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Science WHORE
Feb 2, 2010

This has been a complete intelligence failure of massive proportions


I'm not very much of a cook, but I love making food! But I get saddened when I see a new recipe I want try and find out the ingredients for one dish would come close to breaking my food budget.

I'm on a very small food budget, about $50 a week and am sick of making the same thing every day because it's cheap.

My selection of foods that I've been able to make are as follows.
Mashed potatoes (delicious and dirt cheap to buy potatoes), spaghetti with marinara, rice-a-roni with ground beef (sometimes I thrown in some fresh onions and peppers too) and pasta-roni with chicken, and sometimes pizza bread.

That's about it.

I need some foods that are little more....gourmet, with ingredients that can be used in more than one dish. I'm not very knowledgable about cooking, so can you guys help me with some affordable, tasty meals?

(Also I don't really spend time in this forum, so checked the first two pages and didn't see any threads like this, I'll close it if there already is one)

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dino.
Mar 28, 2010


Hrm. Unless you're feeding a family of 4, $50/week is a /very/ generous grocery budget. My husband and I approximate like $30/week, and I have company over all the time, so it's a little higher than usual. Rather than telling you what not to buy, I'll tell you stuff *to* buy.

5 lbs of rice. This should run you (at most) $2.50 ($4 if it's brown rice), and last you a good long while. I don't mean rice in a box. I mean the stuff that comes in a bag, that costs really little. You can often get sales on 20-lb bags of rice, where you pay like $8 or even less, depending on where you are in the country, and how carefully you check the circulars for that sort of thing. Barring that, about $10 for 20-lb bag of rice is roughly standard. If you get reamed, and pay full retail, I'll assume that you dropped about $5 on this bag of rice.

5 lbs of various beans. I don't mean the kind that come in tins. I mean the dry beans that come either in bulk, or in bags from various companies, like Goya. A good start is pinto, black, white, lentils, and split peas. Grab a pound of each, and you're set. If you cannot find them in the bulk section of the store, and they're coming in 1-lb individually wrapped bags, the most you will pay is around $1.50. I'm assuming you'll end up paying this, because if you're spending any amount of money on *-a-roni, you're used to spending a loving fortune on crap. Might well buy real food, and give that a whirl. I'm assuming you'll get the worst price, so I'm assuming $2/bag. We're currently at $15.

A 3-lb bag of onions. Should run you about $2, give or take. We're at $17.

A head of garlic. $1. So far, we're at $19.

Spices of various sorts. A good mix is cumin, coriander, black pepper, Kosher salt, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, dried basil, dried marjoram, dried oregano, dried thyme. I'm assuming you'll spend about $2 per container, give or take. $24. It seems like a lot of money, but the amounts you'll buy at a grocery store should last a month or so. So assume that this trip is a tiny bit more pricey than future trips, because I'm assuming you haven't got a stocked pantry. Currently, we're at $43.

At this point, we're nearly maxed out, but stick with me, and the other trips will be much cheaper, because you won't be buying the most expensive things (herbs and spices) every single week.

1 gallon of vegetable oil of some sort. This should run you about $10. We're at $53 right now (and this is a VERY extreme estimate, assuming that you buy the most expensive of everything, and don't find a single thing on sale, AND you buy everything all at once, which may or may not be the case). Currently, you've got the bare bones of a reasonably stocked kitchen.

Soak about 1 lb of beans overnight, and the next day, they'll cook up in 45 minutes - 1 hour on the stove, or 20 minutes in a pressure cooker, or 8 hours on low in a crock pot. The rice, if it's white, will cook in 20 minutes, If it's brown rice, soak it overnight like you do your beans, and it'll cook up in about 30 minutes on the stove, or 45 in the rice cooker.

The onions, garlic, and oil form a base for spicing up any of the beans that you've bought. Add one or more of the spices to the cooking onions and garlic to add a bunch of flavour for not a lot of money. Throw the cooked onions, garlic, and spices into the cooked, drained beans, and stir to combine. Eat it with rice. Any leftover beans should go into individual portions (I use zip top sandwich bags) into the freezer. That way, you don't get sick of eating the same thing over and over again.

The next week, the sky is the limit, because you've still got a boatload of rice and beans at your house, so now you can buy pretty drat near any vegetable you see in the store, bring it home, toss it in oil, salt, and spices, and roast it in the oven for 30 minutes at 350F or until they're tender. They make an excellent side to the beans and rice.

From here on out, replenish your stock of rice and beans and spices as needed. Unless you're deep frying every day, the gallon of oil will likely last you a couple of months. Unless you're pouring the spices on like a weirdo, the spices will likely last you a couple of months as well. The 5 lbs of rice should easily last you about a month, but if you like a lot of rice (as I do), you'll go through it in two weeks. One pound of beans should make four servings. Again, that five pounds will easily last you a month.

In other words, after spending a little more the first week, you'll spend FAR less the subsequent weeks, because you're just picking up accompaniments for the main food. Anything above and beyond the main cheapfood is a bonus.

Essentially, this way, you'll cut back your grocery bill to about $70 for two - three weeks, rather than $200 in one month. As you cook more, and discover bulk spices in Indian and Latino stores, your spice costs plummet, because that same $2 that you spent on a small jar of spices will buy you an entire /pound/ of spices, which will likely last you about six months rather than one - two months.

visionviper
May 3, 2009


dino. posted:

[Good advice]

Pretty much this. Just making things yourself like beans, pasta, rice, etc are a great way to save a bunch of money. Example: I used to buy cans of refried black beans for burritos and now for the price of 2 cans I make 2 lbs of beans.

Eating great and saving money is easy as long as you are willing to put the time in.

dino.
Mar 28, 2010


visionviper posted:

Pretty much this. Just making things yourself like beans, pasta, rice, etc are a great way to save a bunch of money. Example: I used to buy cans of refried black beans for burritos and now for the price of 2 cans I make 2 lbs of beans.

Eating great and saving money is easy as long as you are willing to put the time in.

I completely forgot about pasta! If you wait for a sale, you can often find pasta for roughly 2lb/$1. Stock up and get a bunch of different shapes when that happens, and you're more or less set. When you do find such a cheap deal on pasta, you can splurge, and spend like $10 on a litre of decent extra virgin olive oil. Get some fresh herbs too, and you're good. A few fresh herbs, some garlic, some olive oil, and cooked pasta makes a lovely meal, especially when you have some roasted veg on the side.

