Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Miscellaneous/2011 September 4

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September 4[edit]

Buying a month's food at once[edit]

I couldn't be bothered to worry about buying and making food. I'd like to have something that I can stack in room temperature and prepare trivially. Taste doesn't matter but it must keep me healthy. I'm located in the EU and willing to spend at most 5e/day on this. -- (talk) 01:49, 4 September 2011 (UTC)

Canned food? --Jayron32 02:03, 4 September 2011 (UTC)
Assuming you have a source of water and a way to heat it, then your options are plenty. Dried pasta, peas, beans, grain, etc are a great source of nutrients, and take up very little space. Just add water and heat. (A canister of salt or all-spice would also help tremendously) Quinn THUNDER 02:11, 4 September 2011 (UTC)
You could buy up cases of MREs manufactured for civilian consumption, to get some variety from a monodiet. Unfortunately MREs appear to be much more expensive than your specification. You could easily buy a variety of canned food and get meat, pasta, fruit, and vegetables storable at room temp and easily prepared. You could supplement this with easy to prepare meals in boxes, which just require adding to boiling water for a few minutes over low heat, such as pasta, oatmeal and rice. Cereal and dried fruit such as prunes and raisins could be part of the plan. Canned milk or nonfat dry milk as well as Velveeta are dairy which can be stored at room temp (until the Velveeta is opened.) You would save big by buying and refrigerating milk, meat, eggs and other perishables. Peanut butter works well. Bread does not require refrigeration but has a limited shelf life before it gets stale or moldy. Crackers and pretzels have a long shelf life. Jelly and jam probably need refrigeration after opening, but you could buy a box of individual restaurant 1 serving packages. Way cheaper to buy a regular jar and refrigerate. Lots of good food in jars, but olives, tamales, pickles, etc need refrigeration after opening. Its not that hard to finish a small jar or can of many foods in a meal or 2 in a single day. If you are broke, then compromise your standards of "trivial preparation" by learning to prepare dried beans (soak, cook, eat). Offbrands (house brands) at discount groceries can save big, as can day old baked goods from bakery outlet stores. In college I ate on less than $5/day adjusted to today's prices, or about 3.5 Euros, but I did not require the extra expense of things packaged for room temp storage, and I was happy to cook the food from raw ingredients rather than open and eat as your question implies. Since this is a reference desk, I will recommend to you the free book "Preparing nutritious meals at minimal cost," (1999) from the United States Department of Agriculture. There might be similar books published by your government. You have to do some work in the kitchen to eat nutritious meals at the lowest cost. Edison (talk) 02:36, 4 September 2011 (UTC)
What is an MRE? HiLo48 (talk) 03:37, 4 September 2011 (UTC)
Some people say it's food, Meal, Ready-to-Eat. (talk) 03:42, 4 September 2011 (UTC)
(EC) MREs do seem too expensive. Canned/dried food would be great but how can I know I won't develop a deficiency of something? -- (talk) 13:15, 4 September 2011 (UTC)
My father in the UK used to get such products delivered to him, when he grew elderly and unable to prepare fresh food. You can also find such products on the shelves of any supermarket, and in the UK you can even order online and get them delivered. I would, however, also recommend taking a multivitamin tablet every day to make sure you do get everything you need. Or you could buy fresh fruit, which would at least help with the vitamin intake and doesn't need much preparation. --TammyMoet (talk) 13:00, 4 September 2011 (UTC)
Fresh fruit goes against the OP's intention of buying all their food at once for an entire month. Not many (any?) fruits will stay ripe for that long. Dismas|(talk) 20:03, 4 September 2011 (UTC)
Well, one could buy enough fresh fruit (and other items) to last a week or so, and survive on canned goods for the rest of the month. Even if you only buy food once a month, you can plan your meals properly to take advantage of the most perishable (and, thus, most nutritious) stuff early on, and save the preserved food for later in the month. --Jayron32 20:35, 4 September 2011 (UTC)
Dried pasta (£1.20/kg, so 12p/serving), frozen mixed vegetables (£1/kg, 10p/serving) or tinned vegetables (slightly more expensive but can be stocked at room temperature), pasta sauce in a jar (£1/500g, 25p/serving, keep in the fridge between uses) will give you a filling evening meal at around 50p (€0.75) per day. Sainsburys in the UK do long life bread at 80p a loaf: it contains calcium propionate and starts off slightly stale, but doesn't get staler. I left half a loaf in my cupboard once during the Easter vacation at uni. Six weeks later and it was dry but still perfectly edible and free of mould. Get a few loaves each month. A few slices of bread and a 50p can of soup makes a good lunch. Breakfast cereal (supermarket own brand is really cheap) and see if you can buy UHT milk to eat it with. Estimated at 25p/bowl. So for £1.25 or so (around €2) you can feed yourself for a day. I'd recommend spending some of the surplus on protein though (tinned meat/tofu/tinned beans), since this diet doesn't contain much of it. Get some snacks for between meals (popcorn, nuts, seeds, individually wrapped cake bars, tinned fruit etc.) too. A diet very similar to this one (ie proper milk, not UHT) has kept me going for the last two years at uni and by varying the pasta sauce, pasta and vegetables every now and then it doesn't get too boring (tinned curries with rice are also excellent for adding variety). Brammers (talk/c) 20:44, 4 September 2011 (UTC)
I endorse the comments of Brammers. Note that for some people a multivitamin with 100% of the recommended amounts of various vitamins still leaves some people deficient of Vitamin D, say, as discussed previously at this Ref Desk. The USDA book on low cost nutrition says forget consuming coffee, tea, or soda pop, since they are expensive and provide negligible nutrition. The same goes for alcoholic beverages. Also avoid buying your food at restaurants. If you do eat in restaurants, look for "loss leaders," like $1 (US) McDonalds meals, with free water as beverage. Edison (talk) 04:45, 5 September 2011 (UTC)
Costco (in the US and Canada) sell 6-month supply of dehydrated and freeze-dried food. It is price at US $580 (Euro $424) (424 / 6 / 30 = 2.36) which mean it will cost you 2.36 a day. OP geolocate to Netherlands so I'm not sure if you can get something similar. Royor (talk) 03:43, 5 September 2011 (UTC)
Texturized vegetable protein! Yum! But the chocolate milk, fudge brownies, and strawberries sound good. Some cooking will be necessary, as for other cheap eats, but this is a much cheaper prospect than the MREs. The problem is they aren't "ready to eat," and the OP doesn't want to be "bothered" by "making food." So more expensive "heat and eat prepared meals " are a more appealing prospect for him. A humorous newspaper editorial around the time canned (tinned) food was introduced said "Now that one can buy a meal in a can, a man no longer needs to get married. He can just buy a can opener!" Edison (talk) 04:55, 5 September 2011 (UTC)
One comment on canned foods, some are excellent, and some are horrid. For some reason fruit, like pineapple, seems to be just fine in cans, while many veggies, such as those containing chlorophyll, like peas, are awful, and usually grey. Canned corn and beets are good, though. Get unsalted canned veggies, whenever possible, as you can always add salt, if needed. One mixed veggie product I would recommend is Veg-All: [1]. This is an American product, too, so I don't know if you have it there.
Another option, if available in your locale, is irradiated meals, like "Top Shelf". Those are microwaveable meals that don't require freezing, and are made by Hormel, the makers of Spam, so you know it's good quality food. :-) StuRat (talk) 05:42, 5 September 2011 (UTC)

I'm almost certain we've had this question before... --Dweller (talk) 12:35, 5 September 2011 (UTC)

what is this trick called?[edit]

occassionally I will see a character (or very occasionally an actualperson) from lying on theirbacks, curl up and then jump to standing position. What is that called? (talk) 13:33, 4 September 2011 (UTC)

A Kip-up? (If you want examples, searching for this on YouTube brings up a lot of videos.) --Colapeninsula (talk) 15:02, 4 September 2011 (UTC)
Some boys in grade school and high school could do this, to the amazement of their peers, such as I, who just looked like doofuses when we tried and failed. Edison (talk) 04:36, 5 September 2011 (UTC)


When it comes to boubous of West Africa, how can I tell the difference between a Senegalese Boubou and a Gambian boubou and other boubous of other nations? like design or fabric? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:41, 4 September 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia has an article about Boubou (clothing). Here are Senagalese boubous. Here are boubous made in Ghana or the Gambia. Cuddlyable3 (talk) 19:55, 4 September 2011 (UTC)


I enjoy watching soccer on tv. It is in fact the only sport I can enjoy watching. How can I start to follow the sport? What are the general organizational arrangements? Schyler (exquirere bonum ipsum) 21:34, 4 September 2011 (UTC)

Try taking a look at United States Soccer Federation old chap. Quintessential British Gentleman (talk) 22:18, 4 September 2011 (UTC)
There are many outlets for watching soccer in the U.S. There are TV channels availible to cable and/or satellite subscribers such as Fox Soccer, various ESPN channels run soccer, including MLS and S. American soccer games, international competitions, etc. They also air European soccer games live many mornings (since morning in the U.S. is afternoon in Europe). You can watch a lot of games on ESPN3 (an internet service), and next Saturday ESPN 2 is airing the Premier League match between Chelsea F.C. and Sunderland A.F.C. live at 10:00 AM Eastern. In the U.S. Major League Soccer is carried on just about every sports station, and you may have a local team near where you live to watch live; besides MLS, there several "minor leagues", and you likely have a professional team playing near where you live; many colleges and universities field competitive teams as well. --Jayron32 00:26, 5 September 2011 (UTC)
I suggest choosing a team to root for, and following their progress in the news and on-line fan forums. Doesn't really matter which team...could be a regional selection (home team), or just one that you like their uniforms, or their mascot. The point is, appreciation of any sport is greatly enhanced when you start caring about who wins/loses. Quinn RAIN 02:11, 5 September 2011 (UTC)

Pro soccer in the U.S. is organized like other sports. The top league is Major League Soccer with teams in the U.S. and Canada, including ones in Houston and Dallas. The top teams at the end of the regular season enter a playoff tournament for the championship. In Europe, it's completely different. Every country has its own league, such as the Premier League in England. The team with the best record at the end of the season is the champion. The worst few teams are dropped to a lower-level league, while the best few teams from the lower-level league are bumped up to the top league. Meanwhile, a single-elimination tournament including hundreds of teams at different levels called a "cup competition" occurs concurrently with the "league" season. Also, the best teams from each of the national leagues in Europe compete in the UEFA Champions League, which also runs concurrently with the domestic seasons. Then you have events between national teams like the World Cup and the CONCACAF Gold Cup. -- Mwalcoff (talk) 02:27, 5 September 2011 (UTC)

The Wikipedia article about soccer is titled Association football. Cuddlyable3 (talk) 08:54, 5 September 2011 (UTC)
Weird intervention that. There is a redirect to it from "soccer" so not sure what your point is. --Viennese Waltz 09:11, 5 September 2011 (UTC)
I gave the OP a reference that may be useful. Why do you think that is weird? Cuddlyable3 (talk) 10:41, 5 September 2011 (UTC)
Because you could just have put "See Soccer" and the job would have been done. --Viennese Waltz 11:46, 5 September 2011 (UTC)
See Hairsplitting. Cuddlyable3 (talk) 11:56, 5 September 2011 (UTC)
I'm not sure what is meant by "organizational arrangements" but the article Association football tactics and skills is a good guide to help you understand what's going on on the field of play when you watch a game. --Xuxl (talk) 15:49, 5 September 2011 (UTC)

Given that American "soccer" is terrible, I'm afraid that if you want to watch professional football you'll have to watch it online. --Belchman (talk) 03:53, 6 September 2011 (UTC)

You know, we do have television in this country. -- Mwalcoff (talk) 04:13, 6 September 2011 (UTC)
And while the US may not be great, we did make the round of 16 in the last world cup, so I don't think we are especially terrible. Googlemeister (talk) 14:42, 6 September 2011 (UTC)

Schyler, see United States soccer pyramid, or any of the other league systems in this category, to get a better idea of how the sport is organized. And Mwalcoff, there is no promotion and relegation to/from Major League Soccer in the United States, similar to how other sports are organized in this country. It is pretty much the same set of teams each season, barring expansions or any teams going defunct. —Akrabbimtalk 14:54, 6 September 2011 (UTC)

Jewelry made from beads[edit]

Please provide step by step instructions on how to start, and direct me on a beginning project. Thank you. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:02, 4 September 2011 (UTC)

See our brothers in arms over at Wikihow old bean - they are the bees knees at this! Try [2]. Chin chin! Quintessential British Gentleman (talk) 22:15, 4 September 2011 (UTC)
Here are lots of sources though for some reason the site called "how to make beaded jewelry" is intercepted by Wikipedia's spam filter. Cuddlyable3 (talk) 08:51, 5 September 2011 (UTC)