Angie's Budget Challenge Game!
Angie's Budget Challenge Game!
Okay, so I have a challenge for you raw geniuses out there: I am super short on money for the next month. Let’s play a game – I’ll tell you what I have, and my budget for buying food. Then you get to figure out how to put it all together to feed me for a month! Also, no sweeteners, grains or sweet fruits allowed (lemon & lime are good, though). Ready?
I have: 5 avocados, 2 bunches of kale, 2 bunches of cilantro, 1 zucchini, 2 lemons, the meat of 2 young coconuts, 4 tomatoes, 5 jars of sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, a half-cup of olive oil, sesame oil, sunflower oil, coconut oil, raw cacao powder, chia seeds (1/2 cup), lots of sunflower, flax, sesame & alfalfa seeds, 5 sheets of nori, kelp powder, chlorella powder, spirulina powder, 1 pound pumpkin seeds, 1 pound almonds, 1 pound hazelnuts, 3/4 cup pine nuts, 1 jar tahini, lots of herbs & spices, & sea salt. Oh, yeah, I also have a full head of garlic, and soon I will be have a bunch of almond butter that I ordered a while ago.
I have $75.00 to spend on food for the next month.
Ready, set, GO!!! The winners will have my eternal gratitude & love. :)
Sorry, I realized I needed to say no sweeteners. I edited the original. Good luck! (I hope you all win.)
Give me some time,I will get back to you. I will say though you have a nice start. Hmmm 75 dollars,a good percentage should be reserved for fresh foods and then from there…..What are your beverage choices and where do you like and have access for shopping?
seems like you are pretty well set on staples… i would buy stuff like cucumbers tomatoes and celery at farmer’s markets if you can… and you will need more greens for sure.
get onions and make onion bread, then you can make sandwiches!
Oh, sorry! I realized I should soon have lots of almond butter – I ordered it a while back. I’ll edit the list AGAIN :)
mham, I like to usually just drink Kangen water, and I have some of that prepaid at an herb store here. I juiced a ton of vegetables today, but that eats up a lot of money fast, so I’ll probably just make things out of the veggies for the next few weeks. I have a pretty good health food store that has a little raw food section & their organic kale is the same price as non-organic at the regular grocery store. I also have 2 regular grocery stores close to me.
mandelicious, very true about the greens! No farmer’s markets here until July:( Thanks for reminding me of bread, though. :) I can also make a pizza with just sauce & maybe nut cheese, & save the veggies for salads?
I do not know how good I am at games but I would say that if you eat mostly vegetables and some fruit and stick to the cheaper greens (romaine inexpensive and I can get a large bunch of kale for $1.49) you have a good chance to get through a month with $75.00. Also, buy things like bananas and other fruits and vegetables even in the clearance section of the produce store. It can be a lot cheaper. Also, do not buy things there that you otherwise would not use or that you would buy just because its on sale. You therefore, spend more than you need to. Also, if you have $75.00, you do not have money for onion bread as sunflowers and such can be expensive. It is better to stick to raw frutis and vegetables.
shgadwa – you’re right, you’re not very good at this game ;) I said no sweet fruits allowed, and that I have a lot of sunflower seeds, but thank you for the suggestions about kale & romaine – though they’re not quite that cheap here, it is still a good idea. No offense intended about not being good at it, really, I appreciate your suggestions. :)
Yeah! :-) I did not read all that you said in the beginning before posting. That is the first step to not being good at the game. Yeah, bananas are pretty sweet but they say to eat the non ripe ones which are more starchy and it helps constipation. At any rate, I do not listen to what they say and I stick to the ripe ones which digest better and GIVES ME ENERGY. Also, it would be helpful to know if you are ‘not cooking’ for yourself or if you need to prepare meals for others with this $75.00. Certainly, they might want fruits which would get expensive.
If you just stuck with vegetables, mainly greens and did not go out on any raw food adventures with your wallet, you ought to do just fine. After all, vegetables are cheaper and meat and cheese. Its all the fruits and nuts and seeds and the juice and the extra things at the health food store that we buy that makes healthy eating expensive.