If you like wraps and sandwiches and the like, you can also find some really good, cheap sandwich material at any grocery store. Spinach, mushrooms, peppers, olives, and hummus are all relatively easy to find anywhere. If you have the patience and the food processor to make your own hummus, please do so, because it's excellent eating. However, if you don't, just buy whatever kind you like, and use it as a sandwich spread for wraps, stuff them with your favourite veggies, and eat like a king.

Best part of doing large batches of roasted veggies is that you can turn it into a soup the next day. Just fry off some onions and garlic and spices in oil, dump in your roasted veg, and add just enough water to cover the veg. Let it all come to a boil, and you're done! Old rice that you kept in the fridge overnight becomes excellent fodder for stir-fry the next day. Quickly sautee off some onions and garlic in a bit of oil, toss in your favourite veg (I like peppers, broccoli, and mushrooms), and toss around in the oil. Add the rice, and toss it all around with a bit of soy sauce. It's pretty quick to get together. This is also a great place to toss in your leftover roasted veg. The sky's the limit!

dino. fucked around with this message at Oct 9, 2011 around 19:58

Science WHORE
Feb 2, 2010

This has been a complete intelligence failure of massive proportions


Very good ideas, thank you. But I should add $50 is our absolute MAX to spend, our regular budget is about what you say, $30.

However the prices in your estimate are bit off. I've browsed the grocery store and the prices are usually a couple dollars higher than that. Maybe it's just where I live.

Also, I'm not vegetarian. I like meat, if me and my boyfriend don't eat it, we don't get full, and that is usually where most of the expense comes from. But I've found buying a bag of frozen chicken breasts is quite helpful and lasts quite a while.

Thanks for a good start on planning our next grocery trip, I'll definitly be taking this advice with me.


On more thing to ask about. My boyfriend and I work 12 hour days and usually just stock up on crackers, muffins, cup fruit, applesauce, etc. and our lunches are microwavables. This is really killing the budget, so some good meal ideas that are still great reheated would really help out too.

dino.
Mar 28, 2010


Hey-o. Never implied that you're veg. Just speaking from what I know. I've built in some wiggle room in case some of the stuff /is/ more expensive. With the spices, if you're low on cash, just buy one or two every week, and build /up/ the spice cabinet. That'll knock off a huge initial expense, and you'll quite happily be able to spend the rest on whatever else you'll need to round out your meals. I'm sure others can address the meatneeds. It's not my area of expertise, and I'd sooner not put my foot in it about stuff I know nothing of.

LogisticEarth
Mar 28, 2004

Someone once told me, "Time is a flat circle".


My Little Puni posted:

However the prices in your estimate are bit off. I've browsed the grocery store and the prices are usually a couple dollars higher than that. Maybe it's just where I live.

A lot of those prices are pretty low, $2 for spices? Where?

quote:

Also, I'm not vegetarian. I like meat, if me and my boyfriend don't eat it, we don't get full...

If you eat a crapload of rice and beans, you'll be full. It's got plenty of protien and mass. If you you want meat on the cheap, look at getting whole chickens and roasting them. Pound for pount they're usually very cheap.

quote:

My boyfriend and I work 12 hour days...

This is rough, I have to deal with that too, so I'll be watching the thread for any advice. If it takes an hour to cook a meal, that usually means I'm saying "gently caress it" and eating out of a can. 12 hours at work + 8 hours sleep + commute time = >4 hours remaining. Considering that I'm usually messing around in the morning for at least an hour trying to wake up, that leaves less than 2-3 hours in the evening to do everything else. Spending an hour and a half on dinner is both a luxury and a hassle.

Hellwuzzat
Nov 28, 2008


Not sure how these would apply to your budget, but boiled eggs, fresh fruit, and nuts are how I keep my budget down and keep myself from having to cook more than 2-3 times a week. You might also look into roasts. Eat roast with taters and poo poo, then leftovers make sammiches. When you're sick of sammiches, you make a soup or stew.

lonelywurm
Aug 10, 2009


When it comes to meat, I find a mostly veg diet and patience will pay off big. Get your meat when it's cheap - check out local farmer's markets and keep an eye in your megamart for stuff that's coming close to its expiry (in most of the ones locally, you can get stuff 50% off that way - you simply have to freeze or cook very promptly) and then flesh out your diet with whole grains (rice and quinoa are excellent choices), grain products (some flat- and quick-breads are really cheap and delicious), legumes (beans, lentils and my personal favourite, split pea soup), and fresh or frozen veg depending on season and cost.

As for meat, my tactic was using stewing hens. You can get whole stewing hens (which are older chickens who have grown out of their usefulness as egg-layers) for like $8 at my local farmer's market (hopefully yours is similar). Then you dismember your chicken and have excellent meat for stewing applications (don't try and fry these birds) and a carcass for stock-making. Both the stewing and stock-making can be done on a weekend with relatively little effort beyond a little time and great reward (freeze stock; make delicious, cheap-as-gently caress soup until it runs out and used stewed chicken as an ingredient in stir fries and such for part of the week). I'd also take advantage of local buying trends at my megamart; they'd always bring in corned beef brisket (which is amazing, but my mum's English, so ymmv) but it would never sell to our specific customer base; so I could get a half-dozen for 50% off and be in sandwiches for weeks every time the expiry started to loom.

Also, crock-pot. Check out your local goodwill, thrift stores and garage sales for a second-hand one (got mine for $12) and take advantage of the fact you can prep stuff the night before, throw it in and turn it on in the morning, and come home to a hearty stew or similar. The old slow-cooking thread is available in the Goldmine: http://forums.somethingawful.com/sh...hreadid=2775050

lonelywurm fucked around with this message at Oct 9, 2011 around 21:29

Wahad
May 19, 2011



Everything by design.


My Little Puni posted:


On more thing to ask about. My boyfriend and I work 12 hour days and usually just stock up on crackers, muffins, cup fruit, applesauce, etc. and our lunches are microwavables. This is really killing the budget, so some good meal ideas that are still great reheated would really help out too.

Chili, soup, stews, roasts, pulled pork are just a few that come to mind, which you can easily make in bulk and therefore on the cheap.

Straight White Shark
May 16, 2009

diggle zone


My Little Puni posted:

Also, I'm not vegetarian. I like meat, if me and my boyfriend don't eat it, we don't get full, and that is usually where most of the expense comes from. But I've found buying a bag of frozen chicken breasts is quite helpful and lasts quite a while.

