Say “No” to Ramen!
I was all boohoo. :’(
I had about 20 bucks for food and 20 days until payday. I went to the grocery, head all hangin’. I thought, maybe I’ll just eat every other day.
That’s lame. I came back with 3 heavy grocery bags, enough food to last past 20 days, and little bit of change. Wha? Check what’s on sale, compare prices, and learn to plan meals in your head. Ramen need not be the answer — it’s terrible for you anyway, and you can make better meals for a similar price.
Here’s some cheap-cheap-cheap things I rely on:
Pasta — You can often get a pound for less than a buck.
Rice — I found a 5lb. bag for $2.50!
Potatoes — 5lb. bag for $1.50
Tomato Paste — pasta sauce, soup base, and less than a buck.
Canned beans — (dried are even cheaper, but more of a time investment) < $1.00
Frozen vegetables — < $1.00
Collard Greens — < $1.00 per lb
Chicken Backs — 25 cents a lb. and they make awesome stock.
Offal — strange wonderful cheap.
Bargain Produce — good soup ingredients — my grocery packages up sort of wilty assortments for .99!
Apples — keep a long time.
Canned Tuna — go team protein!
Garlic/Onions - cheap - and go a long way to adding flavor.
Combined in various ways, these staples can make for relatively healthy tasty meals. Shopping seasonly for produce is also a great way to save and eat fruits and veggies at their peak.
In which I eat for less than a $1.00 a serving.
1 box of P’sketi — that’s “Spaghetti” if you’re not 3 years old.
(4 for $3 at my grocery = .75)
1 can of Tomato Paste
(5 for $3 at my grocery = .60)
1 large Eggplant, cubed - salt, let sit, and then squoosh out the
liquid - this cuts down on the bitterness.
(a little less than a dollar - .99 a lb. sale!)
A few cloves of Garlic, minced
An Onion, minced
Random seasonings layin’ aboot
Olive Oil (this is a staple for me)
Boil zee pasta per zee instructions — with salt, no oil. Salt keeps the pasta from sticking. Adding oil to the boiling process keeps the sauce from sticking. You want the sauce to stick.
Meanwhile, heat a couple tablespoons of oil in skillet (medium heat). When it shimmers, toss in garlic. Stir. Give it a couple beats. Add the onion. Stir. Toss in some seasoning: I used lots of black pepper, red pepper, and lucky me, I had some fennel seeds and dried mint — I think Italian Seasoning would work too, but I didn’t have that. Keep stirring. Add the eggplant. Keep stirring. When the eggplant starts to get a translucent-ish, add the tomato paste and enough water to get a thin sauce consistency. Let it cook down to a thicker sauce.
Hopefully, you haven’t forgotten about the pasta. Drain, but leave a little wet. The starchy water helps the sauce. Combine the pasta and the sauce. Ta-da. If you had some cheese, that would be a tasty topping.
At 8 servings per box of pasta, this recipe is roughly 36 cents a serving. Plus, it tastes better with time as the flavors mingle and deepen.
Waitress: How about I just shove a pig down your throat?
(Homer looks excited)
Waitress: I was kidding.
Homer: Fine, but the bacon man lives in a bacon house!
Waitress: No he doesn’t!