You have 4.25 to fix 3 meals per day what would you eat?
Oh...and you can't use rice and beans (unless the quantity is small) or pasta, or bread or any other cheap carbs.
Your goal is to get good nutrition and 100% of the fiber needed.
Be specific...don't just make lists like
Chicken on sale
stuff from Costco....
Could you do it?
Sausage McMuffin for breakfast, McChicken with small fries for lunch, and McDouble for dinner.
I would assume $4.25.
On days I eat simple pasta and tomatoes I could do it but not with the carb restrictions.
I doubt it that I could do it. I cook often but spend way more than that.
With a LOT of prep and planning it might be possible but I can't imagine how.
So if three meals add up to $4.25, then I'd work in alfalfa sprouts for sure. They are cheap seeds which you spout with water. They and other sprouts have a good amout of protein.
R3 check the carb restrictions, I don't think that would work.
I ask because a lot of folks have taken on the food stamp idea for a week, but this man is doing it for two months.
As a diabetic, so carbs are set for 45 grams per meal with a maximum of 60.
He is not meeting his caloric needs, nutrition varies, and he has begun to work in very small portions of pasta just to get more calories.
We love to tell the poor how to eat, but don't realize that when we say eat more fruits and vegetables they often can't afford them.
Absolutely cannot be done and done in a healthful way.
I eat protein (one pound) and vegetables, and that is all I eat for health. That is probably $10 per day.
In addition I eat dairy and fun things like diet 7up or diet root beer, which probably adds another $5 per day.
This country is BULLSHIT.
I followed the link but could not stop laughing when he got to turkey meatballs.
No reference to the famous Datalounge post, but just the same it struck me as funny.
Very sobering account of how hard it is.
Our country prefers war to helping people. Then we love to yammer about 'supporting troops' but they make up the majority of our homeless.
My first thought was cabbage soup. It is nutritious and cheap to make.
Yes I was one of those that did the cabbage soup diet way back when.
Besides cabbage soup, one chicken drumstick a day, one apple a day, and maybe a tuna sandwich....that's pretty much it.
Those on Snap who have diabetes should get extra $$ or they will end up costing the healthcare system much more.
r11, You can't get both a cabbage and broth for $4.25.
No I could not prepare one meal for $4.25.
Perhaps a small salad with a can of tuna. That's it. A baked potato?
You'd have to get together with your friends and family and pool the money to buy some you can make in large quantities.
R12 I can get cabbage for .33 a pound right now. An entire cabbage would cost me say 1 buck for a 3 pounder.
I would use water, not broth.
A can of tomatoes .99 or so
A couple of carrots maybe .25
Onion...I buy by the bag but say .25
Say 2.50 for the pot which would give 6 to 8 servings.
Ass and cum for desert!
Where would the protein come from with the cabbage soup. Diabetics need protein. R11 is right. Diabetics should get at least another 50 dollars a month. If the government wants them can make is a special card that is sent that can only be used for meat, poultry and fish and one for maybe 30 or 35 dollars that can only be used for produce. That is in addition to the regular amount of food stamps for everything else. And for god's sake let people be able to buy toilet paper and tooth paste on food stamps. I'm not saying paper towels just toilet paper and tooth paste!
America is the least compassionate, most greedy country in the world. It's the richest. All of this crying poor is bullshit. We always have trillions for wars and bailouts and Corp. Am. but nothing for the poor.
Now this a lot of people might disagree with but I think there should be some kind of food stamp program just for pet food, that can only be used on pet food. Often the poor have to give up their pets or not get any and some elderly and disabled poor would do much better if they had a pet to love and to love them.
I eat very healthy food on far less than $4.25 per average day. However I believe in eating very healthy carbs like oatmeal, whole grain bread (or low-cost bread pudding) as well as beans and lentils. You can make a weeks worth of vegetable soup for about $2. Since baking potatoes are about $1 for 10lbs, how about a potato with plain yogurt, frozen peas, and spices? Diabetics who consume large quantities of spices lower their sugar levels.
There was a college class in San Diego where everyone had to live on beans, corn tortillas, chilis, tomatoes, and water for a month. Everyone lost weight and got much healthier. Wonder if they could sneak in a couple pieces of chocolate per day.
[quote]A couple of carrots maybe .25... Onion...I buy by the bag but say .25
Bullshit. Where they hell are buying ANY vegetable for less than a dollar + tax each?
[quote]Then we love to yammer about 'supporting troops' but they make up the majority of our homeless.
Link for this ?
In reality, Republicans Robber Barrons want the poort to starve to death or rely on their corporations for cheap food. Fuck their health. If they get sick they buy the meds from their corporations too.
A healthy society doesn't make money for Corporations.
I can get a bag of carrots for .99, sometimes they go on sale more cheaply.
I get 6 to 8 in a bag so the price per carrot is pretty low.
I know that there about 3 vegetables that are always cheap. Carrots, cabbage and zucchni at my store.
You're going to have to make purchases from the $32 you get a week. If you shop at Aldi's and on sale, you'd buy a chicken for $6., a lb. of ground turkey for $3.50 and a dozen eggs for egg whites for $2.00. A couple of generic bags of frozen veggies is $4.00. Then whatever fruit is seasonal. Coffee at the dollar store. Also, some soy powder at some point for a liquid meal replacement.
It's a boring, repetitive diet but it would work. You're looking at scrambled egg whites, vegetable soup with chicken, turkey burgers or meat loaf and some protein drinks.
I could easily do this. But I would have to shop for the week and spend $29.75.
4 16 oz bags of frozen veg = $5 ($1.25 each)
1 lb boneless pork chops = $3.99
4 Chicken leg quarters = $3.99
5 lb bag of potatoes = $3.99
30 oz organic, steel cut oatmeal = $2.50
2 grapefruit = $2
2 oranges = $2
6 bananas = $1.98
4 apples = $3.56
Total: $29.01. The weekly 74 cents savings adds up to $2.96 at the end of the month, or the cost of a dozen eggs.
These prices are from Stop & Shop in the NYC metro area.
Makes me wonder why I don't shop and eat like this. I average about $50 a week, not including meals out.
R24 why eat just the whites?
That would be stupid, if I buy eggs I am eating the whole damn egg.
R25 add up your carbs...
A diabetic is advised to eat 1 to 2 pieces of fruit per day at the most.
What about peanut butter? It's cheap if you buy store brands or dollar store versions and is a good protein. You can spread a little bit on an apple or piece of celery
I did this all the time. But yes, it's almost essential that one shops for the week.
If it's literally $4.25 daily, which would be some weird circumstances (panhandling?), you would have to rotate nutrients from day to day.
