Round 2: 1 Day, 5 people, $15- Gluten Free, Real Food

Posted on | June 17, 2013 | 5 Comments

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The response to my Trader Joe’s edition of 1 Day, 5 people, $15- Gluten Free, Real Food was phenomenal! A lot of people are arguing that they can’t afford real food. I beg to differ, & in this short series, I’m disputing that! Here’s round 2, & in this corner, we have Earth Fare!!! *ding ding ding* 🙂

This round took me to Earth Fare. While I understand most of you do not have an Earth Fare remotely close (Earth Fare is a Southeastern region store) they are comparably priced to Whole Foods. The closest Whole Foods I have is about 4 hours away, so I went with what I believe to be the best bet for the Whole Foods shoppers out there.

I bought a 5# bag of potatoes. This bag will be used throughout the day. One of the awesome things about potatoes is the many dishes you can make with them. At some point, I’ll do a round of 3 days or more in this series, so we can split larger packages of things up. I certainly don’t expect anyone to eat potatoes for 3 meals for days on end. Unless, of course, you love taters!

A quick word on the tomato paste- I bought a name brand for $1.18. This was a SALE price, compared to $1.48. However, the store brand was regularly priced at the same, $1.18, so I went with the name brand. I did this just to show you that you need to check all available products to get the best price. Make sure when choosing your ingredients, you compare store brands to find the best deal &/or to attain your preferable items.

The Shopping List:

1 doz eggs – $2.38

1 15oz can organic black beans – $1.48

1 6oz can tomato paste – $1.18

1/4# ground beef – $1.30

1 head organic garlic – .70¢

1 organic Vidalia onion – $1.05

1 5# bag russet potatoes – $3.79

1 wedge cut watermelon – $2.13

Total spent (pre-tax) – $14.01

What’s In the Pantry

1 stick butter – approx .75¢

Salt & pepper – pennies

Additional spices of choice, optional – pennies

Water- negligible

Total – We’ll call it $1.00

Total for everything – $15.01


What’s On the Menu?


Shred about a pound of potatoes. Fry in a tablespoon or 2 for hashbrowns. Scramble 8 eggs, also fried in a little bit of butter. Season your eggs & taters while cooking with minced fresh garlic. Hard boil 5 eggs for snack later.


Peel & dice about a pound or 2 of potatoes. Coat in a tablespoon of melted butter. Peel & slice thin a few garlic cloves. Peel & dice the onion. Mix garlic & onion into the buttered potatoes. Season with salt & pepper & optional spices of choice. Roast until potatoes are tender. Meanwhile, drain black beans & rinse. Put them in a pan & add a little bit of water. If you have stock on hand, this works well, too, but it may not be in the budget. Bring to a boil, then turn to lowest setting until your potatoes are roasted.


This is an upside down, Americanized Shepherd’s Pie. Peel the rest of the potatoes & dice. Bring to a boil & cook until done. Meanwhile, ground beef, fry onion & garlic until lightly browned & fragrant. Add tomato paste & 1 1/2-2 cans worth of water. Mix well. Once potatoes are tender, drain. Mash & add butter. Place mashed potatoes into a greased or buttered pan. Top with meat mixture. Pop in oven & heat through.


Cut watermelon into appropriate number of slices. Serve this with 1 boiled egg each. Salt & pepper if desired.

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5 Responses to “Round 2: 1 Day, 5 people, $15- Gluten Free, Real Food”

  1. Angela
    June 18th, 2013 @ 9:56 am

    Not sure how you can call something in a can “real food”……

  2. The Vintage Wife
    June 18th, 2013 @ 11:35 am

    When given the options, with an open mind you’ll see I’m closer to introducing people to real food. Mind sharing your blog or site so we can learn from you? I imagine “less than ideal eaters” visit my blog. If I push folks to change everything 100% overnight, then we lose them. If I push people to get every single thing from a farm, they forget about this. It’s the perfectionist attitude that drives people away.

    This might be a good read for you: Overwhelmed? Disgusted? Not Sure What To Believe?

    Or these from other bloggers: How We “Do” Real Food: 85/15 Rule Finding Balance with Diet, Nutrition, and Happiness Eleven Tips for Balance, Eating Well, and Minimizing Stress This is an entire series on Good, Better, Best No Condemnation

  3. Don’t Stress Whole Foods, Link Roundup :
    June 19th, 2013 @ 11:20 am

    […] I posted my 2nd part in a series on eating on $3/person/day. I rec’d comments such as “Potato overload!!” (I can hear the wail of the air […]

  4. stacy
    June 23rd, 2013 @ 3:39 pm

    Seems to me “real food” can come in a can. I work full time and need to have somethings prepared ahead of time. I can a lot on my own in mason jars. It’s still real food even though I processed it. Unless you eat only a raw food diet the food we eat is processed in some way.
    stacy recently posted..NCP National Consumer Panel

  5. The Vintage Wife
    June 23rd, 2013 @ 4:48 pm

    Yes, Stacy!
    The Vintage Wife recently posted..Don’t Stress Whole Foods, Link Roundup

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