Story of a German backpacker in Lima-Peru about a balanced meal

“At that moment I realized that buying in big amounts is better than in units; it could be even cheaper and healthier”.

Source: Milenka Palacios Chávez

One Thursday like today, I woke up starving at 8.15 inthe morning, because the day before I didn’t eat anything for dinner and I went to sleep with an empty stomach. Today was different day, it was totally clear that I wouldn’t eat “soup and a main dish” as breakfast, nor tamales with bread or the “leftovers from the day before”. Obviously, even if I hadn’t eaten since breakfast from the day before, my stomach wouldn’t be able to eat such amount of food, and even considering that it was for breakfast. “NO, forget it… it would be just too much!”.

Having this in mind, I stood up and tried to wake up my two other roommates, just in case any of them wanted to join me to buy something to eat, but everyone were so tired (for sure the day before they went out without me) that they went to sleep again. Hopelessly, I dressed up and went to the Metro Supermarket, which is a couple of blocks from my Hostel (the one, which has turned into my second home, although it is more expensive than the Market from Surco). And so, I entered the Supermarket and went directly to the last aisle, which has a poster indicating “Desayuno/Breakfast” and I chose a 400g-bag of Granola sweetened with honey (for the next 15 days) and went down the corridor till the cold food section, exactly to the one of dairy products.

I knew I wanted to drink something fresh with the Granola, but I didn’t know whether to buy yogurt or milk, so comparing prices I found out that a one-liter-bag of milk (Extra light Gloria) cost two soles less than a liter of yogurt. For that reason I chose the bag of milk and put it into my green basket. I kept on walking and, as I saw the basket, I felt something was missing. Because of that I went to the back of the dairy products’ section looking for fruits.

Many of them were very expensive considering the price per kilogram, so we only bought half a papaya. Then, with sore arms, I decided to pay and went to the hostel to prepare my breakfast. It was exactly 9.30 inthe morning when I started taking breakfast till I finished it: 1 bowl with ½ cup of Granola + 1 cup of milk and another bowl with two thick slices of cut papaya. “It had been a fresh breakfast with fiber and no uncomfortable feeling of extreme fullness or desires to go to sleep”. Soon, the girls got up and saw the food there, so they decided to eat the same. “At that moment I realized that buying in big amounts is better than in units; it could be even cheaper and healthier”.

We ate up and got ready to go to Miraflores to see the craft fairs. We got off in Larcomar and walked through the Malecon till we found a man with a wagon full of fruits. He sold different types of fruits, all very colorful and cheap. It was 12 o’clock at noon when we bought mandarins and bananas for the three of us.

Hopefully at 1pm we weren’t hungry and we could keep on walking down Miraflores till 3:30 pm that we got hungry again. The restaurants there were far too expensive for our budget, so we went back to Barranco, where we found a 7-soles-Menu at a Restaurant in Union Street. We thought they only sold fish, but when we read at the board “Entry: Fresh salad”, totally convinced we entered the restaurant and ask for a fresh salad with avocado as an entry, Chicken stew as a main dish and a glas of chicha morada to drink. “I was really more than enough”.

At 6pm, alter having cleaned the room (it was about time), one of my roommates prepared us a sandwich with Edamcheese and papaya and banana juice. Many of us end up satisfied/full, but three hours later, when we saw an Argentinean eating in the living room of the Hostel, we craved to eat canned tuna salad with crackers. We asked him where he had bought everything, and very calmed, he answered “And where else? At the supermarket that is a couple of blocks from here”. So, we went to the Supermarket again to buy the ingredients. “It had been a day with less adventure than the others, but we had eaten well and for a cheaper price”.


Breakfast Total – Price Portion – Price
Granola sweetened with honey (Brand: Unión)

400 g– s/.9.20

½ cup – s/.0.80

Extra Light milk in bag (Brand: Gloria)

1 L– s/.2.99

1 cup – s/.0.80

Papaya

½ unit – s/.3.99

2 slices – s/.0.99

Snack Total – Price Portion – Price
Mandarine

1 kg– s/.2.50

2 units – s/.0.40

Banana

5 bananas – s/.4.00

1 unit – s/.0.80

Lunch (Menu) Total – Price Portion – Price
Fresh salad with avocado

s/.7.00

Chicken stew
“Chicha morada” (1 glas)
Snack Total – Price Portion – Price
Medium wheat bread (Brand: Bimbo)

1 bags/.4.99

2 slices – s/.0.80

Edam cheese (Brand: Laive)

144 g– s/.5.75

2 slices – s/.1.60

Banana and Papaya juice

1 banana – s/.0.80

1 slice of papaya – s/.0.50

Dinner Total – Price Portion – Price
Canned tuna in vegetable oil

1 can – s/.4.30

1 can – s/.4.30

Crackers (Brand: Field)

1 package x 9 – s/.5.99

1 package – s/.0.70

Tomatoe

1 kg– s/.0.99

1 unit – s/.0.10

Onion

1 kg– s/.3.39

½ unit – s/.0.30

Lemon

1 kg– s/.3.79

4 units – s/.0.40

Total Expenditure/day

s/. 20.30

Source: Milenka Palacios Chávez

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