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07 August 2013

Lean Cuisine-ing vs Cooking

If you are new to this blog of mine, you may be unaware that I do not cook. In fact, I can get quite cranky when a lean cuisine asks me to stir halfway through. That requires that I vent the lean cuisine, put it in for 4 minutes, sit down for 4 minutes, get back up, walk to the microwave, stir around the broccoli and noodles, put it back in the microwave for 2 minutes, sit back down for 2 minutes, wait for it to cool for 5 minutes, then get back up, get it out of the microwave, then sit back down to eat it. 


I will not stir you, lean cuisine, you do not need it. You are fine without the stirring. Get to the point Sarah... Well everyone (my mom) always tries to tell me that my $2.00 lean cuisine is more expensive, than if I just started cooking. Fine, you're wrong. I'm going to take my three favorite lean cuisine meals and break down the cost of the lean cuisine vs. cooking the meal myself.

Also, here are some important reasons I will be arguing in favor of Lean Cuisine:
Cooking sucks
I'm a terrible cook
I don't know what most of the terms mean
I'm not sure how to cut garlic up without stinking for 3 days
I will not eat left overs, not because I'm picky, I just forget about them until it's too late. 
I don't want to stand in the kitchen for that long. I want to plop on the couch and not move.

Cost of Lean Cuisine - $2.99 Serves One

Real Simple Ingredient Price- Serves 4
Olive Oil - $9.49
Pound of Pizza Dough- $5.40
Marinara Sauce- $4.75
Fresh Mozzarella- $5.55
Parmesan- $4.00
Salt- $1.00
Black Pepper- $3.00
Fresh Basil - $0.50
Grand Total = $33.69 or $8.42 PER SERVING

Whelp, looks like lean cuisine pizza wins round 1.
Cheese lasagna and Chicken Lean Cuisine = $2.99 Serves 1

Lasagna and Baked Chicken- Serves 12
Lean Ground Beef - $2.99
Whole Wheat Lasagna Noodles- $2.24
Spaghetti Sauce- $5.80
Fat free Cottage Cheese- $1.99
Frozen spinach- $2.18
8 egg whites- $3.30
Mushrooms- $3.65
Mozzarella Cheese- $4.29
Bread Crumbs- $1.78
Parmesan Cheese- $4.00
Salt- $1.00
Chicken tenders- $12 for 12
Pesto- $5.39
Grand Total = $50.61 or $4.22 per serving

Close, but no cigar Lasagna and Baked Chicken from scratch, lean cuisine wins! Plus, do you really think I would eat this 12 meals in a row? No. 
Chicken Enchilada Suiza Lean Cuisine = $2.39 serves 1

Chicken Enchilada Suiza Recipe, serves 4
8 corn tortillas- $4.34
salsa verde- $7.74 (2 cans)
reduced fat sour cream- $2.24
cilantro- $0.78
8oz chicken breast- $6.67
swiss cheese shredded- $4.13
roasted red peppers- $6.49
diced tomato- $3.19
scallion- $0.20
Grand total = $35.78 or $8.95 per serving

I rest my case.

**as this article went to press, it was noted that my google's prices were way off. So if I pay, will you guys come cook it for me then?

And because it is apparently giveaway week here at Venus Trapped in Mars, here is a giveaway that needs no introduction.... (UM, ONE THOUSAND DANG DOLLARS)

For Lauren and Lauren// Sami's Shenanigans// Back East Blonde
A Complete Waste of Make Up// Pretty in Pink Megan// Lipgloss and Crayons
Helene in Between// Shannon Hearts// Freckled Fox
Living in Yellow// Crowley Party

Winner will be announced on Wednesday, August 14th.  International readers may enter, but the prize will be sent in the form of a $1,000 visa gift card in American dollars.  ALL ENTRIES WILL BE VERIFIED. 

Venus Trapped


  1. I love me some lean cuisine pizza!

  2. I'm SO mad at Lean Cuisine... their BBQ chicken pizza used to be my favorite and now they've gone and made it all super spicy. I may have even e-mailed them to complain... bastards. BUT, I'm with you... you'll always find LC's in my freezer!

    Also, the contest... I'd definitely be spending it on back to school shopping for my kids, BUT mama needs some new clothes too so it's high time I splurge on myself too!

