Monday, April 20, 2015

LBTL 2015: Day 2

As I learned in previous years, skipping breakfast is a good way for me to limit my food intake. I left for work shortly after 7am, and got in around 8:30am. Around 9:30, I ate a portion of shepherd's pie, which, by the way, is just as delicious cold as it is hot.

I've never had tea in prior years of LBTL. I always want tea in the morning, but get worried I'll use up too much of my budget and find myself hungry come dinner. But I had room in the budget yesterday, so I took the risk. Tea time! PG Tips with a bit of sugar. I made two cups with the same tea bag. I do that on a normal day - PG Tips is nice strong tea, and I usually make small cups.

Around 1pm I ate two of the left over cabbage rolls I made last night. I had the third around 5pm before wrapping up work and getting on the train. Really yummy the second day. So glad I made that little impromptu tomato sauce with these. It adds a nice tang to the mild cabbage and filing.

Throughout the day I munched on carrot sticks as a snack. I've learned that eating small portions every few hours is a great way to stretch small meals. But I have to say, I never felt like I was depriving myself. My portion sizes have been generous, the food was tasty, I had a nice cup of tea, and I wasn't hungry! LBTL isn't so hard, I'm getting good at this!

I didn't watch my budget closely today because I was a total rock start yesterday. Time to figure out how much money I have left for dinner. Here's my budget breakdown pre-dinner:

The tea that stole my dinner
Tea + sugar: $0.18
Shepherd's pie: $0.37
3 cabbage rolls: $0.54
Carrot sticks: $0.21

Oh no, I've spent $1.30. Is that right?! That can't be right!! Ugh, that is right. Only two dimes to rub together for dinner. I'm sort of regretting that cup of tea... No! I regret nothing! I can do this.

Ok, so I'm going to make a soup. Potato soup. Because I can afford that. I'll make a double portion so I have one to take to work with me tomorrow. That gives me $0.40 to work with in the pot. That's not so bad. Right?

It took me 30 minutes to figure out the exact combination of ingredients I would use. I wanted an onion - $0.10. And some cabbage - $0.13. I need enough oil to keep me full. 2 T - $0.12. That leaves $0.05. 2 potatoes and 1 tsp of salt. That's what $0.05 will buy. I dug through the bag of potatoes, trying to find the biggest ones. They are all so small!! 2 potatoes would make a meager single portion. No way I could stretch that into tomorrow. Should I ditch the cabbage? Then the soup would only be potato and onion. That didn't sound too exciting. Plus, I've got 7 portions of cabbage left, and don't want to find myself eating only cabbage on day 5.

Simple potato cabbage soup
I poured 1 T of oil into the pot and added the onions. Then added 2 chopped potatoes to see how much food that really was. If it was enough, I could add more oil. It wasn't. I decided to skip the extra tablespoon of oil I wanted in the recipe. That saved me $0.06 and bought 3 more potatoes. I'm not happy about the trade off. But I really shouldn't complain. I've eaten well today.

I didn't peel any of the potatoes tonight. They went into the pot, green and all! (I googled it. I'll be fine). After sautéing the onions and potatoes with oil and salt, I added water and brought to a boil. Once the potatoes were soft, I added the chopped cabbage and boiled another 5 minutes.  This made two nice sized portions - one for tonight, one for tomorrow. It was a bit bland. Could have done with more salt, and of course more fat. But this wasn't in the budget tonight. I'll pump up the seasoning in tomorrow's portion.

So I'm off to bed full but sort of unsatisfied. I got ahead of myself today. Not bad, but I'll need to be more cautious tomorrow.

And please consider giving to those who have to live every day below the line - and stretch $1.50 to include food, housing, transport, and health care. Make a gift to The Hunger Project.

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