Hunger Action Month

Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Leftovers are gone

I must admit that I missed two days of following the $25 Challenge due to business commitments. WOW! Was I glad that I had those activities scheduled because they provided me some variety in my otherwise bland and constant diet of carbohydrates and limited food choices.

To compensate for the days that I missed, I extented my participation in the Challenge until the food I had purchased was consumed. I ate the last of my chicken and pasta last night...and, now I will not have "Chicken Tonight" as my dinner time theme or menu. I could rehash the meals I had during the Challenge, but that part of doing the Challenge is of little importance other than the lessons the menu taught me, which included recognizing how easily one can become trapped into eating foods that are low in nutrition value, allowing yourself to eat more calories to supply the energy you need rather than eating foods that would produce that same energy with less calories, and most of all realizing how fragile your existence is when you have a fixed income in the world of constantly rising prices.

The final leftover from my Challenge is my commitment to work harder than ever to bring more nutritious food through the Food Bank system to those in need and to constantly work to get benefit levels increased.

If you read any of these blogs and have a question about any of the collective statements...try the Challenge for yourself and you will understand what motivated the words.


Anonymous said...

This challenge was recently brought to my attention via a gardening forum - here was my entry. As you can see, we ate normally, with minimal restrictions to our diet. This did not include any free meals, altho I do frequently have access to free meals, condiments, and lots and lots of coffee at work.

Okay, here you go. This is a menu for Hubs and I for 7 days; with normal size servings for us:

*Breakfast burritos - 2 eggs, 1/4# sausage, scant milk, little bit of grated cheese, T tomatoes with green chiles, 4 tortillas, juice
*Oatmeal, milk, juice
*Scrambled eggs (2 eggs), toast, juice
*Oatmeal, milk, juice
*Omelet, fluffy (2 1/2 eggs), with ham bits, toast, juice
*Oatmeal, milk, juice
*French toast (3 sl bread, 1 1/2 egg, scant milk), juice - the syrup for the french toast will be made from brown sugar and water, brought to a boil

*Chicken salad on crackers, carrot and celery sticks, apple slices
*Potato soup, grilled cheese sandwiches
*Tuna cassarole, peas, carrots
*Salmon cheese (yogurt cheese) ball on crackers, apple slices
*Open face sloppy joe, cottage cheese, peaches
*Bean burrito with cheese, tomatoes, rice pudding
*Baked potato with chili and cheese, assorted toppings (any leftovers)

*Grilled ham steak, baked sweet potato, spinach, pineapple
*Teryaki chicken stir fry, rice
*Ham and beans, cornbread muffins, fried potatoes with onions
*Chili soup, crackers, slice of cheese, celery and carrot sticks, peaches
*Chicken biscuit stew, glazed carrots, baked apples
*Salmon patties, macaroni and cheese, peas, cinnamon apples
*Pork chop and dressing bake, mashed potatoes, mushroom soup gravy, green beans

*Leftover corn muffins
*Celery and carrot sticks
*Potato skins
*Rice pudding
*Tortilla spread with butter and springled with cinnamon sugar
*Cottage cheese and any left over fruit