R26, you're not helping your cholesterol by having 12 egg yolks a week. I'd take four of them and make a crust-less vegetable quiche or custard.
R25, a five-pound bag of potatoes for a diabetic?
r27, I am not diabetic. I eat oatmeal every day and at least two pieces of fruit per day. This is the part about being poor that would frustrate me - fresh fruit and vegetables are expensive! I would get tired of apples, oranges, bananas and grapefruit and would crave more variety.
[quote]I could easily do this.
No, you couldn't.
When was it decided that we are shopping for a diabetic?
I make cabbage soup with tomato juice, carrots, onions, celery (&/or whatever vegetables are around), then add protein to it:
tofu -- on sale at 80cents/1 lb. package; or
hardboiled egg -- on sale at 99cents/dozen large; or
canned tuna or sardines -- on sale at 89cents/5 oz. can.
That's no way to live all day/week/month long, but it is a good, healthy, cheap meal.
In Calif, some community gardens make fresh produce available to the poor at low cost or free. We have long growing seasons & good soil, but that could be done almost anywhere by people willing to devote their own resources to such projects.
[quote] What about peanut butter? It's cheap if you buy store brands or dollar store versions and is a good protein. You can spread a little bit on an apple or piece of celery
Too much sugar. But a premium, all natural brand is a good choice even at its inflated price.
If you are on Snap you can buy things for the week or even for the month. Since it is based on the Snap budget there is no reason not to buy a bag of carrots, a bag of onions and a few cases at Costco.
That is the daily budget but you can plan ahead.
The chef who is doing it is clearly planning ahead, he made dumplings and all kinds of things and froze them to eek out the end of the month.
R33 the first post talked about restricting carbohydrates.
Diabetics are allowed oat meal, beans, and apples. You're being unreasonable in your requirements and I don't like you, OP.
BTW, if you see McRib advertisements, it means pork at your grocery store will be on sale. The sandwich is only offered when pork prices are low.
6 meals: Pork roast $5.25, Apples $1, Carrots $1.25, Celery $1
6 meals: Chicken(whole)$5.25, Onion $1, Carrot$1.25, Celery $1
OP said no cheap carbs, but you have to follow the link to get the diabetic connection.
R20. You are full of shit. Go to the store and check the price of carrots, you can get a pound on sale easily if you have a couple of stores to choose from.
If you are lucky enough to have a Chinatown you can get a whole bunch of cheap vegetables.
NY has no tax on food.
+ bulk seasonings and spices from a natural food store, and sold by the pound, for very little money.
Link is at R7 for anyone who missed it.
Diabetics have it really rough. In reading the link I realize how hard it is to get enough calories, and he details every penny and every calorie.
That is going to be one skinny chef when this is over.
When I googled him I realize he is the same guy who did it before so he is really committed to being a food insecurity expert.
This all sounds like the next Tracy Anderson diet sensation.
[quote]This is the part about being poor that would frustrate me - fresh fruit and vegetables are expensive! I would get tired of apples, oranges, bananas and grapefruit and would crave more variety
R31 You might also crave some money. You are an idiot.
I love some of these inappropriate (for a diabetic) suggestions like:
[quote]how about a potato with plain yogurt, frozen peas, and spices?
All high carb foods.
And to the egg yolk 'phobe'--what decade are you posting from? Egg yolks = bad/unhealthy is outdated, debunked science. The current wisdom is that they are just fine for anyone who doesn't have severely high cholesterol.
If the goal is to get good nutrition, why can't I use beans? One of the healthiest foods out there.
In no way did the OP imply this is for a diabetic. I could still do this, would substitute more vegetables for potatoes and fruit.
Hey yeah beans are good for the heart, I hear.
Silly faggots, you're just not using your heads.
Canned meats (chicken and tuna) on sale. Frozen veggies and fruits on sale.
Why the assumption that food has to be "fresh," It doesn't. Frozen fruits and vegs have more nutrients than fresh.
Protein powder (on sale).
Peanuts by the bag
Grow your own tomatoes, peppers, squash, cucs, etc then can or freeze.
Oatmeal on sale: make oatmeal pancakes (w/egg) and freeze
Items you can look for on sale that have a long shelf life: oil, spices, dressings, condiments, jams, syrups, canned tomatoes, soups.
R20 The 99 Cents Only stores have lots of fruits and vegetables for a buck or less.
[quote] Grow your own tomatoes, peppers, squash, cucs, etc then can or freeze.
At a community garden, R51.
Have you ever tried that R52? Most have long waiting lists, if you can even find one
It is also January...You would have to know a few years in advance to get on a garden list, hope you make it by Spring to play for January...
I lived on that much in college.
Ramen noodle soup and spaghetti were my friends. I'd usually buy cheap ground turkey (for burgers and for the spaghetti) and whatever vegetables I could.
Peanut butter and English muffins, and bananas.
It isn't a very interesting diet, but I tried to keep some healthy elements. Otherwise the cheap choices at McD's, supermarkets etc are totally bad fats and so much sodium that your blood pressure will go sky high.
Not everyone has access to community gardens. In my neighborhood there isn't any for miles around. Also some disabled poor can't garden.
As R35 pointed out, a diabetic would have to buy the much more expensive natural peanut butter because the kind that goes on sale or you are able to get really big jars of has trans fats and even worse HFCS in it, a killer for diabetics.
Beans are good for diabetics but come on, how many could make a meal of beans 3 times a day, day after day if that is the only protein you could afford. I guess an egg a day is okay but really how much protein is that and how filling is that if you're not having any bread or potatoes or any kind of carb with. Even with a salad or veg you'd be going hungry.
To be on food stamps and not eat crap means going around hungry all the time, period! The amount the government gives is way too small, especially for people with medical conditions that require special diets, not just diabetics but people with heart or kidney problems too.
But we can all rest easy knowing our politicians always have plenty of the very best food there is and the very best medical care.
Every Congress person and Senator and their family should have to live on SSI, Food Stamps and Medicaid (with no outside help) 4 two years as a condition of being able to be elected. It's so easy to say who should starve and who should be sick/disabled with no medical care and who can go homeless when you have the very best this country has to offer for you and yours.
Okay, so now we are talking about a disabled diabetic who can only use food stamps to pay for his food and has no additional source of income to pay for his food and no ability to work, does not have a backyard, does not have the ability to grow vegetables in pots placed in a porch, balcony or windowsill, and has no access to a community garden.
Damn, we are getting awfully specific.
Chick peas! You can soak them and grind them up into patties and fry up.
Or, grind them up dry to use as a flour substitute.
