Sunday, January 29, 2017

Super Frugal Food Plan to be Cheap in Key West

My goal for Key West has been to thrive and improve. I am happy, and that is what matters. That is my number one priority for life. I'm making changes that I believe will help me succeed in the most direct and appropriate ways for myself. I don't like spending money, and I don't want to eat junk. It's difficult to explain or even understand why I was previously doing so much of both.

I wake up most days, and head to the grocery store. This also my bathroom - I go first thing while still waking up. For bonus points, I bring wet wipes in my pocket, because the toilet paper is narrow and harsh. After this, I focus on acquiring staples. I do not have refrigeration, so I shop on most days, and log every purchase on my phone using a spreadsheet.

North to South through Winn Dixie:

What I buy first is eggs if I'm out. I eat three every day, so I buy six or twelve, depending on whether they are eighty cents or more than a dollar - they fluctuate. Eggs do not need to stay cold.

On some days I get a yogurt. I choose Fage Greek plain, because every other option seems to have a percentage or horsebones or horseshit. I bought flax seeds and rolled oats early in the month - those items last and last.

Continuing along the aisles, I get beans if I need them. Seventy cents per can is when I stock up. I get pintos, chickpeas, and sometimes chili beans. I'm on my second bag of dry red lentils. I ran out of quinoa, so now I get rice. I get it for seventy cents per bag of the store brand stuff which cooks in twenty-five minutes. I get corn tortillas in packs of eighteen. That costs a dollar and nineteen cents. These are the items I eat at night.

All of the aisles after this are packed full of bullshit. Unless I need oil or hot sauce, I proceed to the wine. You can get three bottles for ten dollars. Those are the bottles I choose. I switched from white to red for antioxidants and less acidity. But to be self aware, I'm just poisoning myself on cheap booze here - but at least I wait until night.

Next, I move to the produce. My favorite is avocado. I get one for a dollar, or two when they hit sixty cents. I might get a navel orange for a dollar. I've gotten a couple cubes of sprouts since getting here, which has always cost an even two bucks. I buy hummus for the sprouts, and stuff both in a pita. That's two-fifty and one-sixty-nine respectively.

My Parking Spot Near the White Street Pier:

Almost every day, I cook three eggs. I use oil before and after. It makes cleaning easy and adds a measure of heft. Satisfaction lasts at least several hours.

Sometimes I opt for oats and flax seeds on yogurt. I used to use the oats dry, but now I cook them a tiny amount. They mix better, taste better, digest better this way. It takes about one minute to soften them up. I put the oats in a bowl, heap on some flax seeds, and dump yogurt on with a spoon. Portions do not matter. For the next many hours, I feel full.

After one of these breakfasts, I'm on an even keel for any needed number of hours. When I need something more, I eat an avocado or some almonds. Peeling an orange goes well with sunset. After sunset, I most typically will move my van.

A Night at Home, or a Little Adventure:

I re-park at my spot near the center of the island. I open a bottle of wine with a multi-tool corkscrew. I sip a third of it while I cook rice. I add beans toward the end, or lentils instead. I turn off the stove a minute or two before it's done. I pour in more oil to make it more delicious, and also for calories and clean-burning fat. I have one shaker of seasoning that is a mixture of spices, and I use this on literally everything.

On occasion after parking, I will switch to a bicycle, and pedal downtown to happy hour. I get a margarita for three-fifty then switch to beers, and have as many at two bucks as I want. I order wings out of habit, which has proven to be a mistake. Every time I go, they are a little bit worse. Last time they rattled around on the plate. Especially at the cost of five-ninety-five, I begin missing my rice and lentils.

Some nights I get other invitations. I've had stone crab and fish and platters and soup. I consider these a special bonus. I am happy eating simple and cheap. This has been a month where I try to learn how. I have improvements and refinements planned for the future. I am completely satisfied at present.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hello Chris I really enjoyed the last several postings you made, good stuff. I recently acquired a 1976 Raleigh Sprite 3 speed. Far from a museum piece, as you stated previously it's already scratched up so I don't have to worry about it now hahaha. I partially blame you for my interest in 3 speed bicycles. I'm sure it comes from reading your older blogs about three speed horsing about when you were up in Philly area. Hope all is well on your end just wondering if you're still heading to New Orleans? Safe travels and keep us posted thanks bud.
Ray
annap.md

Chris Harne said...

Three Speeds rule. Still headed to NOLA, probably in like a week or something. I'm posted up in Georgia at the moment, hanging out with a girl I met on the Appalachian Trail last year. I'll start posting again at... like... some point...

My posts are too frequent and wordy. Hard to keep up with. I'll probably be missing a lot of days, and need to check in later again. Kinda like what always happens here...

Best!
Chris