Bento of the Month Contest Cost: Poll

Post your bento for the monthly theme, and come back to vote in the poll to decide on the best! Winners receive a bento-related prize.

Who's bento best suits our "cost" theme?

Poll ended at Sun Apr 12, 2009 5:24 pm

JBDoodles
0
No votes
veganf
1
2%
Divash
0
No votes
tenshi
3
7%
Texasmomof4
16
39%
Kiana
2
5%
bellalumia
2
5%
craftscout
2
5%
Kyoki
1
2%
hippie_mama
1
2%
jewelmaker
10
24%
gfbentomom
3
7%
 
Total votes : 41

Bento of the Month Contest Cost: Poll

Postby QChan » Sun Apr 05, 2009 5:24 pm

Okay, I think eveyone knows how this works, Pick the bento that you feel best suits our "cost" theme, but still looks delicious!

You can see the description if you click on the spoiler button.

*edit* forgot to say that this will be OVA~ on the 12th


JBDoodles:

Spoiler:
My low cost bento features Quick and Dirty (and cheap) Samosas. I absolutely love samosas, and they are usually too much work for me, so I decided to come up with a more simple recipe that mimics traditional samosas.

Ingredients:
1 bag of microwave steam-in-bag peas (1 serving)
2 servings of instant mashed potatoes (made with a bit of extra flakes for a dryer texture)
4 Goya Discos (pre-packaged frozen dough circles)
1/4 onion chopped finely
cumin
garam masala
cayenne pepper powder (just a pinch)
oil for frying
jarred Mango Chutney (watered down to be more of a dip than a jelly)

Prepare the potatoes according to the directions except add a few extra spoonfuls of potato flakes to make the texture thicker. Then microwave the peas according to the directions. Mix the potatoes and peas with the finely chopped onion, salt, and a pinch of cayenne. Then add a generous spoonful of both cumin and garam masala (an indian spice. If you can't find it, just omit it). The mixture should be brown from the spices. Wrap them up in the goya discos and pan fry them until they are browned on both sides. It is also a good idea to throw them in the oven for a few minutes to make sure the dough is thoroughly cooked. For this lunch, using a 5th disco, I cut out mini gingerbread men shapes to decorate the samosas.

I have estimated that the lunch pictured above cost approximately $1.50 taking into consideration the jumbo store-brand instant potatoes. They may not taste exactly like real samosas, but they are loaded with Indian spices and are very filing. I usually like to have a healthy balanced meal full of fresh veggies, but occasionally a cheap and yummy samosa lunch is o.k. too. :D


veganf:

Image
Spoiler:
cucumber slices w/a bit of purple cabbage, 2 apple slices, rice & beans.

I'll have to work out the cost when I go shopping again this weekend...all I remember was the cucumbers were on sale....

So the rice & beans were leftovers in the rice cooker...I get about 8 servings from my recipe...so to estimate: $1 can organic diced tomatoes, $1 can organic red beans, $3 bag organic brown rice (used 1/4 of the bag), store brand organic veg broth I used 1/4 of a $2 box...so the 8 servings cost about $3 rounded up (to account for spices, organic scallion, etc.) So a leftover kids portion was probably $.35. Adda few slices of an on sale english cucumber, slivers of red cabbage, and 1/4 of an organic apple, and I'd say this bento cost between 50-60 cents. :D Not bad for mostly organic during winter in New England.


Divash:


Spoiler:
Two bento for the price of one, or thereabouts:
Rice: Sam's Club white rice, on sale, 20 pound bag for $11. I used about 80 grams of rice in my rice cooker, and split that between the two bento.
Cost: $0.40 for both lunches.

Blue thing: Eggs, $3/dozen, 4 eggs total. I think non-kosher-certified eggs cost only about $2 per dozen, but don't quote me on that.
Cost: $2.00 (combined) for both lunches.