You can stretch your grocery dollars farther if you're not just buying the most expensive part of the animal. Chicken breasts are convenient for when you're lazy and want to cut out the prep work but other parts are much cheaper, even if you're not carving whole chickens yourself. Bone-in thighs have a lot of meat on them and are way cheaper than boneless breasts.

Look around the meat department, there will probably be a fair number of odd cuts offered at much lower prices than the more recognizable cuts. There's nothing wrong with any of them, people are just needlessly picky. Also try out organ meats, they're usually super cheap.

EDIT: Also people have repeatedly mentioned making stock; do this! You can make beef/chicken stock out of spare parts and then use it to flavor otherwise meatless dishes with delicious animal murder without having to buy any additional meat. If you've only ever had canned/instant broth before the difference is amazing; this stuff is very much full of meaty goodness and even if you're used to eating a lot of meat it will fill you up.

Straight White Shark fucked around with this message at Oct 9, 2011 around 22:12

dongsweep
Nov 27, 2004

~ P * R * I * D * E ~

Wal-Mart has a whole chicken already cooked ready to be taken home and eaten for $5 dollars, they have a few varieties of flavors too. I like sauces a lot so I have a few different asian blends and I just buy a chicken, cook some rice up and slap some sauce on it (you pull the chicken apart, don't put rice next to a bird) you could do this every day for a week and still be under $50 dollars. Just an idea for those of you who hate to spend a lot of time cooking like me.

Science WHORE
Feb 2, 2010

This has been a complete intelligence failure of massive proportions


These are all really helpful for me. I'm going to see if my mom can send me her old crock pot, I always loved making chicken and beef in it and the juices can totally be used for soup. Just picked up some whole oranges instead of ones in a cup and some rice, onions and potatoes. Making some chicken and rice soup for tomorrow's lunch.

My plan for now is to make my lunches on the weekend and save them for the week. Like LogisticEarth said, working 12 hour shifts all day is a deathwish. I only have about 3 hours of spare time, time which I would rather chill out than make food. So anything that can be prepared ahead of time is awesome.

Erik Shawn-Bohner
Mar 21, 2010

by XyloJW


A Tough-Love Guide to Eating for Poors by Nautatrol Rx:

I'm going to write out a few rules and avenues of education that will allow you to improve your quality and variety of food while not breaking the bank. None of this will be haute cuisine, but it's better than eating mashed potatoes and pasta for every meal.

Rule 1) Stop being a poor.

Poors deprive innocent businesses like Wal-Mart of their hard-earned money. Also, it's just gross. Eww.

Rule 2) Google is your friend.

To really get the best out of your budget, you need to learn how to cook properly from scratch. Heating food someone else made and packaged is not cooking. For example, pouring Prego spaghetti sauce from a jar into a pan and adding a couple vegetables (I don't know if you do that) isn't cooking so much as heating. With the power of the internet, you have the opportunity to get a firm grasp on the science of cooking--why those recipes tell you to do something like browning meat before you cook it again. This knowledge empowers you to get away from recipes and start freestyling in the kitchen. That alone will allow you to combine ingredients and flavors in ways that will make you more satisfied in the kitchen and at the dinner table, and you will have a firm grasp on what you can leave out of a recipe, what can be substituted, and you can DIY some things you would otherwise buy canned.

To start, crack out on Alton Brown's show Good Eats. It's a very entertaining and informative series that will give you a basic background in cooking. You can find it on Youtube.

Rule 3) Carefully consider your food purchases for price vs quantity.

As a poor, you need to be sure you're getting the max bang for your buck. Instead of shopping based on recipes, you should form ideas for things to make as you shop for deals. Stew meat, for example, is one of the cheapest cuts of meat, but it's surprisingly versatile. There's far better cuts out there, but that's beside the point entirely. Another example of a great buy is a package of ends-and-pieces bacon. You get a ton of bacon for much less than the nicely placed strips. It's the same idea as the stew meat.

Rule 4) Bigger is better.

When cooking every-day fare, bigger is better. If you don't have a giant pot for chili and stew, you should get one. Cooking large and freezing leftovers will keep you from falling into the money-sink of buying small bits of ingredients for each meal. Buy big on anything you can, and you'll save in the long run. Cook big, and you won't have ingredients going to waste, and you'll always have a backup plan in the fridge. If it's frozen, you can have it next week or the week after if you're tired of it.

Rule 5) Hard work saves you money.

Carrots? Don't buy those little baby carrots that are peeled and such. Buy adult carrots and do it yourself, baby killer. When you buy onions, buy the huge bags of onions. You can never have enough onions. Eat the fuckers like apples. When you buy chicken, don't buy boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Aside from the dark meat actually being the best part of the chicken, chicken breasts are expensive. Buy whole chickens or bags of fryer legs and thighs. You can always cut off the meat from the bone. Or, you can

Rule 6) Fry it.

Frying things is awesome, and all you need is some flour, spices, egg/milk, and some veggie oil. All are relatively cheap, and you'll probably have them on hand. Again, there's a ton of videos out there that will show you, step by step, how to fry stuff. However, you should stress learning the process that goes on during the frying rather than just following directions. Remember: recipes are the enemy.

Rule 7) Waste is an anathema.

That whole chicken or the big bag of frying parts--you don't want to throw away dem bones. Bones on anything (hams, beef, chicken) are what you use to make stock. Boil those bones into stock, and any rice or beans you cook with that stock will be extra delicious. Buy a head of lettuce for a salad and have some salad left over? Slap that sucker on a sandwich. If you have leftovers that just won't go away, think of new ways to recombine them into other dishes.

Rule 8) Shop where other poors shop.

Being a poor and shopping where normal people shop causes stress and discomfort for all parties. Look and ask around for the places that poors shop. Places like ALDI are where poors go to get their sustenance even over Wal-Mart. Follow suit, and you may find more money in your pocket.

Rule 9) Be creative.

Most people that don't cook do so because all they know of cooking is using recipes that they try to follow to the letter and still end up like crap. Really, cooking is about experimentation. It's very, very rare that I'll break out any sort of measuring device when I cook. The one exception is if I'm using Baking Powder or Soda in a quick-bread because of the potential nasty taste if it's too much. Otherwise, it's a free-for-all of pinches, grabs, and tosses. It really doesn't take long to be able to eyeball most of what you do in a kitchen. Again, the main point of all this is to learn the science of cooking and why certain things happen when you combine A with B and cook it a certain way. Once you have that under your belt, you no longer need to follow silly recipes. You can look at it for inspiration, but then you take the general idea and make it your own. Surprisingly, this will save you a lot of money because you can work with what is on hand rather than going to the store.

