, so all I can say is we didn’t love it.

Well, no, actually there is quite a bit more I can say.  I can say that I am absolutely stunned at the lack of nutritional value (and wife actually used whole wheat pasta to try to improve our situation a bit).  What do I mean, you ask?  I made it easy and added the values in the handy graphic below from My Food Diary (which I haven’t used in awhile but is a very awesome site).

My Food Diary Homemade Helper version

In addition to fighting her every urge to “bloom the spices” and sautee this or that to increase the flavor, my wife was really a good sport about staying true to the recipe.  When I got a look at the nutritional values Betty Crocker asserts I was equally dismayed.  Here they are:

Nutritional value of Betty’s version of the helper

Bottom line, the helper didn’t ruin my youth or my interest in eating healthy, so if making it gives parents a little more time to spend nurturing their kids, more power to them. There are plenty of nutritious alternatives out there–even on a budget–but judge not lest ye have stones in your glass house. Or something.  It didn’t work for me and I think we’ll be leaving “the helper” in the rear view mirror. Have a good day.

2 thoughts on “$4.90/day – return of the “helper”

  1. I loved hamburger helper and still made it into my late twenties. I think once I realized I could make healthy and great tasting meals from scratch and in about the same amount of time I gave up on hamburger helper. I blame Real Simple and Cooking light. I may have to try that recipe one day but since I’m always making stuff “lean” I’ll probably use ground turkey and whole wheat pasta, skim milk and light cheese instead. Hmmm I may have to double the amount of spices 🙂

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