In India, they even make sweets from the chick pea flour.
If I were stuck with McDonald's as one of my only choices I think I'd try to peel of the bun and blot it with a napkin to remove fat. I don't know though, it's all in the meat anyway. It's a tough assignment. I think if the $4.35 is saved up then better purchases can be made in bulk.
It's simply not possible, for more than a few days.
Doing this right now. Big bill came in and if I buckle down for a year I can get rid of it and protect my credit and longterm plans.
It's easy peasy if you can devote at least $100.00 to the project initially. This makes for three weeks of really boring eating because you are relying on your bulk buys. And you have to do it with sale prices. And coupons. If it's chicken on sale at the beginning then that's what you're going to be concentrating on for the first month. After that your options start opening up. Eggs are your friend. Incredibly cheap and versatile. And soup.
Luckily I have garden space and even though it was fall I planted. Lettuce, kale, collards, radishes. Kale goes in to all my soups because it's super nutrient rich and I can pick it fresh. Don't really like the flavor but in soups I don't notice it much.
Barley!!!! Great in soups!! And it's inexpensive, I buy it in bulk and use it wisely.
Quinoa. Expensive for a grain. But I use it when I'm short on meat protein.
Now making my own yogurt.
This has become super easy and I now have room in my budget for more extravagant buys.
R55 no cheap carbs.
R59 do you think the chef doing this project will make it...he seems to be coming in about 1,000 calories short most days. Though I gotta say it not only is possible but in America it is happening.
The amount is the average given out to Food Stamp folks in NY. Many don't have enough other income after rent to do anything but rely on the assistance. It's gotta be bleak.
Diabetics can not eat chick peas, barley and quinoa. C'mon. Focus people. It has to be proteins, veggies, healthy fats and very limited, low sugar fruits only. That's it.
No flour--of any kind. It's ALL bad
No grains (including brown rice)
No potatoes or other high starch veggies (peas, carrots, etc)
No high sugar fruits (bananas, oranges, pears, apples)--low sugar berries would be okay in moderation.
One thing I do is to roast or boil a chicken, using the left over meat for chicken salad. It's two meals for maybe $7.
Also you can use the chicken stock to make a chicken soup just by adding some flavorful herbs and veggies.
Of course diabetics can eat Quinoa, in fact it is recommended as a rice substitute. It is pretty expensive though.
They can have small (sometimes very small) portions of any food and 1/2 cup of beans is fine.
I live with one...I know.
Bullshit. Barley is recommended for diabetics.
Extremely high in fiber and doesn't spike the blood levels.
Quinoa is highly recommended for diabetics and it is the only grain/vegetable/fruit that is comparable to meat for protein. All the amino acids to produce protein is in Quinoa.
Yogurt is protein.
Why all these crazy make believe restrictions?
You are acting as if none of us have experience with diabetes.
For you, r62. It's all about moderation and balance, especially for diabetics.
we were so poor, we thought knives and forks were jewellery. The thought that so many of you innocents are bravely starving to death. Perhaps we could organise a chicken carcass tombola. Once we've boiled it 60 times we can finally bury it.
The idea of eating a pig tail grosses me out, but the picture is appetizing.
I was at the 99 Cents Only store last night. They had Brussels sprouts, carrots, potatoes, kabocha squash, cabbage, apples, lemons, cucumbers, yellow squash, cantaloupe, peppers, oranges, bananas, and MANY other fresh vegetables. Most of these were in fairly large quantities and could either be eaten alone or in a soup or a salad.
R70 which 99 cent store in what city?
Mine sells food, but only canned and dried stuff. No fresh produce.
" there is no reason not to buy a bag of carrots, a bag of onions and a few cases at Costco."
Cases of what, R36? Wine? You are forgetting that a Costco membership COSTS MONEY.
Why does anyone buy a "bag" of onions? You can never use them all.
Same with those huge shrubs of fresh herbs they sell in grocery stores. I have never once used all the cilantro that comes in a bunch. Recipes call for a few tablespoons, always. So why do they sell you something that looks like a potted plant?
[quote]Why does anyone buy a "bag" of onions? You can never use them all.
I do. If you store onions in a cool, dark place, they keep.
I live alone and I don't spend a great deal more than the 4.25 a day. Just one Costco rotisserie chicken makes 5 meals including the soup from the carcass. Potatoes, carrots and rice make up the sides and soup. I get two dozen eggs for 3.00 and bulk bread plus a gallon of milk and I think I would have money left over.
R73, I also wish they sold fresh herbs loosely and not in huge bundles. I grow the basics but when I need something I don't have, it's usually for a one-time thing and I don't need a lot.
I do use a lot of onions so always buy them by the bag. When I lived in NYC I had no storage space for them so had to buy as needed. Actually, I bought most of my food as needed/what I could carry and rarely did a big grocery store haul.
Yeah, I guess at a GOOD dollar store, you can buy a "pak" of salmon, a bag of frozen vegetables, brown rice, and a can of beets. Dairy can fuck itself, even though many sell it.
But it still wouldn't be the Leave it to Beaver 3-squares-a-day/A-Z nutrients that OP wants.
I don't know how to break down all the costs, but I'd start with a frittata made with eggs, onions and frozen broccoli. I cooked a lot of those when I was a broke student. I'd add cottage cheese to the mix and top with cheddar cheese, but if you're insistent on no dairy, you could do without. I bought big bags of chopped frozen broccoli and bags of frozen spinach so I didn't worry about spoilage.
If you want a different source of protein, I'd recommend buying big packages of chicken thighs or drumsticks when they go on sale. Around here I can sometimes find them on sale for 99 cents/lb. Freeze those in freezer bags.
I usually have frozen strawberries (bagged, not boxed in syrup)in the freezer. I buy grapefruit when it goes on sale. You could cook a batch of oatmeal and top with strawberries.
R44, the debate is far from settled on egg yolks. Most would limit them to four a week. (See Mayo Clinic link below.) Hence, my suggestion of a crust-less quiche. (Chopped frozen veggies, eggs, milk or cottage cheese.)
Diabetics can have some carbs at each meal--about one slice of bread or 1/3 cup of cooked barley or
brown rice. Again,my source is Mayo Clinic diet exchanges. So, it's essentially a complement rather than something you build a meal around like yogurt and a baked potato. It's more likely to be slicing a potato or whole grain into a soup or adding oatmeal as a binder to meatloaf.
If this was easy to do, everyone would do it. It's boring, time-consuming and highly restrictive. Also,no one is figuring the transportation cost of buying this food.
