?

Log in

 
 
13 September 2016 @ 03:41 pm
 
The budget menu project has been upgraded to $3.50/day, and I decided "to heck with it" with regard to iron and calcium intake and just budgeted for vitamins.  But it's done!


  • I used the regular price for things - store club card discounts applied, but I didn’t allow for coupons or sales.

  • I went to three stores: Safeway, Big Lots, and Trader Joe’s - all of which are in the same shopping center less than a mile from my house.

  • For the purposes of budgeting, I assumed I had access to all the money at once and could buy in quantity if I’d be able to use it all up before it went bad.

  • I prorated the vitamins, but allowed for the up-front cost of everything else, including the spices.

  • I assumed that the hypothetical person using this menu has access to nonstick or well-seasoned cookware and doesn’t need to use butter or oil every time they want to fry something.

  • Nutritional requirements are based on online sources.

  • Nutrition info is approximate, because food compositions differ (even different flavors and brands of canned tomatoes have slightly different nutritional profiles), and I didn’t allow for things like seasonings and exactly how much onion I’m putting in the soup.

  • Menus are lacto-ovo-vegetarian, because I am.

  • Thursday and Friday menus are different because those are my predictable work days.  (Sub jobs are more random.)  I also have D&D Friday evenings, so Friday dinners can’t take too long to cook and eat.


$3.50 Challenge = 30 days, 105 dollars

$104.80

Stodge: $22.35

2 10 lb bags russet potatoes: $6 (60 servings)

Buttermilk Pancake Mix: $2.25 (18 servings)

1 6-pack Oriental ramen: $1.50 (12 servings)

1 Loaf Safeway Signature Kitchens sourdough bread: $2.30 (16 servings)

1 box saltines: $2 (28)

1 32-oz bag elbow or small shell macaroni: $1.60 (16 servings)

1 16-oz bag pasta, any small shape: $1 (8 servings)

1 32-oz bag spaghetti: $1.60 (16 servings)

1 box cheap big lots mac & cheese: $.60 (3 servings)

42-oz quick oatmeal: $3.50 (30 servings)

Protein: $30.80

2 dozen eggs: $3.20 (24 servings)

4-lb jar peanut butter: $8.00 (57 servings)

3 lb lentils: $3.90 (42 servings)

2 lb split peas: $2.30 (20 servings)

sunflower seeds: $1.50

4 half-gallons 2% milk: $7.20

1 lb Lucerne sharp cheddar: $4.70 (16 servings)

Produce: $34.10

30 bananas: $6

2 5 lb bags carrots: $6

4 cans calcium fortified frozen concentrated orange juice: $6

3 lb sweet onions (6 onions) $2.50

4 cans Italian-flavor diced tomatoes: $3.20 (14 servings)

4 cans spicy diced tomatoes: $3.20 (14 servings)

bag of TJ’s small apples $3 (about 8)

2 lb bag small sweet potatoes $1.80 (about 7)

3 lb cabbage $2.40 (about 12 servings)

Extras: $17.55

1 lb butter: $3.30

48 English Breakfast teabags: $2.00

Hungry Jack syrup (Big Lots): $2.00

Big Lots Dollar Spices: Cinnamon, Garlic Powder, Curry Powder: $3.00

Hot sauce: $1.30

Safeway Soy Sauce: $2.00

30 days worth of TJ High Potency Chewable Multivitamins: $2.70

30 days worth of Safeway brand 750 mg antacid calcium chews (generic Tums): $1.25

Nutrition:

RDAs: Calories: 1600-1800, Protein: 50 grams, Fiber: 25 grams, Vitamin A: 3000 IU, Vitamin C: 90 milligrams, Calcium: 1000 milligrams, Iron: 18 milligrams.

