I feel like such an auntie! So, fair warning that this post could be a little boring!
Being a housewife with Cart as the sole breadwinner, lately I’ve been thinking of ways of trying to save money. Of course, the best way though is to get a regular job and contribute to the household expenditures. But, till then, probably one of the easiest way is to check on what we consume on a weekly basis.
Frozen Sushi? This is so wrong
While Italy is known to have a high cost of living, if we knew how to manage our budget, it would still possible to have a good meal for half the price compared to heading to restaurants. Moreover, I actually like going to the supermarkets and look for a good promotion, and that’s when I thought to myself. Is it possible for two people to survive on 10 euro a day for meals?
Lets find out!
Normally breakfasts are a simple affair for Italians, basically it consists of cereal, toast or pastry, juice and a cup of coffee. Not a lot of food, but just enough to tide over till the next meal.
Cereal costs about 3 euro and juice costs about 2 euro each and can last two people about 5 days. While coffee costs about 2 euro a pack and that can last about a 2 weeks. And milk costs 1.30 and its enough for 3 days. While I drink rice milk as I’m a bit lactose intolerant. That costs 2 euro and it lasts for about 4 days.
All in all, that costs about 2 euro a day.
Normally lunch for Italians are the biggest part of their daily meals.
It’s a little bit hard to calculate for this because depending on what the menu would be like, usually it would be a different food a day as it could be pasta or lasagna or risotto depending on what the person feels like eating.
Moreover, I’ve already prepped and frozen some food, like this pack of chopped carrot, celery and onion which is the base of many Italian cooking. Its quite handy and time saving to have them prepared in advance.
Also, I normally eat alone (so sad!) since Cart would be at work . But since he’s also vegetarian, many times I’d be cooking a bit of meat like Pollo alla cacciatora or Polpette for myself because I feel more comfortable that way, since he’s not around :p
All in all, a pack of 500g dry pasta would cost about 1 euro, that’s enough for 5 portions, a bottle of tomato sauce costs about 1 euro, good for about 3 portions. And with 5 euro worth of carrot and celery and onion at the wet market chopped and frozen, you could have like 3 (most times even more) months of ready to use soffrito!
Whereas chicken costs about 4 euro each and meat costs about 4 euro-ish per half a kilo. And that’s enough meat to last me for about a month since I dont eat meat everyday.
Lets see, when divided, that’s about 5 euro for two people (I eat lunch alone though!)
For dinner we’d usually have something less filling than lunch and we’d usually have food like mashed potatoes with seitan, fritata with mushroom, baked potato with rosemary, bean salad, piadina … stuff like that … usually accompanied with sliced bread (which by the way, when freshly made is one of the most delicious thing to eat) *drools like Homer*
A pack of mashed potatoes costs 2 euro and a pack is enough for 6 portions, seitan costs about 3 euro which is enough for 4 portions, eggs costs 1.50 euro for 6, potatoes cost about 3 euro for half a kilo, beans cost about 1 euro a bottle, piadina about 2 euro for 5 pieces. And whole bread as seen in the top shelf in the picture, is about 3 – 4 euro which will be enough to last for about a week. Maybe less if you’re a toast monster like me :p
And that costs about 3 euro for two people.
So, can two people actually survive on 10 euro per day?
Hypothetically, yes. But probably in real life situation, its not realistic because there are some things that you have to take into consideration like buying whole, packaged foodstuff, and stuff like that would usually take you over your budget. But if you combine your budget and do your marketing to once a week for about 50 euro, I think its totally doable to have good meals for two people.
Nevertheless, this is a lot more affordable compared to eating out most of the time!
And now, I’m totally auntified because this is the type of conversations that mothers and grandmother’s usually talk about -_-“