Day 261: $5 meals and CSA Farms in China

A delicious meal for $5.

Sounds too good to be true right?

Not so in China!

Local restaurant food is extremely cheap in China. Take this meal:

Miso soup, a small salad, and rice bowl with chicken and egg for 28rmb.

This comes to about $4.50 US dollars.

Pretty great right? Now if you want a burger and fries the price goes up significantly. Western food is available in restaurants but does not come cheap. Looking for Skippy peanut butter and muesli in the grocery store? These products are even more expensive than in the US. This is why I am trying to go as local as possible.

Which is why I am signing up for a CSA!!!

If you do not know, CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture and is a program where you share seasonal produce from local farmers. Biofarm is an organic farm located about 10 minutes from the Pudong Airport and provides a basket of seasonal produce starting at 99rmb a week. That’s about $15 for a week’s worth of fresh organic vegetables (and some fruits) in China!

Next week is a national holiday in China for the Mid-Autumn Festival or Moon Cake Festival. Starting this Saturday people will flock out of the city and return to their hometowns across China. We leave Sunday for the cruise and will not start receiving our CSA basket till the following week. I cannot wait! We’ve been making green smoothies for several days now and it is a delicious way to add more fresh fruits and veggies into our diet.

If you live in Shanghai and would like more information on Biofarm’s CSA program click here!


Last Tuesday both Peter and I were feeling pretty sick. The night before we were out late eating and drinking heartily with a big group at Lost Heaven, a restaurant in the French Concession. The food was incredible and the drinks were flowing in honor of Randy’s birthday. But we both went a little overboard and paid the price.

So for lunch on Tuesday we decided to forgo Subway (I was sick of it!) and try a little Chinese restaurant by Peter’s work. The place was packed but the service was fast and efficient.

We both ordered rice bowls in an effort to tame our stomachs. My bowl came with chicken and a side salad and miso soup. Peter chose seaweed, chicken, and ginger with his bowl. Everything was crazy delicious and crazy cheap like I mentioned earlier.

I could get used to this.

After lunch I came home to work which has been great so far. I am still in charge of the same tasks with my current company but am much more efficient while working sporadic hours. I am so grateful that I have been able to keep my job while living in Shanghai. I have plans to transition into my own health coaching and personal training practice, but for now I am grateful for the work.

Once Peter got home, we took an evening trip to Carrefour for some apartment essentials. The place was packed and we were so exhausted that we didn’t end up getting everything we needed. This is a reminder not to do major shopping on an empty stomach.

If only we had taken advantage of the $5 meal. 

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