Standard Breakfast: Oatmeal mixed with a serving of peanut butter, ½ banana, milk, tea. 522 calories, 22 Protein, 8 fiber, 538 IU Vitamin A., 5 Vitamin C, 300 calcium, 2.5 Iron

Sunday Breakfast: Pancakes with syrup and ½ banana, scrambled egg, milk, tea. 670 calories, 18g protein, 2.5 fiber, 538 IU Vitamin A, 5 Vitamin C, 360 calcium, 2.5 Iron

Standard Work Snack: saltines with peanut butter, sunflower seeds, carrot sticks, small apple (495 calories, 14 protein, 10.4 fiber, 5500 Vitamin A, 11 Vitamin C, 34 calcium, 3.8 iron)

Every day: 1 glass slightly diluted calcium-fortified OJ (not on days 1 or 2) (94 calories, 82 Vitamin C, 300 calcium), other half of the banana (52 calories, 1.5 fiber, 38 IU Vitamin A, 5 mg. Vitamin C), 1 Trader Joe’s High Potency Chewable Multivitamin (5000 IU Vitamin A, 60 mg. Vitamin C, 100 mg Calcium, 9 mg Iron), 1 Safeway Tums (750 mg. calcium)

Thursday, September 1 (1769 calories, 60 protein, 30 fiber, 17636 Vitamin A, 91 Vitamin C, 1570 calcium, 21.58 iron)


  • Standard Breakfast, generic Tums

  • Work Snack: peanut butter crackers x2, carrot sticks, other half banana

  • Welcome home: Cheese toast, cup of tea w. splash of milk

  • Dinner: Minestrone (1 ½ pasta, 1 lentils, 1 Italian-style tomatoes), carrot sticks, multivitamin

Friday, September 2 (1770 calories, 60 protein, 22 fiber, 17967 Vitamin A, 91 Vitamin C, 1705 calcium, 18.7 iron)


  • Standard Breakfast, generic Tums

  • Work Snack: Peanut butter crackers x2, carrot sticks, other half banana

  • Welcome home: Cheese toast, tea w. milk

  • Dinner: boxed mac & cheese with canned tomatoes, carrot sticks, multivitamin

Saturday, September 3 (1658 calories, 51 protein, 21 fiber, 22917 Vitamin A, 236 Vitamin C, 1705 calcium, 18.7 iron)


  • Standard Breakfast, ½ generic Tums

  • Lunch: leftover mac & cheese, carrot sticks

  • Snack: ½ banana, OJ, multivitamin

  • Dinner: egg & potato omelet (2 potatoes (cooked with their skins), 2 eggs, seasonings, maybe some onion, butter for frying), carrot sticks, baked sweet potato with cinnamon, ½ generic Tums

Sunday, September 4 (2021 calories, 77 protein, 46 fiber, 17626 IU Vitamin A, 222 Vitamin C, 1395 Calcium, 24.6 iron)


  • Sunday Breakfast, ½ generic Tums

  • Lunch: Split pea soup (2x peas, 2 potatoes, onion, carrot, seasonings), crackers. Make extra.

  • Snack: ½ banana, OJ, multivitamin

  • Dinner: Spaghetti bolognese (2 spaghetti, Italian-style tomatoes, onion, carrot, lentils, seasonings, cheese)

Monday, September 5 (1733 calories, 64 protein, 65 fiber, 22760 IU Vitamin A, 298 Vitamin C, 1610 Calcium, 24.8 iron)


  • Standard Breakfast, ½ generic Tums

  • Lunch: Reheated split pea soup, crackers, ½ banana

  • Snack: baked sweet potato, OJ, multivitamin

  • Dinner: Baked potatoes (2) and lentil chili (2x lentils, spicy canned tomatoes, onion, seasonings), carrot sticks, ½ generic Tums

Tuesday, September 6 (1883 calories, 72 protein, 28 fiber, 17626 vitamin A, 173 Vitamin C, 1375 Calcium, 22.7 iron)


  • Standard Breakfast, ½ generic Tums

  • Lunch: Ramen pad thai (½ brick ramen, egg, carrot, onion, peanut butter, seasonings), ½ banana

  • Snack: rest of the ramen eaten like crackers, OJ, multivitamin

  • Dinner: Chili mac (1 ½ macaroni, lentils, spicy canned tomatoes, fried onion, cheese), carrot sticks

Wednesday, September 7 (1698 calories, 59 protein, 36 fiber, 17876 vitamin A, 227 Vitamin C, 1585 calcium, 19.78 iron)


