Thursday, September 26, 2013

Bag Lunch Challenge (Part 3): What I've been eating

Four days later and I think I got a feel for what I can do without any cooking. It has actually been surprisingly filling. Nutrition is probably atrocious, but I have been able to create a little bit of variety.
The haul
A reminder of what my ingredients were over the past few days.

- x2 bags of Tostitos
- x1 jar of salsa
- x24 slices of processed cheese
- x1 loaf of bread
- x1 bag of candy
- x1 jar of peanut butter
- x1 pack of foil plates
- x1 can of tuna
- x1 bottle of olive oil
- x1 box of cereal

What to cook without cooking
Here are some of the meals I've come up with so far where cooking with heat is not allowed:

1. Tostitos and tuna sandwich: Chips go with a spoon or two of salsa, two slices of bread and the tuna go with a slice of cheese to make a sandwich, and two additional slices of bread get slathered with peanut butter or olive oil

2. Tostitos and cheese sandwich: Chips with salsa again, two slices of bread with one slice of cheese sandwiched between each, and one or two additional slices of bread with olive oil or peanut butter.

After writing that out, I'm actually a bit depressed at how "sad" those meals appear. The prime filler is clearly bread, the side is chips, and water is the drink. Also, I've been throwing in some dry, milk-less cereal (Fruit Loops) into the mix before every meal. I'm hoping the olive oil, whole wheat bread, salsa, and cheese provide more than empty calories. However, I don't think I'd do this long term despite not being a doctor or a nutritionist. That's what dinner and breakfast are for?

After four days of eating the stash listed under ingredients, I still have the following remaining:

- x2 bags (220g each) of Tostitos = x1 bag left, just started the second bag
- x1 jar of salsa = 3/4 of a jar
- x24 slices of processed cheese = 16/24 slices left
- x1 loaf of bread = half a loaf remaining
- x1 bag of candy = gone
- x1 jar of peanut butter = barely touched, 7/8 full
- x1 pack of foil plates = took these home, brought tupperware
- x1 can of tuna = gone, good for one sandwich only
- x1 bottle of olive oil = barely touched

Cost: Am I saving money?
My expenditure for lunch over the past few months has been about $50 a week on average. These supplies set me back about CAD$ 36.

The bread expires this weekend, so I'll have to get a new load next week. Might need more tuna or canned goods. Chips should last about 3 or 4 more days. Everything else like the salsa, cheese, olive oil, and peanut butter should last at least another week.

Going forward, it will probably be necessary to buy a new loaf of bread ($3.50), a bag of chips ($4 for bulk size), and a can or two of meat each week ($5). Total would be about $12.50. Assuming that I buy all of the above next week, the two week total would be $36 + $12.50 or $48.50. That'd be about $50 after tax. Over three weeks, assuming that all of my other supplies last, it'd be about $65 or about $23/week versus $25/week over just two weeks. A nice 50% reduction in cost?

The peanut butter ($5) and olive oil ($5), some of the most expensive items in my initial haul should last the longest. More to come when I get better at this no cooking lunch thing. Here comes Spam?

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