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Breakfast for Under a Dollar

June 22nd, 2007

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*Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but it is typically the meal that most often skipped in a rush to get out the door. By taking a few minutes to prepare and eat breakfast you can help keep your energy level up and your blood sugar from dropping. I particularly chose eggs because they will help you stave off hunger pains. We prefer them scrambled and added a little bit of cheese and salsa for flavor. A hearty whole wheat bread with 3 grams of fiber was chosen simple because it is a complex carbohydrate. Although I am not a dietitian and no more then a home cook, I do know if through nothing but experience, that complex carbohydrates are far more satisfying and offer a much better source of energy then their often less expensive, overly refined, and processed counter parts. The 8 oz glass of orange juice was chosen to replace my passion for fresh fruit for breakfast. Although it could not compare with the vitamins, nutrients, and fiber found in a serving of fruit, it is high in vitamin C and help to round out this meal. The Texas Pete Hot Sauce was on stand-by because we were a little bit suspicious of the large jar of $1.64 Wal-mart brand salsa. However, it was a surprise to find that the salsa was actually pretty good. Not our first choice, but it worked. The only problem with this breakfast is that this will be our only option for the next 7 days. I suppose the bread, eggs, and a bit of milk could be used to make French toast. However, it would have to be eaten with out maple syrup or cinnamon sugar as I have “technically” not yet built up my pantry in this experiment and could not afford those luxuries this week.

While at the grocery store, I took the time to price out another option for breakfast as an alternative to eggs. A 2 pound container of store brand Old Fashioned or Quick Oats could be bought for $1.98, combined with 3 pounds of Applesauce for $1.68, and inexpensive cinnamon for $.50. By purchasing an extra gallon of milk for $2.27 and using it to make the oatmeal, you would be able to provide a decent breakfast for 2 people for a week and possibly a bit longer. Total cost for this meal = $6.43 (Roughly $.45 for breakfast per person each day)

*To save time, I grated the cheese and prepared the juice as soon as I got home from the market. To help stretch the OJ a little bit farther, I added an extra container of water. Breakfast and clean up took less then 15 minutes to prepare and serve.

Recipe for Scrambled Eggs and Toast Breakfast
Total Cost for this meal = $11.63 (Roughly $.83 for breakfast per person each day)

1. Pour OJ into glasses

2. Gather together 2 eggs and 1 slice of bread per person, grated cheese, salsa, hot sauce, plates, and forks.

3. Melt a small amount of butter in a frying pan on medium heat

4. Crack 2 eggs per person in a bowl and beat them with a whisk or a fork

5. Toast bread in a toaster or in a pinch, you can always toast it in the frying pan (medium-high heat) and remove it before adding the eggs. Lightly butter it while still warm.

6. Pour eggs into warm skillet (medium heat) and stir constantly until cooked. (To reduce the amount of fat, you may always discard 1 or both of the yolks and simply scramble the egg whites in a non stick pan if available.) *If new to cooking, please refer to the FDA’s Food Safety Instructions for Handling Eggs

Also, by cooking the eggs on a lower heat for a longer period of time, they will obtain a better texture, but if it means missing breakfast… cook them faster and don’t fret about it.

7. Divide the eggs and toast up on the plates, top eggs with cheese, salsa, and hot sauce if desired and serve.

8. Put remaining ingredients away, so they do not perish and clean up as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Running out of time to do dishes? Get them all to the sink and just give them a quick rinse so they do not attract critters. Washing, drying, and putting them away is ideal, but not worth being late to work.

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A bit of recent news to go with breakfast and a thought for the day:

Food Stampede: Politicos Eat on $3 a Day for Hunger Awareness (New West Living)

Feeding a Family of 4 With $130 Per Week (Miami Herald)

Representatives Solis and Lee Lead Effort to Support Healthy Foods in the 2007 Farm Bill (California Chronicle)

Cost of Gas and Food Rose Sharply Last Month (New York Times)

“Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who kept trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.” Dale Carnegie

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