  3. i've never had lean cuisine; too much sodium and preservatives. i'm a horrible cook as well but i've learned to master certain dishes. i cannot stand slaving away in a kitchen for hours so i've found some great recipes that are healthy and takes only 30mins tops to prepare (includes prep/cooking time too!)

    Vodka and Soda

  4. YES to this! I hate those cooking websites that break the cost per serving down by like, the cost of a single slice of cheese. You know I had to buy the ENTIRE package, not just the single slice!

  5. I don't mind Lean Cuisine, and they're perfect for when I'm feeling lazy... But I have to say, at least for where I live, your prices for food stuffs are WAY high. And many times, such as with salt, pepper, olive oil, etc. you only need to buy it once every few months - if not longer. While you've listed that an 8oz chicken breast costs you $6.67, when I went shopping this morning I bought 3lbs of chicken breast for $5.99. I've never in my life seen chicken for $13.34/lb. Mozzarella cheese, where I live, costs $1.89 for 2 cups and corn tortillas are usually around $2 for a package of 8.

    Now, I'm in Massachusetts. Maybe our food is ridiculously cheap compared to where you live or shop?

  6. I would probably pay bills. Oh, and buy this watch that I want. :)

  7. Cooking really does suck and I am highly opposed to it (also I suck at it).

  8. The better question is where the heck are you shopping? Those are some expensive ingredients! I do love a Lean Cuisine when I need to, though.

  9. Haha love it!! Too bad lean cuisine only leaves me more hungry than I was before.
    If I won the giveaway, I would spend the money on my girls to get new clothes, accessories and supplies for school. I want them to have the best of the best, but with having such a large family on one income, we have to settle for what we can afford. I don't deserve it, but my beautiful girls definitely do.

  10. Lean Cuisine is the best when I'm feeling lazy, but I absolutely LOVE to cook! This probably has to do with me growing up in the's definitely a cultural thing! But if I won the money, I'd pay for all my grad school textbooks. Because DANG. They're expensive!

  11. Yeah i would need two lean cuisines to do the job. But yeah buying all these random ingredients and spending more is how i justify getting whataburger all the time.

  12. I'd buy a new planner, 'cuz I'm a nerd like that. And then, perhaps, do a little clothes shopping. :)

  13. I agree I love me some lean cuisine meals!

  14. I can't do Lean Cuisine...I'm always hungry again 10 minutes later!

  15. Lean cusines are definitely easier, especially when you're only cooking for one. But I do love to cook, so I usually just do something like a lean cusine for lunch and cook dinner.

  16. As for the money, I desperately need new clothes but I just got engaged so I would probably use the money on some ridiculous wedding expense like flowers.

  17. Where the hell are you getting those food prices girl!?! I sure don't pay that much for ingredients!! I weirdly just love cooking haha

  18. omg I wish you were my neighbor so i could just cook for you! I try not to eat any frozen food but i will admit the lean cuisine pizza is damn good. damn good.

  19. I love cooking but when I'm counting calories, it's so much easier to just pop a lean cuisine in and count the calories with the scanner than add all the ingredients up...although it's probably not as healthy (with all the sodium and such...) but whatever. Love this! Already signed up on Helene's blog but so thankful y'all are doing this...fingers crossed that I win, because the money is going straight to our honeymoon fund!

  20. where are you paying $3.19 for diced tomato?! riddle me that please. hahah

  21. Hahahaha this post cracked me up. I hate, I hate, I HATE COOKING. Imagine the shock of my poor husband whose mother is basically Paula Dean (sans racial slurs). The first 3 months of our marriage were hamburger helper and frozen pot pies.

  22. All I know is that I'm now hungry and I don't feel like cooking.

  23. I absolutely LOVE cooking. It's one of my favorite things to do. I think we'd make a great partnership. You buy, I cook. We can get full and then need to hit the gym together!

  24. I would spend my money on a Nikon D5200. Sam's Club has it right now with two lenses for $979.00 It's the perfect amount of money, and would make me the happiest girl in the world! :)

    I also love cooking and baking. Anything you want, I'll make you. :)Just tell me when and where!

  25. Lean cuisine on me tastes like cardboard!! I am glad you posted this thanks!

    Come enter my giveaway.


