Have you ever been to Taco Bell? What’s your favorite order?
Tacos, nachos, gorditas… whatever you listed…it’s likely made up of mostly the same core ingredients. My high school favorite was a Diet Dr. Pepper with a Baja Chicken Gordita. From the cheese to the lettuce to the “meat”, the same core ingredients combined with a 20% variant will get you about anything on the menu.
Why do fast food chains like Taco Bell do this?
In a word, economics. Economics of bulk purchasing, but also economics in efficient training. The fewer ingredients you have, or we could say, the more flexible your ingredients are, the less there is to learn in order to be successful.
The marketing team simply promotes the brand-new product, which is in reality a re-branding of a similar product you’ve eaten before and the rest is history.
I’m not criticizing Taco Bell, but rather hoping we can learn from them!
What if instead of making a late night ‘taco run’ you were in the position to just ‘walk to the cabinet’?
How can you do so? Like Taco Bell, you need to begin keeping the core ingredients in your cabinet. I’ve been to enough baseball games with my husband to learn about ‘utility baseball players’. These baseball players are good enough to move around and play multiple positions at any given moment.
If you want to become more successful in your eating habits and save money along the way, take a lesson from Taco Bell and keep the ‘utility players’ in your pantry.
What are the utility players to keep on hand?
For your pantry, think of them in 5 general categories: canned items, baking supplies, dry goods, seasonings, and condiments. They last, but when you lack one of them for a recipe, you’ll often be discouraged enough to give up and go out (or make an extra trip the store). Let me give you a few examples of each.
Canned items like chicken broth, tuna, and diced tomatoes.
Baking supplies like brown sugar, flour, oil and vinegar.
Dry goods like oats, rice, and dried fruit.
Seasonings like garlic powder, cinnamon, and black pepper.
Condiments like lemon juice, soy sauce, and salad dressings.
These lists are obviously nowhere near exhaustive, I speak much more about this in my 5-session class ‘Adapt and Overcome’ along with the right fridge, freezer, and deep freezer components to have on hand that with a small amount of training can be combined to make near countless yummy meals.
When you begin to get the bigger picture, it takes the urgency off of ‘what’s for dinner!?’ and allows you to stay calm, look what you have and put together any number of options, because like Taco Bell, it’s all on hand, you just need a little marketing to persuade your family it was all a part of the plan.
Don’t give up and don’t underestimate how far you can go with just a little training and encouragement along the way.