Where to Get Bacon, Eggs, Butter and Affordable, Quality Beef While Homeless

Like a lot of homeless people, I have health problems that come with special dietary needs. I blog elsewhere about managing my health problems largely with diet. But what I don't typically talk about there is the fact that getting specific foods that I need comes with special challenges while homeless.

If I need something like beef, I need to find a place that serves it cooked because I have no cooking facilities. It also needs to be affordable for my constantly strained budget and it needs to be high enough quality for my health needs. Here are some of the things I periodically need that can be hard to find on the street and how I handle that:

Bacon and Eggs

Bacon and/or eggs can be surprisingly hard to find, plus bacon can be surprisingly expensive. Both are easier to find now that McDonald's offers breakfast all day. You can get a bacon, egg, cheese biscuit for under $4 any time of the day if you are near a McDonald's.

You can get bacon and eggs 24/7 at Denny's. Some of the breakfast items include bacon and are affordably priced, such as the Value Slam. Though if you get the Value Slam and want bacon, tell them "all bacon." Otherwise, you get a single slice of bacon plus a sausage. When you say "all bacon," you get two slices of bacon.

Taco Bell has breakfast items until 10:30 or 11 a.m. that can include bacon and/or eggs. A Bacon Breakfast Burrito from Taco Bell is one of the cheapest ways to get both bacon and eggs.

Sometimes, grocery store delis sell things like breakfast burritos and there are other restaurants with breakfast options. But these are the ones I typically rely upon. They are reasonably "homeless friendly" and affordable.

Butter

Butter does good things for my condition. Among other things, it seems to provide good support for bone marrow, which is a critical part of the immune system. I used to buy sticks of butter and a roll or two and make butter sandwiches when my pain was real bad. I haven't done that in a while. I don't need as much butter as I used to.

Although butter is on the expensive side, it is covered by food stamps and it will keep for a few days without refrigeration, especially if you are someplace with a mild climate (like San Diego).

When I do get food from Denny's, their breakfast items typically come with a small tub of butter. That is the primary source of fresh butter for me currently. I do sometimes stick it in a Ziploc bag and hang onto any unused butter, because it does keep for a bit.

Alternately, I read labels and buy bakery items made with real butter. This can include sugar cookies or loaf cake.

Beef

Beef is a good source of protein, plus it is high in iron and B vitamins. I and my oldest son sometimes desperately need beef to get an adequate supply of those nutrients.

My go-to answer for affordable, high quality beef is Chipotle. They have two kinds of beef: Steak and Barbacoa. I typically get a barbacoa taco. I am missing a lot of teeth and the barbacoa is very soft. It is basically shredded beef.

If you have never eaten at Chipotle, the menu prices can look pretty intimidating. The listed price is for three tacos. If you get just one taco, it should be under $3.

Yes, this is still a lot more money than a taco at Taco Bell. But I don't eat beef at Taco Bell. I mostly eat vegetarian options there, plus the occasional item with some shredded chicken on it.

If you don't want a taco, you can just get a "side" of beef in a bowl. It will be over $3 for a single scoop, or around $6 for a double order. Compared to going to a steak house, this is still a bargain.

When we were first homeless, we sometimes would get take-out from a steak place, like Outback's. That usually ran us around $20 or more because you have to order an entire meal. You can't just get a steak by itself.

Beef jerky is another option. Some beef jerky is pretty decent quality. It also keeps well and can be bought with food stamps.

I also sometimes go to Panda Express. They have at least three beef dishes that work for me, including Broccoli Beef. But their Angus Steak option is made with higher quality beef than their other beef dishes and that is the one I typically purchase.

It is an extra charge. So I am paying a bit over $8 these days for a 'bowl,' which is one main dish plus either rice or noodles. That still is vastly more affordable than a place like Outback's and vastly better quality than a hamburger from a fast food place. I almost never eat hamburgers. Because of my health, I am very picky about meat quality.

If you have special dietary needs and are homeless, it generally makes more sense to try to find a means to meet your special dietary needs than to ignore them. Ignoring them can lead to very serious health problems and this can be miserable, debilitating and can lead to substantial medical bills.

It can take a bit of research, but I have been able to take good care of my health while homeless. I am actually growing stronger and healthier, and this is part of my plan to eventually get off the street and get my life back.