Don't forget for many poor, especially disabled poor, transportation is a problem or doesn't exist. Many live in food deserts where what little fresh produce, meat and dair there is is very expensive. Some live without the ability to cook much, like just having a hot plate perhaps no microwave. When every dollar you get goes to rent even saving up for a cheap microwave is impossible and so is getting it home without a car. Even the small ones are very heavy to take on public transportation. In addition, many poor can't even afford to travel on public transportation, at least about 5 bucks round trip in most places.
I buy a two pound bag of onions often and always use them all.
I'm not R70, but the 99 Cents Only stores I've seen in the San Francisco Bay Area have big fresh produce sections -- maybe not fresh for long, but fine for a couple of days.
[quote]... those huge shrubs of fresh herbs they sell in grocery stores. I have never once used all the cilantro that comes in a bunch. Recipes call for a few tablespoons, always. So why do they sell you something that looks like a potted plant?
Herbs can be frozen. Don't wash them first -- divide into small portions & seal each of those in plastic wrap within a zipper bag.
What do you mean no dairy? I have a friend who is diabetic and he eats a totally normal diet and he is on food stamps. He has bread in moderation and whole grains. True he gets food baskets from the local food bank and they give him more beans and vegetables and less bread and he does just fine. Does this hypothetical diabetic have more problems that just the diabetes.
R68 I have tears in my eyes from laughing, fuck that chicken carcass tombola is too funny.
There seems to be a lot of mythology being spread on here.
some idiot on the website referenced said diabetics can't have sugar free cranberries...
...and we have an idiot here saying no dairy.
Where do you nuts get this stuff?
[quote]Does this hypothetical diabetic have more problems that just the diabetes.
Yes. If you look earlier in the thread, you'll see that he is also disabled, unable to work, has no additional income to spend on food, has no backyard to plant a garden in, has no porch or balcony to plant vegetables on, has no windowsills to plant vegetables on, has no access to a community garden, and, apparently, has no access to a food bank, either.
R85 What the hell is a "sugar free cranberry"?
A cranberry dried without the addition of sugar. If you make the in the traditional manner either as a sauce or buy the dried they are loaded with sugar.
If you are actually on Food Stamps, they are meant as a supplement. By no means is anyone expected to live off of that alone.
You have seen extreme couponing right? 4.25 a day is 127.50 a month. even a shitty couponer can get a crap ton of food for that.
When you have a shit job and rent to pay that 'suplement' tends to be all there is.
Employers and low minimum wage are the problem.
[quote]Why does anyone buy a "bag" of onions?
Um, because they cook?
Thousands upon thousands of dishes use onions, and it's not unusual for me to make something that has onions in it every single night of the week. A bag makes sense, as it does to anyone who cooks often.
Jesus Christ r62. Why bother living. Who fucking cares at that point?
It's amazing how so many of you are so miserable.
What is all this talk about "Dianetics"????
R95 R62 is full of shit.
Diabetics can eat fruit - strawberries, raspberries etc..all have low glycemic index response. Egg yolks cholesterol is good cholesterol so not eating them because of that is silly.
The yolk contains 100% of the carotenoids, essential fatty acids, vitamins A, E, D, and K (6 items). The white does not contain 100% of any nutrient.
The yolk contains more than 90% of the calcium, iron, phosphorus, zinc, thiamin, B6, folate, and B12, and 89% of the panthothenic acid (9 items). The white does not contain more than 90% of any nutrient, but contains over 80% of the magnesium, sodium, and niacin (3 items).
The yolk contains between 50% and 80% of the copper, manganese, and selenium, while the white contains between 50% and 80% of the potassium, riboflavin, and protein.
You could do what I do and make food at home. You can get a bag of brown rice (12+ servings) or box of pasta (4-6 servings) for $1.50 - $1.89, a carton of eggs for $1 (this is often on-sale), chicken thighs or ground beef (80/20 is less expensive) and a bag of on sale, frozen veggies for $1 - $1.15 or so.
If you had $21.25 at the start of the week and needed to go on an emergency budget, as I used to when I was a temp and between paychecks, a little forethought goes a long way. Buying a bag of potatoes ($3), chicken drumsticks, ground beef or chicken thighs in bulk (often on-sale and each should be around $4-$6 for a family value pack at Safeway) is very easy and not that expensive. You can prepare these on Sunday and be able to have a little money left over to get eggs to boil for breakfast, frozen or fresh vegetables (I get 3 cucumbers for $0.99) and fruit ($1.50 for bananas and $4 for a bag of apples). You can make a couple of meals with those ingredients, and could quickly warm most of them up in a microwave. It's even better if your office has a toaster oven or access to a real oven.
R99 with restricted carbs you can't do the pasta, rice, potatoes, take those out (cheap carbs) and you go hungry.
This thread seems to be split into two camps - how would YOU spend $4.25 to fix 3 meals a day and how would a diabetic person on an unreasonably restricted diet not current with ADA guidelines spend $4.25 to fix 3 meals a day. Since the OP asked what would YOU eat, I think that's far more interesting and inspiring.
But the op specified [quote]Oh...and you can't use rice and beans (unless the quantity is small) or pasta, or bread or any other cheap carbs.
"We love to tell the poor how to eat, but don't realize that when we say eat more fruits and vegetables they often can't afford them. "
This is SO true!
We already debunked that statement, R103, keep up!
No, R104, it hasn't been "debunked" at all.
It's not enough to say "go to the $.99 store" when a lot of areas don't have one. Most people don't have Costco memberships and a lot of people don't live anywhere near one, the same goes for farmer's markets and food banks. A lot of people, especially poor people, don't have gardens, patios or balconies. The space available on a windowsill is adequate for a few herbs but is certainly not large enough for a vegetable garden.
The cost of gas or public transportation that is required to go from store to store to get specific and necessary foods on sale eats up any savings from doing it.
I'm not sure who here on the DL is invested in pretending that food stamps is sufficient to feed someone a healthy diet, it isn't. Just admit it, support improving the program and move on.
[quote]The cost of gas or public transportation that is required to go from store to store to get specific and necessary foods on sale eats up any savings from doing it.
Or you could go to a WalMart and use the price matching deal to get the grocery specials from several stores in one shopping trip. It was the sales clerks at WalMart who taught me how to do that.
I've also sat at a bus stop with a woman and her daughter after they came back from a shopping trip to Sam's Wholesale club where they'd made use of their SNAP benefits by buying in bulk.
Some of this business of compiling every dire circumstance in one post smacks of poverty porn. Do you really think people can't figure out coping mechanisms for these difficulties? They do.
As the linked website shows, even one with great coping skills and excellent kitchen skills is not able to get both enough calories and good nutrition on this amount of money.
