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Have you ever cooked something nasty and eaten it anyway?

I do this at least once a week. I didn’t think anything of this at first. It wasn’t until I was mouth-deep in a floppy piece of homemade pizza that I thought, “What the hell am I doing?”

The Picky Pincher philosophy is all about living well while cutting costs. Eating moist pizza and burnt peanut butter sauce doesn’t fit into that model.

That leads me to the question…

Should I eat that?

Food was once our number-one budget killer. If homemade meals were remotely undesirable, we’d toss them in the trash and grab takeout.

During our food budgeting overhaul, we sucked it up and ate things we normally wouldn’t like. These were meals that a normal person would happily eat with gusto, like crockpot roast and grilled chicken. To us, though, it was a stretch. But this stretch helped us decrease our cost per meal from $10 to a lowly $3 per meal. Woop woop!

Fast forward to today and I have a different problem. If I make a new recipe and it doesn’t turn out, sometimes I’ll still eat it. That might not sound like a big deal, but when it’s something horrific like peanut butter Rotel chicken (true story), it’s a big deal to your colon.

Trust me.

I fully admit that I cross into “cheap” territory in my pursuit to save a buck or two. After one stomach ache too many, I’m defining the boundary between things I should and should not eat.

New guidelines for what’s edible at the Picky household

It’s funny that I even need to do this, but I’m setting up rules to determine what I should eat. There’s nothing wrong with pushing your boundaries and eating meals you normally wouldn’t try. But I think some days I cross into “cheap” territory by eating things that should not be eaten.

1. Is the meal fully cooked and safe to eat? Nobody wants medium rare chicken with a side of salmonella.
2. Will the taste or texture of the meal make me throw up? Once we made Asian wraps. The idea was good, but the soy peanut butter sauce made me gag. Not good.
3. Will I regret eating this? In my many days of eating, I have only one true regret. I once ate a jar of pesto sauce that definitely smelled “off.” I ate it anyway and had horrific food poisoning. Fun fact: I had just started a new job and went to my second day of work with food poisoning. It was a dark day.
4. Is this even healthy to eat? I ate burnt two-day old fried crab cakes once. They tasted good, but I would have been better off with a salad.
5. Does Mr. Picky Pincher think me eating this is weird? Sometimes all you need is an outside opinion to see you need to tone down the frugality.

The bottom line

I hope you liked today’s fun little post. The early retirement game is about saving money, but it’s also about correcting yourself and your habits. There’s such a thing as being too frugal, and it’s called being cheap.

We want to know: Have you ever gone a little too far to save a buck?

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