Rule 10) Poors are lazy and don't like to work.

Poors are poors because they can't pull themselves up by their bootstraps. Granted, we stole their bootstraps and sold it back to them on credit as stew meat, but it's still their fault. Chances are, the work required to get a solid grasp of the processes behind cooking will put you off. Granted, it's mostly sitting on your duff while surfing the internet and learning the skills and ideas that allow you to ask the right questions, but poors are too lazy for that and that's why they're poors. Out of pity, I will offer you some quick foodstuffs recipes:

Cream of Chicken/Mushroom and rice: Buy a can of cream of chicken or mushroom. Add it to pasta or rice, and add any veggies/extra meat. It's cheap, filling, fast, and it doesn't taste that bad.

Casseroles: Use cream of chicken, chunks of chicken, rice, and vegetables in a oven-safe container and bake until hot and the top is crispy. You can look up other cheap casserole recipes online.

Quesadilla: Take a couple tortillas and put cheese, cooked veggies and meat between them and either microwave until cheese is melted or put in the oven until the same.

Bootstrap Soup: Contact your local non-poor and offer him/her your bootstraps. They will then offer to sell you the bootstraps necessary for bootstrap soup. Place in boiling water/tears until tender.

(USER WAS BANNED FOR THIS POST)

Erik Shawn-Bohner fucked around with this message at Oct 9, 2011 around 22:38

Webman
Jun 4, 2008


Lentils are a great source of carbs and protein. Here are a few things to make with them:
Lentil Soup- whatever base you like
Dal- Google it
Lentil Salad- think of a pasta salad with oil and vinegar and whatever veggies you like
Lentils with turkey bacon and homemade maple mustard sauce
Whatever else you can think of

Science WHORE
Feb 2, 2010

This has been a complete intelligence failure of massive proportions


Nautatrol Rx posted:

Lazy poors

Wow that was extremely helpful and yet insulting at the same time. I will assume that you were being facetious and was only commentary on our social order, not a direct insult. So thank you, maybe this will help me become not lazy and I can stop feeding on the dirt caked on the bottom of my shoes when I get home from doing poor people stuff (mostly doing drugs and walking around wal-mart) and will slowly become a useful member of society. Maybe one day I can even start paying people off in order to make myself look better to other people paying people off. I can dream right?


But seriously, really helpful post.

Skinny King Pimp
Aug 25, 2011
Skinny Queen Wimp

A whole chicken is usually less than $2/lb and you can make about five meals out of it. Have roasted chicken and veggies one night, pull all the meat off the carcass and use some of it for sandwiches or chicken salad the next night, use the carcass to make stock on the weekend and have probably two days of chicken noodle soup or stock to flavor beans and rice and whatever else you want. Keep a stock bucket for veggie scraps (onion paper, ends of carrots, ends of celery, stems and insides of bell peppers) in your freezer so you end up wasting almost nothing when you cook with fresh veggies. If it gets full but you don't have bones, just make some veg stock. Still full of flavor, even if it doesn't have that super tasty animal death going on.

If you eat bacon, save the grease. Put it in a tupperware and keep it in the fridge. Now you don't have to use your bottle of oil every time you want to cook something! Sauteeing onions and garlic in bacon fat before adding them to beans is ultra delicious and you make things last a little longer.

Learn how to make simple dressings and sauces at home. It takes literally about three minutes to whip up a nice sesame ginger vinaigrette to go on a salad or a horseradish sauce to go with a beef roast or london broil. Both of these things are going to cost you infinitely less if you make them yourself.

Use the poo poo out of your freezer. If bread is on sale for buy one get one free, throw a loaf in the freezer. Meat's on sale in large packages? Either throw some of it in the freezer or cook a big batch of whatever with it and freeze servings of that. If you make whatever stock, freeze it in ice cubes to throw into rice or beans for flavor.

Another way to save money is to ditch cleaning sprays and scrubs. Use a 50/50 mixture of baking soda and kosher salt as a scrub on your counters and fill old spray bottles with a 50/50 mixture of water and white vinegar as an antibacterial spray. Add a drop of dish soap to make it into window cleaner. Go to a restaurant supply store and buy side towels that you can wash instead of wasting money on paper towels you're just going to throw away. Not exactly grocery bill concerns, but they might help you free up some money in your budget either way.

brick cow
Oct 22, 2008


Quickie suggestion. Invest in a clay pot to put in your window. Plant basil, parsley, herbs... in the pot. Don't use too much at a time and keep em watered. Renewable resource for turning bland dishes into something awesome.

Drink and Fight
Feb 2, 2003

hoot, hoot, hoot, hoot hoot hoot hoot hoothoothoothoothoothoothoot hoooohootohtothotootothtoto, hoot


^^ Fresh herbs are cheap and awesome. They're also much stronger than dried ones. Just keep them watered and you'll never run out.

My Little Puni posted:

Wow that was extremely helpful and yet insulting at the same time. I will assume that you were being facetious and was only commentary on our social order, not a direct insult. So thank you, maybe this will help me become not lazy and I can stop feeding on the dirt caked on the bottom of my shoes when I get home from doing poor people stuff (mostly doing drugs and walking around wal-mart) and will slowly become a useful member of society. Maybe one day I can even start paying people off in order to make myself look better to other people paying people off. I can dream right?


But seriously, really helpful post.

Please don't eat any of the "recipes" he suggested. Cream of X "soups" are disgusting, expensive, and terrible for you. Make a quesadilla in a pan, not the microwave. It only takes 2 minutes more, and comes out soft and crispy instead of soggy.

Lasagna freezes very well. "Stew meat" makes excellent chili. Hot sauce makes everything better. Look up the no-knead bread recipe, and make your own loaves, rolls, pizza crusts, etc with only about 5 minutes of actual effort on your part.

Erik Shawn-Bohner
Mar 21, 2010

by XyloJW


^^^^^
Poors are not humans and therefore have different biologies and require different nutrients to survive. Cream of chicken is one of their basic food groups.

Also, regular bread is worth the effort. Your no-knead bread is an anathema.

My Little Puni posted:

Wow that was extremely helpful and yet insulting at the same time. I will assume that you were being facetious and was only commentary on our social order, not a direct insult. So thank you, maybe this will help me become not lazy and I can stop feeding on the dirt caked on the bottom of my shoes when I get home from doing poor people stuff (mostly doing drugs and walking around wal-mart) and will slowly become a useful member of society. Maybe one day I can even start paying people off in order to make myself look better to other people paying people off. I can dream right?


