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View Diary: Eating on $5 a Day, the Food Stamp "Entitlement" (302 comments)

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  •  Not difficult, learn to cook (3+ / 0-)

    I am not saying this is a lot of money for food, or even enough calories for physical work in a cold climate.  But one can eat well on $25 a week, especially if there is a 'dollar store' grocer available.  If so, cut my prices by 35%

    7 days on $20  (assumes you have salt, pepper, oil.  Add stick margarine to list for 50 cents if not.)

    5lbs potatoes  -- $2
    ramen noodle --  $1
    1lbs dry red beans -- $1
    1lbs dry rice    -- $2
    head cabbage -- $1
    celery             -- $1
    onion              -- $1
    hot sauce       -- $1
    1 hot pepper  --  .25
    catsup or sauce -- $2
    corn tortillas  --  $2
    12 med eggs  --  $2
    frozen peas   --  $2
    slice of pork  --   $2
    breakfast:  egg taco and/or potato taco

    lunch:  dinner leftovers and tortilla or ramen

    7 dinners to be cooked as double portions (lunch):

    * Red beans and rice  (add a little fat from pork)
    * Potato and cabage stew
    * Pork steak (make catchup gravy in drippings), baked potato, boiled peas
    * Stir fried veggies and ramen with rice with peas and scrambled egg mixed in
    * chili style red beans over baked potato and chopped cabbage salad
    * cabbage rolls stuffed with rice and potato, boiled peas on side
    * potato and bean tostadas with chopped cabbage  and onion on top and Mexican rice on side (rice cooked with chopped celery, tomato sauce, hot sauce)
    Or what I did when I screwed up my budged was eat fried potato tacos toped with copped cabbage -- every day.  Hot-dogs are poison.
    •  Also assumes (5+ / 0-)

      You can eat cabbage, hot sauce, and peppers, none of which I can eat, but yes, one person  can manage on that. But some of those items are more expensive around here of late. 5 lbs of potatoes for example are almost twice that. So are pork steaks even on sale. And I'd get mixed vegetables rather than peas, more variety and added nutrition (like carrots).

      "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

      by FloridaSNMOM on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 02:06:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  agreed (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FloridaSNMOM, 4Freedom

        It is not a pork steak so much as a small chop or a few slices of bacon from the butcher.  Or a cube steak burger patty.  The 'old' meat looks weird but tastes better.

        Baking bread from scratch is cheap and easy.

        Maybe you can't get to one, but the '99 cent store' is a lifesaver for food, cleaning, and hygiene supplies:

        •  The only dollar store near me (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sand Hill Crane

          sells a lot of made in china trinkets and junk toys. Not so much with the food. I wish we had a bent and dent or something close by like we did when we lived in Ocala. About the only good thing about that town.

          "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

          by FloridaSNMOM on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 05:02:48 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Watch units as well ($/lb) for similar products (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Carol in San Antonio

        As an example I'll use carrots here in the Chicago area. I regularly see carrots for $0.79/lb in a bag (regular, not "baby" though the smaller ones are generally $0.99 as well). At the same stores, bulk carrots are $0.10-$0.20/lb less expensive, and I get to pick the ones I want - generally thicker ones since I cut them up for use in a slow cooker.

        I'm starting to see this semi-regularly, where smaller sizes are basically the same or lower $/oz or where the difference is so small that it's more effective to get the small one so I won't end up with anything spoiling.

        Also watch out for "bruised produce" packages for some things that you're going to cook down (one store I use does this), but verify that you're not paying about the same $/lb for those that you'd pay for picking your own items. I have seen a $0.99 package of bruised apples that was around 3 lb when those same apples were on sale for $0.39-$0.49/lb.

        On a related note, keep your eyes open for stores that you might not normally have shopped at - if all of the stores you're using are supermarkets in chains, make sure you're not missing produce stores or carnicerías in the area - you may find yourself astonished at the price differences you find.

      •  I was wondering where $2 potatoes came from (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Around here, a single potato costs $0.50. But then again, local growers now face potato blight, which is probably part of that.

        •  spuds (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mortifyd, radical simplicity

          Wow guys!  I can pay $7, $5 or $3 for 5lbs depending on what kind of spud.  In California I could get 3lbs for $1 at the 99 cent store.

          But I think the point has been made one can eat well on beans, rice, potatoes and onion.  Obviously there are exceptions.

          And people should not be forced on this diet.  I imagine it would be very hard to feed kids this way week after week.

          •  Agreed (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mumtaznepal, FloridaSNMOM

            You can eat that way, for a while, but eventually the lack of crucial micronutrients will get to you.

            There's a reason NGOs have to keep raising money to send vitamin A to kids in developing countries: because the beans and rice we send them for subsistence isn't sufficient to keep them from going blind.

            There's a difference between food and nutrition. While it is possible to eat enough to survive on tiny amounts of money, it's much harder to feed children enough to thrive on that kind of money. "Failure to thrive" has long-term effects on children, damaging organ systems and brain development, hampering them for their entire lives.

            It's good to know techniques for surviving, but it's equally important to fight for something more than the bare minimum, because it's not just otherwise healthy adults who are being asked to survive on so little.

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