frugal eating, eating well on a budget, budget meals


I had a late breakfast because I needed to buy food before I could eat, and since I knew it was going to be a busy day (I needed to get more food plus take a trip to the food bank to deliver food I had gathered), it needed to be a fairly quick meal. I opted for the Quaker Instant Oatmeal.

I purchased the regular type because it doesn’t have all the sugar that the flavored types have (and which my sister would give me grief and say that I wasn’t eating healthy), but I definitely would prefer not to eat just plain oatmeal if given the choice. I decided to cut up an apple and mix it into 2 packets (one would definitely not fill me up) to give the oatmeal some flavor and make it a bit healthier breakfast:

This is part of a month-long challenge to eat well while spending an average of only $1 a day on food. You can find the beginning and the rules of this challenge here

breakfast day 1
breakfast chopped apple
breakfast apple oatmeal
Now, it was quite good, but then I had been running around getting food all morning so that I could eat. I was pretty famished by the time I finally did get to eat breakfast. My guess is that at that point, anything would have tasted pretty darn good. We’ll see if I feel the same about the taste in future days.


Again, I needed to fix something up quickly because I was running around and didn’t even have time to really think out what I should have for lunch. I decided to go with an apple with peanut butter, carrots with onion and chive cream cheese and some Wheat Thins:

lunch day1
lunch day 1 ready to eat
As I sat down to eat, my sister’s daughter, Lizzie, decided that she wanted to share my meal:

Lizzie wants to share
And soon discovers cream cheese and Wheat Thins:

Lizzie tries cream cheese
Lizzie likes cream cheese
Lizzie takes cream cheese
Once discovered, I lost the rest of my cream cheese to her.


I made two significant discoveries during dinner: 1) Not only do I not really enjoy cooking, I don’t know how to cook. It would have been good for me to consider this fact before I decided to do this. 2) I am not very partial to Pork and Beans. It would have been good for me to know this fact before I decided to buy two cans of it.

I decided to try a sort of rice burrito and at the last minute to add Pork and Beans to it (mistake). I cooked a cup of the long grain brown rice and added a carrot to it, warmed the Pork and Beans and warmed a couple of the whole wheat tortillas:

rice and carrots
dinner day 1
It was edible, but I know I really need to get some black beans or pinto beans if I am going to make that again. I did keep the remainder of the rice which I will use in some future meal, but I dumped the rest of the Pork and Beans. I will also take back the other can I purchased since I now know that I’d rather not have Pork and Beans as part of another meal this month.

Day one ended with some fairly healthy meals and a full stomach that is ready to tackle day two…

The Beginning ::: Day 2: The Object Is to Stay Alive

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  1. Funny about the pork and beans. Those things probably have more sugar than you would have put on your oatmeal anyway.

  2. Good job with combining the ingredients. I am no better at cooking, but I like the idea of adding carrots to the rice. I do love apples in the oatmeal, and often get the Quaker flavour of “Apples and Cinnamon”. I’m looking forward to reading the rest of this month’s meals.

  3. Large box of store-brand oats on sale ($1.99) add cinnamon, maple, fruit, whatever- quick cook in micro, can also use for cookies. better buy and no salt or sugar

  4. Oatmeal is one of my favorite foods in the whole world, but did you consider buying it in the large container instead of the instant oatmeal? You get more bang for your buck and it’s healthier because it’s less processed. (You can also make it in the microwave …)

  5. You’re very creative with your meals, much more than I expected considering what you bought. Your little girl is adorable as she eats the dip. Such pretty eyes!

  6. Not to creep you out or anything, but are you single and straight? Because, if you are, a single, straight man who is frugal, has a sense of humor, writes well, and has a charitable spirit is very, very, very sexy.

    I found your project via boingboing. Impressive!

  7. Pork & beans are fantastic ONLY when there are hot dogs and ketchup added. As a child, I would use ONLY Van de Kamps & add hot dog weiners and ketchup (Heinz). Put all after heated inside a hot dog bun. Absolutely wonderful and filling. Today, I only use Hillshire sausage but continue to add the ketchup & whole wheat hot dog bun. Hope you try the Hillshire w/Van de Kamps & Heinz kechup. You will learn that in some instances it is the quality that makes it taste good and you cannot cut corners when it comes to flavor.

  8. You’re such a man 🙂
    Opening a can of beans and zapping a tortilla in the microwave can hardly be considered cooking, lol.

    As I’m reading through the entries I’m considering that this isn’t really a healthy diet. It’s as healthy as many young people eat but if I fed this to myself, my husband and my 85 year old mother who I care for, we’d spend a small fortune in either vitamin, mineral and protien supplements or if we didn’t, in medical bills. Eighty percent of our population that’s on a fixed income (seniors) have dietary restrictions. Eating a healthy diet that costs $30 A DAY and my mother still requires hundreds of dollars each month in prescribed supplements. I know this isn’t the demographic the author fits into but I feel compelled to point it out.

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