Wednesday, November 7, 2012

No Electricity And No Kitchen...Is It Possible To Eat Out, Eat Healthy And Stay On A Budget?

I make no secrets about my feelings for fast food; the Golden Arches and the King in the Castle are no friends of mine. For 8 days we had no electricity and no kitchen. How can you get through that without eating pizza everyday and keeping your costs down?

If you are resourceful you can get by.

I found myself in Dunkin Donuts most mornings getting a coffee with skim milk and an egg white flat bread (No Turkey Bacon for me) which was under $5 and less than 300 calories. An oatmeal breakfast at Starbucks is 140 calories with 4 grams of fiber, a great choice!

After breakfast I would stop at the grocery store for some fruit (mostly grapes, apples and bananas) and a Chobani yogurt to keep around for snacks.

If I was able to find a deli I would get a sandwich: sliced turkey breast, one slice of swiss cheese with mustard and tomato on whole wheat bread. I could typically find this for $5-7.  I work in an area on most days that is not food friendly, mostly fast food, Kennedy Fried Chicken -yes, Kennedy, not Kentucky. Typically, I pack my lunch and snacks for the day.
To change it up a bit I stopped at Subway for a 6" Turkey flat bread with lettuce, tomato and provolone cheese which is about 300 calories and also around $5 with a drink (diet soda or water!). Occasionally I would drive through McDonald's (YES!!) and get a grilled chicken snack wrap-NO SAUCE- for just a few dollars and also less than 300 calories. If I had to go into McDonald's and was particularly hungry I could see how the wafting smell and sight of french fries might tempt someone, so DON'T GO INSIDE!

This was a bit tricky and a little more difficult. Some used their grills and got creative which is great, but eating in the cold dark house was not an option for us. Keeping it simple with a healthy dinner salad, a few sushi rolls, or a garden salad and a slice of pizza a few times kept us going.

I am thrilled to have our power back and never appreciated a home cooked meal more than I did last night. I will not be frequenting any of the above mentioned eating establishments for a very long time!

My thoughts and prayers are with all the people on Long Island, Staten Island, Queens and New Jersey who are enduring terrible hardships.  Losing power for 8 days is nothing in comparison....


  1. I realized stopping at a grocery store, rather than a fast food restaurant, will benefit your health and wallet, while others think as it vice-versa. The hurricane left us pretty scarce on what was available to eat but with a simple meal plan such as yours' proves we can eat balanced anytime, anywhere.(C.C. Nutr.109)

  2. Its, true, crystal, it just takes a little bit of planning out but it will be healthier and less expensive in the long run.