Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Day 128- Beans, a Link, and a Challenge Option

First off, I've been eating beans. All day. They're yummy. I ate them with avocado, tomato, and onion, I ate them in a bowl scooped up with bread. I ate beans with polenta. I ate a lot of beans, basically.

Beans over polenta

All Hail the re-emergence of the pie plate! Avocado might be the most expensive ingredients, at about $2 a pound.

Dinner (still munching on this one this morning)
strangely puffy bread

Unusually gross looking bowl of beans.

Only the yeast, oil, and avocado were more than $1 a pound here, too. The flour used in the strangely fluffy bread was 24.3 cents a pound.

Which brings me to the link.

The list is (mostly) reasonable. I admit that i haven't seen asparagus in that range, and i don't usually price meat. But the people insisting it can't be done are really negative. It's really all about where you shop.

In the last week, for example, I've been in a BiLo (huge naming mistake), a Publix, and my beloved Save-A-Lot. If I only ever shopped at the first two I'd be somehow more broke than I am now (tough to picture, right?). For an idea of price range, Roma tomatoes at BiLo were $1.99/lb, $1.29/lb at Publix, or $0.99 at Save-A-Lot. They're the same 99 cents a pound at the vegetable bin downtown, but the $5 I spend in gas makes it a trip I only do when I can combine it with something else.

Anyway, that's 1 item. There are dozens more, though. Cabbage? 69 cents/ lb at Publix, 39c /lb at Save-a-Lot. On and on, seriously. But if I never went to the "sketchy" (not really) Save-A-Lot because it's not the sort of place "people like me" shop... I'd probably starve to death. It's pretty much the same veggies, and most of them (lately) are even grown in the US.

So, the alternate Challenge-

For people who are having trouble coming up with something to make cheaper, or people who have no interest in it, or whatever.

I challenge you to make a meal (a full meal, none of my cheater "a bowl of beans is *like* a meal" meals) spending less than $5 out of pocket, and using only the least expensive produce/ meat/ brought in ingredients. Extra points for keeping everything but oil (or butter)/ yeast/ spices under $1 a pound. Double extra points for each item used that's less than 50 cents a pound.

For people in the metric using world, we'll call a pound 500g, though really it's not. Don't want to make the math too tough. And local money or $1US as exchanged to local currency. So 1 euro or pound, or .46 (or whatever) pence/ euro-cents. I'd suggest a dollar over a peso, though, if that's your option.

And because I'm dropping this here now, instead of last week with the other one, you have until next Wednesday, 30 June 2010. Extra sparkly invisible points for getting someone else to try it, even if you don't do this one.

Less scary? This one seems much more achievable to me. Any takers?


  1. This one does seem a lot less threatening. :) Everything under $1, huh. Time to hit the grocery store with the $5 budget. I think I'll be making pizza if I can tally the materials right. Or even if pizza can be considered a 'full' meal.

    I wish we had a Save-a-lot closer to where I live and work. The closest one is about 1.5hrs away, and I used them a lot while going to school. Awesome prices. We dont have Publix either, but do have Safeway (which is as cheap as it gets, and it's still more expensive than Publix or Safe-a-lot).

  2. TJ- do you have a local immigrant community? I'm not sure where you are (thought I guess I could look through my visitor logs and figure it out), but do you have an aldi anywhere near you? prices are usually even better than save-a-lot.

    Don't forget to use your pantry, however big it might be. You don't lose points for going over $1 a pound for stuff in the pantry, you just don't *gain* them. I love invisible points- I can hand them out however I want, and they're free! (sparkles, too)

  3. Oh, yeah- are the photos staying inside the main section now? They were a bit big on mine, just want to make sure I've fixed it.

  4. Oh, lol. I just finished the (slightly modified) last challenge. It's here: http://seidhr.blogspot.com/2010/06/chocolate-peanut-butter-granola-bars.html (OMG; I almost cut and pasted you the most boring thing on Democritus ever cut and pasted; glad I was actually paying attention after hitting control-v).

    But the dinner I made yesterday (which is scheduled to be up tomorrow) qualifies for a full, under $5 meal, despite there being loads of canned goods in it. So I'm using that one (and will give you the link tomorrow) for it.

  5. I forgot to add: the only food on that list I haven't seen at under $1/lb is asparagus. But I have seen it for $1.50/pound on sale before (in season, obviously). These people commenting are super negative. I think they must never go outside their high-cost suburban grocery stores to look for food if they're not seeing these kinds of prices.

  6. Ooh, another tomorrow. You're just a challenge-doing machine!

    re: $1/lb- I've seen probably 2/3 of the list under a dollar a pound in Wyoming, where the only things that grow (in the part of the state I was anyway) are cows and sage. I'll have to find a pile of cash and take this $1 show on the road.

  7. Yeah, for sure. I've seen lots of the list in Salt Lake for a dollar or less too. They grow slightly more in UT than in WY, but pretty much the same amount of importing happens to both states. Those commenters sure were angry, though!

    You lived in Eastern Wyoming (as an aside, that's by far my very favourite state)?

  8. I was in Laramie, mostly. I know they (can) grow more farther north, but the growing season in Laramie tends to be very short- something about being over 7000 feet, I guess.

    Wyoming is beautiful (parts, anyway), but I don't know that I could live there again. The tobacco chewing, racism, and cold kinda killed it for me.

  9. Yeah, I can see that. I have family in Riverton, and I like all parts of the state but I don't think I'd choose to live there. It's my first choice for vacation spots though.