Budgeting for food....

What do you eat and drink on the playa? Share ideas, recipes and advice here.
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Greenltdistrict
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Budgeting for food....

Post by Greenltdistrict » Wed Jun 18, 2008 5:23 pm

How much is reasonable per person? We over did it last year at $75 per person...so this year I thought mabye $60 per, but after reading posts I have heard as low as $30?! Any suggestions?

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phil
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Post by phil » Wed Jun 18, 2008 6:07 pm

My 'budgeting' is clearly different from yours, so I don't know how you do it. Louise and I plan a menu, then buy all the food for the menu. This means we don't spend more than we would at home.

We buy some fresh and frozen stuff for the first few days, but then all our meals are from canned goods, so we don't have to worry about ice. We bag each meal - the entire contents for each meal is placed in a plastic bag and labelled with whatever its name is (Ham & Yams, Chicken & Rice). We have a menu which shows our proposed meals for each day, breakfast, lunch, and supper. We grab the appropriate bag, pull out all the items plus the recipe and cook it up.

This is probably over-organized for some people, but it solves so many problems of deciding what we want to cook for that meal, finding the recipe, finding the various ingredients in the hundred-degree van, and getting it all together to cook.

If we choose not to prepare the scheduled meal, we'll do another one then strike that off the menu so we don't go looking for it again. We bring a few extra bags of meals so we can invite friends over. Since it's all canned, it never spoils so we can eat it any time during the year or wait till next Burning Man.

That doesn't sound like how you do it, though.

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Simon of the Playa
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Post by Simon of the Playa » Wed Jun 18, 2008 6:23 pm

"FOOD IS FOR PUSSIES"
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EB
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Post by EB » Wed Jun 18, 2008 11:01 pm

Phil's methods are the way to go.

The thing about Burning Man, especially if you've gone a few times and have taken a position of responsibility in your camp, is that you're always "on task."

There's just a million things that need taking care of... all at the same time! Always something to tie-down, something to change into, some gizmo on your bike/art car that needs fixing...

The last thing I EVER want to devote brain cells to is the preparation of a meal. Each year, before the event, I make a double-batch of hearty non-seafood jambalaya. It's got rice, sausage, chicken, peppers, tomatoes -- everything for a well-balanced meal. I seal off three large tupperware bins and throw it in the cooler. It's great as a hot meal, a cold meal, good with eggs, good with a cold beer.

The secret is... I only make it for Burning Man. Even though I hanker (great word) for it every so often in Defaultia. By the end of the event, sure, I'm a little sick of it and, yes, I mix in a couple other meals to break things up but, seriously, the easier the better out there.

EDITED TO ADD: I forgot, it's great for trading with other camps, too. One year, I traded a couple small tubs for fresh fruit salad!
Irony. You're soaking in it.

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thirt33n
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Post by thirt33n » Wed Jun 18, 2008 11:36 pm

Simon of the Playa wrote:"FOOD IS FOR PUSSIES"
food is for tongues, tongues are for pussies, so you're kind of right, Simon.

I've always spent/brought a little too much but the funny thing is that I can barely EVER remember eating. Just a few special meals otherwise they all just fade into the,...whatever. ??!*&?

this year I anly have myself to plan for so I'll hit it on the head. I bet $30/$40 will be good for food. There are always people tradin' and gifting morsels.
blow.

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ragabashpup
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Post by ragabashpup » Wed Jun 18, 2008 11:50 pm

I spent about 150 on food for 2 people and it was WAY too much. We only ate about a quarter of it. I expect to spend a lot less this year. Maybe more quality than quantity. Food was not top priority for us.

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Greenltdistrict
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Post by Greenltdistrict » Thu Jun 19, 2008 11:25 am

Good points...we have avid cooks in our camp so we freestyled last year...delicious and excessive...the meal plan is the way to go I suspect...$30 - $40...canned and dehydrated as usual...thanks for the responses.

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Marscrumbs
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Post by Marscrumbs » Thu Jun 19, 2008 11:44 am

[quote="Simon of the Playa"][size=24]"FOOD IS FOR PUSSIES"[/size][/quote]

And visa versa

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gyre
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Post by gyre » Thu Jun 19, 2008 3:03 pm

You should spoil yourself out there, especially with anything that keeps.
Whatever I take, it's not what I want when I get there.
I just got some foil packs of marinated albacore steak and chicken from bumblebee. Haven't tried them yet though.
I always take the packs of albacore tuna with me, $1.50 for enough for a sandwich or a meal, not steaks though.
Great to carry on trips out there.
They keep for a year if you don't eat them.
I have seen irradiated milk and steaks in plastic packs too.
I usually eat for some time after the burn on the leftovers.

