Cheap Ass Monday: Belated Roundup

Exciting news, everyone: I ate a bowl of Rice Krispies tonight!  Of course, it wasn’t all that long ago, so there might still be gastro-intestinal repercussions.

It goes without saying that I’m not cooking tonight.  Unless you count opening bottles of Gatorade as cooking, in which case I’ve been cooking up a storm. (Also: Gatorade is VILE. How do they fool so many people into buying it?  Do people really drink it, or is it used mainly as an industrial solvent?)  Instead, I bring you the Hobo Monday roundup that I was meant to have brought you on Saturday morning except that I didn’t want to sully the new MacBook Pro by bringing it into the shitter with me.

I’m starting off with Meagan, because not only do I love it when non-bloggers play along, but she also send a PICTURE.  See this, non-bloggers? YOUR BAR HAS BEEN RAISED.  Blame Meagan.

This is some kind of delicious chickpea-feta-tomato-garlic naan thing, and it was dirt cheap.  Meagan lives in Toronto, where apparently everything costs $0.32 cents, with some ingredients coming in as low as FOUR CENTS.  Which is why I’ve put my apartment on the market, because even though we haven’t lived there long enough to make any money out of it, I’ll be able to rapidly make up the loss when my grocery bill goes down to $4.76 a week.  Toronto: Who knew?  (That one’s free, Toronto Tourism Board.  I’m such a whiz with the taglines, I’ve decided to be philanthropic about it.) (Meagan’s recipe at the bottom of the post.)

Pantry Raid: Forcing me to be vigilant against panties again, and again making it totally worth it because holy CRAP do I love spaetzle.  Spaetzle with corn and sage brown butter, doubly so.  Spaetzle when the cooking involves anger and burning oneself, triple-y so. That is, when it happens to someone else and I get to read about it after the fact.

Every once in a great, great while, my mother could be convinced to back away from the monster shelf of self-jarred tomatoes for a night, and often those nights would involve roast beef and spaetzle with gravy.  And while today I recognize the wonder of all her cooking, I LIVED for spaetzle night when I was little.  I think I could happily live on spaetzle, until the intestinal blockage finally got me. But it would be a happy death.

Too Many Cookbooks wins the Miss Congeniality award, because:

#1, Cheese,
#2, Onions, and
#3, Tart.

She apparently lives in California, a state that could fall into the sea at any moment but where one can purchase eggs for $0.99/dozen.  Why do my eggs cost triple this?  Are they outer space eggs imported to New Jersey via shuttle? (I’m assuming no, but if they were? AWESOME.  Except for the carbon footprint part, but SPACE CHICKENS!)  It’s also warmer there than in Toronto, so I might have to rethink my relocation plans.
lentilsAs evidence of my complete lack of attention to detail, I’ve once again left someone out of the roundup; this month it was Robbing Peter, and their red lentils and rice.

It is all the more shameful, because they are the rightful winners of the Smugness Prize, which I prematurely awarded to the next entry.  I don’t feel right wresting the crown away from them, so I make my amends by subtracting $0.25 per person from Robbing Peter’s next entry, assuming they don’t give up on me entirely.  Which I hope they don’t, because even though they’re hard on themselves for “copping out” with lentils and rice, ain’t nobody don’t like no lentils and rice.  Even better: when she shaped the leftovers into patties and fried them into rounds of crispy delight.  3, please.

I bow my head in shame.  Know in your heart that your are the rightful victor.
Along with Too Many Cookbooks, I always know I can count on Dark Side of the Fridge.  The blogopolypse could come or my excessive cursing* could finally drive away the many extremely literate users of the internet, but they would still be here.

This month, her Calpurnia Salad combines garden fresh lettuce, pasta, bacon and a working knowledge of Roman history, all while kicking everyone’s asses in the cost department AGAIN.  Seriously, y’all: $0.505 a serving.  She wonders how she keeps spending so much money at the grocery store, and I have to ask the same question. Also, the rest of us should have such a garden. (Spoken in Jewish grandma voice.  If you don’t know what this sounds like, maybe there’s a hotline you could call or something.)

*Which, I haven’t yet, so: FUCKITY FUCK FUCK.  Behold my lack of literary creativity! And yes, I know I already said “shitter,” but since it was a synonym for commode it does not count as an expletive.
Last and least comes loyal reader Kay at the Keyboard, who has earned her demerits due to (1) lack of photo, (2) her temerity at getting pissy over this month’s $3 guideline and (3) calling me a heifer.  I could disqualify by decreeing that her leftover tuna does not count as a pantry staple, thus pushing her citrus-rice salad with grilled tuna over the $3 limit, but I will not because I like being the bigger person; it allows me to feel superior.  Apparently, I actually am the bigger person anyway, what with being a heifer and all.


So there you have it: some very, very, very cheap food.  Congratulations again for Dark Side of the Fridge for successfully defending the smugness crown.  As your prize for this two-fer, you pick the guideline for July!  This is a very valuable prize, and not me being lazy.  Leave your challenge in the comments!

