Author Topic: I only eat 4 days per week and I need help . . .  (Read 5795 times)

Wings5

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I only eat 4 days per week and I need help . . .
« on: January 20, 2015, 12:06:30 PM »
...yep, I travel on contract work to the same city every week and I have a full kitchen in the hotel, including reusable containers. I've been throwing out about 50% or more of what I buy from the grocery store.

My organization has a flat per diem rate of $25/day that we get no matter what, but I would still like to save as much as I can. Coworkers (the others who are here as hotel dwellers during the week anyway) and I eat out as colleagues about once a week, and away from home it's good to socialize and get out of the hotel.

Breakfast: I eat oatmeal/fruit/honey with OJ for breakfast and drink the free hotel coffee; this runs about $2/week for breakfast.

Lunch and Dinner: Currently wasteful. Crockpot meals? Sandwiches? I would still like to get normal servings of fruit, veggies, etc. Since I check out each Friday, everything gets tossed (except for crockpot liners).

What would the Mustachians suggest? Any simple recipes I can just dump 100% of what I buy into the pot? Having to toss it all at the end of the week is a PITA.

Future Lazy

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Re: I only eat 4 days per week and I need help . . .
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2015, 12:40:24 PM »
IMO, Crockpot meals would be the way to go here. Find some recipes that sound good and scale them to 4-5 servings. It can make for boring eating, to always eat the same thing each day for several days, but if it saves ya money...! There's also spaghetti dinner, or maybe salads for lunch?

I actually wanted to ask, it sounds like you fly and always stay in the same hotel?

Would the hotel's kitchen be able to put a small fridge space aside for you for things that wouldn't otherwise need throwing out? They might do this since you're a frequent guest... As in, "Hey, I'm going to be back on tuesday, can you hang onto this till I get back?" As long as it's only 1-2 small containers of crock pot leftovers, or whatever..

Or, how much is your company putting up for you to say in the hotel 4 days a week? Would it be possible to negotiate for them to rent you a studio/1br apartment, with a fridge of your own where you wouldn't have to ditch your food all the time?

GizmoTX

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Re: I only eat 4 days per week and I need help . . .
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2015, 12:46:53 PM »
Coming up with a plan & recipes in advance for your meals will help with the waste factor. Cooking something the first day that can be transformed or unitized in other dishes for the remaining days will cut time, use up the food, & add variety. There are recipes & blogs online that address this.


I'm a red panda

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Re: I only eat 4 days per week and I need help . . .
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2015, 12:55:24 PM »
Can you make friends with someone at the hotel (housekeeper, front desk person...)? Maybe they would want what you are throwing away...  It's not mustachian for you so much, but it certainly helps them be more so. 

Or do you best to buy things that you can take back home with you. You could stock your home kitchen with the things you bought while you were away.

mm1970

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Re: I only eat 4 days per week and I need help . . .
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2015, 12:59:59 PM »
It sounds like you simply need a game plan.

When I was busy, super stressed with a newborn and an older child and a job and a husband, here's what I did.

1.  I cooked something on Sunday to eat all week (it really only lasted us 3 days).
2.  I made something on Sunday to eat for lunch all week.

That meant for 3-5 days, we ate the same lunch and the same dinner.

It sounds like you simply need to do that.

So, week 1:
Lunch: Loaf of bread, pound of turkey, small bag of mixed greens, mustard or mayo packets, 5 apples, 1 lb baby carrots, one bottle salad dressing.  Sandwich (with greens), apple, simple salad
Dinner: chicken breasts, teriyaki sauce, rice, 12-16 oz bag of fresh or frozen broccoli.  Cook the chicken in the crockpot with the sauce (or on the stovetop), cook rice, steam broccoli.  The amount of ingredients you cook will depend on how much you eat.

Other lunch options:
Salad (mixed greens) with other veggies, nuts, and hard boiled egg
Bean burritos and raw veggies with hummus
Pizza

Other dinner options:
Chicken cooked with salsa = tacos
Spaghetti and meatballs (one pound of spaghetti is 8 servings, but depending on your size...)
Chili
Beef stew
Curried chickpeas and rice with vegetables

I think what you just need to get over, and accept, it that you will probably be eating the same thing all week.
But you can change it each week.