But seriously, really helpful post.

One day, silly poor. One day you may.

I also thought of another trick that I continue to use to this day. Spices are very intimidating to a new cook because you're taking a little bit of something and it changes the flavor massively. They all work together in different ways and can produce some really off flavors if you don't know what you're doing.

My way of dealing with that is to sniff and taste a spice before I use it every time. I'll bend down and sniff whatever I'm cooking, sniff the spice bottle, and maybe take a bit on my finger to taste while smelling the food. It will give you a good idea of what the end result will be in terms of scent/flavor, and it will give you a memory map of what spices work well together so you can do your own spice blends.

Spices make a huge difference. It's what turns a cooked meat into a dish. Also, never buy lemon pepper or garlic salt. They are an anathema.

Also, gravies. Learn how to make a roux. It's essentially cooked fat and flour used for thickening a liquid into a gravy. For biscuits and gravy, it's awesome, and biscuits are easy to make by hand too. Combine with a couple over-easy eggs and some sausage, and you've got food fit for a king. My dad and I eat "breakfast" for dinner often just because it's filling and delicious. You can also use the roux to make a gravy basted stew, aka a fricassee, with chicken and veggies. Think of it like the inside of a pot pie--or dump the fricassee inside some biscuit dough (you learned how to make biscuit dough for biscuits and gravy, right? It's easy as hell) formed into a shell, and you actually have a pot pie!

You mention Wal-Mart, so I assume you have access to one. Hidden somewhere on the meat isle are tubes of ground turkey. They're soul-crushingly cheap (the size of a roll of ground sausage, but they're only about a dollar a piece), and they're reasonably quality meat. Add spices, and you've got a cheaper alternative to beef and chicken. Also, look at the cheaper rolls of ground sausage. They're absolutely packed with flavor, and it makes an incredible substitution for beef in pasta sauces. I try to use sausage instead of beef whenever I can. It also helps that it's cheaper.

When you cook sausage or bacon. Never throw out the resulting grease. That's pure flavor you can use in a roux, for frying, in soups, in bread if you like to make your own bread, and prettymuch anywhere you'd use oil. Fried mushrooms and onions in bacon fat are food of the gods. The grease will solidify and turn into a white paste that can be stored in a coffee mug in the fridge or whatever you like.

Also, you can get creative with your potatoes. Fried Yankee Potatoes (as we call'm in the South) are large-cut slices of peeled potato fried up in grease (or oil) with bacon and onion. Look up how to make cornbread (real cornbread has no sugar), and you'll have yourself a very filling, delicious meal.

I would highly suggest making your own bread. It's slightly more expensive, but it's far better tasting, and you're actually getting way more food. Bagged sandwich bread is mostly air. This is more of a luxury item, but it's not that far off the budget, and it will make you happy. It's a fun place to experiment with nuts, raisins, fruits, and spices. I make all of mine without the assistance of machines, and to make sure it comes out super-tender, I cover it with tin foil for the first 30 minutes of baking and then do a egg-wash rub on the outside and let it cook until golden brown.

Once you have bread-making under your belt, you can make your own pizza crust and therefore your own pizza. This is where you get into truly gourmet territory. Oil-spice rubs instead of red sauce, fine cheeses, whatever ingredients you like to your heart's desire. Shove in oven at 450 until the top is brown and the dough browned, eat, orgasm. It's also the same bread recipe for making bagels and pretzels with slight cooking variations. Once you learn to bake a loaf of bread, it opens up whole new avenues of cooking. (start with the Good Eats episode on pizza... check wikipedia for a listing of the episodes and the foods it covers)

Have you ever made potato pancakes? Take those same home-made mashed potatoes you love so much, add some more black pepper, then plop a glob onto a hot skillet with a little oil/butter like you would a pancake. It makes those old potatoes fantastic. Plenty of things will go with them whether it's breakfast or dinner.

Don't take my posting as a sign of fondness. I still am disgusted with poors. I'll post other ideas/avenues of exploration as I think of them. You can also try to ask some (more specific) questions, and I'll do my best to answer them as I assume everyone else will.



It's comedy, Dr. Poor, not trolling. Plus, the rest I gave is good advice. Why don't you contribute something with effort if you want to whine?
VVVVV

(USER WAS PUT ON PROBATION FOR THIS POST)

Mr. Wiggles
Dec 1, 2003

I would never shop at Costco. The paper towels won't fit into my sports car!

You're not even a good troll.

Everybody listen to .dino he has good ideas. More generally even, learn to eat like you're in an impoverished country. Fejoada is good enough for Brazilians and good enough for us as well, for instance. That is to say, the best food on earth is born of poverty.

Cpt.Wacky
Apr 17, 2005


Those little jars of spices and herbs at the grocery store are a complete rip-off. Look around for a natural or "health" foods store, or even a dedicated spice store. They'll sell spices in bulk: as much or little as you want, sometimes with a minimum of an ounce. You can bring your own containers or get it in little ziplock bags. The quality is dramatically better, and the price can be anywhere from half to 1/10th that of the grocery store.

Jack Skeleton
Dec 7, 2006


Not really an in depth piece to add but I would suggest looking into the local ethnic markets. I noticed they have some really great sales on their fruits/veggies. Local Mexican chain of stores has weekly one-day sales and it's pretty normal to get 6-9 pounds of onions for $1. 6 heads of corn for $0.99 and tomatoes at $1 per 4 pounds.

I've also noticed this in the local Asian dense areas of the city. Their markets will have a slew of ingredients that you may often not find in the big markets at a fraction of the cost.

Add in that this will spice up your menu from your average Americanized food options.

Also buy and cook what is in season and look into slow cookers. Buying a whole slab of pork or beef slab will come out cheaper by the pound when you're buying more of it and breaking it down yourself.

Beans are also a wonderful fruit.

bartolimu
Nov 25, 2002



Aside from a general warning about whirled peas and maybe using the report button a little more often boys and girls, I'd like to repeat Jack Skeleton's advice on the whole seasonal eating thing. Food is less expensive when it doesn't have to come from another continent.

Farmers' markets really can be a huge help to the budget if you have some idea of produce prices in regular stores. For bonus cheapness, go late in the day. If your farmers' market is like mine and sets up in a temporary location, the sellers probably don't want to cart off a lot of produce that will rot before the next market starts up. They usually give half off highly perishable stuff like tomatoes, strawberries, etc. right before they close down.