I bet kids who live in Snap are not picky eaters. Their mother's cannot afford to pamper them.
How much would a single person get at a foodbank? If I had to rely on one, the nearest is a half hour bus ride away and would cost me $6 round trip.
Not very much.
You could typically get (depends on food bank and location) 1 lb of rice, 1 lb of pasta, 1 lb of dried beans or lentils or one can. Day old bread. One or two 'variety donations' could be anything from cranberry sauce to canned soup. Fresh produce IF your local has storage room and if your bank got a donation.
..and likely some sort of cereal.
"Someone needs to pay for all my children (15!). Someone needs to be held accountable and someone needs to pay."
Dear Racist at R111,
The majority of people on assistance are white and work full time.
How many of you are following his site?
I am appalled by how little food he can eat most days.
I am, R13. I'm alarmed by how quickly his month is going south. Even with all of his skills, knowledge, and advantages, it just isn't enough.
At least for him, the nightmare ends after a month. I can't imagine having to face what he's up against month after month, indefinitely.
R114...he is doing it for two months. He committed to two, just like the last time.
I can't imagine how lean he will be.
I get the Fusion on the Fly twitter alerts, which have not been too active but I know he is going to make another trip to the .99 cent store today.
Only thing I can think of is (and these are sale prices): 1 box of boiled rigatoni ($1.00); 1 can of Hunts meat spaghetti sauce ($1.00); 1 can mushrooms ($0.50); an onion ($0.50); chopped basil from a windowsill plant ($0.00). Can of juice concentrate to make a pitcher of juice ($1.25).
But three times a day? I love pasta, but...
So R110, I might be better off spending that 6$ between the supermarket and dollar store across the street.
Hey Cunty McCuntface with the convenient anecdote at R106, some people (like me) don't live within 30 miles of a Walmart. I hate that fucking store so I don't go there. If I didn't have a car, had a minimum wage job and a bunch of kids I wouldn't be able to go there. It would cost too much and take too long on public transportation.
People *do* find coping mechanisms, mostly to eat a lot of low cost carbs, cheap canned shit and very little fresh food. That's why so many poor families suffer from malnutrition.
The point of listing obstacles in my post is just that - to point them out. At one time I worked with a poor community, a lot of whom were on food stamps. They actually experienced all of the problems I listed and more. Why? Why should this happen in the richest country in the world where we have plenty of food? We throw away more than families starving on food stamps could ever eat. And why would anyone want this horrible reality "coped with" instead of improved upon?
I'll tell you why, because some people are cheap, mean and smug. So please take your "povery porn" and shove it right up your ass. TIA!
If I were to live off of $4.25, I'd have to use the total lump sum I get monthly and then do a one time grocery trip....but I'd have to plan it out like a mutherfucker to make sure I eat properly. I'm not poor but I can't live without fruits and veggies, especially fruit---fresh fruit gives me energy and well-being.
We were poor but my mom and dad would cook vegetables and then freeze the leftovers. Some bags of vegetables like carrots can be bought for $1 and carrots last for weeks. Some canned items cost more than buying a pound of fruits or vegetables. My mom used to freeze strawberries, bananas and any fruit that was in season when it's cheap. Sure, it didn't taste the same when it thawed but it was better than no fruit.
What costs the most is protein or the meat items. That would have to be planned out very carefully but it can be done. My parents did it.
As usual, M&Ms and wine!!!!
[quote]This thread seems to be split into two camps - how would YOU spend $4.25 to fix 3 meals a day and how would a diabetic person on an unreasonably restricted diet not current with ADA guidelines [quote]
This is a fallacy. The only difference between a person who has diabetes and those who don't is that the diabetic has to watch their portions, especially their carbohydrates and they have to eat at least every 4-5 hours. They have to add protein with each meal, avoid juices and sodas. They just have to make healthy choices like everyone else.
A lot of them have problems taking in too many calories and making unhealthy choices. 90% have diabetes because they eat like they don't have it. They are not on a restricted diet, just that they can't eat sugar, candy and all that other bad stuff most of us shouldn't either.. The bottom line on all of this is planning your diet and making healthier choices.
R116 you did exactly what OP said not to do...rely on cheap carbs.
Do it again without the juice or pasta and see how much food you can eat.
Hey, r118, I've been on food stamps. I was disabled after two accidents, was unable to drive, and could not walk without pain. I had to mind my pennies and keep the bus trips to a minimum. And guess what? I figured out how to get it done. People share information about how to get the best deals in their locales. In my area using WalMart was the most effective. If I didn't have a WalMart, then I'd figure out something else.
Over the past few pages people have offered suggestions about how to live on food stamps, with consideration to the difficulties of poor neighborhoods, cost of public transportation, how to transport the food, etc. And the response from the poverty porn addicts has not been to post "that might work." No, they just pile on one difficulty after another or screech about how that particular suggestion won't work in one sort of location. Then they act as though they're the only people on Datalounge with compassion for the poor. People who're broke work it out. I know from experience.
So you can take your bile and spew it elsewhere, you fucking poverty porn addict.
R66, Quinoa is most certainly not comparable to meat in terms of protein content. A cup of quinoa is about 15% protein and over 70% carbs, nowhere near the protein ratio of a chicken breast (60% protein). Also, not sure what you mean when you refer to quinoa as a 'grain/vegetable/fruit'. Quinoa is simply a seed.
Furthermore, when you say 'Yogurt is protein', what do you mean? Yogurt (I'm assuming you are referring to plain yogurt and not the sugar filled, fruity garbage that's essentially liquid candy) does contain protein, but nowhere near the amount that you'd get from meat, poultry, and eggs.
R124 I tend to believe you are in fact a Republican. Your hate gives you away.
We are very glad you made it in bumfuck wherever and there is no suggestion that the poor are incapable of 'figuring it out' however the solutions often lead to health problems such as type II diabetes.
We are not discussing poverty porn, but solutions those who cannot rely or should not rely on cheap carbs might find.
Go fuck yourself you Republican dildoe.
Food stamps are the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, with emphasis on supplemental. It's intended to provide additional funds for food on top of other benefits and the recipient's other income, if any.
When one works for shit wages it becomes the only source of food.
We can call it anything we like however for most on the program, that card is it.
Sorry to let reality intrude on your supplemental fantasy.
R126, I'm a lifelong Democrat, from a family of Democrats and Socialists, and actually descend from a Democratic politician.
I don't hate you. That would take too much energy, and you're really not worth it. I do loathe you, just as I loathe sanctimonious liberals who're too busy patting themselves on the back to actually solve problems.