Stir-fry: Carrots, 2, shredded. Red onion, 1/2, shredded. Green cabbage, 1/4, shredded. Purple cabbage, 1/4, shredded. Cooking sherry, tamari, sesame oil, salt, and pepper (I'd be surprised if these total more than $0.25 for all the flavorings, combined). The sherry, tamari, and sesame oil are all kosher-certified, which means they cost a bit more; I suspect the cost would've been a few pennies less for those who don't keep kosher.
Cost: $1.00 for both lunches.
UPDATE: I went back and checked the store to see what I'd really paid for the cabbages, which were on sale, then checked my receipt to find out how much I'd bought (by the pound), then weighed what I've got left to find out how much I used. My math was very bad, apparently -- I only paid about $0.50 for the vegetables, combined.

Clementine tangerine and Jello pudding cup: These are in the photo, but they're not part of lunch. These are for a light commuter breakfast, eaten on the train in the morning.

Total cost for each bento lunch: $2.03.
UPDATE: Because of the adjusted price of the cabbages, above, the actual total for this bento is $1.53.

Keep in mind that this is the cost for kosher-certified ingredients, which costs a bit more than non-kosher food. Those who don't keep kosher could probably have done this for a bit less.


tenshi:


Spoiler:
I used some of the frozen things I had prepared before as well as a lot of staple foods. I also really watched what was on sale this week to get ready for this bento!

Top box: 51 yen
Rice pressed into mini onigiri. Half contain rainbow veggie furikake, half are wrapped in flavored nori. A tiny bit of cabbage is on the side for color.

Bottom box: 135 yen
2 Satsuma-imo balls flavored with orange jelly (12 yen). Hijiki salad with fried tofu, carrots, and soy beans (23 yen). Mochi Tofu Nuggets (57 yen). Veggie Mix with Tomato Sauce and Cheese (32 yen). Spinach and Cheese Eggs (11 yen).

Grand Total: 186 yen

Included in the cost are all the things I had to use to prepare the food too like seasonings, oil, flour, etc. I could have made it cheaper if I had done a different center dish, like salmon or something, but I've really wanted to try out this Mochi Tofu Nugget recipe for awhile. Rice, nori, furikake, satsuma-imo, kouya-dofu, and hijiki are all staple foods. I guess eggs are a staple too. The tofu nuggets came out really well. This was also my first time making traditional Japanese style omlettes in my new pan. Out of everything though, I like the Satsuma-imo balls the best. They are super easy to make and would fit well into my morning quick-and-easy bento routine.


Texasmomof4:

Image
Spoiler:
Being a stay at home mother of four I am beginning to be a pro at keeping meals as cost effective as possible. Here is my breakdown
I followed Biggies tutorial for the spam musubi using Kroger brand spam, nori and rice. Kiwi, carrot, leaf lettuce and strawberries were bought on sale at the local farmers market. Eggs, rice and broccoli also bought at Kroger.
Spam 24/$.99 = $.04 per musubi $.12 for all three musubi
Nori 20/1.99 = $.09 per sheet and I used 1/4 sheet for the three so $.02 for all three musubi
Rice 8/$1.99 = $.24 for all three musubi
Tamagoyaki
egg 12/$.99(with dollar off coupon) = $.08 per egg so $.04 for amount pictured.
soy sauce few drops so pennies maybe $.03
green onion 20/$.49 = $.02
Broccoli 10/1.98 = $.19
Carrot 18/$1.99 = $.11 per carrot and used maybe half so $.05
leaf lettuce 1 head of lettuce $.69 and used 2 leaves so maybe $.03
Kiwi fruit 4/$1.00 = $.12 for 1/2 kiwi
Strawberries 10/$.99 = $.09

So with sales and my wonderful local market from my calculations I get $.95 for this bento.

I forgot the marinade for the spam so add maybe $.10 max making grand total $1.05

Tried to keep it cheap, colorful and fresh. Hope you like it!