Don't do that every week. You'll get much better variety going early, but if you need a big batch of something it's worth delaying and hoping there's some left.

Test Pattern
Dec 20, 2007

Keep scrolling, clod!


A lot of excellent things have been said in this thread. Me and my girlfriend eat like loving kings for 70-80 a week in groceries. We eat out too, but we could easily not and save the money. Even though we have a lot of wiggle room in our food budget, I watch it carefully out of habit so we can get the best stuff and have money left over for other things. We also pay exorbitant prices for groceries (we use FreshDirect in NYC, so unless you're in Alaska or Hawaii, I seriously doubt you pay more for most items than I do.)

Everything I do to make our food expenditure 70-80 rather than 250-300, you can do to make yours lower as well.

1: Buy Whole Foods.
I don't mean for health (though, yes) or because it puts you in tune with the world (although there is a greater satisfaction), but because it is so much loving cheaper that you will goggle. I buy whole chickens at -- no poo poo -- ONE THIRD the price per pound the same store is asking for bonelessskinlessbreasts from the same source, and I get more (stock, schmaltz sometimes) out of it. My time is valuable, but if I can save ten dollars in three minutes of knifework, that's an hourly wage of TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS NET (call it $300 gross!). Worth it. Same goes for other cuts and varieties of meat, all veggies, and easy to prepare snackfoods (hummus, applesauce).

2: Buy in Bulk
When possible of course, but my costco membership paid for itself in the first visit, and I go five or six times a year (this goes beyond food too: underwear, socks, toiletries, bedsheets etc etc etc, and it's usually top-quality stuff at below the price of the worst, cheapest stuff). Where this really shines is in a part of our budget that you mention -- the GF is a teacher and runs on portable snacks. Depending on what we're talking about buying at Costco can see savings of 75%. If you have the space for the really industrial-size stuff you can reap even greater benefits (if I had somewhere to put those giant bags of rice...)

3: Dinner is Lunch
I plan every dinner to make between three and five servings. Two for dinner, two for lunch the next day, and a bit of wiggle. Yes, you can super-cook ahead but A: Eating the same thing every day for a week gets tedious and B: Wastage is the enemy of thrift. I used to cook every weekend, but by Thursday we just couldn't look the food in the face, and our food waste was approaching 20%! A big pot of tomato sauce, especially if it includes meatballs and something else is a different story as you can put it over different pastas, make lasagna, make subs, just have it straight, but when your third lunch is slices off the same roast and carrots from the same pan, you don't want it.

4: Don't Waste It!
I mentioned this above, but getting wasted food under control is job one. Keeping food varied and tasty is the first step to this, but so is having good storage and keeping your fridge well organized and at the right temp.

5: In Extremis
Rice. Beans. Maybe some eggs.

Edit: ONE MORE THING
SHOP OFF YOUR CIRCULAR! WATCH FOOD PRICE FLUCTUATIONS! DON'T ASSUME! Since I last got groceries (Monday), the price ratio on whole chickens to boneless skinless breasts has gone from 1:3 to just under 1:2.

Test Pattern fucked around with this message at Oct 10, 2011 around 02:52

Insanitylad
Sep 20, 2004
captain I ahave a penis where My vagiana was supposed to be now giant penus.

I'm in a similar situation and have found the best thing for me do is find one dish that I really like and get good at making it, and find a way to make it cheap.

This has led me to one recipe.

Buffalo style/ Non-buffalo style chicken

First, take a pack of chicken legs, available at any Walmart or grocery store for about 5 bux. and let them thaw out a bit.

Next, add into a pot of water 1 tbs of cayenne pepper, 1 tbs kosher salt, and about 1 tsp of crushed red pepper. All of these thing can be had for around 10 dollars total, and will last you quite a while.

Boil your chicken legs in this spicy mixture for about 20-40. (do not cover the pot and be sure to stir every now and then and to remove the foam that forms on the top, we don't like that stuff)
Afterwards, remove them from the water and let them air dry for a while as you pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees.

Sprinkle the chicken with a touch of seasoned salt if you have it (also cheap), then bake the chicken legs on a flat pan for 15 minutes on each side for a total of thirty minutes.

While the chicken is being baked it is time to make the (optional) sauce.

Take 1 & 1/4 cup of hot sauce (tobasco or whatever, I use Louisiana hot sauce)and 1/3 cup honey BBQ sauce. Mix with 3tbs of melted butter, whisk until it becomes a delicious buffalo sauce. (it will be spicy, yet sweet, and at the same time not too much of either.)

Once the chicken finishes its half hour in the oven, throw them immediately into a large bowl containing the sauce you just made, toss them around covering each of the pieces evenly. (There will be leftover sauce, that should be save for dipping!)


And Viola! You have just made amazing buffalo style chicken legs, tasty, and not completely horrible for you!. It makes enough chicken to be the main entree for several nights dinners. Savory and delicious!

Insanitylad fucked around with this message at Oct 10, 2011 around 04:53

feelz good man
Jan 21, 2007

deal with it


Make jambalaya!

You can make a chicken broth from a whole chicken carcass and from the odds and ends of chopping up the trinity (onion papers, celery stocks, pepper cores, etc), then you'd just need rice, garlic, salt and pepper and some cajun seasonings. Tony Chacheres is okay if you omit any excess salt from the dish, and it's like $1.

Brown the proteins, then remove and add the trinity, then the garlic. Add the rice in and stir around until it's pretty translucent and starts to get kind of brown, then add your cajun seasoning and your homemade chicken broth, then simmer. Easy

I like turtles
Aug 6, 2009

"Wouldn't want to see an angry turtle with a gun, would ya? "

Well...


For cheap spices, don't look at the bottled spices. Doesn't matter if I was in Arizona, Virginia, Colorado or Maine, bagged Mexican spices, while maybe not always the peak of freshness and quality, are like $0.88 a bag

djfooboo
Oct 16, 2004



Here is a cool thing to read. Takes a shitton of effort, but maybe learn a few things.

http://www.grocerycouponguide.com/a...ell-on-1-a-day/

TAC
Jun 24, 2010


Not sure how everyone here feels about canned foods, but I use Bumble Bee Wild Alaskan Pink Salmon as a major meat source to trim my budget. It's 14.75 oz per can, 80 calories (30 from fat), 12g protein per serving, 7 servings per can with a price range between $2.00-$2.50. It's a little high in sodium and cholesterol, so that's something to watch for.

I tend to go for sweet potatoes and taro over traditional potatoes. They're priced similarly where I am, but I figure they're a bit better rounded nutritionally.

