Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Recession/retro chic: Hamburger Helper

I'm a child of the '70s. Michael Jackson. Disco. CB radios. Rainbow suspenders.

And Hamburger Helper. I probably ate my weight in this stuff by the time I graduated from high school. With a working mom and Reagonomics in full effect, the boxed mixes made for cheap, quick and easy meals. Usually we ate it as-was, but sometimes we made things fancy: grated cheese! Ro-Tel tomatoes! canned corn!

Grocery shopping Sunday, I was puzzling over what to make for dinner this week, and as I wandered the rice and pasta aisle, a very familiar box caught my eye -- I didn't know they even still made this stuff. Safeway had it on sale for two boxes for $5 (I decided to go with the brand name vs. the generic version). A pound of hamburger was I think less than $1.50 -- so, for roughly $1 per serving, I had dinner.

I went nuts and got two kinds -- Chili Cheese and Cheeseburger Macaroni, both favorites from my childhood. They're not quite as salty as I remember (not sure if Mom tricked out dinner or if the company has bowed to the Sodium Police), but not bad. For $1 a meal.


Sharon said...

I was raised on the stuff too, but must disagree: no matter how tasty or retro, hamburger helper can never be chic. All you're paying for is garlic powder and season salt!

Stacy said...

my dad made this and pancakes. but for a long time I didn't even know that there were other "flavors" short of the stroganoff.

Unknown said...

Mmmm, makin' me hungry. That's some tasty garlic powder and seasoning salt!

Nora :) said...

But... but... there's fake cheese powder in there too!