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20 February 2009 @ 06:35 pm
Im doin it rong  
I've been thinking for awhile that i ought to be saving some money in order to counter the cost of car repairs. Paying off (some) of my credit card bills yesterday (and being inspired by shelleycat doing her own price comparisons) finally got me to sit down and do some math.

The cost of one meal's worth of peanut butter is just $0.60. That's pretty damn good! A peanut butter sandwich is $0.97. Even though Nutella costs significantly more than peanut butter, a peanut butter and nutella sandwich is only $1.16. That's probably a sufficiently small sacrifice for numiness :) So sandwiches are good.

Eating a meal made entirely of yogurt is $2 while it's on sale, and $3.20 normally. I was expecting it to be fairly expensive, but that's not too bad.

What kind of surprised me though was the meal i've been doing recently of tofu and salad. Even with the on sale salad bags it's $3.04, and that's before i've even figured out the cost of the dressing (probably around another $0.40 for that) and it still leaves me about 100-150 calories short of a full meal!

So it's actually cheaper to eat half of a $5 foot long sandwich from subway than to eat salad and tofu =P I'm sure i could theoretically reduce the cost of the salad by actually buying whole lettuce and shredding it myself, but i'd probably run into issues with spoilage that way, not to mention it being a pain. So after i go through my current supply of tofu and salad i should stop buying it, at least on a regular basis =P

For having put the effort into this research i'm going to reward myself by going to Subway :) (Does it still count as a reward if i'm saving money that way? =)
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academicerrificmerchimerch on February 21st, 2009 02:17 pm (UTC)
You can do tofu and salad for way cheaper than that and avoid shredding - go to the farmers market which should have baby spinach and salad mix that you can buy in whatever quantities you like (and farmers market is fresher so it will last longer anyhow).
Sister Atom Bomb of Courteous Debateakiko on February 21st, 2009 08:59 pm (UTC)
Alternatively, you can buy a head of red-leaf lettuce, for example, and pick off a leaf or two, wash and shred it, and put the rest back into the fridge. (And by "shred," I mean rip into smallish pieces.)

And buying pre-packaged anything adds unnecessary costs, so I avoid those myself.
Squidceph on February 21st, 2009 11:11 pm (UTC)
Hm--are you comparing things based solely on caloric value, here? From a caloric standpoint you could certainly live very cheaply on ramen and peanut butter, but the cost in health would hardly be worth the savings in money.

Hell, I'm on a grad student salary now and I spend the small extra amount required to get fresh fruit and veg. I'd suggest looking for other places to save before you go replacing your tofu with Nutella. :)
Coraa: food lovecoraa on February 22nd, 2009 11:14 pm (UTC)
Seconded the people who point out that buying non-prewashed prebagged veggies will drop the cost considerably.

The other thing that can drop the cost is buying vegetables in season. (This is especially true at the farmer's market, but I've even found it to be true in grocery stores.) Many greens are not in season right now, so I'm making my veggie dishes out of kale and chard and mustard greens for much cheaper. (Although baby spinach and arugula will be coming into season soon-ish.) Broccoli and cabbage-type veg are also not too pricey right now, and you can make a fantastic salad out of shredded brussels sprouts or shredded cabbage (like cole slaw, but you can use any dressing/topping/additions you want, not just standard cole slaw dressing -- I like sesame soy dressing on them). Lots of nutrients, too.

I've been making very tasty kale chips: tear some kale into bite-sized portions, toss them with a little bit of oil and salt (say, 1 tbsp oil per 4-ish large kale leaves and pinch or two of salt) and a sprinkling of vinegar (say, another tbsp) if you like vinegar-y chips. Put on a cookie sheet or in an oven-safe pan in a preheated 350F oven and bake for 10 minutes, stirring once at the halfway point. If they're not crispy yet, put them back in for another 5 minutes.