# How would you spend only \$15 a day on food?

#### CunningSmeagol

##### Distinguished Member
Looking at my grad school's cost projections, I saw the line for food was \$600/month. I say I can do better: \$450/mo. Leaving aside drinking, please show some sample daily meal plans that are readily prepared and cost less than \$15. I honestly think I could do it under \$10, but I have this latte habit. Example Breakfast = oatmeal and coffee Rolled oats cost me ca \$2/lb and I eat about 1/8 lb for breakfast. Coffee beans are \$20/lb, and I get about 10 breakfasts out of each lb. \$2.25 Lunch = greek yogurt and salsa let's say \$3 Dinner = roast chicken quarter + veggies. Since my gf will cover half of that, the chicken is gone in 2 days. If I can tolerate leftovers. Chicken costs me \$2/lb. 3.5lb bird costs \$7. Divide by 4 = \$1.75. Veggies cost \$5/lb. Lets divide by 4 and call it \$1.25/meal. Dinner is \$3. Bulk protein powder and milk and cost effective junk food make up the difference = \$2/day. That's just a quarter over \$10. The extra \$4.75 for lattes puts me at \$15. Honestly, though, if I know I'm passing a good coffee shop, I'll skip the morning coffee giving me an extra \$2 to sock away. I'm interested to hear any other ideas from the celebrity chefs out there. Assume an adventurous palate and barely passable kitchen technique. The point here is to use good to great ingredients. I should have said that up front. I'm not feeding a family of four. Just myself. I'm aware that I could, if I could tolerate it, feed myself for \$5 a day. I should have said that up front.

#### itsstillmatt

##### The Liberator
Dubiously Honored
Hot dogs till you drop.

#### ErnestoG.

##### Senior Member
find a really cheap grocery store. you can get good coffee for 4-5\$ a pound, offbrand snacks for like 1-2 peso a bag, cheap dairy products, frozen cheap fish etc.

#### CunningSmeagol

##### Distinguished Member
Originally Posted by iammatt
Hot dogs till you drop.

Chicago hot dogs are my fav, but they cost \$4 a pop. I guess if I bought them myself I could do it for less. Thanks Matt!

Originally Posted by ErnestoG.
find a really cheap grocery store. you can get good coffee for 4-5\$ a pound, offbrand snacks for like 1-2 peso a bag, cheap dairy products, frozen cheap fish etc.

Agreed, but I have a problem with the way some of those things taste. For example, I tried the 79c/lb rolled oats from some bulk place, and they turned to inedible slop the moment they touched water. Also can't stand super cheap dairy, meat, or coffee. Think of this as more of a what would you make using ingredients from Whole Foods question.

#### Nil

##### Distinguished Member
What kind of coffee are you buying that costs \$20 a pound? You can find plenty of good types in the \$10-15 range.

Rice and beans will be your friend.

#### CunningSmeagol

##### Distinguished Member
How much do Vienna Beef franks cost anyway?

#### Nil

##### Distinguished Member
Veggies shouldn't cost \$5 a pound either, even if you're going for Whole Foods level produce. Learn what's in season and how to cook it, you'll save some money.

#### CunningSmeagol

##### Distinguished Member
Originally Posted by Nil
What kind of coffee are you buying that costs \$20 a pound? You can find plenty of good types in the \$10-15 range.

Rice and beans will be your friend.

Ritual, Ecco, Intelligentsia, and Verve - will not compromise on these.

I bet risotto could be done really cheaply. That is a good suggestion.

#### CunningSmeagol

##### Distinguished Member
Originally Posted by Nil
Veggies shouldn't cost \$5 a pound either, even if you're going for Whole Foods level produce. Learn what's in season and how to cook it, you'll save some money.

I don't know how much veggies cost, because my gf buys them. Is \$5 too much or too little?

#### APK

##### Stylish Dinosaur
\$600 a month is insane unless you're living in a place where everything is unreasonable expensive. I don't think I break \$400 a month and I'm consuming 250+ grams of protein a day.

#### Nil

##### Distinguished Member
Originally Posted by CunningSmeagol
I don't know how much veggies cost, because my gf buys them. Is \$5 too much or too little?
Too much. Depending on where you live, \$2-3 a pound typically if you buy in season organic veggies.

#### CunningSmeagol

##### Distinguished Member
Originally Posted by APK
\$600 a month is insane unless you're living in a place where everything is unreasonable expensive. I don't think I break \$400 a month and I'm consuming 250+ grams of protein a day.

I will be living in Chicago, but having lived in Boston for a few years, I don't think the prices will be different from what I'm used to. I agree, though, that spending within a budget of \$20 a day is easy, even if you're eating out quite a bit. Don't understand why people say Whole Foods is so expensive. I'm also eating a lot of protein.

Originally Posted by Nil
Too much. Depending on where you live, \$2-3 a pound typically if you buy in season organic veggies.

That's good to know.

#### Kajak

##### Distinguished Member
Omega 3 Eggs are \$4/doz I think. 3 eggs = \$1. Crappy eggs are slightly cheaper. Add in some oats for 25Â¢.
Brekkie: \$1.25 + coffee or tea (which is about 50Â¢ a bag at most for some earl grey), so \$1.75

Lunch - 200g of roast chicken/pork leftovers (88Â¢) plus some bread (33Â¢ for 2 slices), negligible gravy/salt/pepper. Or just eat a bigger dinner. More tea, maybe some milk
\$1.75

Sweet potatoes cost like... \$1/lb. So even a MrChariyBrown-eqsue portion only costs \$1.50
Cheap pork (shoulder) costs like \$5/kilo. You could make that be \$3/day. Chicken can be comparable, plus ground meat on special. Also things like the cheapest beef roast wont cost a dollar or two more per kilo. This will involve an investment in a dutch oven/slowcooker
Plus \$1 for quarter lb of veggies (carrots, onions, kale/spinach, etc, bang for your buck veggies)
Dinner = \$5.50

Other Groceries - 4L of milk at ~\$4, at 1L a day = \$1. Maybe \$1 worth of fruit every couple days.
Total~\$10
2800kcal, pretty much even P/C/F split (32/34/34). Would want a Multi-V though. Also something like 220g/protein in case you wanted to lift some weights.

#### CunningSmeagol

##### Distinguished Member
^^^^Have a slow cooker and did a pork shoulder in it. That's a good one. Also eggs, yes, how could I forget. I make beautiful scrambled eggs.

Lifting weights is a big deal for me, and my current diet seems to support it adequately. I'm not a diet nerd like a lot of the Random Health/Exercise Thoughts guys, but I like to make sure I get enough calories/protein. That said, I may move more into a maintenance phase once I'm really busy with school, and I'm pushing against the point where my suits will stop fitting.

Never played with sweet potatoes though.

#### SField

##### Distinguished Member
Curry is a good idea.

Chickpeas or lentils. You can make dinner for a whole week for like \$10, aside from the initial investment of good spices. Carrots/onion/tomatoes/garlic/potatoes/lentils or chickpeas... dirt cheap

Soup is cheap as hell. Butternut squash soup, celeriac soup, potato leek.. you can eat extremely well.

It's protein that makes **** expensive. Start braising a big ass pork shoulder and eat that for a week.

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