Challenge Appears: $50/week Food Budget Feb24


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Challenge Appears: $50/week Food Budget

Today I am going to start a challenge I read about last week. A budget for meals and snacks of $50 per week. This isn’t just about eating Top Ramen everyday, this is a challenge to eat well for less burden on your bank account.

And it’s not just about spending less than $50 a week on food. It’s about using up less than $50 worth of food. If I go to the store and buy a $10 10 lb. bag of rice, that $10 is not deducted from the budget. Now if I use a pound of that rice, then I would deduct $1 from my budget.

Essentially this challenge forces you to keep a well stocked pantry and to cut out the excess costs from your meal plans. Dining out and fast food becomes a ridiculous option. Here in California, even the cheapest fast food meal is going to run you $5 on average. That’s a tenth of your budget in one meal.

Today I started the challenge by making an egyptian lentil and rice recipe. Super simple ingredients.

Egyptian lentil and rice recipe


  • 1 cup brown lentils
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 onions, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 cup rice
  • 5 -6 cups water or 5 -6 cups homemade vegetable stock or 5 -6 cups chicken stock

I used 2 vegetable buoillon cubes in 5 cups of water, I don’t like how salty they get when you use the 2:1 cube to water ratio. I threw the oil and the onion into a slow cooker on high while I let the buoillon cubes dissolve on the stovetop in the 5 cups of water. After the cubes were fully dissolved I added everything else into the slow cooker and cranked that on high for 4 hours. I stirred it about once an hour. You could keep it on low and let it sit for 8 hours too.

Cinnamon and cumin together creates this great earthy aroma and tastes amazing. This is going to be a new common occurence in my meal arsenal. Total cost is around a $1. Yes… one dollar.

1 Cup of lentils = .20

1 Onion = .12

1/2 Cup Rice = .20

2x Buiollon = .44

Collective of seasonings = .05

So you see this recipe makes about 6 bowls and if I cut out the bouillon it almost cuts the cost in half. THAT my friends, its efficient eating.