I have been a working poor, though mercifully only for a short time. Back in the 70s, for a while I was the only one working (my wife didn’t have a job), and I was getting 700 $ per month after taxes (which wasn’t a whole lot of money, even back in 1978 ).
Anyway, I did some careful research in how to eat cheaply, and I carry many of those habits even to this day (even though now we are very well off indeed).
Offhand, I can see a couple of things wrong with the ‘working poor diet’. Chicken wings, pork chops are expensive. In fact, any kind of meat is expensive. An equally good source of proteins is the lentils. And not only Soya beans, these days a wide variety of lentils are available, black eye peas, chick peas, moog beans etc. Some of them have more proteins that beef or chicken.
Lentils are very cheap, certainly a lot cheaper than meat. When soaked over night in water they swell up to three times their original size, and a small amount of lentils goes a long way. An excellent source of proteins and they are also tasty.
Another way of eating lentils is to germinate them first (it takes two days and is very easy to do), so that each bean has a sprout growing from it. Germinating lentils are also rich in vitamins, in addition to proteins.
Another cheap and nutritious item is brown rice. Again, brown rice swells up when cooked (while to cook white rice you need equal amounts to water and rice, to cook brown rice you need three times as much water as rice). Brown rice is full of roughage and vitamins, which are removed during the processing to obtain white rice. Brown rice costs about as much as white rice.
And what about oatmeal? Why only half a cup of it for breakfast? I eat oatmeal for lunch many times. Again, a little bit goes a long way, oatmeal swells up substantially when cooked. Oatmeal costs about 10 to 15 cents per 100g, so you can have lunch literally for pennies.
As for fruit, apples and oranges are expensive, why not bananas? Full of vitamins, excellent source of potassium, carbohydrates and a lot cheaper than apples, oranges or grapefruit.
Thus many times my breakfast consists of about 100 g of low fat cottage cheese (a cheap and excellent source of proteins) and a banana.
There are many ways the working poor diet could be improved, made cheaper and more nutritious. But it does need a little bit of research.
Last edited by SirJosephPorter; Feb 25th, 2009 at 11:19 PM..