While The Tight Fist strongly recommends that if you are having an evening at the home your should stop being lazy and cook for yourself, I understand that we all have moments of weakness. And sometimes this weakness results in a terribly shameful act: ordering in. But even if you're being weak, you still need to have your wits about you.
Here in the UK, the most popular delivery options (besides pizza) are Chinese and Indian food. When you first look at the menus, the prices seem pretty reasonable- usually around 4-6 pounds for a dish. Sure, you could slap together some Mystery-Meat-in-MSG-Sauce for far less than that but ok, I'll stop pressing the issue. On the face of it, 4 pounds for a meal isn't too terrible. So you get on the phone, make your order, and then the moment of truth arrives: "You want rice with that?"
|At Least Eat The Rice!
Here is where you panic. Of course you want rice with your curry, right? I mean, even The Tight Fist Cooking Guide says that you should base all your meals around cheap carbs! And rice is cheap, right? WRONG! Instead, the rice will set you back £2.50, and leave you crying when you get the bill. There is nothing a restaurant loves to do more than marking down its main courses while marking up necessary accompaniments for which people don't even check the price. (On a similar note, check out Tip #21, about sodas.)At some restaurants, you can't even find the price of the rice on the menu. The bastards!
So how can you reconcile this seemingly contradictory advice? Am I telling you to base your meal on carbohydrates yet not letting your order them? Of course not, because the solution is simple: COOK YOUR OWN FREAKING RICE!! Even if you are too lazy to cook a meal, you never have an excuse to not cook your own rice. Just put it in the pot, and it will be ready just as your food arrives. And if you are lucky enough to have inherited a rice cooker, the easy gets even easier.
And what if you are seated at a restaurant and just realized that the price of rice is through the roof? BE STRONG, DON'T CRACK! Just order a noodle dish, or a biryani. These dishes usually don't cost any more than the rice-needing entrées, and don't require a separate order. The Tight Fist wins again!