I really have survived on food stamps. I really have posted actual solutions to problems posed in this thread. You didn't recognize them because you were too busy proving how very wonderful you are.
Go fuck yourself, you fucking poverty porn addict.
By the way, if you trolldar this post, it won't match my earlier post because I cleared my cookies.
I worked in the welfare system for 32 yrs.....the stuff I saw go on, made me sick. They have govt assisted housing, SNAP, the baby never pays child support, AFDC (not sure what it is called now).....it's just ridiculous. Give them birth control!
R 125 quinoa like meat, is a complete protein. I wasn't in the mood to look up whether it was a seed or a fruit or a vegetable or a grain. It's a fucking plant, that's the point. Legumes aren't a complete protein. You need to pair them with rice to get the full compliment of amino acids that make up a complete protein.
And yogurt can be made at home very easily. No sugars added.
You combine inexpensive food sources with one another to substitute for meat. Quinoa with yogurt will give you protein and fiber and carbohydrates. Rice and beans will do the same.
Have a fucking 1/2 cup of quinoa with some yogurt and an egg and you are good to go.
And chicken thighs are much more nutritious than breasts and cost half as much.
This is just a fucking message board not a medical journal review. Chill out.
In these parts Quinoa is expensive.
4.25 for 3 meals a day?
I suppose I'd just buy 4 items from the Mcdonalds dollar menu and ration them throughout the day or buy a few Ramen and a beverage.
It's impossible to spent less than 5 dollars on homecooked healthy meals. Most healthy food items don't retail for under $3.
R133...cheap carbs are out, try again.
While we're in the mood to curtail, how about limiting profanity? it's not the words themselves that are a problem, but the hostile attitudes underlying posts full of "bullshit!" "go fuck yourself!", etc. aren't conducive to a useful discussion of the matter.
Why not just say "I disagree" or "that hasn't been my experience", etc. -- & then explain the point you want to make?
Karl Wilder is addressing a serious problem in modern America & his project deserves attention. But shouting matches don't help people to understand & appreciate the issues.
Why should it be the governments job to feed people? That should be up to charities and churches. Most cities and towns have soup kitchens. So if you are that poor, that is an option for an occasional meal. I would happily buy an extra bag of groceries every month to give to a needy family so I will look for some way to do that. But if you are that unfortunate to be disabled, diabetic with no other means than that 4.25 a day, I guess you have make the best of it and be grateful you get that much and sign up for Meals on Wheels or some such charity. The government already does enough.
We don't care, R135.
Meals on Wheels now charges between 4 and 6 dollars per meal. There is 'assistance' available but they are no longer free.
Cost of the Program
Payment for the service is arranged on a sliding "ability to pay" scale, although rarely is anyone turned away. On average, food programs request that the recipient donate $2-$5 for a meal. Recipients pay with cash, check, and state/federal food program coupons, depending on the operations of the local center.
When Meals on Wheels first started, many seniors refused to accept meals for free, and insisted on paying a little something. They didn't want to take a handout, and so to pay even a few cents was a standard display of pride and independence. While the money does matter, promoting those psychological benefits is another reason why centers encourage the practice today.
Each local center operates on different budget, often subsidized by state and federal funding, but almost all are able to fulfill the needs of vulnerable individuals through the donations of meal recipients and others.
so $29.75 a week:
in NYC go to Western Beef (w16th st) or Aldi elsewhwere
2 dozen eggs = 3.00
chicken thighs 5lbs = 5.00
1 lb of rice = 3.00
can of tomatoes: 1.00
bag of carrots 1.50
zucchini (3med) 1.50
quick oats 1.50
2 bananas .50
5 apples 2.00
$21.00 so far (remainder use for 2 onions, 1 head garlic, 1 green pepper, veg oil, tea bags, qt of milk)
From this make:
baked chicken thighs w/cabbage & onions
veggie quiche - slice for lunch all week w/carrots & celery
Chicken cacciatore & rice w/veggies
Oatmeal & fruit or hard boiled eggs for breakfast
R141 you can't have the rice, cheap carbs are verboten...try again.
R100: Just change the portion size of your carbs, and increase the amount of vegetables. It's not rocket science.
We still don't care, R142.
Point is, it can be done. No channel some of that anger and go feed a poor person today.
since r141 says no rice then
sub in broccoli crowns (99 lb = 3.00 = 3lbs of broccoli) for the rice.
You can get veggies cheap but you have to stick to whats on sale. No pickiness is allowed at these prices.
R141 I just analyzed your menu for the week.
I used whole milk in my calculations and large sizes for everything to get the maximum calories.
I took out the rice (cheap carbs) as required by OP's rules.
It averages 1,284 calories a day, hardly enough to sustain.
It is lacking in Vitamins C and E as well as calcium, you can forget vitamin D and adequate fiber.
If you add in the broccoli as suggested in R146 it still is lacking in calories and nutrition though the broccoli ups the C some.
Not allowing beans is kind of stupid; they're incredibly healthy.
Who said beans were not allowed...RICE and bean, no...but beans up to about 1/2 cup serving are good.
147, it's good enough. Disabled diabetics don't need as many calories as they are so sedentary. A multivitamin bought in the sale bin could help. The goal is to get some food to poor people. Not to get them absolutely nutritionally perfect food. Anyone receiving help from anywhere be it government or charity should be grateful for what they get. People starve to death daily in some countries.
SNAP is supplemental in nature.
A legitimate challenge would have the person utilizing soup kitchens, surplus distribution, etc. Meals for the disabled are also often covered, or it might be under MEDICAID.
Anyone with Diabetes is also likely on disability.
In my country they kept us hungry so we would learn to steal food.
"SNAP is supplemental in nature."
Supplemented with: 1) doing hair in your kitchen; 2) sexual favors for older men; 3) selling weed; 4) stealing; 5) "payday loans"; 6) babysitting
Go fuck yourself, r153.
I couldn't do it by spending 4.25 at a time, but if I can buy in bulk, it could then factor out to costing about that much.
Oatmeal made with tap water.
1 can of V8, low sodium. (veggies)
1 protein bar.
1 serving of roasted seaweed.
I actually eat this way and it costs a few dollars a day. Where I stray is at dinner but I'm not confined to 4.25 a day.
What could I do at dinner for a few dollars?
Egg salad sandwiches, tuna sandwiches (bread is 99 cents and lasts for meals). I'd have to use cheap mayo. Celery is often cheap at a farmer's market, 50 cents a bunch. It depends on where you are confined to shopping. Some people don't have access to farmer's markets.
