Thursday, March 11, 2010

Eat On Less Than $35!

This morning I read an article titled "How To Eat On Less Than $35 A Week". I really don't know why I still bother with these articles. I'm hoping, I guess, that there will be some actual, useful tips, but there never are. Like the article about maximizing coupons, which consisted of telling us that if we just used coupons to buy our processed crap, all our money woes would be over. Well, duh. I use coupons. The only problem is, I don't buy a lot of stuff that you can use coupons for. Instead I buy produce and unprepared meat.

These types of articles are always geared toward highly-processed foods. This article is no exception. What it should really be called is "How To Eat On Less Than $35 A Week So Long As You Don't Mind Eating Processed, Non-Nutritional Crap". The shopping list consists of hot dogs, buns, bologna (gag!), chopped ham (gag!), ground beef, egg noodles, ketchup, condensed soup, cereal, spaghetti, etc. The one nod to health is 2 1-lb bags of frozen vegetables. They also suggest, as an afterthought, that you might try substituting a bag of apples for some of those noodles, you know, "if you have a lighter appetite or are health conscious."

Wait, shouldn't we be encouraging everyone to be health conscious? Not just as an afterthought?

Let's look at the menus the author sets forth:

Day One
Breakfast: 2 bowls of milk and cereal
Lunch: 1/2 pound buttered noodles and 2 sandwiches (your choice)
Dinner: 2 hot dogs, 2 potatoes 4 ounces vegetables
Snack: popcorn

Day Two
Breakfast: 2 bowls of milk and cereal
Lunch: 2 sandwiches and soup
Dinner: spaghetti
Snack: popcorn

Day Three
Breakfast: 2 bowls milk and cereal
Lunch: 1/2 pound buttered noodles, 2 sandwiches
Dinner: 2 quarter-pound burgers, potatoes and 4 ounces vegetables
Snack: popcorn

Yummmmm! Carby carb carb! Not to mention all that sodium in your bologna and chopped ham (again, gag!). Plus, the possible carcinogens in your bags of microwave popcorn. It is so cheap and easy to pop some real popcorn in a pan on the stove or a paper bag in the microwave without all the additives. Plus it tastes better. If we're going to have popcorn, let's cook it the good way.

The article is geared toward college kids living on a budget, which I can get behind. However, I think it would be much more useful to teach college kids how to eat healthy on a budget. I know I ate marginally healthy in college, with apples and bananas for snack, and multiple experimentations with ways to cook vegetables. I also ate my fair share of ramen and mac and cheese. Whatever, it was college. It happens.

After reading this article, I feel inspired to write a book to teach college kids how to eat healthy on a budget.

1 comment:

Barbara said...

Ramen was a college staple of mine, too. I think it is sad that the healthier foods do tend to cost more. It makes for some unhealthy eating during this recession of ours.