Hunger Challenge: Preparation

Lentils

Lentils

Reference: I am participating in United Way’s 5-day Hunger Challenge, starting Monday.

I’ve been writing down meal ideas w/ ingredient lists and today I scoped out prices at Madison Market. If we use leftovers for most lunches, we should be able to pull this off w/out resorting to Top Ramen.

Breakfast: rolled oats for oatmeal (less than $1.00 each), or an egg, slice of homemade bread, 1/2 an apple, and a slice of bacon (Adds up to roughly $1.29 each).

Lunch/Dinner ideas include Megadarra (lentil, brown rice, and caramelized onions w/salt, pepper, and oil), Red Beans and Rice (kidney beans, jalapenos, carrots, celery, onion, brown rice, cumin, salt, pepper, garlic), Lentils w/Kale or Chard (green lentils, chard/kale, carrots, cumin, salt, pepper, onion, bacon), and Stir Fry (broccoli, carrot, celery, onion, brown rice, oil, soy sauce**). I can also make a pretty cheap soup using onion, celery, carrot, potatoes, garlic, rice, beans, thyme, salt, pepper, and a slice of bacon.

We’re trying to figure out if we can afford enough coffee for 5 days. The cheapest coffee at Madison Market runs at $7.99lb, so half a pound would likely last us that long, but that would cost us $4, plus the cost of sugar/cream if we used them. I am not a huge fan of black coffee. We really enjoy our coffee, so part of the debate is whether to skip it completely or break down and buy the cheaper whole bean.

I found some pork for $2.89lb, and could use 1/2 lb in one meal fairly easily. Meat is easily used as a flavor enhancer. Example: one slice of bacon is all that is needed in Lentil w/Chard or Kale soup, plus the fat from the bacon can be used instead of oil when sauteing onion, celery, and carrot.

Here is the price list of some of the items I found:
Soy sauce: $2.40lb (in bulk section)
Pork: $2.89b
Coffee: $7.99lb
Kale/Chard: $2.49-$3.99 a bunch (can likely split a bunch into two meals, w/stems)
Yellow onions: $0.59lb on sale (I already picked up 2.69lbs for the challenge already)
Eggs: $0.19 each (bulk section)
Flour: $1.39lb (need 14oz to make a loaf of bread)
Yeast: $4.29lb (need 0.25oz to make a loaf of bread=$0.07)
Olive oil: $6.29lb (in bulk section)
Safflower oil: $2.88lb (in bulk section, will likely skip olive oil and use this instead)
Rolled oats: $0.89lb
Wheat berries: $0.99lb
Fuji apples: $0.79lb
Broccoli: $1.99lb (can use stalks too)
Winter squash: $1.99lb

Debating whether to buy sugar. We would only use it in the oatmeal, stir fry, and coffee. Also I would love some butter, and I can buy a single stick if I wanted to, but I didn’t grab the price of that.

Homemade no-knead artisan bread costs an entire $1.02 to make.

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