Buttered or oiled spaghetti noodles are cheap but there's no way you can get the butter or oil unless you can add that 4.25 up and buy meals for the month all at once. Add some herbs and it's satisfying, if not quite on the level of steak or hamburger. Repeat the process the next night with rice/broth.
It would be a horrible way to live, but at least half the planet lives this way, no?
There is no way to eat a nutritious meal on $4.25 a day but what most of us are saying is it can be done if you use the weekly or monthly sum and plan meticulously and in advance.
I would make a big pot of lentils (italian style) and a loaf of day old bread (usually 1/2 price). Then I would buy 2-3 yogurts (whatever was on sale) and some cheap store brand quick cooking oatmeal. that would give you all the proper nutrition you would need for a day (providing the yogurt had fruit)
R151 try again...most of them are not on disability. Most are working full time jobs, often manual labor.
R150 did you pull disabled out of your ass?
No one ever said a type II diabetic was disabled.
Not sure how much of this thread is based on hypothetical vs actual experience but I have NEVER come across a European/Canadian/Asian/Antipodean based website or forum where people have felt the need to discuss how to eke out their money to manage to get enough to eat. I know people struggle the world over with this, but in the richest country on earth - WTF??
Diabetic or not, this guy is not getting anywhere near enough nutrition and he's doing everything he can to make a little go a long way. Where does this 'I'm all right Jack' mentality end and what does it actually achieve for the greater good?
Serious question, because I love the USA and have met many fantastically generous, good-hearted, charitable and welcoming Americans on my trips to your country, but I still can't get my head round the fact that the majority don't seem to care jack-shit for their fellow citizens (at least not enough to put decent health & welfare safety nets in place). Generalising here before anyone starts having a go back. I know DL posters aren't part of the majority but the default position seems to be acceptance of the status quo which = poor people eat poorly.
r159 For all the assumed wealth of the citizens of the US, there are far more poor people than rich. They are thousands of hungry people and families out there who are barely getting by. Hence, the need for church run food pantries, soup kitchens and government issued food stamps.
Getting ideas for cheap but nutritional meals can be a great help for people who reach for the cheap filling carbs. It takes some creativity but it can be done.
Well for starters, paleo is out the window. My staple food every day will be spaghetti with lemon juice, onion, and a teeny bit of parmesan cheese. And some fruit.
Sorry 160 read OP cheap carbs are out.
fuck OP...there's no way to stretch that $4.25 without cheap carbs.
R159 has it exactly right.
I know the premise of the thread was "$4.25 a day, what would you eat?" The attitude that came from some posters, "Let's get clever with lentils" rather than "Let's make the SNAP program better and more generous" really bothered me. That we tolerate this poverty, malnutrition and hunger in America is incomprehensible and unacceptable.
Still, calling that woman Cunty McCuntface was probably over the top and I apologize. (This is not meant to placate the anti-swearing frau, she can fuck off.)
R163...that was my point. You can't.
You simple can't meet both caloric and nutritional needs without cheap carbs on this budget.
I am following the chef, who has tremendous skills, vast nutrition knowledge and is willing to spend hour shopping and preparing, baking bread, making soup, and dumplings etc and he can't meet both calories and nutrition on a regular basis.
Instead of admitting that we have posters who decide that they don't need many calories because they are 'all on disability' and they spew other nonsense.
It is uncomfortable to admit that you may have a co worker in a lesser job who every day is hungry.
I was away and just read this entire thread.
As usual DL'ers pull facts out of their asses.
I live alone and went back and checked my debit to see my grocery purchases for December I eat very well, lots of veg and spend about 12 dollars a day on average.
I was looking at the website...did he and his wife separate? No mention of her at all, I know they've been married for like 20 years.
Very poor Americans from non-Western cultures would love to have $4.25 per day for their food bill, even without using carbs, if they had someone who was physically able to prepare the food. No, they don't eat much meat. Sardines, tofu, cheap tuna, a few eggs, bones for vegetable soup, some legumes, cabbage and hot peppers for Vitamin C, if fruit is too expensive, etc. It's actually a far healthier diet than what most Americans typically eat. By the way many who adopt the diet of the wealthy end up with diabetes, high blood pressure, and other weight-related health issues.
You neglect to mention what food costs in those cultures.
I lived in Argentina for a time and beef was affordable about once a week on half of this budget. Food was CHEAP we ate vegetables and soup, yes but we could get soup bones for pennies, not the 1.99 a lb the grocery charges.
2 of us lived on less than 3 dollars a day for food, but it was great fresh healthy food.
In all of those other 'American' countries fruit and vegetables are way cheaper than in the US.
R166 thanks for the link.
I just read through two weeks and I feel like such a glutton. I never thought I ate a lot and am not overweight, but it is nothing for me to eat half a roast chicken in one seating.
Watching him eke 3 meals out of a tiny Cornish Hen is excruciating and enlightening.
I am with some of the posters on the other thread. Minimum wage needs to be raised a lot so that people can get fair pay and afford food.
I would find it relatively simple if you don't mind a little monotony. First, eliminate meat from your budget, you don't need it. Next, look at the sales fliers that come out weekly from local grocery stores. Find items that fit the budget yet have reasonable nutrition and don't rule out rummaging through the reduced rack if the store you shop has one. Plan around sales items. Recently I bought a 10 lb bag of potatoes for 99c, several canned vegetables and some fruit for less than 5 bucks, I think it was 4.20 or something like that. Anyway, with some imagination and a good, general cookbook (church cookbooks are often surprisingly helpful) it can be done. Don't buy desserts of any kind, bread (make your own--keep on the lookout for a bread machine at Goodwill; I got one for less than $15), alcohol, or any pre-prepared items like frozen dinners. If you need to, buy a book or look at things online dealing with frugal living. Never, ever throw leftovers away, plan ahead and use your resources wisely. The only things you should be throwing away are onion skins, banana peels and eggshells and maybe occasionally potato peels.
R172 this thread is filled with general and generally annoying posts like yours.
OP says no cheap carbs and you eliminate meat,go high sodium, and get potatoes.
Meat can be a cheap source of calories. Especially chicken on sale.
Suit yourself r173, I know what works for me, you can take or leave any of the advice here. If you are annoyed by that you must have anger issues.
R169, R170, I was speaking only of 1st generation immigrants that I've know that live in America. While prices of food, such as soup bones do vary in different cities, most would consider a very, very small portion of meat a few times per week adequate, primarily used to flavor the vegetable soup. By vegetables I'm primarily speaking of onions, cabbage, carrots, and perhaps canned tomatoes, along with large quantities of hot chilis and spices. Non-meat protein sources were also consumed. Overall they ate a far healthier diet than the average American, who don't really need huge portions of meat and other food.
