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The bumpy road to financial independence. . . .

 

Friday, April 25, 2008

Rice: a frugal staple no more?

Food prices have been rising for months, but until now, the cost of a food staple for millions (perhaps billions) of people (including me) has remained fairly stable. Well, this week the stories started appearing in the American news: Vietnam and Cambodia are limiting rice exports; Sam's Club is rationing the amount that can be purchased, and the cost of rice has risen 50% in the last two months, and has at least doubled since 2004.

Some of the perception of a rice shortage in the U.S. may be due to restaurants stockpiling rice, a direct result of stories in the media. I myself am fighting the urge to run out to Winco and buy the entire bulk container of rice, just to be safe.

With my frugal lifestyle changes of the past six months, I've learned to love many dishes that include rice as a major ingredient, such as:


So what's a frugal eater to do? Well, lately I've returned to a staple of my college days: yes, Top Ramen. Only these days, I don't use the super-salty seasoning packet. Instead, I saute some veggies in low-sodium soy sauce (and sometimes in my garlicky Veri Veri Teriyaki sauce) and mix it all up into a chow mein type extravaganza. The Top Ramen runs 9 cents a packet at my local Winco, which is much, much less per pound than the sobe noodles that are also sold in the Asian food aisle.

Here's a wonderful, simple, tasty recipe for ramen noodles that I found on the internet several months ago. There are also several other good sites with great (and not so great) recipes using the always well-priced ramen noodles. Among them are:

You can even pen an ode to your great love of ramen at Ramen Haiku

Happy slurping, frugal friends!

5 comments:

Keri said...

I don't know where you came from, maybe Ramen Noodle heaven... but I think that you might be a genius!! Ramen noodles and veggies.... how much cheaper can you get! Excellent!

S.B. said...

I love the healthier tip you shared for Ramen noodles. I don't like to eat them because of the salt - not sure why I never thought to not use the seasoning packet. Great idea!

I'm also a frugal blogger like you!

camila said...

It is wise not to run and buy lots of rice, that is the worst we can do in moments like this. unfortunately I hate Ramen. I DO fisically hate them. :)
I liked your blog!

Finally Frugal said...

I definitely felt a little weird stocking up on Ramen as an "adult"! The last time I had so many packets of ramen in my cupboard, I was in college. . .

It really is a great 'base' for many Asian (and other) recipes, though, and so inexpensive. I recommend it. . . .

K said...

They fry the ramen to get them into those block shapes. So it isn't just the sodium aspect of ramen that makes it a not so healthy choice. I love it though. They used to make baked not fried versions but I haven't noticed it around lately.

http://www.straightdope.com/mailbag/mramen.html

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