  • Standard Breakfast, ½ generic Tums

  • Lunch: Sloppy Joannes (2 lentils, spicy canned tomatoes, carrot, onion, seasonings), buttered toast x 2

  • Snack: ½ banana, OJ, multivitamin

  • Dinner: Loaded Baked Potato Soup (2 potatoes, ½ cup milk, onion, seasonings, cheese), carrot sticks

Thursday, September 8 (1801 calories, 57 protein, 38.5 fiber, 22576 Vitamin A, 181 Vitamin C, 1564 calcium (depends on brand of pancake mix), 20.58 iron)


  • Standard Breakfast, ½ generic Tums

  • Work Snack: peanut butter crackers, sunflower seeds, carrot sticks, apple

  • Welcome Home: other half banana, glass of OJ, multivitamin

  • Dinner: Naan & split pea dal (savory pancakes with garlic, split peas seasoned with garlic, cinnamon, & curry powder), carrot sticks, sweet potato pudding (sweet potato, ½ peanut butter, cinnamon, ½ syrup), ½ generic Tums

Friday, September 9 (1573 calories, 52 protein, 23.5 fiber, 16576 Vitamin A, 163 Vitamin C, 1504 calcium, 18.9 iron)


  • Standard Breakfast, ½ generic Tums

  • Work Snack: peanut butter crackers, sunflower seeds, carrot sticks, apple

  • Welcome Home: other half banana, glass of OJ, multivitamin

  • Dinner: Ramen (whole brick) with an egg and some onion, carrot sticks, ½ generic Tums

Saturday, September 10 (1885 calories, 66 protein, 38 fiber, 12251 Vitamin A, 253 Vitamin C, 1605 calcium, 21.58 iron)


  • Standard Breakfast, ½ generic Tums

  • Lunch: Ramen salad (whole dry ramen, raw cabbage, canned tomatoes, seasonings), ½ banana

  • Snack: Peanut butter crackers, OJ, multivitamin

  • Dinner: Mashed potatoes (2 potatoes, ¼ cup milk, 1 butter) & lentil gravy (2 lentils, onions, seasonings), carrot sticks, ½ generic Tums

Sunday, September 11 (1723 calories, 45 protein, 15.6 fiber, 12126 Vitamin A, 221 Vitamin C, 1495 calcium, 15.86 Iron)


  • Sunday Breakfast

  • Lunch: grilled cheese & (canned) tomato sandwich, carrot sticks

  • Snack: ½ banana, OJ, multivitamin

  • Dinner: peanut soup (leftover mashed potatoes, peanut butter, seasonings), savory cabbage, ½ generic Tums

Monday, September 12 (1665 calories, 55 protein, 33 fiber, 18126 Vitamin A, 269 Vitamin C, 1550 Calcium, 18.86 iron)


  • Standard Breakfast, ½ generic Tums

  • Lunch: Minestrone, carrot sticks, crackers

  • Snack: ½ banana, OJ, multivitamin

  • Dinner: 2 baked potatoes, butter, egg drop soup (egg, ramen broth mix, onion, seasonings), savory cabbage, baked sweet potato with cinnamon, ½ generic Tums

Tuesday, September 13 (1678 calories, 69 protein, 39 fiber, 16876 Vitamin A, 213 Vitamin C, 1610 Calcium, 22.28 iron)


  • Standard Breakfast, ½ generic Tums

  • Lunch: Leftover baked potatoes, butter, scrambled eggs, carrot sticks

  • Snack: ½ banana, OJ, multivitamin

  • Dinner: spicy lentils in peanut sauce (2 lentils, 1 peanut butter, seasonings), naan, carrot sticks, ½ generic Tums

Wednesday, September 14 (1588 calories, 65 protein, 38 fiber, 16876 Vitamin A, 218 Vitamin C, 1570 Calcium, 20.5 iron)


  • Standard Breakfast, ½ generic Tums

  • Lunch: Peanut-lentil soup (reheated lentils in peanut sauce with more water and seasonings), crackers, carrot sticks

  • Snack: ½ banana, OJ, multivitamin

  • Dinner: egg & potato omelet (with butter for frying), carrot sticks, ½ generic Tums