I am just making food for myself with these ingredients/money. My son does not eat raw, and I stocked up on stuff for him last week, so he should be fine. Yeah, I realize that greens are going to be my main thing to buy, and I am glad I have been stocking up on the more expensive but storable things the last few months. Thanks for the reminder about meat & cheese – I think it’s funny/cool to realize those things are not even in my consciousness as what constitutes food. :D As for the “raw food adventures,” I will just have to be sure I don’t offer my food to my family & friends like I often enjoy doing! I guess this will help me figure out how to help other people who want to eat healthy but are on a tight budget :)
Not sure I can help much, but maybe you could make veggie sandwich wraps. You could slice cucumber, jicama, and celery into super thin strips, and lay them on a kale or lettuce leaf with sprouts and a dab of tahini.They are pretty filling and would be cheap to make since you already have tahini.
Justine – good idea! Any ideas help :) I also thought of celery with almond butter – if it ever gets here; I ordered it through a store & don’t know how long til it will get here, but it sounds like I can survive until then. I guess if I had to, I could live on alfalfa sprouts & sunflower seeds :)
Angie,how many green smoothies do you drink a day currently?
Depending on where you live, I’d say get out and go foraging. You can forage dandelion, clover, chicory, nettle and others. These can be your green source and they are free. Or I have another plan: do a water fast!!! Or do a Master Cleanse if you know someone who has a lemon tree. That’ll save loads of money!!
Dependant on what fruits you are allowed, green smoothies might be good?
same thought as carmentina – when you run out of food, use your $75 to buy what you would need for a master cleanse or just water fast (free)?
The thing is that family and relatives think that you are JUST CRAZZZZZZY when you are doing a water fast or even a juice fast if that when you are already skinny, been eating ‘healthy’ for some time, and do not need a fast. In their eye’s that it.
Guess it does not matter what people think.
About lemons, I wish I was in a warm climate where I could grow them!! I read that they set fruit a ripen all in one month. And they get big too so if you had warm weather for 12 months a year, you get twelve months of TONS of fruit from one tree. It makes me wonder why lemons are kind of expensive. They ought to be cheap if they are so productive!!
Carmentina – I live in Utah. None of that stuff is growing yet, & definitely no lemon trees! I have done partial-day water fasts a few times in the last couple of months – good idea! I still don’t do well with them for even a whole day, though.
mham & evildarkvirus – Green smoothies gross me out, & the only fruits I can have are lemon, lime & veggie-fruits (avocado, tomato, cucumber, etc.) I like to get my greens from big salads or juicing.
Lemons are 79 cents each for non-organic & more for organic, so I’m not buying a ton of them for now; just a little to flavor & help cleanse & alkalize.
I would not really run out of food, it’s more that I don’t want to live on nuts for a couple of weeks!
GREAT NEWS, THOUGH! I went searching in my food storage in the basement & found some things I could return, as well as two bottles of a supplement – kelp/alfalfa/dandelion root combo – that I figure will help alkalize & help me to not need as much other food. I am trading a jar of raw cacao for Nori sheets, because I found I can eat a TON of sprouts if I have a little avocado with spices & some nori to wrap it in. I also traded some wheat & got some more greens & cucumbers to juice, and I haven’t even touched the $75 yet. Then I went through my change pile, & I have $12 in change. This month is going to be a lot better than I thought, & because of all your suggestions, I am thinking I will be able to do at least 10 days of juice feasting next month with tons of greens, vegetables & spirulina. :)
THANK YOU!! WE ALL WIN!!!!! (Late entries will still be accepted gratefully :))
shgadwa – I wish I lived in a warmer place so I could grow my own lemons (& avocados)! That sounds sooooo good :)
Yeah, I have had all kinds of reactions from concerned family members, coworkers, etc. who don’t understand. “Why would eating raw food & filling your body with minerals work to cure diabetes when you have already been eating REALLY healthy for a long time (8 months)? Why do you need to worry about eating healthy? You’re so thin!
