Eating On $20 For One Week – woman proves it’s possible

Link to: Eating On $20 For One Week – Houston Restaurants and Dining – Eating Our Words.

Gimme some black beans

OK, so I’m not excoriating Republican candidates today. I’m building my arsenal, it’s going to be like hitting the side of a barn.

In the meantime, I’m back on frugality, especially regarding one of my favorite subjects, food. I happened upon Katharine Shilcutt’s piece in the Houston Press blog. She figured out how to Eat on $20 a week. I found it interesting (and helpful!) in particular because it focused on her own household of one.

My grocery bills normally run probably around $50 – $60 a week if I’m honest, and that doesn’t include meals out – which in Palm Springs comes to only one or two a week. Large parts of my food budget go to things I’m always trying to get off of: diet rootbeer soda, for instance – I buy 6-packs for around $2.50 at Fresh ‘n Easy or TJ’s and they go in a day or so depending on how hot it is.

I also like “artisan” bread and buy the La Brea Bakery brand whenever I can find it here. Typically that does cost more, but it’s SOOO much better than anything else. I do buy a lot of fresh and frozen berries (depending on season) that I use in smoothie concoctions along with yogurt and (sometimes) milk.

Lately, I’ve been trying to eat more locally and sustainably so haunt the Farmer’s Markets in Palm Springs – one at the Thursday night Street Fair (Villagefest), the other on Saturdays outside the Camelot Theater. Typically, I will buy greens for salads at those and whatever fresh vegetable they have in season that I can figure out how to cook. Some things fare better with me: yams, for instance, are much easier to deal with than leeks, which I didn’t really know what to do with.

The best value I see in Katharine’s weekly haul is the oatmeal. It is amazingly cheap, and I’m lucky because I like it a lot. I wouldn’t buy the chicken, as I really don’t like meat or poultry all that much. Instead, I add black beans to lots of things, getting my protein there. I also make batches of brown rice and freeze individual portions since it goes bad so fast.

But one thing I have noticed is that Farmers Market fresh vegetables last longer. Maybe because they don’t have to travel from New Zealand or Chile to reach us?

I’d love to hear other stories on how people save on food.

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~ by jimarnoldla on October 21, 2010.

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