Broke-Ass Diets: How Low will You Go?

Desperate times call for drastic measures. I was at a BBQ party the other day, and I started talking to some girl about how she used to kidney beans and ketchup for dinner and then eat white rice and mix it with different flavored jam for desert. Then we sort of went off on a tangent about all the weird shit people eat when they are low on cash. I decided to take it to the next level and asked a whole bunch of types of people from different countries and cities across America this question: What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten just because it was cheap?

Here are some of the best answers I got on my quest for broke-ass diet tips. I think shock-factor was the over-ruling qualifying element. Some of them are funny, some of them are gross, and some of them are just plain stupid.

 

The Liquor Store Whore

“I ate smoked oysters on Wheat Thins from the liquor store a few times…”

 

The Freegan

“I once had to eat Pancakes for a month straight – breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And my dog ate pancakes too. I was so poor that I literally couldn’t feed myself or my Rottweiler. And I found a 10-pound box of Bisquick and a 2-gallon jug of syrup at my dad’s house. So I took ,and I ate. And funny thing is, I still lovvvveeeee pancakes! Although, towards the end it didn’t agree with my Rottweiler’s stomach, lol. He sprayed shit all over my phone and door one day in my apartment, out of nowhere. Worst part is I just cleaned the phone and used it for like another year after that happened…”

 

The French Comedian

“I don’t know…but I’ve eaten hairy asses because in a way they were cheap. You know when the night is over and all the prettiest girls are gone and you are starving so sometimes you eat it … ”

 

The Idiot

I once ate a whole red onion for 20 bucks, it was a bet from my co workers at a pizza place. I ate it all, in under 10 minutes, and shat blood the next day.

I did it cause I was broke and I spent it on ecstasy.”

 

The Scrounge

“I used to eat copious amounts of the popcorn they were going to throw out at the movie theater (where I worked) for lunch and dinner sometimes because I was broke. Oh yeah, another one is my roommate and I used to pool our money for a big jar of peanut butter and would pass it back and forth for dinner usually lasted a couple days…dunno if that’s weird or just sad.

 

The Survivor

“Out in the wild I ate Grubs (a.k.a the larvae of an insect)! Whatever you do swallow them whole! I also ate live ants – make sure you twist their head off so it doesn’t bite you on the way down – tastes like lemon! I used to eat ketchup on Saltine crackers – it was free!” I’d also make PB’n’J’s for a whole weekend at the ski hill. By the time it got to Sunday, it was practically frozen, and all the jam was soaked through the bread so bad.”

 

The Nonchalant Traveler

“I ate these tacos from a cart in Rosarito Beach. They were pretty good but they were not any kind of meat I have had before or after…”

 

The Condiment King

“When I was stuck in Anacortes I ate condiment sandwiches – that was the all time low.

We stole condiment packets from fast food restaurants and bought a pack of bread.  That would feed three people for a day. Class-‘E.’ As opposed to A,B,C, or D. One time we got cheese singles and it made our day. It was like relish, mayo, ketchup, mustard, taco sauce – anything you can find. That was some real shit – raiding Arby’s, Jack in the Box, Carls Jr…”

 

Radical Ramen Recipes

“I have 20+ styles of ramen I can make. Italian style ramen is the best: it’s the noodles drained, with butter and a lil’ milk. Put in some garlic salt and some real garlic (which is all pretty cheap) and bam, it’s like Alfredo sauce. A lil’ pepper helps too.”

“Ramen stir fry is a specialty of mine, think I’ll do it up soon! Thai style ramen, curry ramen. I was glad to get onto food stamps and get back on my ramen diet…”

“The best ramen idea is: fresh cilantro and basil and spinach with minced garlic and ginger. Toss the sauce packet out. Put in some soy sauce and some Hoisin if you can afford it. That shit’s the bomb – don’t forget the Sriracha.”

photos courtesy of: http://3.bp.blogspot.com, www.pancackesfromscratch.com, www.foodstubs.com, www.freakingnews.com, http://preparednesspro.files.wordpress.com

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About the author

Heidi Smith - The Ultimate Scavenger

Originally from San Diego, Heidi migrated north to study journalism at SFSU and interned for the SF Bay Guardian writing music stuff. She later embarked on a study-abroad program in both Denmark and Holland, and basically never came home. For six long years, she froze her ass off in Oslo, Norway, pretending to be a viking princess, trying to figure out how to survive in the most expensive city in the world. The other two years were spent frolicking on the beach in Spain - sipping on sangria in between being tossed around Europe working as a stressed-out journalist. Heidi currently works at for a non-profit cultural exchange program, helping others experience life from a different perspective. She is thrilled to be back in SF, magnetizing the obscure, and scavenging the city for fun, free things to do.
  • Cait

    I’ve donated blood before just so I could spend the next hour scarfing down as many snacks and crackers and juice I could manage. I’d then stuff anything else into my pockets and scram.

  • http://sarahmsmart.com Sarah M. Smart

    I ate prunes and popcorn, one after the other, for three days because it was what I had and I was waiting for my food stamp benefits to refill. I crapped maybe eight times a day for a week after that.
    s

  • http://www.offatthewrongstop.wordpress.com Nina

    I once mixed boxed Mac n cheese with a can of spaghetti-O’s cause two of us were arguing over which was worse. Definitely ‘mixed’ was worst..

  • ShishkaBerry

    I am the queen of gourmet Kraft dinner. even just a dash of spaghetti sauce changes the whole flavor. I think ramen dude and I should open a restaurant :P