Thursday, September 15 (1938 calories, 59 protein, 27 fiber, 17926 Vitamin A, 178 Vitamin C, 1269 Calcium, 21.06 Iron)


  • Standard Breakfast, ½ generic Tums

  • Work Snack: peanut butter crackers, sunflower seeds, carrot sticks, apple

  • Welcome Home: other half banana, glass of OJ, multivitamin

  • Dinner: Simple spaghetti (2 spaghetti with canned Italian-style tomatoes and cheese), garlic toast, carrot sticks

Friday, September 16 (1633 calories, 52 protein, 22 fiber, 16876 Vitamin A, 164 Vitamin C, 1504 Calcium, 18.9 Iron)


  • Standard Breakfast, ½ generic Tums

  • Work Snack: peanut butter crackers, sunflower seeds, carrot sticks, apple

  • Welcome Home: other half banana, glass of OJ, multivitamin

  • Dinner: scrambled eggs, toast, butter, carrot sticks, ½ generic tums

Saturday, September 17 (1733 calories, 72 protein, 57 fiber, 16838 Vitamin A, 267 Vitamin C, 1570 Calcium, 23.74 Iron)


  • Standard Breakfast, ½ generic Tums

  • Lunch: split pea soup, crackers, carrot sticks

  • Snack: ½ banana, orange juice, multivitamin

  • Dinner: Baked potatoes & lentil chili, pat of butter, carrot sticks, ½ generic Tums

Sunday, September 18 (1686 calories, 58 protein, 46 fiber, 11451 Vitamin A, 273 Vitamin C, 1550 Calcium,  21.4 Iron)


  • Sunday Breakfast, ½ generic Tums

  • Lunch: Savory Hash (leftover potatoes & lentils, onion, seasonings), carrot sticks

  • Snack: ½ banana, OJ, multivitamin

  • Dinner: Irio (East African potatoes & peas - 2 each), chapatis (pancakes), kachumbari (raw cabbage, onion, ½ spicy tomato), ½ generic Tums

Monday, September 19 (1740 calories, 59 protein, 25 fiber, 22576 Vitamin A, 212 Vitamin C, 1570 Calcium, 19.78 Iron)


  • Standard Breakfast, ½ generic Tums

  • Lunch: Ramen Pad Thai with cabbage, carrot sticks

  • Snack: ½ banana, OJ, multivitamin

  • Dinner: Savory crepes (thin pancakes filled w. ½ pack cooked ramen scrambled with veggies, seasonings, egg), carrot sticks, baked sweet potato, ½ generic Tums

Tuesday, September 20 (1698 calories, 71 protein, 46 fiber, 18076 Vitamin A, 182 Vitamin C, 1730 Calcium, 23.38 Iron)


  • Standard Breakfast, ½ generic Tums

  • Lunch: Genghis Khan soup (pea soup - 2 peas - with spicy tomatoes), carrot sticks, garlic toast

  • Snack: ½ banana, OJ, multivitamin

  • Dinner: Chili Mac (1 ½ macaroni, spicy tomatoes, lentils, fried onion, cheese), carrot sticks, ½ generic Tums

Wednesday, September 21 (1703 calories, 65 protein, 29 fiber, 17626 Vitamin A, 227 Vitamin C, 1650 Calcium, 19 Iron)


  • Standard Breakfast, ½ generic Tums

  • Lunch: leftover chili mac, carrot sticks

  • Snack: ½ banana, OJ, multivitamin

  • Dinner: Egg & potato omelet (butter for frying), carrot sticks, ½ generic Tums

Thursday, September 22 (1798 calories, 56 protein, 35 fiber, 17626 Vitamin A, 178 Vitamin C, 1584 calcium, 22.5 Iron)


  • Standard Breakfast, ½ generic Tums

  • Work Snack: peanut butter crackers, sunflower seeds, carrot sticks, apple

  • Welcome Home: other half banana, glass of OJ, multivitamin

  • Dinner: Minestrone, garlic toast, carrot sticks, ½ generic Tums

Friday, September 23 (1643 calories, 52 protein, 24 fiber, 16576 IU Vitamin A, 169 Vitamin C, 1524 Calcium, 19.98 Iron)