I also use frozen vegetables over unfrozen. They're cheaper, often higher in quality and you don't have to worry about them going bad. Somewhat unrelated, but my mother's side of the family is mostly farmers. The "fresh" produce they ship out for export is typically harvested while it's still green and ripens on the journey. Frozen produce has a chance to ripen on the vine/stem/whatever before it's flash frozen and packaged. I'm not sure what the nutritional differences are, but I can differentiate between the two taste-wise.

Whole wheat bread, peanut butter, raw honey, whole milk.

I live a pretty active lifestyle and this has done me well. Also, plant some tomatoes when the weather is right. Experiment with different varieties, too. When it's warm, they will always be available for picking. Any extra can be cleaned and frozen for when the weather changes.

Carcharoth
Apr 14, 2003

What are birds?

Good post, TAC.

I think an important aspect of saving money and eating better on a budget is understanding when fruits and vegetables are in season. In season produce is cheaper and of higher average quality per food dollar spent than out of season produce. The Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture has a nice chart detailing different produce seasons by month here. The accuracy of this information will of course vary depending on where you live, but it's a useful general guide.

OneEightHundred
Feb 28, 2008

Soon, we will be unstoppable!


A lot of places sell fish portions that are individually frozen and vacuum packed, which makes them very resistant to your typical freezer annoyances like burn and welding themselves to each other, they're surprisingly close to the quality of fresh portions once thawed. You can buy bags/boxes with a bunch of them at wholesale clubs for like $2 per portion of tuna or salmon. If you can't grill them then throw them in the oven for 25 minutes at 350.

If you do want to grill, charcoal grills cost practically nothing. Buy a chimney starter and have a plan for disposing of the ash, is all. By "plan" I of course mean "another trash can."

OneEightHundred fucked around with this message at Oct 10, 2011 around 15:48

therattle
Jul 24, 2007

I'm a family man - I run a family business. This is my son and my partner, H.W.


Soiled Meat

OP, I am not a vegetarian although I cook almost exclusively vegetarian at home (my wife eats fish occasionally but is otherwise vegetarian). It is simply not the case that vegetarian food is not filling. In Egypt they call ful medamas (delicious broad beans with garlic, onions and cumin) and hummus "the stone that sits in the stomach", as it is what labourers would eat for breakfast to provide nutrition for the day. Simple carbs like pasta, bread and pizza which are often eaten as vegetarian alternatives might not fill you up as well or for as long, but lentils, chickpeas, split peas, barley, etc, sure as hell will. Why is this relevant?

We at GWS want you to eat well. That includes eating good-quality food. If you are buying meat and fish on a budget, especially if you aren't buying the cheaper cuts like people here recommend, chances are you are buying poo poo: factory-farmed, artificially-fed, hormone- and anti-biotic pumped meat, and destructively-harvested fish that is not so good for you, definitely not good for the animals involved, and bad for the environment to boot. I know it is easy for me to preach from a position of relative wealth and privilege, but I do believe that if you can't afford to buy "good" meat (i.e., meat that has been humanely reared and killed - usually but not always organic) then you shouldn't eat meat - well, not often. Rather eat better, less frequently, or buy cheaper cuts of decent meat and, with skill, make them into something delicious. Eating a more vegetarian diet is DEFINITELY cheaper, and better for the world - and for you.

If you want the animal protein, do something like stir-fried rice and add a fried egg on top (the fried or poached egg on top can be used in a lot of ways, and adds some real heft to a dish if that is what you think is missing - but please try to get at least free-range if not organic eggs!)

For recipe ideas check out the vegan thread in this here sub-forum. Although not intended as cheap recipes, many are - because vegetarian recipes often are.

Someone mentioned no-knead bread: I've experimented with bread in my machine, breads with starters, poolishs, natural starters - I keep coming back to no-knead. If you time it right (make dry mix at night, add water before work, come home, shape it, have dinner, bake it) it doesn't take much time, and makes delicious bread - for less than store-bough, and so much tastier. Flour and yeast are cheap. It's loving delicious.

People have mentioned getting a roast chicken. When I roasted a chicken, after the meat had been eaten I'd sweat some leeks, garlic and onions and add water, then boil the carcass with some carrots and barley and some herbs (like rosemary) to make delicious and dirt-cheap chicken soup. (You can do other stuff too; add potatoes, beans, lentils; other veggies - whatever you like). When I removed the carcass I'd scrape off any meat that still clung to the bones and add it to the soup. Once it has cooled, skim the fat off the top. Very good.

Sassy Not Classy
Dec 21, 2007

I'm not hearing a No.


I'm pretty much in the same boat as you, except that I work from home, and I am allergic to gluten. Nthing the suggestion to get a slow cooker- you can make bean chilis for incredibly cheap if you buy your beans in dry bulk instead of cans. Hell, even canned beans are a better value for the energy you get than meat. I loving love meat though, so I keep an eye on sales and stock up on large packs of meat when they go on sale. If you love bacon and want to make it last, do what I do: I buy club-packs when they go on sale (3lbs of quality bacon for $10), cook it all up so the bacon is still floppy, but edible. Freeze in individual strips (I just throw the draining bacon on a plate, separate with paper towel into the freezer when I'm done cooking), and then use a couple pieces as you need them. It's helped me go from having to use up a whole pound of bacon in a few days before it goes bad, to having 3 lbs of bacon last 2-3 months in a freezer bag.

Always buy bone-in meats. ALWAYS. Soup is good food, and the suggestions to make stock from bones is essential. When I have ends of veggies that I don't know what to do with, I make a "cream of kitchen sink" soup- carrots, onion, broccoli, celery, potatoes, whatever you've got leftover- throw it into some stock til tender, add a bit of milk to make a cream soup (or don't, it doesnt much matter), add some sage, oregano and s&p, and baby you've got a soup going! I have a hard time getting enough veggies in my diet since I prefer cooked veggies to raw, so soup a couple times a week keep me in vitamins Add in a couple pieces of crumbled bacon which you already have cooked in strips in your freezer for some protein, or even cheaper, add some red quinoa for colour and protein.

If you don't own the Joy of Cooking already, buy it. You can probably get older copies at garage sales or flea markets (and the old ones teach you how to kill your own turtle for turtle soup! Useful stuff) and it is pretty much the textbook for Intro to Cooking 101. I rely on mine a lot for the introductions at the beginning of every chapter- they teach you the principles behind cooking techniques. If you can understand that, it's a hell of a lot easier to make up recipes as you go. Good luck!

gmc9987
Jul 25, 2007


In addition to all the advice above me, check this out:

http://cheaphealthygood.blogspot.co...6-bucks-no.html

All the recipes in the post are delicious. In addition, that blog in particular has a ton of awesome recipes with cost info for each one. Stock your kitchen with herbs and spices like others have said to really drive the cost down.