I cook chicken breasts in a crockpot with one of the following:
Marinara
BBQ sauce
teriyaki sauce
salsa

And just eat it with a carb and a veggie.

mm1970

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Re: I only eat 4 days per week and I need help . . .
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2015, 02:18:43 PM »
I follow this guy on instagram, and he has his own website that just started up:

http://mybodymykitchen.com/

Eric

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Re: I only eat 4 days per week and I need help . . .
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2015, 02:22:28 PM »
What would the Mustachians suggest? Any simple recipes I can just dump 100% of what I buy into the pot? Having to toss it all at the end of the week is a PITA.

Why does it get tossed?  Can't you just take it home with you?  I always carry food when I travel.  The TSA doesn't have a problem with it.

Wings5

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Re: I only eat 4 days per week and I need help . . .
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2015, 04:57:20 PM »
MM, thanks for the ideas and the link. That site looks awesome and we may even wind up using it more at home.

Eric, I've brought some of it home, but the items that get tossed are single-ticket items that aren't travel friendly, not ready-made leftovers (milk, yogurt, 5 eggs). And I usually pack a sandwich and an apple for the trip home.

For what it's worth, I'm 50-50 with the TSA on yogurt being a solid.

MrsPete

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Re: I only eat 4 days per week and I need help . . .
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2015, 07:05:19 PM »
Google Mason jar meals.  I like to make a bunch of salads at the beginning of the week; they last well.  If you were to make up four the evening before (or morning of) your flight, you could carry them with you.  Soups, of course, would be out . . . but you'll find other things that you could carry on the plane.  I also like making steel cut oats in small Mason jars -- very yummy and they don't lose anything by sitting a couple days. 

I also think crock pots are a great idea.  I have a SMALL crock pot that would be fine for a one-person meal -- and then you wouldn't have to eat the same thing over and over.  If I were in your shoes, I think I'd investigate making up miniature versions of the crock pot meals you like, and freeze them in one-portion servings.  You'd need to be careful about things that aren't liquid, but I think it's do-able.

If you could start carrying a couple meals with you in a medium-sized cooler with a shoulder strap, it wouldn't completely solve your problem -- but it would be a step in the right direction. 


bigalsmith101

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Re: I only eat 4 days per week and I need help . . .
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2015, 07:35:12 PM »
I travel for my job nearly 95% of all working days, almost never to the same place twice in a row. I've got this shit down to a science.

Like was mentioned earlier, you might be eating the same thing all week, but I enjoy that so it's no big deal to me.

Your breakfast is already awesome, mine is very similar (plus two eggs) so I won't comment on that.

First stop on site is to the local grocery store where I buy the following for my lunches/dinner. Keep in mind I'm 6'6" and 220lbs, and I do laborious work 6 days a week, and so I eat a TON.

Lunch:
Cheese
Crackers
Bananas (1/day)
Apples  (1/day)
Oranges (1/day)
Yogurt in separate serving containers. (1/day)
Pretzels (snack)
Assorted nuts (snack)
Carrots (snack)
Loaf of bread
Sandwich meat
Lettuce
Carry own mustard/mayo

Dinner:
Potatoes
Broccoli
Onions
Mushrooms
Rice (brown rice in 2lb bag)
Meat (chicken, pork, beef, whatever's on sale)

If you know your schedule, know your diet, and know yourself; you should be able to purchase the correct quantities of food so that you don't have to throw any of it away.

The struggle is simply WANTING to cook the food. I LOVE eating what I make for myself, so it's easy for me. Not necessarily fun/easy for others.

AND because where I live changes, I don't always have a full kitchen. Sometimes just a mini fridge/microwave. My travel "work bag" includes a mini rice cooker and a skillet w/ lid. Everything listed above is cookable with those two mini appliances and the microwave.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2015, 07:39:18 PM by bigalsmith101 »

Goldielocks

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Re: I only eat 4 days per week and I need help . . .
« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2015, 09:42:12 PM »
I find that I need to bring something to seal up my food in, if I am in the same place for a few days.   Sandwich zip baggies, or buying the cheap containers with screw on lid.   Both fit easily in my bag (stuffed with clean scarves, etc).,   This lets me brown bag it for lunch without a big mess or buying individual serving sizes (yogurt!) if I am not eating with clients the next day, another big savings.


totoro

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Re: I only eat 4 days per week and I need help . . .
« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2015, 10:19:04 PM »
I've taken to freezing extra soup/chili/leftover meals on a regular basis and bringing them with me.  They are usually still frozen when I arrive and I don't use a separate cooler - but you could.  I then buy fresh pre-cut vegetables, fruit and yoghurt.  I don't like crockpot food all that much so I probably would cook a big pot of soup/curry the first night if I had a full kitchen.