No one on food stamps is having HUGE portions of meat, they tend to have a lot of Ramen, which unfortunately is not good for them.
I am willing to bet those immigrants are serving those stews and soups over a mountain of cheap rice in order to be satisfied.
If you are not diabetic.
R176, Your concept of "satisfied" would probably translate as "overstuffed" to many of the poor. Immigrants have a far greater respect for food than the average American. Many come form places where food is outrageously expensive, so they are used to far, far smaller portions. If they are diabetic, they're likely avoiding rice and starches, and drinking quantities of herb or green tea. It's been proven that those who eat extremely spicy food eat much less of it, as well as those who have a more boring diet.
IMHO you need to interact with more people who have a different mindset towards food and portion size. If you copy their practices, you'll be much healthier and richer.
However I won't copy my former roomie and get a cheap, very bony fish head and make super spicy fish soup for breakfast.
I'm with r172.
$4.25 per day would be extremely tough, but anyone who is a real cook who's run a kitchen with a tight budget knows it's doable imho.
And what is with this hardcore anti-carb bs?
People with diabetes may need to avoid, but otherwise rice and pasta are staples and building blocks for some of the healthiest cuisines in the world.
[quote]People with diabetes may need to avoid, but otherwise rice and pasta are staples and building blocks for some of the healthiest cuisines in the world.
Because the poor are developing diabetes in record numbers. The thread is based on a diabetic challenge...it is liked a couple of times if you want to read it.
Sorry...should read linked.
Christ on a crutch, R75, what kind of jacked up, (ste)roided out chicken is Costco selling that allows you FIVE meals from ONE bird. I'm a lean guy; I mean, I don't weigh one forty five soaking wet, and I can scarf down a rotisserie chicken in two sittings.
R181, Some of our posts explain that many Americans eat way to much food in general and meat in particular, and that it's extremely unhealthy. Just because you're now lucky enough to be thin now doesn't mean you're getting balanced nutrition. Those from other cultures often rely on spices, vegetables, soup, herbal tea, and non-meat sources of protein. Meat is so expensive in many parts of the world that it is primarily used to flavor the food. I'm not advocating a vegetarian diet, just less of a reliance on meat or cheap starches.
[quote]Watching him eke 3 meals out of a tiny Cornish Hen is excruciating and enlightening.
Why would he buy a Cornish game hen for $2.99/lb when he could buy a regular size chicken for 99 cents a pound?
Who said it was 2.99 a lb?
Based on the average size of Cornish Hen it could not have been more than 1.99 a lb. on sale and possibly cheaper.
Maybe he likes hen better than chicken.
Hey R182; R181 here. I absolutely agree with you one hundred percent. The reason I'm thin is because I live a very healthy lifestyle. I run anywhere from 2-4 miles daily and eat quite light actually, and very clean. I just felt that R75 was fudging a bit, claiming to get five meals from one bird. I wasn't at all advocating gluttony. Posters were trying to devise a way to make their $4.26 cover meals, and many were just being patently silly. When I saw R75's post I felt it was a little disingenuous to claim five meals from one rotisserie chicken. I am certainly willing to admit that I could be wrong though.
I can do it. I use the two breasts and split each into a meal usually using a leg along with it for two meals. Then the thighs I use for the fifth which is actually a small crock pot of soup with mushrooms and rice. Then I use the bones to make chicken stock for a later soup dish.
Mind you this is a Whole Foods rotisserie chick I get on sale once a week. Normal store rotisserie chickens aren't big enough.
But I'm a medium sized woman.
A quick glance at a local flyer and I found the following options. It's really not that hard.
1 lb of gound turkey @ 1.88 (good for 2-3 meals)
170 gram ham steak @ 1.88
340 grams of shrimp @ 3.88
1 lb t-bone steak @ 4.88
I am going to do it for one day...just today.
I went to Trader Joe's with my 4.25 and left my debit card at home...today's eating is going to be bleak.
Salsa flavor refried beans R188! $1.69 a can and will fill you up all day.
Don't laugh but canned beans was my major purchase.
I had half already.
I am still following and I think that prices vary incredibly city by city.
In New York neighborhood by neighborhood.
Those of you who say it is easy...where the fuck do you live? Seriously a day of canned beans and salad did me in.
I check it every day, but this discussion has died.
3 points of view over and over again.
Rice and Beans
None of which address the real problems.
The real problem is that food stamps have been cut and 4.25 is now a memory.
Use the money to pay some kid to steal decent food for me.
Keep in the mind that ANY WORK WHATSOEVER to increase the daily budget by, say $1.00 to add a glass of milk and a piece of bread is totally out of the question.
I just read that cookbook. There is one roast chicken recipe, one pork shoulder recipe, one shrimp and grits recipe and one baked tilapia recipe. There are no beef recipes and no other chicken, fish or pork recipes.
There are eight popcorn recipes and eight toast recipes. It says a potato and cheese perogies recipe will feed your family for a week. Seriously.
A lot of comments about the economical eating habits of ethnic and/or recent immigrant cultures but no one mentions one obvious cheap source of meat protein. Offal.
All of the organ meats, tails, feet, heads, snouts, cheeks, and even hides of animals are a cornerstone of meals.
Cow foot/cow skin soup are go to meals in various Caribbean and West Indies communities. All the fish, reptile and animal parts that are left after the choice bits have been harvested, preserved, and/or sold are the foundation of dietary needs. Most of the popular sausages eagerly consumed (and sometimes quite pricey) these days may have artisanal high end ingredients but they all originated with the highly perishable organ meats which needed to be preserved quickly and efficiently for long term storage and consumption.
Organ meats are nutrient dense, as are the meats found in fish and animal heads. We might recoil because they are unfamiliar and seem gross, but they could easily be made to stretch that daily 4.25 as an abundant source of protein.
Don't say you can't get them anywhere - any supermarket or local butcher can get many if not all of those things familiarly known as meat by-products.
Also plant FORAGING is a free source of commonly found nutritious foods like dandelions, plantain, etc. These and other weeds growing all around us are the easiest thing to find - in a city block growing between the concrete walkways, in vacant lots or the minuscule blot of dirt next to the front or back entrance. In suburban or rural areas the options can be broader and more abundant. Many of these plants were a routine part of the diet in many rural and urban cultures worldwide.
Again, they are unfamiliar food sources that might seem gross or unappetizing but even very simply prepared (or eaten raw) they are tasty. As a supplement to the stuff you're spending your 4.25 on they expand your meals and fulfill nutrient requirements.