I'm not saying $12 isn't generous, but when you have a $5/day ice cream habit (fueled by all-you-can-eat ice cream in the dining halls), it brings your budget down to $7/day. Since I'm trying to also make up for the two or three days where we didn't receive per diem, my daily budget is really down to about $5/day.
If I had to buy everything from scratch, I almost certainly would fail to meet this budget, but I already had a lot of food stockpiled from the year. Here's an example of what I've been eating. Italics are things that I already had stocked in my pantry or acquired from kitchens or departing students.
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Instant oatmeal + nuts + seeds + cinnamon, strawberries, banana + peanut butter
apple + peanut butter, chocolate chips
leftover gnocchi with kale and pesto
bread with cream cheese
bread with hummus or cheddar
Carrots and hummus
Rice with veggies
Free ice cream with chocolate-hazelnut fudge sauce
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Perhaps now you understand just how much I eat. This is a pretty light food day for me (other than the quantity of free ice cream consumed). I also eat a lot of fresh (and frozen!) fruits and veggies, which gets expensive.
Generally, I eat very plain and simple foods that are carefully selected and well prepared, but don't make any restrictions beyond that. (Bring on the ice cream! As long as it's made with cream and sugar.) This is especially true now that I'm making everything myself--simplicity is wonderful.
How would you describe your eating habits? Plain and simple? Lots of lowfat/nonfat foods? Full of spices? Let me know what you think by leaving a comment or emailing me at piquantprose [at] gmail [dot] com.
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