Thursday, September 8, 2011

$20 Diet

Posted By on Thu, Sep 8, 2011 at 9:04 AM

This week, Clare tried to live off of only twenty bucks of food, which, as a college student, she should have down to an art by now.

Here’s what she bought with her $20:


1 loaf of bread
peanut butter
1 lb. of oats
jambalaya rice
1 can black beans
1 can tuna
1 can tomato soup
1 sweet potato
4 bananas
32 oz. vanilla yogurt
flour tortillas
6 count eggs
sliced colby jack cheese
and, of course, ramen noodles.

All of which comes to a grand total of $19.32 (not including tax which put us 82 cents beyond our target).

Her receipt:


As Clare pointed out about half-way through the week, one living off of so little shouldn’t expect much variety, and for most of the week, she found herself munching on leftovers.

Here are a few of the more interesting dishes she improvised:

Jambalaya, black bean, sunny-side up


Like everything featured in Clare’s meals this week, there’s not much to this dish. It’s simple, yet hardy.

What you’ll need:

- Jambalaya mix
- 15 oz. can black beans
- 1 egg, cooked sunny side up


Bring 2 1/2 cups water to boil. Add jambalaya mix and return to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 25 minutes or until rice is tender.

Drain and wash black beans, and add to rice about 15 minutes into simmer.

Cook egg sunny side up and garnish on top of rice.

We also had some salsa from a couple of weeks ago that made a noteworthy addition to the dish. And apart from the egg, there was enough of this for about 4 meals.

The mix we used also suggesting some kind of meat, ideally sausage to the rice, and we think some diced tomatoes and onions would also help liven things up.

Sweet Potato Sandwich


This is a sandwich (and photo) borrowed from Clare’s old food blog, The Organic Undergrad.

What you’ll need:

- 2 slices bread
- 1 sweet potato
- butter to taste
- sweet curry powder to taste
- brown sugar to taste
- peanut butter to taste


Peel and slice the sweet potato. Put in a bowl with water and cover, microwave for about 5 minutes. Place on grill and add brown sugar and curry. Grill about 5 minutes or until done and put on sandwich with butter and peanut butter.

An bowl-full of energy: oatmeal


What you’ll need:

- 2 spoon-full’s peanut butter
- 1 spoon-full brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp. cinnamon or to taste
- sweet curry powder to taste
- 1/2 banana, sliced


Make one serving of oatmeal, mix in peanut butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and curry powder. Slice banana and toss on top.

We had some sliced almonds left over from last week’s dinner party so Clare used them to garnish her oatmeal.

Other dishes—

- Grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup
- ramen and tuna
- yogurt
- pb&j sandwich
- peanut butter and banana sandwich

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