Monday, February 15, 2010

How to eat well on a budget

1) Cook your own food at home. Do NOT "cook yourself". ;)

2) Know and accept that you will eat leftovers.

3) Know and accept that good, nutritious food may not be gourmet. i.e., you must develop a palate such that you truly believe that a peanut butter and banana sandwich, or a bowl of beans, is better than a MacDonald's cheeseburger.

4) Prioritize your food spending. To me, for example, the delta between expensive produce and cheap produce is huge, so I'll bleed my wallet dry over that. But the delta between expensive protein and cheap protein is not so big for me, so beans and chicken thighs and random moose parts are just fine by me.

5) "Ethnic" food tends to make better leftovers. Cultures in which a pot simmers on the stove, and everyone spoons out his or her share, tend to create food that makes better leftovers. Cultures in which everyone gets his or her own plate, which is prepared in the kitchen, tend to create food that does not reheat well.

I tend to create a huge batch of protein for the week (chili, chicken noodle soup, reindeer barley soup, ham and bean soup, meatloaf, etc.). Then all throughout the week, I have a serving of my protein de la semaine, and cook a fresh veggie each night.

My protein this week is frijoles de la olla with spanish rice.

Bubbling on the stove:


My plate awaits with its veggies (shredded cabbage, sliced Mat-Su Valley carrots, tomatoes, and pickled cauliflower with jalapenos):

Rice bubbling from this:

To this:

Grated cheese and tortillas finish it off:

So guess what I'm having for supper tonight! Rice and beans and perhaps broccoli! And guess what I'm having tomorrow! Rice and beans and boiled collards! And guess what I'm having Wednesday! Rice and beans and shredded cabbage again! Yay!

In other news, I collect fuzzy things:

Today is National Half-Priced Chocolate Day! Happy National Half-Priced Chocolate Day, everyone! Go out and buy yourself some half-priced chocolate!


Anonymous said...

I tried cooking myself, but I was tough and stringy- with bits of gristle all mashed in with the potatoes and carrots.

Miss E. said...

Grow your own food, cook your own food, and reheat your own food, and you will probably be healthier and save money. But somehow this eludes most people, and they are always in awe when I bring in some delicious meal to reheat, or when I talk about growing my own food. They complain about losing weight, saving money or not knowing how to cook and I am in awe. But I guess we're weird like that!

Arvay said...

LOL! Thanks, Titanium! Bad syntax corrected!

mdr said...

Mash potato and carrot together tastes good with great nutrients.

I like your menu, mine is similar without the cheese (with bean curd products)

Rena said...

Looks yummy! I'm all over leftovers too - makes for easy meals. Do you also cook for your doggies, or do they do the kibble thing?

Arvay said...

We do the kibble thing, but they also get treats of meat, cheese, carrots, and apples. I didn't know that they were so fond of carrots until I found them stealing them from the bunnies.