Thrifty? Prandium.

This here was transcribed and cleaned up from ink marks in my notebook..

Wow. What I am eating for my midday meal today. I must ink this. Out of pocket (mine), I maybe spent about thirty cents for my afternoon meal, mostly for the price of the condiments. The meal consists of a bowl of pastina with butter and shaky cheese. My Dad buys me boxes of the Ronzoni brand which my dearest Fairway, despite filling out many comment cards, refuses to honor my pleas. And as it’s a childhood comfort food (brand loyalty and all), I am resistant to give it up; though I do sometimes resort to eating Barilla pastina. The next dish in the midday meal (achem, prandium!) is a plate of beefsteak tomatoes marinating in balsamic, olio, sel, and piper. The tomatoes are first pick of the season, compliments of Monsieur’s garden and the loving care he puts into it every year. Four Italian plums for dessert are from the farm stand up a crows fly from Monsieur’s place. A glass of home brew ice tea with a squirt of lime juice.

Okay, so considering some of the condiments are a bit pricey, maybe the real out of pocket is around one dollar. I wonder, would this prandium qualify as a Thrifty Meal Plan meal? Is it cheating the Plan to receive food from a parent? Or is that the reality of eating on a budget? Resourceful is key to survival.

I checked the USDA website for information about the Thrifty Meal Plan. The most recent report was released in 2007 for 2006 data. For a woman my age, I need a market basket worth 33.51 pounds of food provisions. I must be confused (again); a pound of mixed diet food is about 3500 calories. I only need around 1700-2200 (depending on whether I follow metabolic test results or the food pyramid scheme, and activity, time of month, mood, etc..). That seems like quite a lot food. And what of the money of it. How much am I supposed to spend a week to observe the Plan? How much do folks receive?

One of these days, someone in the locavore set needs to do a Food Shed Thrifty Meal Plan. That would make some article. Even in my prandium ways, it feels likely nearly impossible to stay within budget (32.50US pesos per week for female 19-50 years), what with the increased costs at the Greenmarket this summer. Hm.

As usual, I leave myself with more questions, more issues to wonder about.

Buen provecho..

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