The prices on the following grocery list were taken from current sales ads at the stores in the town I work in; or current prices from Aldi's or Dollar General.
*Salt - 33 cents
*Pepper - 99 cents
*Ground cinnamon - 99 cents
*Chili powder - 99 cents
*Brown sugar - 99 cents
*White beans, 1# - $1 - will cook 1/2#
*Rice, white, 1# - $1 - will use 1/2 bag
*Macaroni, 1# - $1 - 3/4 cup for tuna cassarole, 1/2 cup for mac and cheese
*Milk, 1 gallon whole - $1.99 - 1 qt to make yogurt with; and 8 oz of that yogurt will be used to make yogurt cheese for cheese ball; some will also be allowed to drain a bit and used in place of mayo in chicken salad
*Butter, 1# - $2 - should have at least a half pound left over
*Cottage cheese, 16 oz - $1
*Yogurt, 8 oz - 50 cents - use to make quart of yogurt
*Cheese, cheddar, 8 oz brick - $1.50
*Eggs, 1 dozen - $1.34
*Ham, butt portion, 2# - $2 - cut two small steaks, then cut bits for omelet, chunks for ham and beans, simmer what's left over to heat green beans in for flavor
*Butterfly pork chop, 7 oz - $1
*Pork sausage, 1/2# - $1 - use 1/4# in breakfast burritos; reserve rest
*Ground chuck, 1# - $1 - use 1/2# for chili; reserve rest or use in burritos
*Chicken breast, split, 2# - $2 - cut nice flat fillets off; then boil rest. Skim fat off (use to fry potatoes and onions), pick meat, use broth for chicken biscuit stew
*Frozen peas - 16 oz - 99 cents
*Frozen stir fry or California mix veggies, 16 oz - 99 cents
*Frozen orange juice, 12 oz - $1.19 - makes 48 oz; will mix up and divide into 2 qt jars, adding juice from pineapple to one, and from peaches to other to stretch
*Flour tortillas, 10 - 79 cents - 4 for breakfast burritos, 3 or 4 for bean burritos; rest for snacks
*Corn muffin mix - 39 cents - makes 6 muffins
*Jiffy biscuit mix, small box - 75 cents - 1/2 box mixed up for topping for chicken biscuit stew, 1 T of rest of box used for white sauce for mac and cheese, 1 T for thickening gravy, 1 T for thickening tuna cassarole sauce
*Spinach, canned, 16 oz - 45 cents - will use half can
*Green beans, canned, 16 oz - 45 cents - will use half can; reserve rest for veg soup the next week (freeze)
*Diced tomatoes, canned, 16 oz - 2 @ 45 cents; 90 cents - use 1 1/2 can in chili soup; reserve rest for veg soup next week
*Diced tomatoes with green chiles, canned, 16 oz - 49 cents - use 1-2 T for breakfast burritos; some for bean burritos; rest in chili
*Chili beans, canned, 16 oz - 48 cents
*Salmon, canned, 14.75 oz - $1.69 - split can 2/3 for salmon patties, 1/3 for cheese ball
*Tuna, canned, in oil, 54 cents - drain oil, use as the fat for making the white sauce for the tuna cassarole
*Pineapple, canned, chunks, 16 oz - 78 cents - serve half can with meal; use other half in teryaki chicken stir fry
*Peaches, canned, slices, 16 oz - 89 cents
*Cream of mushroom soup, canned, 10.5 oz - 59 cents - use half can in tuna cassarole, use other half for pork chop and dressing bake
*Celery, large stalk - 99 cents - should have 1/2 stalk left over
*White potatoes, 8# - $2
*Yellow onions, 3# - 69 cents - should have half a bag left over
*Apples, choice of varieties, 3# bag - $2
*Sweet potato, 1 large - 96 cents
*Carrots, 1# regular carrots - 79 cents - might have a couple left
*Catsup, 24 oz - 99 cents - will use this as a condiment, in the chili if needed, and in making the sloppy joes
*Teryaki marinade - 12 oz - 99 cents - will use maybe half
*Saltine crackers, 1# box - 89 cents
*Oat bran bread, 24 oz - 79 cents - save heels to make bread crumbs for topping tuna cassarole, save 3 pc for dressing
*Oatmeal, 18 oz - $1.79 -
*6 pk generic Cream soda for Hubs - 78 cents

Total - $49.91

HungryGrad said...

Try some warm lentil salad:

- Boil 1 bag of lentils til done, drain and set aside.

- Sautee onion, garlic, celery, and carrot, however much you have in whatever proportions you want. I did 3 garlic cloves, 1 carrot, I think 1 onion, and some very limp celery ribs I dug out of the bottom of the veg drawer...

- Dump lentils in with sautee, mix to combine.

This is your lentil base. You can do lentil salad by taking some of the base, squeezing something sour over top (lemon, lime, vinegar), adding some fresh chopped parsley (or dry or whatever flavor you'd like), and some salt and pepper.

You can also make lentil burgers with some egg and breadcrumbs. I like adding chipotle en adobo (comes in cans for cheap) to the mixture.

Nothing beats lentils (and other dried beans) for protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. You stay really full from them, too. Check out my blog. :) I'm a grad student who loves food. I don't spend much more than $25 per person per week on food normally. This little exercise isn't such a stretch...

(I make <$25000 a year, but I'm not eligible for low income housing or anything because I'm a full time student. You want to talk about a strapped-for-cash group of people? PhD candidates.)

Anonymous said...

I just heard about this challenge from a blog (Elastic Waist). My family of 3, has been for over a year living on an $80 a month food budget. That is for 3 people, which is $20 a week. I make most things homemade, hardly ever buy processed items and we eat fruits and vegetables. I think it would be a "luxury" to eat $25 a person! That would be for my family, $75 a week and that is a whole lot of food!

We do not get any type of government assistance and even could spend more on food if we wanted but we would rather save money and stick with what works for us, which is $80 a month for our family of 3.