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$21 Challenge Wrap-up August 17, 2010

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So I had a go at not spending more than €16 on food for a week.
Turned out to be fairly easy and I don’t think I even spent all I could even though I subtracted some for using spices I already had. I’m not sure, but I probably could’ve gotten away with subtracting the oil allowance as well.
I’ll still have to adjust my shopping list, at the very least for that stupid nata de coco purchase, so I should maybe do that before making such claims.
Not only did I (probably) spend less than I could, I actually have a fair bit of the foodstuffs left. Two tomatoes, about half the carrots, a good bit of the rice, a decent amount of yellow split peas, one bell pepper, the tomato paste and passata…
Part of this is due to my shoddy and not-very-varied cooking, no doubt, but still. €16 actually buys me a fair bit. If I ever learn to apply budgeting, trying to get by on €10/week might be an interesting challenge.

I’m honestly not sure how much I learned about living within a very restricted (food)budget.
Sure, I examined my privileges for a bit, but for the most part I was already aware of them and I’ve known just how much of a lucky bastard I am for a good while now.
The mild annoyance of having to watch what I bought, not giving in to those “want” was interesting and makes me realise how tricky it can be to stick with a budget, especially long-term, especially if it’s by necessity rather than choice, but I still have no clue what it’d be like to have to live like that for a good while rather than choose to for a week or so. Especially not if that life also involved feeding other people besides myself, while also raising those people all the while having a good go at some job or other.
Still, I’m very glad I participated. It’s good to know how little you can get away with, and having a little taste of how some people live and think on your own luck is a good thing as far as I’m concerned.

This week I’m having a go at not buying groceries at all* and preparing meals only using foods I already have. This will hopefully balance out my tendency to buy foods that seem handy but end up not getting eaten for a good while.

*except perhaps a loaf of bread. I’ve not yet decided on that one. I might also buy some foods for the weekend as I’ll be spending it at some group acco with a bunch of people I don’t actually know and who may well be overwhelmingly omni and unsure on what to feed a vegan. Best to be prepared.


Day Seven August 16, 2010

Posted by tuimeltje in dinner, food, lunch, meals, snack.
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Final day!
I ate the last of the rice, fried it with a bell pepper, some carrots, and a few tomatoes. I also ate an apple and a few bowls of oatmeal, which was quite tasty. While I ate those together the first few days, later on I stopped bothering and instead ate the apple separately.

I’ll write a somewhat more ponderous post about the experience later, and this week I’m having a go at not buying food since I have a good deal of food around the house that could do with being eaten.
With the exception of getting me some handy food for the coming weekend. Might be prudent as it’s possible I’ll spend it among mostly omni’s.

Day Six August 15, 2010

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So yesterday? Also pretty sucky, wood-wise. Again with the no cooking, I just ate the usual sammiches for lunch and occasionally made me some microwave oatmeal.
Today should be better.

Day Five August 13, 2010

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Today was a bit meh. Lazy and no interest in doing anything much. Never mind doing dishes so I could do something approaching proper cooking.

This made the whole day a bit of a loss, food-wise. Breakfast was skipped again, so instead I had my usual four sammiches to start off my day, and due to the aforementioned apathy, I just made me some ramen noodles instead of a decent dinner.
Not that it wasn’t tasty, mind.
I also defrosted a plain chocolate muffin/cupcake/whatever just because I wanted to.

Another not-so-clever thing I did today was stop by an Asian supermarket. The greens I bought will be put to good use at some point, and I talked myself into not buying any frozen dumplings, which doesn’t happen too often. Though as I got there around dinner time with a rumbling stomach, I did buy me some pandan nata de coco to tide me over until I’d get home. While not horrible or anything, nata de coco is hardly my favourite food, and this whole thing could’ve been prevented simply by bringing an apple.
Oh well. Only two days left.

Day Four August 13, 2010

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Skipped it. Woke up late, went straight to lunch.

Four sandwiches, good old pb+cucumber+sambal.

Soup made out of the remaining yellow split pea mash by adding some water to it and stirring it properly, adding three chopped carrots and some of the rice to that.

The soup looked a bit dismal. It looked like the sort of thing you see in war films, with a lot of people waiting in line with a bowl that gets filled with beige watery stuff with sad bits floating in, goop that looks neither particularly nourishing nor any kind of tasty.


Good thing I have salt, pepper, and soya sauce, really. And the parsley I remembered to add to the second bowl. A bit of pale green may not have made too big a difference, but still. It made it just that little bit cheerier.

So my soup looked like that. Though my bowl, while not exactly cheery (I think it’s from the 70s. Random brown and grey) had flowers. I guess I should’ve gone with the the other bowl, the one with more prominent poppies.
The whole thing made me think of The Supersizers Go… Wartime, really. To be honest, this entire challenge made me think of that. Good episode, that. The entire show was awesomely brilliant and fun. Though very NOT VEGAN, in case you have the chance to watch an episode, any episode.

I’m also feeling this week’s menu is lacking variety for a bit. So far, at least. Then again, I’m not sure this is much less varied than the way I usually eat. It’s just involved fewer grocery runs.
Should’ve maybe eaten some fruit today… Skip one meal, and suddenly it’s a fruitless day.

Stuff used:

Plates: gift, cutlery: gift, pan: bought for cheap, brilliantly retro soup bowl: bought at second hand place.