Thursday, October 22, 2009

Things TFH Learned from Eat on $30

1.  It has been a long time since The Frugal Hostess felt really hungry.  That probably has something to do with her current dress size.  During Eat on $30, she was hungry for every meal and full after each one.  That felt somehow virtuous, in a Little House in the Big Woods way.

2.  Food tastes better when you are really hungry for it.  TFH wasn't kidding when she said that the half-quail was the best she'd ever had.

3.  Being hungry makes you sleepy.  Or, at least, it made TFH sleepy.  She slept an average of one extra hour per night and started feeling ready for bed about two hours earlier than usual each evening.

4.  If you are poor, the dollar menu at McWendysKing really, really gives you a better value than eating fresh food.  That sucks. It would be really great if one of the fast food giants would make something healthy for a buck, but no one can grow food fairly at those prices.

5.  If you are not poor, ask yourself if you really want to eat something that can be grown, processed, cooked, and served for one dollar.  What kind of shortcuts do you think have to be taken to make that kind of economy work?

6.  [Insert bathroom observations here.]  Too untoward for The Frugal Hostess to comment on.

7.  It seems like the only way to supplement a $30 weekly food budget is to grow some of your own.  TFH started digging up the vegetable garden as a result of Eat on $30, so be forewarned that you'll be hearing about it.

8.  Maybe a second way to supplement that budget is to make a lot of things, like chicken stock and bread, from scratch.  The Frugals have been working on that for the past couple of years, but it takes up a lot of time.  (Many other Eat on $30 peeps have talked about the time, equipment, and knowledge issues, so TFH will leave it at this: they are right.)

9.  The Frugals eat way more meat than is necessary.

10.  There is an organization, Wholesome Wave Foundation, that makes it possible for folks who receive public assistance to get double their value at some farmers' markets.  Wow.  Isn't that cool?  So, if you have $10 in food stamps, you can get $20 worth of food at the markets that participate.  The Frugal Hostess will be eating on $30 one week a month and giving the difference to Wholesome Wave; you can do the same or donate now.

OK, FruHo promises to be funnier next time.  Love you!!!!

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  1. Dude! I'm seriously not sure if I even eat on $30 a DAY regularly. It really does make you think...

  2. I make everything from scratch - it really helps. However, I was raised in a rural environment, and I'm not sure how many nice, educated city people are that into making chicken stock.

    Want my personal recommendations for stock? Never, ever boil any piece of meat without bones. No bones, no flavor. Second, invest in a few cheap rubber ice trays. Freeze stock, pesto, tomato sauce or paste that you make from the tail end of the garden -- freeze it all in ice cubes. Then you have reasonable little servings you can drop into what you are cooking. Personally, I freeze stock in one-cup increments. There is a stack of them in the corner of the freezer. If you use the head/tail off vegetables for the stock, it can be made extremely cheaply and taste very rich and deep. But it takes money and work to make excellent vegetable stock with no meat: bear that in mind. One secret is leeks and fennel. Plan that now in the garden, and you won't be sorry.

  3. I really love it that you are going to donate to Wholesome Wave. I'm always astounded by how much good small donations can accomplish.

  4. Anon #1 - no kidding! $30 works out to $4.28 per day. Not very much....

    Anon #2 - By now do you really mean now? Like, as in the fall? Also, do you have any experience/insight into planting garlic? Rumor has it that you just plop a garlic clove into the ground in October, but TFH finds that hard to believe. Your thoughts?

    Carrie - Thanks! xoxo

    Anon #3 - Here's hoping the donation plan isn't just a self-indulgent conceit. What are your thoughts - better to donate a little each month or a chunk every six months?

  5. Awesome blog!!

    For cheap food, eat a lot of beans and lentils. I also often have just a piece of toast and an egg for dinner. This is cheap, fast, and good for keeping the fat off, too!


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