I have been getting more creative because of this challenge, & I realized it is really helping me get ideas for the new eating plan I am on, which has been really overwhelming. I made a crumbly cheese by using pumpkin seeds with a few macadamias to try to make poemomm’s Real Cream Cheese. It totally didn’t work, so I didn’t even bother to culture it all the way. Then I added a little tahini to help it stay together better, and some garlic, lemon & salt to cover up the bitter taste of the tahini. It turned out still fairly crumbly, but the taste was almost like a cheddar, or like Cheezit flavor! I mixed it with a little fresh salsa & just ate it with a spoon! I think it would be even better with sprouts :)
oh my god, i have spent almost $800 on food in a month! clearly i lost this game!
Some of the more simple meals that I make (because eating mono meals can require more produce) are:
zucchini pasta with pesto (one zucchini makes enough for a meal, I make enough pesto where I can use half for the pasta sauce and half with water added for soup). Pesto can be any nut or seed (I like pumpkin), olive oil and greens (I like spinach). Add seasoning or a garlic clove. Or…make alfredo sauce with the pine nuts and garlic. Ground pumpkin seeds and a little seasalt make a parmesan-like topping.
You can make many things with the ingredients you have on hand. Produce is going to be your only expense as far as I can see and there are ways to stretch that.
If you make almond milk, add chopped veges, seasoning and some liquid to the pulp and roll in lettuce leaves or stuff a tomato or pepper.
If you have a dehydrator, you can make lots of crackers or bread with the ingredients you have and top with guacamole or a tomato sauce drizled with alfredo sauce.
stylistchick – I totally hear you! I have a lot of the basics – nuts & spices & such. I spend every spare penny (& believe me I go without a lot of other things to make more of my pennies spare!) on food, because I believe my priority needs to be my health. I think the things that save me is that I spend my tax refunds (if I get them) on food, I buy nuts, seeds, oils, etc. in bulk, and I grow a garden in the summer! I ate fresh peas for breakfast almost every day last summer, and zucchini is super easy to grow & produces a lot. I haven’t dried my tomatoes before, but I plan to this year now that I lerned how to dry, flavor & use them. I am also going to try cucumbers & kale (a lot of both) this year, as well as beet greens – my mom uses beets & I love the geens, so it works well! The other thing about your post is that you reminded me that it is important to spend money for the things that are really most important to me. Thank you for your contribution.
123 – Thanks for the ideas! I have been eating zucchini pasta every day for a week or more, but I eat two for a meal & then maybe something else after that. :) I haven’t tried pesto, though, & I hadn’t thought of alfredo with the pizza sauce, but it sounds good!
I think I just need greens like CRAZY right now, so I’m glad I can focus on them. I put a little spirulina powder in my green juice today, & I guess that will help with the green stuff.
My suggestion: Cabbage. Purple is my favorite. Makes good wraps and shreads for pasta, plus it’s just plain tasty as a salad.
angie—yes, now we have two topics on gardening!
flax seed is pretty cheap, i find it for 69 cents a pound, and its great as a base for raw breads, and added with nuts for cookies.
also, maybe ask your local health food store if they have any bulk food items that they are throwing away, bags left on the bins.
sweet potatoes are pretty cheap as well, and theres several recipes on the site for them.
i’ve made raw pies with butternut squash and sweet potatos.
Wow, flax seed for 69 cents a pound! It is over a dollar here, but I do have a big bag that I ordered in bulk, & it was a better deal – I don’t remember the cost. I can’t eat sweet potatoes for now, but maybe I’ll grow some this summer – is that the orange or white flesh one? I keep hearing them called different depending what part of the world people live in. I never thought of the bags people leave there. I guess it’s because a friend of ours used to get throw-away produce, and now the grocery stores say they are not allowed to give it to people any more. Maybe the bulk items would be different? I’ll have to check.
UPDATE: I just called to find out why my almond butter hadn’t come yet, & the lady said she had been trying to order it, but it hadn’t gone through. I told her not to order it (it was a whole case!) and now I have $220 more than I thought, to spend on food this month. What a great thing this has been; getting all your ideas & learning how to be more economical! I’m glad things happened the way they did; this will be a great help long-term as well! Thanks, everyone!