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[icon] Miscellany - Patti
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Subject:Miscellany
Time:04:40 am
OK, I've decided that I'd rather have a Hasselblad than the Rolleiflex that I was looking at earlier. The Rolleiflex is a fine camera, but the Hasselblad has better parts and system availability. Of course, what I *should* spend my money on is neither...


I took the Holga out for a spin this afternoon, then spent the evening in the darkroom. Yes, again. I could have predicted that this would happen, but it's actually pretty sensible. The best way to learn is to practice, and I have free use of the darkroom for a month or so. Therefore, I should take full advantage of it, right?


I got annoyed by people saying that healthy food is too expensive and they can only afford to eat processed food or fast food. I set out to prove them wrong, so this week my goal is to eat for less than $40.

The simplified version of the rules: I can shop anywhere I want to that's open to the public and I can take advantage of sales that I find at the store, but I can't clip coupons or shop at member-only facilities. I have to document everything. I get to define healthy. Because it's too challenging to track micro-quantities, my budget pays a $5 tax for small quantities of staples such as herbs and spices, oil, vinegar, condiments, etc.

I did all of my shopping this weekend, and don't tell anyone but I expect to come in significantly under budget. I even splurged on an aged-four-years Wisconsin cheddar. Today I stuffed my crock pot with a vegetable and garbanzo stew that turned out fabulous.

The menu for the week includes the stew, a vegetable, sweet potato, and cheddar frittata, spinach, miso-glazed carrots, probably an apple crisp, and whatever else comes together.

Here's the Flickr set where I'm documenting everything.
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rightkindofme
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Time:2010-10-11 01:06 pm (UTC)
Well, it is possible to eat healthy food cheaply but it requires time. Time to shop and time to cook. Hell, it requires time to have learned how to cook. These are things that are sorely lacking if you are living in poverty by and large.
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gunga_galunga
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Time:2010-10-11 03:11 pm (UTC)
Why can't you clip coupons? That's something that is available to everyone. I'll see if I can find it, but some guy did an experiment where he lived on $1/day for a month for a bet with his sister. She then complained that he ate a lot of crap so he was going to do a second month where he ate more healthily (and his diet the first month was more weird than unhealthy).

Here it is. One of the things he did along the way was find money makers, where basically through a combination of store and manufacturers' coupons things were either free or he made money. In a lot of cases he would buy a crapton and give it away to food banks. Interesting read, at any rate. Good luck with your endeavor.

Update two: Here's how he does the cereal thing. Interesting side goal he has of buying a million dollars worth of food for foodbanks. As of that post he had bought $15k worth of food for $650.

Edited at 2010-10-11 03:31 pm (UTC)
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whipartist
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Time:2010-10-11 05:12 pm (UTC)
One of my unstated goals is to not work too hard at it. Yes, I'm going to buy and cook my own food, but I'm not going to optimize excessively.
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rhiannonstone
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Time:2010-10-11 04:11 pm (UTC)
Berkeley Bowl blows my mind. P and I used to shop at Andronico's, and when we made our first Berkeley Bowl run we were shocked to have our total come to approximately 50% of what we'd have paid for the same (produce- and meat-heavy) haul at Andronico's. I'm still a little amazed to consistently get out of there for under $25--I don't think I've ever bought more than 3 grocery items at Andronico's and paid less than that.

Not everyone has the advantage of shops like Berkeley Bowl or the other produce markets I see in your pictures, though, or the advantage of being able to easily get to decent food. When I spent a few days in rural eastern NC a couple months ago, my only food-buying options were Food Lion (crappy chain grocery, like the lower-end Safeways around here), gas stations, and fast food--and getting to the Food Lion was a 25-minute drive that I couldn't make because I was carless and there's no public transport, and my underemployed host could only afford to take us the week I was there because I gave her gas money and bought her groceries. It's still cheaper in the long run to get healthier fresh ingredients and cook them, of course, but getting to the place to buy them can be such a challenge that even I was tempted to resort to McDonald's by the end of the trip (I opted for a prepared food item from the gas station instead, which can't have been much healthier).

Edited at 2010-10-11 04:21 pm (UTC)
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sunnygirl318
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Time:2010-10-11 11:27 pm (UTC)
I agree with you that you can eat healthy for $40 a week. Caveat: I do live in Denver Metro, so everything is available (except Trader Joe's unfortunately).
This weekend, I went to the farmers market and for about $15 bought enough organic fruits and veggies for the week. I spent Sunday (about 3.5 hours) cooking. I used the veggies from the market, some chicken, pasta, rice, cheese, and a few pantry items to make 2 soups (Kale vegetable and Broccoli cheese), a pasta dish (homemade basil tomato sauce), a curried rice dish (with chicken & veggies). Each had 6+ servings. I was well under $40 for this.
If I were to add in oatmeal, eggs, bread and peanut butter for the week I would still be just under $40 and have a very healthy array of foods and snacks.
I am not so disciplined, though - am heading out for dinner tonight. Most of what I made ended up in the freezer, although I had broccoli cheese soup for lunch today.
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[icon] Miscellany - Patti
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