Cheap Eats at Bloglander

Your guide to eating cheap including tips, recipes and techniques

Archive for February, 2005

[ Currently Eating: Soup ]

I make this quite a bit, but don’t have a picture handy just right now to show. This is not only fast because it uses the microwave, but tastes halfway decent. You can, of course, simply buy a box of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese or any number of other substitutes for around $1.50 to $2.50. I think that as far as Cheap Eats goes, this might beat them out if only slightly. It probably doesn’t beat out instant ramen recipes in price, but you can’t possibly eat that every day.

Macaroni Noodles w/ Parmesean Cheese

Macaroni (4 oz of $0.99 8 oz bag) — $0.50
Parmesan cheese (1/2 oz of $3.50 8oz can) — $0.22
Olive oil (1 tbsp of $4.00 12 fl. oz bottle) — $0.17
Butter (1 tbsp of $1.00 4 oz stick) — $0.13
Salt / pepper — negligible

Total: $1.02

Boil some water in a pot. Chuck in the macaroni with some salt and cook it until done. Drain it. Put it in a big microwave safe bowl, pour the olive oil and parmesan cheese over it and mix well. Throw in some black pepper. Put in the pat of butter and mix. Nuke the whole thing, but not too long. Maybe a minute, unless you’re starting with cold noodles. Mix again. Eat.

Continue reading “Macaroni Parmesan Noodles” …

[ Currently Eating: Filet-O-Fish ]

When I was a kid I used to occasionally break out of hamburger mode and get the Filet-O-Fish at McDonalds instead. It used to come in a big blue ecologically unsafe styrofoam box and it actually had LETTUCE in it (this should give some clue as to how old I am).

I drove by Mick Ds today and saw that they had a banner up proclaiming “$1 Filet-O-Fish Fridays” so I decided for old time’s sake to try one out. A pseudo fish sandwich for a dollar? How could that not be cheap eats…

By the way this is the first time in a long time I’ve been through a McDonalds drive thru and I couldn’t believe how fast it was. I think that everyone in line must be ordering like 5 Filet-O-Fish or something so they must have a backlog of them under the heat lamp. I seriously drove up to the pickup window and they just gave it to me without even waiting for a minute. The four cars in front of me did the exact same thing. That’s progress.

Filet O Fish WrappedAnyhow, I guess size does matter. The only way these companies can afford to have 1980 prices on their food is to shrink them. They should have some sort of size criteria for having to add a “Jr.” to the front of the name if it shrinks beyond a certain size, because my Filet-O-Fish was the size of a hockey puck. Surprisingly, it also came in a cardboard box. I would have thought they would have dispensed with the outer box and wrapped it in paper like their other hamburgers in order to save costs. I guess that it really is important to them to keep the fish crispy, but I could have used more fish and less box.

Filet O Fish UnwrappedWell, at least they don’t have to worry about keeping the lettuce crispy anymore. They’ve done away with that, not that it added much to the package. I note that they still tend to “over-tartarize” their fish. There must be about two tablespoons of tartar sauce slathered on. I wiped some off, put in some spare iceberg lettuce from the fridge and chowed down.

Filet O Fish Under the HoodBesides the small size of the fish (the processed rectangle measures about 3 x 2.5 inches.), it was quite good and crunchy. I bet you could put other things in it like tomatoes and stuff. But then of course it’d go down in Cheap Eats score. In any case, you can get two and that’ll fill you up for lunch. McDonalds hamburger meat in general tends to give me some kind of mean gas as well as the runs. I don’t know what it is, or what kind of filler they put in it but I try to avoid it no matter how cheap it gets. Until they fix that, Filet O Fish and Chicken McNuggets are the only things I’d get. Besides fries that is…

Cheap Eats Score: 8/10



Recommended Reads