Nutrition on a Tiny Budget
This article is a guide to feeding your Neopets well on a limited budget, whether
you want to conserve Neopoints to save up for something or simply because you
don't have very many. Some people are under the impression that you have to spend
a lot to keep your Neopets well fed, and that operating on a smaller budget is
cruel. They are wrong.
This is definitely not going to be an article on how to starve or neglect your
Neopets, or on how to make them miserable. I will not tell you to sell all your
daily freebies without buying replacements or to provide a diet of Gross Foods,
even though I have no idea why Tuna Porridge is considered a Gross Food and
a Dung Muffin is not. (If your Neopet likes Gross Foods, go to town, but at
that point you probably know more about how to find good deals in that category
than I do.) I've seen a guide to becoming wealthy on Neopets that starts out
by claiming you have to learn to neglect your Neopet, and I was shocked. That's
not just cruel, it's utter nonsense.
You and your Neopets, whether by design or by hashing out an agreement, should
have at least some level of agreement with regard to your goals. There should
be a mutual understanding that the goals you're pursuing are desirable -- after
all, most of them involve the Neopet as much as they involve you, or even more.
You may want plenty of Neopoints for a variety of reasons. Perhaps you just
want a comfortable cushion in case of emergencies or impulse buys. Perhaps you
plan a change in color or species -- I would certainly hope that's something
your Neopets agree to. Perhaps you want to improve your Neohome. Perhaps you
want to take up investing (in the stockmarket, in rare or retired items, in
restocking), and while your eventual goal may be to be able to buy whatever
you want without thought, you need starting capital. Perhaps your Neopet is
a battler and you need Neopoints for training and weapons. Perhaps there's a
gallery collection you want to complete. Perhaps your Neopet is interested in
books... or even in gourmet foods. Even in this last case, there comes a point
at which buying more gourmet foods may require eating inexpensively the rest
of the time.
Anyhow, there are many reasons you might want to stick to a limited food budget,
and your reasons are your own business. I'm just here to tell you how you can
do it, without worrying that your Neopets are suffering from malnutrition or
I don't actually recommend this if you're on a really tight budget, unless
you also are very short on time. True, as far as I know, even the least expensive
option will keep your Neopet fed for only 5np per day, and if you have enough,
you can go ahead and sign up for up to four weeks at a time. But there are two
problems with this. First, do you really want the cheapest option? Cockroach
Towers? Ugh! Unless your Neopet is an insectivore by preference or really enjoys
being grubby, which I admit may be entirely possible, this may not be the best
move. Second, with a little more time invested, you can feed your Neopet
for less than five Neopoints per day. Most of my recommendations will start
with foods you can get for 1np if you try hard enough and under 5np even if
I use the Neolodge myself, but only when I don't feel I'm going to want to
sit down for a family dinner, so to speak, and am willing to pay a little more
in order to get out of doing the work myself. I like the Mountain Lodge (30np
per day before amenities) for longer-term stays -- not too expensive, nice scenery,
comfortable without being so fancy they can't romp. I do run into the problem,
however, that with them all stuffed to the gills on the hotel food, I can't
give them spontaneous treats!
The Soup Kitchen: Liquid Assets Limited
The Soup Faerie will only feed Neopets whose owners have an upper limit of
2000np, so she's not really a useful option if you're trying to save up for
something. If you just bought it, however, or if you haven't been able to save
up much to begin with, visit her. Some of the options are a little strange,
and soup with a lump of dung floating in it is rather disturbing... but considering
you can buy a Dung Cookie at the Bakery and Dirt Pie at the main Food Shop,
and that Ants on Ants, a Dung Slushie, and Edible Tar Pizza are considered "gourmet,"
her offerings are clearly in line with standard and even ritzy Neopian fare.
Omelettes and Jellies: Daily Free Food for All
I would assume that nearly everybody already knew about this option, except
for two things. First, surely not all the people whining about how they
can't afford to feed their "dying" neopets are just trying to get donations.