Jambalaya sounds good.
Harder to pack things that have to stay cold from a distance.

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EB
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Post by EB » Thu Jun 19, 2008 3:32 pm

Yeah, the ol' playa really knocks down the munchies for some reason.

Even the foodies I've met out there seem to run out of steam by Wednesday.

Thank God for the playa pancake house!
...and the Grilled Cheese Incident!
...and those people who gave out hot dogs and wine two years ago!
...and Espresso Camp (RIP)
...and the Random Pizza Experience
(etc.)
Irony. You're soaking in it.

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Boijoy
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Post by Boijoy » Thu Jun 19, 2008 4:55 pm

Hard to say how much to spend. Depends on your taste. I usually spending WAY too much on alcohol. :-) During the summer though, I jar the leftovers I want to bring. && JERKY brings lots of JERKY. yum! See,, if you don't make it yourself.. it's expensive stuff... dirves the grocery bill up. Food you don't have to chill is a VERY good idea. Then you can eat it at home later and you haven't wasted anything.
don't forget to floss

DragginLady
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Post by DragginLady » Thu Jun 19, 2008 6:08 pm

Beef jerky is good... I have made a whole bunch of it in the oven, using wooden sqewers to hang the strips from the racks. yummy
Baileys Irish cream is good to have for the coffee...
we went through a ton of Margaritas, the ready made kind...
and, ever popular were those little brownie bites you get at Costco.
Those last a long time, too....

Wine was an ok idea, but if you bring too much, the heat will pop the corks and the wine will later be undrinkable.

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Captain Goddammit
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Post by Captain Goddammit » Thu Jun 19, 2008 7:57 pm

DragginLady wrote:Beef jerky is good... I have made a whole bunch of it in the oven, using wooden sqewers to hang the strips from the racks. yummy
Baileys Irish cream is good to have for the coffee...
we went through a ton of Margaritas, the ready made kind...
and, ever popular were those little brownie bites you get at Costco.
Those last a long time, too....

Wine was an ok idea, but if you bring too much, the heat will pop the corks and the wine will later be undrinkable.
This is just about the perfect playa shopping list!
I take issue with the ready-made margaritas though... bring a blender and some quality tequila.
Plenty of Bailey's for the coffee, right! Some irish whiskey is good too.
Wine is great, just keep it chilled, either in your fridge or an ice chest.

Oh... food... yeah... beef jerky will about cover it for the daytime. Breakfast is the great playa mealtime. You can't bring enough bacon!
And Cap'n Crunch and some milk. Gotta have that.
GreyCoyote: "At this rate it wont be long before he is Admiral Fukkit."

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gyre
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Post by gyre » Fri Jun 20, 2008 1:05 am

I like Koala Crispies out there.
Organic cocoa and rice, and 1% of the money goes to teaching koalas to read.

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EB
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Post by EB » Fri Jun 20, 2008 9:44 am

gyre wrote: and 1% of the money goes to teaching koalas to read.
:lol: :lol: :lol:
Irony. You're soaking in it.

DragginLady
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Post by DragginLady » Fri Jun 20, 2008 11:08 am

LOL, Captain... guess I did leave out a few basics in my post. haha
Last year we did not have to think about food much, because we paid our camp dues and ate like kings and queens as part of the Temple Crew.
This year we will be back to fending for ourselves, and that ol' can that got hot on the car bumper is sounding a bit appealing in its simplicity, if not it's flavor or nutrition.

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Teo del Fuego
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Post by Teo del Fuego » Fri Jun 20, 2008 11:19 am

Ive been goin' now fer 4 years and I stopped bringin food and water last year. Saves weight and money. Here's how ya do it:

Wake up in the morning and head over to espresso camp. bum a ciggie on the way. Go next door to Biscoteque and get a biscotti. Pedal across the playa to Pancake Playhouse and get a short stack and some pancackes, and bum another ciggie on the way. Head over to Porn and Eggs and get some scrambles, pinch a dirty mag before you leave.

