Should I Make Breakfast?

Every so often, I go to the local grocer and purchase a dozen or so English muffins, a package of Virginia’s finest breakfast sausage patties, a dozen eggs, and a few slices of American cheese.

Weeks later, half of the eggs are still there and so are about half of the English muffins. I throw them away, and it bothers me because while these items are not terribly expensive, I don’t like waste. Which is probably why I keep them there after they’ve expired. Sort of like a penance for buying improperly, Wilbur — Zuckerman’s Famous (and now dead) Pig — stares at me through his coin-shaped remains under cellophane.


Why do I even make breakfast? Sure, I could just toast the English muffins and throw butter on them, or toast some waffles and slather them with fake buttery syrup, but I want meat, egg, cheese and bread. Why? Because I’m an American. I want the whole deal.

The fact of the matter is, I shouldn’t be making breakfast. It’s not worth my time, because at the $30 or so an hour I make, I consider my time somewhat valuable. Sure, sometimes I feel accomplished getting up earlier to make coffee the old-fashioned way via the drip coffee machine I’ve had for 8 years, frying an egg on a skillet the way I learned by observing the cooks at Courtesy Diner in college while drunk, seasoning a sausage patty and putting it all together on a bun.

There’s a value to that, sure. An economic value? Why not? I’d give it the economic value of a dollar. Which is exactly how much it would cost me to buy a similar sandwich from McDonald’s.

I get a dollar’s worth of feel-good value making breakfast, so that means I start off at $1.00. Add in the ingredients, and I’m at $-1.50 or so, add in utilities (gas), I’m about at $-1.52. Add in the fifteen minutes of my time it takes to complete all of these tasks, and I’m at $-9.02.

That’s an expensive sandwich. And I haven’t even eaten it yet. (Don’t forget I have to clean the dishes!)

My calculus won’t work for everyone, some people value their time less, others will give the feel-good value of making breakfast more value. Others will make more efficient breakfasts, and others value a lack of calories more than I do.

For me, though, I’m happy to know that I’m just blocks away from places that can more efficiently and cost-effectively make this food for me, saving me time, money, and affording me more time for things I value more than cooking: work and sleep.

Note to self: don’t buy breakfast foods unless parents are visiting.bsig

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