  • Standard Breakfast, ½ generic Tums

  • Work Snack: peanut butter crackers, sunflower seeds, carrot sticks, apple

  • Welcome Home: other half banana, glass of OJ, multivitamin

  • Dinner: Ramen soup (whole brick) with egg, carrot sticks, ½ generic Tums

Saturday, September 24 (1667 calories, 54 protein, 35 fiber, 17201 IU Vitamin A, 296 Vitamin C, 1605 Calcium, 17.94 Iron)


  • Standard Breakfast, ½ generic Tums

  • Lunch: savory lentil soup (lentils, onions, peanut butter, seasonings, potato, carrot), crackers

  • Snack: ½ banana, orange juice, multivitamin

  • Dinner: Sukuma Wiki (cabbage, fried onion, and spicy tomato stew) with mashed potatoes (2 potatoes, ¼ cup milk), baked sweet potato with cinnamon and ½ serving syrup, ½ generic Tums

Sunday, September 25 (1721 calories, 55 protein, 31 fiber, 17626 Vitamin A, 173 Vitamin C, 1455 Calcium, 20.86 Iron)


  • Sunday Breakfast

  • Lunch: grilled cheese sandwich, carrot sticks

  • Snack: ½ banana, OJ, multivitamin

  • Dinner: Chapatis (pancakes) with Choroko Sauce (2 split peas, fried onion, spicy tomatoes, seasonings), carrot sticks, ½ generic tums

Monday, September 26 (1745 calories, 61 protein, 34 fiber, 17926 Vitamin A, 257 Vitamin C, 1435 Calcium, 18.88 Iron)


  • Standard Breakfast, ½ generic Tums

  • Lunch: Haluski (spaghetti, cabbage, onions, butter), ½ banana

  • Snack: peanut butter crackers, carrot sticks, OJ, multivitamin

  • Dinner: Potato lasagna (2 potatoes, Italian-style tomatoes, onion, lentils, seasonings, cheese), carrot sticks

Tuesday, September 27 (1895 calories, 73 protein, 33 fiber, 17926 Vitamin A, 203 Vitamin C, 1395 Calcium, 22.12 Iron)


  • Standard Breakfast, ½ generic Tums

  • Lunch: Ramen Pad thai (½ brick), Pseudo-Szechuan cabbage (hot sauce, soy sauce, garlic)

  • Snack: ½ banana, OJ, multivitamin

  • Dinner: Spaghetti Bolognese, carrot sticks, garlic toast

Wednesday, September 28 (1718 calories, 73 protein, 60 fiber, 16576 Vitamin A, 245 Vitamin C, 1590 calcium, 26 Iron


  • Standard Breakfast, ½ generic Tums

  • Lunch: Baked potato (with skin), barbecue lentils (2 lentils, ½ syrup, seasonings, onion, tomatoes if you’ve got ‘em), carrot sticks

  • Snack: ½ banana, OJ, multivitamin

  • Dinner: Irio (East African peas & potatoes), “chapati” pancakes, carrot sticks, ½ generic Tums

Thursday, September 29 (1733 calories, 64 protein, 48 fiber, 16576 vitamin A, 223 Vitamin C, 1544 calcium, 21 iron)


  • Standard Breakfast, ½ generic Tums

  • Work Snack: peanut butter crackers, sunflower seeds, carrot sticks, apple

  • Welcome Home: ½ banana, OJ, multivitamin

  • Dinner: Leftover refried Irio, butter for frying, carrot sticks, ½ generic Tums

Friday, September 30 (1938 calories, 59 protein, 27 fiber, 17926 Vitamin A, 177 Vitamin C, 1229 Calcium, 21.06 Iron)


  • Standard Breakfast, ½ generic Tums

  • Work Snack: peanut butter crackers, sunflower seeds, carrot sticks, apple

  • Welcome Home: ½ banana, OJ, multivitamin

  • Dinner: Simple spaghetti (with tomatoes and cheese), garlic toast, carrot sticks

Tags:
 
 
 
Floria Toscafloriatosca on September 14th, 2016 06:57 am (UTC)
Thanks! I had a lot of fun putting it together. It was an interesting challenge seeing what I could come up with using a rather limited array of ingredients.