  26. You gotta stop shopping at Whole Foods.... and you are buying fresh ingredients versus very not fresh ingredients, but I do totally get the convenience of Lean Cuisine. I never buy frozen in Germany bc the options are jsut more limited and never low-cal, but I'm also big into leftovers so usually make one big thing and eat on it for 4-5 days. But I also love cooking ONLY because I have so muchd amn free time on my hands #parttimework

  27. I didn't even know Lean Cuisine made enchiladas, hello dinner :)

  28. Umm no those prices are most certainly correct here in NYC. Which is reason one through one thousand as to why I barely cook. I just had the Sante Fe rice and beans one. Oh my gah, obsessed. But if you stir you don't have to do arms at the gym. Boom.

  29. Good to know that Lean Cuisine is cheaper than cooking!! I'm not always big on left overs either and I'm not a big cook. I'm trying to get better at cooking/planning meals. We'll see how that goes!

    I'm excited about the giveaway! I hope I win! ;)

  30. I can always get a great laugh from your blog - thank you so much! I really loved this one - I am a fan of quick food too!

  31. I hate cooking...but to play devils advocate a lot of those ingredients you'll use more than once. I'm also getting better at cooking now that Boomer has declared she likes my cooking. (Before it was Kraft mac and cheese or bust for her.) If I won the giveaway....I'd do all Boomer's back to school shopping and then get myself something fun too!

  32. LOVE this post. I will always fight for lean cuisine!

  33. This is hilarious. I prefer Fresh & Easy frozen meals since they're only $1.99 each! It's hard to beat a $2 meal (but possible).

  34. Haha LOVE this! I was actually just talking about this very thing YESTERDAY. I lived off lean cuisines and special k in law school because I had no time to cook. Now I'm married and I love to cook, but I some days when I'm lazy wish that I could just go to the store, buy 30 lean cuisines and be done with it. It would be SO much easier!

  35. I bought somewhere in the range of 15-20 the other day! They were on sale 5 for $10!

  36. think of all the leans you could buy with 1000 dolla!

  37. As long as you get them on sale they really are an excellent deal. I hate cooking too!!! Not a fan. I've forced myself into the kitchen to try to be a nice wife but not as much as he does. The only thing that gets me is the sodium! They sure taste good and it's so easy.

  38. Cooking for one is the worst. Who wants to stand and cook and clean that long? Nobody.

  39. I loved this! I always complain to people that cooking for myself is just so expensive...someone gets me!

  40. Silly- you can freeze all of your leftovers!! Then you don't have to keep buying those Lean Cuisine's for $8.95 every time!
    BUT- I do get your point. We went out for this a-mazing special: Prime Rib Ribs and they are HUGE, with all of the fixings; three veggies and mashed potatoes and gravy for $14.00! You can't even buy the meat for $14.00. So I do see where you're coming from too. Especially if you're only buying for 1.. It certainly can make more sense. PLUS- the homemade stuff is usually worse for you in the long run. At least Lean Cuisine is watching the calorie intake, etc. etc..!!

  41. I can't quite stomach Lean Cuisine, and great giveaway!

  42. We have lean cuisine here and yeah I like some of the meals don't think we have the pizza though

  43. I love lean cuisine! I do enjoy cooking for some reason, but when I'm lazy they are my go to food. Which happens to be quite often.

  44. things are worth different amounts to different people. it's cheaper for me to cook my own meals; however, the convenience of just microwaving something can be priceless on busy nights! plus, if you're not a cook, you might have to invest in cooking equipment which can be $$$

  45. hahah I love this! I feel the same cooking for 1 is really hard without having at on of things left over like who wants to eat lasagna for lunch dinner lunch dinner until it's gone? :

  46. For the stink on the hands use a citrus based soap - helps with onions and garlic!

    I was thrown by the new layout, it so different and really no gold!

  47. I know! I decided to make a change... out with the gold in with the new! :)

    And thanks for the tip! That is perfect, I'll give that a try the next time I cook (which may not be soon)

  48. I would use the gift card towards textbooks and possibly a new pair of boots! :)

  49. OMG I love cooking and feel the urge to cook for you so you don't have to eat so many lean cuisines! hehehe ;)

  50. Oh my gosh! This is so exciting, I've shelved my plans to get formal classes in makeup so that I can be a formal makeup artist, but with this money I can be able to actually do this! Keeping my fingers crossed!

  51. We don't have lean cuisine over here but you've convinced me that cooking is an unecessary evil... [Not that it took very much, ha.]


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