Food & Drink

$30 budget challenge

  • Last Updated:
  • Nov 19th, 2017 12:32 am
Deal Addict
Jan 12, 2017
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wow, 30 bux can go a long way! i spend 30 bux on food in a couple days :(
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Feb 9, 2012
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mikka2017 wrote:
Nov 14th, 2017 12:44 pm
wow, 30 bux can go a long way! i spend 30 bux on food in a couple days :(
In Ontario, starting in January, when the min. wage jumps from $11.60 to $14/hr, it might be a lot tougher to work with $30...I'm scared to see what prices will be like @ Dollarama...just to name one place.
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Jan 27, 2004
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mikka2017 wrote:
Nov 14th, 2017 12:44 pm
wow, 30 bux can go a long way! i spend 30 bux on food in a couple days :(
Get creative!
Round roast is tough :( but cheap! Braise it low and slow and it makes for a hearty protien. Its a bit dry even when braised nicely... So you can make a fine gravy to go with it!
Yorkshire pudding is sooo cheap to make... Eggs, butter, flour.
Cabbage can be sauteed, and it always retains its texture... So you can pack it with flavor eith a good stir fry.

Stews and chili's also make great meals for a low cost. And nutritious

Stewing hens are $3.99 for a 2-3 pound bird.
Beef shank can be under $2/lb on sale.

Example. 5lb beef shank $10.00
Bag of frozen veggie mix $2.99

$13 can feed a family of 4 easily with this meal!
[OP]
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Dec 4, 2010
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Macx2mommy wrote:
Nov 13th, 2017 12:09 pm
Just curious if you are going to reveal the reason soon. Was thinking way too much about it. I did survival mode, but that’s jat one extreme. I could blow $30in one meal too
Lol, I forgot.

Well, I hope my reasoning won't disappoint you too much but the last three days prior to making the thread I had subways for lunch. 3 subs = $30 more or less. The last time I had subways was probably in 2010.

It got me to thinking about just how much fast food cost both monetary and health wise. . I remembered a comment about obesity some anonymous person made on YouTube which was quite an eye opener. The video in question was grainy footage taken on the streets of new York City in the 70s. Predominantly the comments were observations about why there were no fat or overweight people. Everyone seemed fit and svelt. They said largely because the saturation of ready to eat foods. Both on the streets and grocery store. Why would someone buy fresh produce which spoils in less than a week when they can buy chips, frozen dinners, and the like and have a significantly longer shelf life? Last week I bought some huge peaches. 2 came out to be just a hair under $5. Seemingly every other week that's 2 bags of doritos.


I think at some point people just forgot about discipline or personal responsibilities. It's much easier to blame someone else for our problems then admit fault.

With all that said, I do appreciate the contributions thus far. Went out and bought some big bag veggies and will start bringing home made lunches to work. Knock off Pyrex at dollar ramma $4, at Walmart it was $7-10 bucks.
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Nov 15, 2008
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If you want a meal that has a generous amount of vegetables, doesn't use a lot of meat, isn't calorie-dense, is ready-to-eat, nothing beats making and living off a pot of soup, and if you can tolerate dumplings that's a cheap substitute for bread (e.g. the Poet's Yorkshire puddings or traditional doughboys, etc.)

I'm going to make a lentil dal this week in honour of Piro's suggestions. I'll switch it up by serving with rice/naan. SE Asian food is brilliant because there are so many ways to serve legumes whereas there are only two ideas for them in Western cooking, sweet baked/bbq, and with pot herbs and the usual suspects (carrots, celery, onion). Spices make living cheaply so much more palatable and nothing says you can't use the $.99 bags of the stuff.

The other thing is to have a little herb garden. I still have parsley and cilantro on the go outside and I had green onions earlier. I buy parsley seeds at Dollarama late in the season when they go on sale for 3/$1 and whole cilantro from the Indian spices section for $.99 to get those seeds. Onions I grow from the onions I let bloom the year before. I'd spend in a week what I spend for the year on herbs if I didn't have the garden.
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Apr 19, 2015
221 posts
73 upvotes
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I hate to be an Instant Pot evangelist (sorry not sorry) but it has revolutionized the way I cook and eat. It is perfect for cooking large batches of healthy beans, soups, chilis, stews and curries that are easily packable for lunch. I am the envy of everyone in my office when I nuke my home-made lunch in the microwave. Over time I have weaned myself off fast food and processed food. Tastes change as you get older, but I far prefer a home cooked meal over restaurant food now. Dry beans and lentils are cheap and nutritious and super easy to cook in a pressure cooker.

