A post on the general topics board reminded me of something that has been floating around in my subconsciousness.
I learned to cook back in college, when I couldn't afford to go out much, and when I worked in a very nice restaurant with a bad tip pool (i.e., improperly compensated = poor).
I didn't know any better, but I started out on ramen noodles, then I figured out that you could do things with them. Then to one pot meals, etc., soups, etc. I remember one time not having any money, no gas in the car, and just a can of hominy in the cabinet. A bouillon cube and some paprika saved the day.
Anyhow, now that I'm older and have a career, I've found that I spend tons of money on food - so much that it is almost cheaper to just go out to cheap and moderate restuarants. Things are so expensive.
It seems like I used to be able to cook better. It's easy to go buy fresh chanterelles and prepared demi-glace, but a night's meal can easily top $50, with wine and all.
I think that I had to get more creative in the past. Does anyone else have this experience? I think that I just need to leave my wallet at home, take a ten dollar bill to the grocery, and see if I can get creative again.