Also echoing the advice above to save your various giblets, organs, bones, and other unused parts in the freezer. Also, save the butt ends of your vegetables - ends of onions, the stem sections of carrots, etc. Once you have a couple pounds of animal bones, through them in a pot with all the vegetable parts and a gallon or two of water, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 4 - 8 hours on a saturday. or day off from work. Enjoy your new chicken broth, and freeze it in 1 cup portions to use later in stews and chilis.

paraquat
Nov 25, 2006

Burp


I'm a big fan of buying a chicken and making the most out of that, but I'm still improving my skills, and others have said it better already..

My own ideas are:

1. don't read recipes literally...use them for ideas, and especially keep in mind what you already have in your cupboard. (following recipes literally = expensive; using recipes to get new ideas can be cheap)

2. chili...if you like it, make it your friend!
Ground beef is cheap, it's a great way to eat beans (use the dried ones, they're even cheaper than the canned ones), it's probably MADE for being the perfect food to freeze, so you can make it in bulk. Also, you can eat it with rice, roasted bread (yum), pasta (ehw), or just eat it :-)
My advice would be to make it not too hot, then you can spice it up just the way you want it when you eat a portion of it.

Oh, and yes, i eat my chili with beans...also chickpeas and/or corn if I like to freak some people out ;-)

Mathhole
Jun 2, 2011

rot in hell, wonderbread.


These posts were too wordy for me to read them all while I'm at work, but I did ctrl+f to make sure my suggestion was unique.

Lately I've beeen doing a lot of beefed up RAMEN

You can make it surprisingly awesome by adding a few things in yourself.
  • soy beans! toss these in a minute before the noodles if frozen
  • eggs! toss these in last. they cook fast!
  • mushrooms! toss in whenever.
  • onions of various types! toss in sooner if you don't want the kick.
  • HAM! precooked, please.

I've also tried adding corn, peas, seaweed, pancetta, and others. Try whatever sounds good!

e: I also love spam. With ramen or rice or whatever. Can't eat too much or you die young, but it's good once or twice a week.

Mathhole fucked around with this message at Oct 10, 2011 around 18:30

Ravingsockmonkey
Jan 24, 2007

Kharma police, arrest this girl
She stares at me as if she owns the world
And we have crashed her party

Another idea to help out that has really worked well for my boyfriend and I is to sit down and plan out the meals for the week. You can tailor it around what you have in stock; and if you need something, then you simply buy what you need. Plan to have meals with leftovers, and find some good vegetarian meals to fill in a few days during the week. Not only will you save money by having to buy less meat, but you'll expand your menu options too.

I highly recommend getting acquainted with cous cous and quinoa. Cous cous is quick to fix, and you can toss all kinds of things into it (or conversely, toss it into all kinds of things). Quinoa takes a touch longer, but is very hearty and full of protein. Buy both in bulk to save a ton of money as the boxed varieties generally cost too much to bother with.

Grits are your friend! Shrimp and grits can be very quick, filling, and a comforting meal after a long day. Not a fan of shrimp? No problem! Use more bacon, ham, sausage, etc. Creamy, savory grits = yum.

Time is an issue, so when cooking things like beans that may take a while prepare more than what you need for what you're fixing. Stuff the rest of them in jars (or other freezer friendly containers), and store them in the freezer.

When others here mention the whole chicken being cheap, they aren't kidding. I bought a whole hen for the first time, and a 4.5 pound chicken cost just over $4. That's significantly cheaper than one pound of boneless, skinless chicken breasts.

There's at least one Food Network show about cooking on a budget (I think one is meals for under $10), and several blogs. Like others have said, you don't have to follow the recipes exactly... just find some that you like and use them as a guide.

Also nthing the Farmer's Market suggestion. When zucchini is in season there's so much of it around you can get it really cheap, and you can use it for a ton of things. Use it to replace the pasta in lasagna. Saute it and serve it with rice. Stuff it with goodies and bake it. Bake sweets with it. Corn's the same way. Buy a bunch of it, boil a few ears, and freeze what you don't need.

Aldi was mentioned, and it is actually worth checking out. They generally have gallons of milk far cheaper than you will find it anywhere else. They also have weekly specials that can be really awesome like bags of spinach for 99 cents, turkey breast "tenderloin" two packs for just over $6, and other goodies. Bring shopping bags with you.

Ravingsockmonkey fucked around with this message at Oct 10, 2011 around 18:50

Mr. Wiggles
Dec 1, 2003

I would never shop at Costco. The paper towels won't fit into my sports car!

Mathhole posted:

These posts were too wordy for me to read them all while I'm at work, but I did ctrl+f to make sure my suggestion was unique.

Lately I've beeen doing a lot of beefed up RAMEN

You can make it surprisingly awesome by adding a few things in yourself.
  • soy beans! toss these in a minute before the noodles if frozen
  • eggs! toss these in last. they cook fast!
  • mushrooms! toss in whenever.
  • onions of various types! toss in sooner if you don't want the kick.
  • HAM! precooked, please.

I've also tried adding corn, peas, seaweed, pancetta, and others. Try whatever sounds good!

e: I also love spam. With ramen or rice or whatever. Can't eat too much or you die young, but it's good once or twice a week.

Ramen really isn't a great thing to eat a lot of. Also, Spam is made by Hormel which is a terrible company that takes delight in giving it's underpaid workers horrible diseases and then firing them, so you shouldn't eat that simply for morality sake.

The grits idea above is a great one, though. Grits (and cornmeal in all it's forms) are fantastic.

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Mathhole
Jun 2, 2011

rot in hell, wonderbread.


Mr. Wiggles posted:

Ramen really isn't a great thing to eat a lot of.
How much is a lot? I do probably 2 meals a week. Should I be heading over to discount tombstones now?

Mr. Wiggles posted:

Also, Spam is made by Hormel which is a terrible company that takes delight in giving it's underpaid workers horrible diseases and then firing them, so you shouldn't eat that simply for morality sake.
Why is the tastiest and cheapest food always bad for your soul? Kill me now.

I'm one of the optimists, though, so I didn't take in much of what you said and will continue with my same eating habits.

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