When I first did Mastercheap back in 2010, when people asked me “How are you coping? Are you hungry all the time?” I could honestly answer “Really well” and “No”. If I got asked those questions right now during Mastercheap Raw, I would have to prevaricate slightly. And the reason is mostly carbs.
Breakfast: 1/3 cup of quick oats, cooked with 1/2 cup milk and served with 2 spoonfuls stewed apple
Lunch: Fried potatoes, mixed vegetables
Dinner: Home-made pasta, chilli green beans
Snacks: 3 pieces shortbread
Hot drinks: 9 cups black tea
I Like Carbs
Obviously, my diet isn’t actually short on carbs. Between my breakfast oats, my dinner-time pasta, my fried potatoes and the shortbread, quite a lot of grain-based products are hitting my body. The simple fact of the matter is that I don’t enjoy several of those options as much as the ones I would regularly consume in my ordinary diet.
The potatoes I had at lunch are a good case in point. I sliced them fairly thinly, fried them in margarine until they were crispy, and then quickly heated them up for lunch. Very enjoyable, but I’d still much rather have had a couple of slices of multigrain bread and a simple sandwich filling. The point of Mastercheap Raw is to test whether taking a do-it-yourself approach to budget food works better than using packaged or manufactured foods. For me, the absence of bread means the answer is almost certainly going to turn out to be ‘no’. It wouldn’t necessarily be the case for other people, but that’s how I feel right now.
The enjoyment principle
And I’m saying this on a day when I got to eat pasta, which is my other favourite dish in the world. One definite benefit of doing Mastercheap for me has been reaffirming that making my own pasta really isn’t that difficult. It’s not as cheap as buying the dried stuff, and I’m sure I’ll keep doing that, but DIY pasta is something I will be doing more often. So that’s a win.
Lifehacker’s Mastercheap Raw experiment sees editor Angus Kidman living for a week with a food budget of just $25 and only basic ingredients.