I'll also throw in a plug for an excellent cookbook and blog: http://ohsheglows.com/. Every recipe of hers that I tried is delicious. I am not vegan so in some cases I will "meat up" the recipe, but the flavours of the dishes stand on their own. The ingredients are simple, healthy and cheap so they fit the budget challenge mandate.
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Northofseven wrote:
Nov 14th, 2017 7:26 am
$880 food costs for a month, for a family of 4 is about $30 a day . This was a news item a week or so ago .
Wow, that is a lot. We are less than half that. But then again, this IS RFD
Free Nortel tips and tricks blog, as well as second opinion on a move to VoIP (for my RFD friends).
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Mar 14, 2005
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I thought this thread was gonna be about people trying to survive on welfare, not "I feel like Subway is getting too expensive".
De gustibus non est disputandum
Crazy people will make even sane people crazy.
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Nov 15, 2008
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Well Subway is all processed meat, and they want to push chips, pop and a cookie on you too. I'd rather have fresh roasted roast beef at home with Worcestershire sauce, tomatoes and onions even if I had to use white toast. Some clementines because they are in season. Plus I don't have to go anywhere.

You can eat really well at home without suffering and truly all of this processed/fast food stuff just doesn't have enough produce in it. There are a few lists here that have pounds and pounds of vegetables and you're just not getting that when you eat out. Even fast food salads have gobs of meat and cheese in them.
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Supercooled wrote:
Nov 15th, 2017 2:38 am
... I remembered a comment about obesity some anonymous person made on YouTube which was quite an eye opener. The video in question was grainy footage taken on the streets of new York City in the 70s. Predominantly the comments were observations about why there were no fat or overweight people. Everyone seemed fit and svelt. They said largely because the saturation of ready to eat foods. Both on the streets and grocery store...
1970s: only like 3 or so tv channels, and they went off air after a certain time. No personal computers, no internet porn and video games keeping u up all night. Microwaves were not common until the '80s. And a lot of people were taking Quaaludes... So, one can argue that maybe people were just getting more sleep back then and eating meals at the usual meal times. Everyone ate white bread back then!!!
De gustibus non est disputandum
Crazy people will make even sane people crazy.
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Jul 29, 2005
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So to summarize your thread - eating out is so much more expensive than cooking...Neutral Face
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Supercooled wrote:
Nov 15th, 2017 2:38 am
Lol, I forgot.

Well, I hope my reasoning won't disappoint you too much but the last three days prior to making the thread I had subways for lunch. 3 subs = $30 more or less. The last time I had subways was probably in 2010.

It got me to thinking about just how much fast food cost both monetary and health wise.
This is a great reason to start this thread, actually. :)

My teenager went through a phase a while back where he was eating Subway tuna subs on a weekly basis. While he was at the grocery store with me, I had him figure out how much it would cost to make his own subs. He did the math and figured out that he could buy the ingredients and a toaster oven that was on sale for less than he was wasting each month. It was an awesome shopping trip!
[OP]
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Raggie wrote:
Nov 15th, 2017 8:27 pm
So to summarize your thread - eating out is so much more expensive than cooking...Neutral Face
Well, yes and no.

I guess in many ways, when I take stock of how much fast food prices have inflated in the last few years, and in fact many things has followed the trend, I have a bit of a hard time internalizing how times have changed. I didn't get a 'smart phone' until about 2010 - 11 largely because the idea of paying $50-80 for a plan was completely absurd to me. You could say I've lost touch with reality a bit as Beck's pointed out the reasoning for the great disparity between 1970's and contemporary period in people's BMI.

Anyway, the thread has taken a life of its own and I hope you guys continue to contribute. I think we can all benefit from these great ideas.
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Dec 11, 2008
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I have no idea how this challenge works but I look at our food bill. Approx $300 on groceries and approx $300 eating out each month = $600 on food for 2 people. That equates to about $20 per day for 2 people = $10 per day per person.
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I used to buy McDonalds McChickens with the 2 for 1 coupons. To substitute this at home, buy the 2kg PC chicken strips ($10 on sale recently), Silver Hills bread ($3 on sale), and Hellman's mayo ($4). The 2kg of chicken strips can make many sandwiches at 3 strips per sandwich. The Silver Hills bread is more nutritious because, for one reason, it is sprouted... If u r making a chicken sandwich for work, cook a whole chicken at home, cut up the meat, and then use that as ur chicken sandwich meat. I dunno how much money it costs to use the stove/oven, but I think u will still end up way ahead than paying for fast food. I dunno how to cook a whole chicken, so I guess that's costing me.
De gustibus non est disputandum
Crazy people will make even sane people crazy.

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