Finding 2200 calories is easy- it's about 1.25 cups of oil. Finding 2200 calories in a balanced, healthy, cheap way is a bit more of a challenge. I'm not totally sure it's possible. You see, when I first ran the numbers for this crazy eating thing, I was hoping for lower prices, and planning to make up for shortfalls with things like potatoes that count as vegetables (sort of) while providing a chunk of calories. Which I think, by now, we all know didn't happen.
So how could the numbers really work out? It's what I've been thinking about for the last week or two. I'm coming up (in about 40 days) on the second half of this thing, and I want a real plan this time. One that actually allows for enough calories. That's where things go wonky shaped.
The least expensive source of calories from grain I can regularly find is the cheap flour at Save-A-Lot, for 30 cents a pound, give or take. A pound of white flour is about 1600 calories- most dry white carbs are- like rice, but that's 50 cents a pound, and more bulky when cooked.
Least expensive source of protein would be beans, of course. There's some selection there, from black beans for $1 a pound, to the recent find of 25lbs of pintos for $14.99- around 60 cents a pound. There are about 1400 calories per pound of dried beans, and about 4 days worth of servings.
Oil is regularly $2 for a 48 oz bottle, about 96 servings, or a month's worth at three 100 calorie servings a day. Say 6 cents a day.
Now, I could eat that- a pound of flour cooked into plain pasta, 3 servings of beans, with three servings of oil, and spend between 51 and 61 cents a say, getting all my calories with plenty of money left for spices or (a bit of) veggies. Of course, most of the veggie money would be eaten by onions and garlic, and the rest would have to be sweet potatoes or stolen.
Not very healthy though, is it? Plus, even I can't eat a pound of flour a day, every day. I don't care what you do to it, I'd be on constant sugar high.
I could use less flour- 11 or 12 oz would save me 10 cents a day, but it also leaves me with 4-500 calories to make up- instead of being 50 over, I'd be about 400 short. And in my world the tasty veggies are pretty much devoid of calories.
Anyway, even I can't eat sweet potatoes every single day.
Somewhere in there is the mix of numbers and foods that keeps me both full *and* happy. Honestly, though? I don't know how long I can follow that kind of diet before it drives me bonkers. More bonkers?
Kinda funny, actually- everyone talks about beans and rice being what you eat when you're broke. I'm not going to say I don't have rice. I'm not even saying it isn't available for less than I paid. But really? Homemade pasta and beans wins. If only it weren't so expensive to make it taste good.
Oh well, at least my summer cold is going well- for the cold. I love Luden's wild cherry throat drops. I don't want to know about anything in them that might be bad, either. They're about the only thing I'm managing to eat. I probably should make soup and drink hot tea, but I'm seriously crap at taking care of myself.
Right, so- Any ideas on manipulating my numbers? I know there's a balance in there somewhere, I'm just not sure where. It's not cool to keep making up calories with junk, either.
Hope everyone had a better holiday weekend than I seem to have.