Kiana:


Spoiler:
bought last month>Rice 20lb bag= 10.99 on sale at island pacific
Nori= 3.99 for 100 sheets<
bought this weekend
Kabocha squash= 1.19 (and i also have enough for leftovers)
Kiwi= 0.99/lb

Getiing to eat this wonderful bento = Priceless...lol :lol:



bellalumia:


Spoiler:
contents and cost:
+kiwi: 4 for 1.00, 1 at $0.25
+strawberry: 10 for 1.00, 1 at $0.10
+ramen: half of the package ($0.34), $ 0.17
+3 homemade wings: $0.54

total: $1.06


craftscout:


Spoiler:
All 3 lunches shown (DD's in back, closed; Boogie's in front left; and mine showing inside of roll on right). Each lunch contains:

$0.37 Egg salad surprise rolls (roll $0.14, 2 eggs $0.11, celery $0.05, mayo $0.03, seasonings $0.05 estimated)
$0.15 Sauteed asparagus
$0.20 Roasted purple potatoes
$0.19 Strawberries

$0.91 total for each lunch


Kyoki:


Spoiler:
Pardon the blurry pic- my camera batteries died and I had to take this with my phone.

Salad: Broccoli and peppers (Broccoli: 1¢; pepper: 1¢)

Orange Wedge: < 1¢

Strawberry: 3¢

Chicken: 5¢

Rice: 4¢

Teriyaki Sauce: 3¢


Explanation: I bought the chicken at 79¢/lb, and used roughly an ounce. That’s 4.9¢, rounded to 5. The rice is 50lbs for $18 which is 36¢/lb, and I used roughly 2oz. That’s approximately 4¢. The broccoli, pepper, orange and strawberries were bought from a farmer’s market- broccoli was 28¢/lb, the orange was 35¢/lb, the peppers are 8/$1, and the strawberries were a dollar per box, with roughly 30 berries in each. With a quarter ounce each of pepper and broccoli, that comes to 2¢ of veggies. The orange came to 3¢, divided into quarters makes it less than a penny per wedge. The strawberry came to 3¢. The sauce was homemade with mirin and soy, both bought in bulk. The entire container came to under 3¢.

That makes my grand total come to 18¢ to fill a 120ml box. It’s not a grand luncheon, but it’s a nice snack. You can triple all the ingredients and make a nice lunch meal for 54¢, and double -that- make a good sized meal for a man for just over a dollar. It’s also nutritionally balanced- a carb, a veggie, a protein, a pair of fruits, and a seasoning. Mine comes to (roughly) 63 calories and 6g of carbs, and since it’s roasted chicken, the flavor is very rich and salt becomes unneccessary. I only added the sauce for color in the bottle… I didn’t use it when I ate the meal! So to triple that calorie count and you’ve got 126 calories and 18g of carbs, which means it’s good for all diets, including insulin resistant, diabetic, and low fat/low carb. No nutritional deficiencies!


hippie_mama:

Image
Spoiler:
Rice 10.2 oz @ $1.89/32 oz = $0.61
Cherry Tomatoes 1.9 oz @ $1.50/9.8 oz = $0.29
Cheddar Cheese 1 oz @ $0.99/8 oz = $0.12
Grapes 4.7 oz @ $1.59/16 oz = $0.47
Apples 3 oz @ $0.79/16 oz = $0.15
Carrots 1.8 oz @ $1.99/32 oz = $0.10
Egg 1 @ $1.28/12 = $0.11
Nori cut-outs = $0.05 (estimating...i don't remember how much the package cost)

Total: $1.90

It looks like a lot compared to the others, but i used a 1.6 L container, which holds plenty of food for a man that works overnight in a place with no snack machines, and no place open to buy food for miles. This is usually spread out over two "meals."

