Bargain Tuna

Since starting Weight Watchers back in May, I’ve significantly increased my consumption of canned tuna.  It’s cheap, a good source of protein, and barely makes a dent in my daily point allowance. What’s not to like?

I come home for lunch every day for a leafy green salad. I usually add some fat-free shredded cheddar cheese (one point), some croutons (one or two points, depending on the brand), and use olive oil vinaigrette (two points) because it counts for the healthy oil I’m supposed to eat every day.  Five points for lunch means I can definitely have ice cream before I go to bed.

While I say ice cream, in truth, it’s low-fat frozen yogurt. Instead of the five points a serving of regular ice cream costs, the fro-yo is only three points a serving. That means I can eat a lot more of it.  I still call it ice cream because I’m sorta in denial about having to give up the real stuff. Now back to the tuna.

Tuna fish makes a nice addition to my leafy green salad. Initially I used regular Starkist in water (three points) plus a tablespoon of mayo (another three points), maybe some pickle relish (one point), and rarely, some onion or celery (zero points). Voila–I’ve more than doubled the number of points and significantly reduced the likelihood that I’d have enough points left for my nightly dish of ice cream.

Then I started buying Starkist chunk white tuna (two points).  It’s more expensive, but the tuna tastes a lot milder–so much so that I can skip the mayo and pickle relish. Now my healthy salad is back to a more acceptable seven points. Hello ice cream!

Yesterday I went to the store. A package of four cans of Bumble Bee chunk white tuna was something like forty cents less than Starkist. Figuring chunk white tuna couldn’t vary that much from brand to brand, I opted for the cheaper Bumble Bee. Boy was I wrong.

At lunch today when I opened the can, I was disappointed. Rather than the big chunks found in every can of Starkist, I found tuna the same consistency as the cheap stuff. The can held a lot more water, too.  I immediately decided to go back to Starkist once my four cans of Bumble Bee were gone.

While eating my salad, I plugged in the nutrition information to see how many points a can cost me.  Since the tuna looks like the cheap stuff, I expected it would come out to three points. Imagine my surprise to discover it was only one point. Cutting the number of points in half got my attention.  Suddenly I had second thoughts about going back to Starkist.

UPDATE: So my partner gets home and suggests I check the label more closely. Turns out, one point is for one serving of tuna. Guess how many servings are in a can? Two! Bastards! Who eats half a can of tuna???

The Starkist tastes better and has a much nicer texture and consistency. The Bumble Bee chunk white tastes good enough that I don’t need to doctor it up with mayo and pickle relish. We’re not talking about sushi. If we were, I’d opt for the more expensive stuff. We’re talking about canned tuna. So from now on, we’ll be getting Bumble Bee canned tuna to stock the larder here in…

My Glass House