October 16, 2009

Desperate Times

I've been watching the euros slip away all year, but perhaps excessively so since summer. 3 months of travel made a good dent in the bank account, and the last few weekends have been more of a sledgehammer approach to spending.

So, in order to ensure I don't starve over winter and make it to the other side of Christmas without resorting to begging, I'm being even more creative with meals. I've been good generally, and manage to keep food bills down to around €30 a week.

Semi-recently, my local supermarket - the much-adored Carrefour - brought out their own line, aptly named Carrefour Discount. Their in-store promos and leaflets tell me I can have a complete meal for €1. See examples:

Let's look at the Repas Tonus. I'm not sure of the translation for that one but I'm going with Toning Meal, aka Jenny Craig. I can have 100g of tabloulé, 100g of spaghetti, a mince pattie and a tub of yoghurt for 92c. But I have to buy the following:

Taboulé 95c for 500g
Spaghetti 40c for 500g
Mince Steak €4.69 for 10
Yoghurt €1.46 for 8
Total: €7.49

Then I have to eat the same thing for a week.

I'm not anti-homebrand as mentioned, but I am pro-variety. I am also pro-fresh, and I note the lack of vegetables in said "complete meal". Granted, there are coloured flecks in the taboulé, but the paella in the Spanish Meal comes from a can. I could eat the garnish but it's not included in the price. Actually, there's a warning at the bottom of the leaflet: Pour votre santé, mangez au moins cinq fruits et légumes par jour, or Eat Your Daily 5, for the anglophones.

So, fellow students and discount-lovers, proceed with caution. Of course I know they're only suggestions. We all need ideas on how to create a low-budget meal, so I'm going to take them on board and see what I can come up with. Heck, I might even take a picture of it and call it Food Styling. I've gone as far as I can with Mi Goreng noodles, it surely won't hurt to try something new.

Reading #FrenchSafari: Desperate TimesTweet this!

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