*have to add: the egg guy has a goatee like my hubby, lol. He thought it was funny.


jewelmaker:


Spoiler:
Here is my entry for the “how low can you go contest”. For me this contest isn’t about trying to make the cheepest bento in the contest, I probably couldn’t do that because I buy a lot of organic foods. I wanted to make a bento that was as inexpensive as I could but still balanced and pretty like a bento should be. I made a “make your own mini pizza” bento. This is my son’s favorite and most requested bento and happily one of the cheepest bentos I do.
Contents & cost
Organic Crackers $3.39 a box : 1 serving = 42c
Smoked Ham $3.79 pkg : 1slice = 38c
Cheddar Cheese 4.39 a pkg : 1 slice = 22c
Pizza Sauce (sm container under olives) 1.99 bottle : 1/4 oz = 4c
Sliced olives $.79 a can : 1/6 of can = 13c
Organic Carrot Stick Bundle : 1/4 carrot = 12c slice of mini bellpepper = 3c
Kiwi = free from friends tree
Organic Grapes 2.79 lb : 1 oz = 18c
Dried pineapple pieces 7.49 lb : 1 oz = 46c
Chocolate covered Raisins (under pineapple) 6.49 : 1 oz =40c

so the total cost for this bento is $2.26


gfbentomom:


Spoiler:
Cost: $1 max.
beef:$2.49/lb., used not more than 1/4 lb. so 72 cents
corn: $1 for 16oz. bag, used about 2 tb., 2 cents
broccoli: $1.99 for 3 stalks, used 1 tiny piece, < 3 cents
waffle fries: $3 for 22 oz., used 3 oz., 22 cents
edamame $1 for a bag, < 2 cents
BBQ sauce was homemade < 1 cent
negligable amount for breadcrumbs, and seasoning in meatballs

QChan
Moderator
 
Posts: 164
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 7:43 pm
Location: B.C. Canada

Re: Bento of the Month Contest Cost: Poll

Postby QChan » Mon Apr 13, 2009 10:43 am

And with that. Texasmomof4 Is the winner!

QChan
Moderator
 
Posts: 164
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 7:43 pm
Location: B.C. Canada

Re: Bento of the Month Contest Cost: Poll

Postby Texasmomof4 » Mon Apr 13, 2009 11:27 am

Woo Hoo! I want to thank everyone who voted for my yummy lunch! [bouncing up and down with excitement!]
Thank you!
Donna
Mom of 4! DS 11, DS 9, DD 6, and DD 4.
http://texasmomof4.blogspot.com/
Visit me on flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/30607953@N05/

Texasmomof4
 
Posts: 90
Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2009 12:00 pm
  • Website

Re: Bento of the Month Contest Cost: Poll

Postby jewelmaker » Mon Apr 13, 2009 3:05 pm

Congratulations Donna! Great bento, I voted for you :)
jewelmaker
 
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2009 9:41 pm

Re: Bento of the Month Contest Cost: Poll

Postby craftscout » Mon Apr 13, 2009 6:20 pm

Congrats!
crafty mom to DD 7yo and Boogie Boy 2.5yo

craftscout
 
Posts: 65
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 6:03 am
Location: Houston suburbs, TX

Re: Bento of the Month Contest Cost: Poll

Postby veganf » Tue Apr 14, 2009 7:48 am

I voted for you too. You made food I wouldn't even eat look gorgeous.
mama to Ryan (6), AJ (5), Nate (2), Maia (1), all born at home. Kids vegan bento lunches: http://disposableaardvarksinc.blogspot.com/

veganf
 
Posts: 183
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2009 12:03 pm
Location: MA, USA
  • Website

Re: Bento of the Month Contest Cost: Poll

Postby Texasmomof4 » Tue Apr 14, 2009 7:49 am

Thank you!
Mom of 4! DS 11, DS 9, DD 6, and DD 4.
http://texasmomof4.blogspot.com/
Visit me on flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/30607953@N05/

Texasmomof4
 
Posts: 90
Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2009 12:00 pm
  • Website


Return to Bento of the Month Contest

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest