I read an article this week about how many people are turning to SPAM to stretch their budget! Ok here is my first issue, SPAM costs $2.49 for a 12 oz can on average! Ummm... Hello???... A whole chicken costs between 79 cents and $1.30 per pound (16 oz). If it's not on sale get it on the sell by date and you are sure to pay less than $1 per pound. Ok, so you don't like chicken. I can buy ground beef at $1.78 all month long at Fiesta Foods. At other stores in town, depending on the sales, it is easy to pay less than $2 per pound. Don't like chicken or hamburger? Not a problem! This week at Safeway, I purchased Ranchers Reserve Bottom Round Steak for... $1.49 a pound! Serious! Cheaper than hamburger.
The article mentioned that many people liked the shelf stability of SPAM. You know, at the end of the month there would still be a can of SPAM in the cupboard. Well I'm here to argue that this is the worst possible reason to buy SPAM! Dana and I lived in duplexes the first 3 years of marriage. We didn't have a big freezer, just whatever came with the fridge where we lived. I still managed to purchase and freeze less expensive fresh meat during my frugal shopping trips. Anyone that claims lack of space as a reason for not being able to buy fresh meat, hasn't given their freezer a serious look. Sure I may have only been able to stock up for half of the month, but it was definitely cheaper than a can of SPAM.
Now if you like SPAM, then by all means buy and enjoy it. If you are trying to save money... there are so many better choices!
I want to say that I agree whole-heartedly with Mrs. Mordecai's comment! Beans are an excellent shelf stable source of protein, and extremely cheap. I'm not sure why the article didn't touch on that. It did touch on ramen noodles, and they may not be the healthiest of meals, a package can cost 10 cents or less and is fairly filling. I have a recipe that I will share soon, as in as soon as I can make it and take pictures, that uses the noodles to make a great, quick, almost no cost meal.