Ride across playa to Pigmalion and have bacon and bloody mary's. Bum a cig from someone. Along the way, trade the dirty mag to some underage toffer for a frozen burrito. Eat the burrito for lunch.

This will hold ya until midnight at least. Then make yer way to the White Dragon noodle Bar and load up then saunter across the street to the Grilled Chesse sammy camp and top off. Look around the burn barrels for left over bread crust, that's good eatin too.

The whole time be hydratin' with ice melt from your cooler. Your bacon bag will have split open (its not painful) and your water will have that pleasant bacon taste the rest of your stay.

Thats how a PRO does it.

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Captain Goddammit
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Post by Captain Goddammit » Sat Jun 21, 2008 1:44 am

A PRO BUM!
GreyCoyote: "At this rate it wont be long before he is Admiral Fukkit."

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Simon of the Playa
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Post by Simon of the Playa » Sun Jun 22, 2008 4:17 pm

The whole time be hydratin' with ice melt from your cooler. Your bacon bag will have split open (its not painful) and your water will have that pleasant bacon taste the rest of your stay.
actually, if you add Jack Daniels, a splash of Tab and half an eightball of cocaine, shaken, not stirred, you have a Playatini.

serve chilled from a Drag-Queen's Platform boots...

THATS how a PRO does it.


just ask larry
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robotland
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Post by robotland » Mon Jun 23, 2008 5:40 am

gyre wrote:
I always take the packs of albacore tuna with me, $1.50 for enough for a sandwich or a meal, not steaks though.

Jambalaya sounds good.
Zatarain's jambalaya-in-a-pouch isn't bad. Remember to bring some sort of sealable trash receptacle for stinky trash like tuna cans...I always bring smoked oysters, and the funky oily cans are a challenge to contain for a week in the heat. (My solution has been to avoid piercing the "breather nub" on one of my 2.5 gallon water suitcases and using it as a catchall for whatever doesn't dehydrate easily. Remember to bring a funnel!)

Pre-cooked bacon. Dinty Moore. Jerky. Maybe THIS year I'll try bringing some of those teensy little mignons wrapped in bacon- the ones in the little plastic clamshells.

ah, meat.
Howdy From Kalamazoo

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gyre
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Post by gyre » Mon Jun 23, 2008 6:05 am

If I wasn't clear enough, I take those foil packs of albacore.
There is very little left as there is little water and no catfood grade "tuna" in the good albacore.
I let them dry and put them in with the regular trash.

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JezebelinHell
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Post by JezebelinHell » Mon Jun 23, 2008 6:21 am

I find the lazier I want to be the more money I wind up spending. After six years on the playa my food plan generally consists of a large batch of curry (made at home and frozen in zip-loc bags), a batch of chicken tika masala, and a batch of jambalaya. Then I grab some MRE's, because I really really don't like doing dishes with no running water, and a cooler full of meal replacement shakes. When it's hot out and you're just not hungry but your body needs nourishment it's nice to be able to chug down 20 grams of protein in ten seconds.
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trilobyte
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Post by trilobyte » Tue Jun 24, 2008 9:05 pm

Difficult to say. My girl and I make a plan for a few specific meal things and pre-cook at home (then vac-seal, since that keeps it fresher longer), and then have smaller snacky things around (I don't think I've ever eaten a full sit-down meal on the playa). But we also bring more than just the two of us need, figuring we'll share it with friends and campmates... so our fudge-factor is high. Each of the last two years we've managed to finish off all our fresh stuff without wasting anything (well we had a ziploc of cheese that got waterlogged, but if it hadn't I'd have eaten it all), and come back with extra/leftover non-perishables.

We also split the food purchases up - dry goods/non-perishables were bought early (started surfing sale prices at the beginning of the summer), and fresh stuff was postponed until as late in the game as possible.

Trilo

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mojo
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Post by mojo » Wed Jun 25, 2008 12:10 pm

I provide one big meal a day, appetizers through the afternoons and occasional breakfast/lunch for about 30. For me, it's really part of the art. Meat travels frozen in my "freezer" dry ice chest, perishables are purchased in Reno on the way and are replenished mid-week by friends coming in then. The only pre-frozen meals I do are chili and spaghetti sauce. Having a propane BBQ makes a huge difference in the quality of the meals you can serve. We always have tri-tip, pork loin, salmon, etc....

Even so, it is true that your appetite is diminished out there, despite a surge in activity level. Be sure you take in plenty of protein.

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