How to Eat out on a Budget

Eating out is a luxury.  For those who are on a budget, there are ways to enjoy eating out.  Here are a few tips to enjoy your favorite dishes.

  1. Order to go.  This is the cheapest way to indulge yourself and save money at the same time.
  2. Go to lunch.  Lunch usually costs less than dinner.
  3. Go express; restaurants like Chipotle, Zanchary Pizza, and Panda are usually cheaper since there are no waiters nor waitresses to serve you.
  4. Go deli; Check out Whole Foods Market’s deli section; most prepared food are delicious and healthy. Berkeley Bowl offers a wide range of wonderful foods: Asian, Mexican, deli, soup and whatnot.
  5. Throw a potluck; get together with a few friends who can cook and throw a potluck monthly.
  6. Go for Happy Hour; Whole Foods offers special discount on certain food like rotisserie chicken on Friday.
  7. Last but not least, search for coupons online.

How to Cook Jasmine Brown Rice Without a Rice Cooker

Rice is the main diet of 50 percent of the population.  Jasmine brown rice, a type of long grain rice, has beautiful aromatic fragrance like pandan leaves.  Its texture is starchy and not as sticky as short grain rice.  Jasmine brown rice is originally from Thailand. Brown rice offers a lot more benefits; it reduces your risk of having diabetes, heart disease and cancer according to a study done by Harvard School of Public Health.

  • 2 cups* of Jasmine brown rice
  • 4- 5 cups* of filtered water

Ideally, brown rice should be presoaked about 3-4 hours before.  If the rice is not presoaked, use 2 1/2  cups of water for 1 cup of rice. For presoaked brown rice, use 2 1/4 cups of water for 1 cup of rice.


  1. Put the measured rice and water in the pot.
  2. Turn the stove on to medium to medium high.  If you have electric stove, turn it on between six and seven for about 20-25 minutes and leave the pot uncovered.
  3. As the water reaches about 1/4-1/2 left, turn the stove down to low between 2 and 3 for 25-30 minutes. it all depends on how soft you like the rice.
  4. Put the lid on after you adjust the stove.
  5. Turn off the stove and leave it on the stove for 5 minutes.
  6. It is now ready to serve. Bon Appetit!

If you prefer crunchier rice, shorten step #3 to 6 for about 5-10 minutes.  Short grain rice can be cooked with the same method except with less water.

*I usually use the rice cup that came with the rice cooker.  You can use the same proportion with a regular measuring cup.

Jasmine Brown Rice
Brown Rice Plate