The P100-A-Day Challenge Part 2: Lunch

Continued from The P100-A-Day Challenge Part 1.

Ok, the first part of this post concentrates on the lunches I’d buy because I was trying to live within the P100/day budget. I have previously mentioned that during the earlier part of this “poverty diet”, I had not figured out that I needed a lifestyle change and that terrible eating habits were the very reason that all my salary would fly off to Makati Medical Center in the first place.

Anyway, I did not document it here but one of the cheapest places to eat near my work area was Jollibee. They have value meals that are worth P49. I would feel absolutely silly if I posted photos of Jollibee value meals when everyone knows what they look like. Hehe. So what I’m going to say next is that at some point (for about two weeks), I became a regular Makati office person and bought food from what we would call “The Jallijeep”.

Ei, don’t knock it till you try it. They have veggies! That was important to me. (And “Ate” was always cheerful about selling her wares. She’d even give me extra.)

Depending on how much I want to splurge on dinner or merienda, I would sometimes just eat rice with mung beans (monggo for us Pinoys). When someone in the office has a birthday (meaning, free cake in the pantry during merienda break), I would splurge and add fresh lumpia to my order. This entire meal costs about P50.

Aaaand sometimes I’d get tears in my eyes when I have tinola. The only time I could enjoy this beloved Filipino dish is when I go back home to my parents on extremely rare chill weekends. At Jallijeep this costs  around P44 because I only ordered half rice.

Sometimes, I’d also dine at Tropical Hut during the weekends.

It doesn’t look appetizing here but these are “burger steaks” served with rice (P65).

And then here’s what I bought at A.Venue’s SM Hypermarket bread store:

This could also be your merienda, but I bought two of them for a total of P64 so that they’d be substantial enough as lunch bread.

Aaaaand there’s the almighty Turkey Spam.

Which I could stretch for about 3-5 days so all I’d need to buy from Jallijeep or 7-11 was rice.

Ok, remember I did say that I wasn’t too concerned about my health during the earlier part? Well, after living like this for about two weeks, I realized that I could hit two birds with one stone if I cooked my own meals. One: Preparing my own lunches meant that I would know all the ingredients in what I eat, thereby helping me calculate the nutrients and fiber intake that I’d need for an entire day. Two: It’s hella cheaper!

Here are samples of my kitchen experiments.

Baked potato with cucumber yogurt sauce. It doesn’t look much but it was actually delicious and pretty much filling. I added bits of mint in there.

This was one of my better ideas, haha: Baked potato in yogurt and home-made salsa. Made this when I was trapped by the 8-7-2012 Habagat.

Used the leftover salsa and yogurt as a dip for my toasted tortilla.

I also created my own pesto from walnuts, almonds, parmesan cheese and basil leaves. This is herb pasta topped with home-made pesto, chunks of tomatoes, black olives and tuna.

Complex carbs and protein: Leftover pasta, more tuna flakes, and lovely cherry tomatoes.

Two hardboiled eggs, baked baby potatoes topped with pesto and parmesan cheese, celery sticks. I used yogurt and lemon as dips for the celery sticks.

Wheat pita bread and tortilla slices with cherry tomatoes, more pesto, yogurt and lemon.

This is almost the same concoction as the earlier pasta except it had mushrooms and capers instead of tuna and pesto.

Oooh, for this one, my flatmate’s mom had extra marinara sauce. I used that on a special organic moringga pasta (forgot the brand, but you can find it at Rustan’s Supermarket) and topped it with capers and parmesan cheese.

My vegan mashed potato. I love it but it’s so healthy, it doesn’t taste like your regular mashed potato. I made mushroom gravy (with white wine) for this. While I like cooking with soy or almond milk as dairy substitutes, it was during this time that I realized that I still prefer animal milk for a richer taste.

Anyway, I hope I didn’t bore you with this post. If you are interested in my other kitchen concoctions, I’ve set up an album for my “Home Cooking” at my Facebook Page.

Up next: The P100-A-Day Challenge: Merienda.


  1. Karina Ysabel Nario

    February 3, 2013 at 4:28 am

    What boring? I loved this post! 🙂 Loved your pasta topping ideas and baon combinations. How much time did you spend preparing your food? Did you have a routine?

  2. skysenshi

    February 3, 2013 at 4:44 am

    Hallo Karina!

    It usually takes me 20-30 minutes for the pasta. When I was still working for Anino Games, I'd either prepare them at around 7AM (while my flatmates take turns using the bathroom) because I walk to work at around 9.30AM, or prepare the pasta at night when I want to sleep longer.

    With rice, though, it's a different case. I buy brown rice and this takes an extra hour to prepare, if you want it to have a nice texture. My rice experiments can be found on my fan page (there's not much in there yet, but I'll try posting more):

  3. Janaki Garcia

    February 4, 2013 at 2:41 am

    Congrats! I took this challenge at the start of the year because I computed that it will save me about 2k a month. sadly, I'm a failure 🙁 Hope to try it again this month. Poorita lang ang mind-set and your post inspires me. Thanks

  4. The Reluctant Stylista

    February 4, 2013 at 8:42 am

    You should definitely check out Erwan Heusaff's blog, The Fat Kid Inside. He has some quick healthy dishes that are fairly easy to make. I'm going to try one of them this weekend nga eh!

  5. skysenshi

    February 5, 2013 at 2:00 am

    Yeah, it takes a lot of discipline. I also do budgeting for my expenses around twice a month, using Google Spreadsheets. I'm almost at the point of dividing my expenses in envelopes para I could spend my money on things that really matter (like maybe investing in a property later, kahit low-cost lang).

  6. skysenshi

    February 5, 2013 at 2:00 am

    Yeah! I'm a frequent visitor. I love Erwan Heusaff! If Anne Curtis wants a Christian Grey, akin nalang boyfriend niya. Bwahahahahaha!

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