The first Monday in July is the 6th, entries due by the end of the day on the 10th, and roundup, barring another unforseen bout of possible E.coli, up on the 11th.

Take it away, Dark Side!

Meagan’s recipe:

– 1 can of chickpeas: $0.67 (on sale);
– 1 leftover President’s Choice garlic naan: $0.99 (from a package of 2);
– the dregs of a hunk of feta: $0.49;
– approximately 1/3 pint of grape tomatoes: $0.33;
– approximately 1/4 bunch of leftover chives: $0.31;
– 2 bird chilis: $0.04 (for the love of jebus, take the seeds out and mince the shit outta the peppers so they are evenly distributed!); and
– a glug of olive oil, a couple of squeezes of lemon juice, one or two grinds of salt and pepper, some dried dill, a knifeful of whole grain mustard: all staples.
Grand total: $2.83. And minimal effort: I just put the ingredients in a bowl one by one, stirring between some additions, and stuck the bowl in the fridge until the naan was ready. Then I ate, and ate, and ate.

13 thoughts on “Cheap Ass Monday: Belated Roundup

  1. 1. I have a camera now. There will be photos from now on.
    2. I’m sorry I had the temerity to call you a heifer. It could have been worse; I have a girlfriend I used to refer to from time to time as a “hateful heifer” until she noted that it sounded like something you’d name a steakhouse. At least I didn’t name a steakhouse after you.
    3. I wasn’t quibbling about the $3 guideline. I was bemoaning my (typical) excellent sense of timing in picking as my first Monday to participate, the Monday where the $3 guideline was in effect.

    Am I forgiven?

  2. Always glad to make you say PANTIES in print. Now we just need a baking challenge to force the word MOIST as well. JK!

    Curse you Dark Side of the Fridge! How am I supposed to compete with the frugality of someone who grows their own produce? The only thing I can think of is starting to swipe freebies from the office fridge…

    Congrats to all fellow cheapos! Great job everyone!

  3. Seriously! How, oh how, do you get your eggs like that?!? (see chillaquilles picture for reference). I know it seems simple, but Ican’t figure it out.

  4. Hmmm, I don’t know how they can sell eggs at Trader Joe’s and Fresh & Easy for .99/dozen but they do (I think they try to drive eachother’s prices down), they are allegedly local-ish (they do farm chickens I hear, in the crappy parts of SoCal where no one really wants to live..).

  5. Is next month back up to $5? Trying to figure out a $3 meal stressed me out. I did think of something, though, but forgot to do it last week.

  6. Re Toronto & who knew?: I sure as hell didn’t & I live here, fercrissakes. Where is Meagan shopping? I’m positive that if I made the same dish with the same ingredients, using store brands & stuff on special, it would end up costing 3 times as much (probably even if I followed her shopping).

  7. We won? Cool. And the prize is . . . the awesome responsibility to choose the next challenge? Oh my.

    How about this – July is summertime – let’s do picnic fare – something you can pack up and take to . . .the beach, or your backyard, or even a lovely, lovely meadow filled with wildflowers and other nature. (Maybe not the meadow, though.)

    So anyway, grab your pic-a-nic baskets and see who’s cheaper than the average bear.

    Will that work?

  8. robbingpeter, i never got an email from you. did you send to the right address? i was actually wondering where you’d gone.

    if you don’t get a reply from me it means i don’t have your email, so either re-send or leave me a comment so i can get in touch with you.

    ETA: crap, i did get it! and i did reply! and i didn’t remember! if there’s one thing we know, it’s that i kinda suck at running events. thanks for sticking by me anyway. (i blame the stomach virus.) off to remedy my mistake!

    toylady, that works! i’ll update the rules page accordingly.

  9. if ya get tired of white flour and salty flavored corn syrup, the experts suggest the BRAT diet, which I will only partially explain, because I can never remember what T is really for.

    Tea or Toast or something

    also a little real unsweetened yogurt is good, cause of the probiotics and pre-digested protein. mix it with the bananas or applesauce, cause the pre-sweetened kind kills off the good stuff that helps your gut heal.

    and personally I’d be drinking dilute apple juice or diluted EmergenC packets with salt added, for the electrolytes. if Gatorade is still made with corn syrup, it’s really not all that good for your tummy. other non citrus juices are usually okay, too.

    also fine is bouillon. chicken or beef Better than Bouillon always makes me feel like I’ve approached actual food.

    I hope these suggestions aren’t too presumptuous, I just always get a little icked out thinking about saltines turning into wheat paste in there, lol.

    hopefully you will have already moved beyond needing any of these suggestions by the time you read this!

  10. The one problem with moving to Toronto for the cheap grocery prices is that… well, then you have to live in Toronto.

    And before anyone calls ME a hateful heifer, understand that I come from another part of Canada, and if there’s anything the entire rest of the country can agree on, it’s that Toronto is annoying. Bagging on Toronto is ingrained in our blood, like enjoying watching hockey fights and making a big deal out of being different from Americans.

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