$15/15 Meals: The Chicken or the Egg?


3 meals down, 12 to go. After discussing some of our options in advance, we all agreed a “larger” shopping trip in the beginning of the week was going to be most effective. However, I was really concerned to go all in with the $15 leaving me pennyless for the remaining days. I was hoping to leave myself around $3 without sacrificing nutritious and filling items. With a bit more time than I normally spend in the supermarket I did $1.69 better only spending $10.31. Now what could have I possibly gotten for this amount? You may be surprised…

The first thing I looked for was protein. I assumed that a whole chicken would be the cheapest and most versatile option and I ended up being right. Now keep in mind, depending on your supermarket the prices will certainly vary but you get the idea. So having picked up my whole chicken (unfortunately I could only afford the Perdue, and not the Organic) I went to check out the grains and beans section of the grocery mart. I knew this would be a good option for the filling portion of my meals. But I was trying to avoid the temptation to grab a box of pasta (refined flour products are cheap but don’t really offer much as far as nutrition). Interesting enough I ended up with an ingredient I never even think of. A bag of barley clocked in under two dollars and despite its lack of mainstream uses (at least besides soup for what I can see) its incredibly healthy; high in fiber and fantastic for lowering cholesterol.

But this is where I reached a fork in the road. I knew that I could have loaded up on more grains and maybe some beans but I really wanted some fresh produce. Besides the essential vitamins and nutrients that these pricier ingredients contain, the importance of the color they bring to a plate of food can’t be understated. We eat with our eyes first, and there was no way I was making it a full week of eating gray. I was able to purchase a red cabbage (high in anti-oxidants and extremely versatile), a bag of carrots, and a red onion. Add a dozen eggs packed with protein and I was on my way. $10.31! Not so bad at all. So what kind of meals can I have with these purchases?

Last night, my first dinner of the challenge was delicious, healthy and visually appealing! Breaking down the chicken myself allowed me to save money and divide my protein for multiple meals. Keeping the skin on gave this chicken breast more flavor and when paired with the barley and a salad of cabbage, carrot and onion it worked as a hearty meal. And I was thrilled to see how little of my purchases I had used. I also made a soup stock using the broken down chicken bones that I will make good use of as the week goes on.

For breakfast, two eggs, a carrot and a cup of coffee IMG_0366(also allowed as an exempt item for the sake of those around us). For lunch, some leftover barley and salad giving me the energy boost I needed to get through the day. So here I am, three meals down and twelve to go. It’s too soon to have much of an analysis but I will tell you I am shocked by how much we are bombarded by food. Now I know I live in New York where theres a deli and a Duane Reade on every corner but its not just the stores. The bilboards, the advertisements, the commercials. It’s all about food, cheap and convenient. Will power is going to prove more and more crucial…


3 Responses to $15/15 Meals: The Chicken or the Egg?

  1. sam says:

    Good call on the coffee, essential for cognition but also more of less anemic, not going to undermine your goal and hopeful achievement.

    After two meals, how much of the red cabbage and chicken do you have left? Can you provide a daily update of remaining resources?

    I’m really surprised how healthful your diet appears to be thus far. Any chance for a little dietary analysis…perhaps the $15 challenge vs. the average American diet, just some ballpark figures to add to the wow factor.

    Good luck!

  2. sarah says:

    When the results are posted, mine will look like this:


    I’m doping on business lunches. It makes me feel bad even tho I cleared it with the team.

  3. di katsikas says:

    tell me the truth, is your somach growling overtime??

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