Second... er, to be perfectly honest, when I was a new player, it took me a
while to get around to trying out the Explore map.
Once a day, you can go to the Omelette on the Tyrannian Plateau and acquire...
well... an Omelette. This may be plain egg or contain some of a variety of fruits,
vegetables, or meats. Each is actually three big bites and may be shared among
multiple Neopets or given to one particularly hungry one. Most of these sell
for fairly low prices in user shops if you look around a bit; a few of the rarer
varieties, though obtainable for free if you're lucky, are worth quite a bit
on the open market and should be sold instead of eaten. For some reason -- I
can only guess that more people sell them whole than partly eaten -- 1/3 or
2/3 of an expensive variety of omelette may be priced higher than a whole one.
Whether anybody buys these I have no idea, and if they do, I can't explain it.
Anyway, check the Shop Wizard if you get anything you think might be unusual.
If you want more than the free portion, buy them up -- you should be able to
get a whole omelette of several varieties for under 15np (5np/portion), though
it's rare to get them for 3np (1np/portion).
I think the people who believe you have to neglect your Neopet to make Neopoints
may be under the impression that it's a good idea to sell your free omelette
portions. Unless they're rare, there really isn't that much point: you'd make
more off a decent game of Pyramids. If they are rare, use a little sense: sell
them off, buy something cheaper, and you've got food AND profit.
Omelettes are actually a pretty good staple option and provide a reasonable
amount of variety in themselves, although the whole point of this article is
that you don't have to stick to just one category. If you did want to
stick to one category for some reason, omelettes might be a good choice. You
can get meat, vegetables, or dairy free or at a low price -- in addition to
the egg, of course, which is actually very nutritious as long as your Neopet
isn't prone to high cholesterol.
Once a day, you cannot go to -blocked-, which according to TNT officially does
not exist, and there you cannot visit the equally nonexistent Giant Jelly, and
therefore you will not receive a dome-shaped two-serving portion of jelly in
one of a variety of flavors. Oddly enough, most of these nonexistent items are
also pretty cheap if you check the Shop Wizard. Sometimes you can even find
a whole Glowing Jelly for 1np.
Although fruit-flavored jellies offer some important vitamins, I don't recommend
feeding your Neopet a steady diet of them unless your Neopet thrives on... well...
sugar and not much else. (Some Buzzes do best on a diet of sweets, so keep that
in mind.) They make an excellent dessert, though -- sweet but not excessively
Because of the variety of nutritious foods included in omelettes, you can
stop here and feed your Neopets essentially for free if you collect the available
free food every day. If you want more variety than that or if you don't always
get around to picking up the free stuff (like me), however, read on!
A word of warning: Rotten Omelettes and Poisonous Jellies can give your Neopet
a disease. Do not eat them. Well, you can keep a Poisonous Jelly around to replace
a worse disease with a lesser one, but that's not really the ideal function
of a food.
Fishing: New, Moist, and Refreshing
Fish is good for you. The Underwater Fishing game, which recently became available
in the ruins of Old Maraqua, has the potential to provide several food items.
You may not get one yourself if your Neopets go fishing, but you can buy some
of them very inexpensively and some of those that are currently pricier may
become a little more affordable until the supply reaches a steady state.
Scrawnyfish, Waterfish, Breadfish, Blandfish, and Lesser Spotted Fish are fairly
easy to find at 1np, although you may buy the Breadfish at 2-5 if you're impatient.
The Scrawnyfish doesn't look too appetizing, but is all right if your Neopet
doesn't mind the bones. The Blandfish and Lesser Spotted Fish are satisfyingly
meaty (although the Blandfish has an extremely mild flavor that is hard to appreciate
for some Neopets), however, and the Breadfish is appealingly crusty. The Breadfish
is quite nice by itself, but if you want to spend a bit more, a Butterfish (about
25np, sometimes less) makes an excellent complement. The Waterfish is less substantial
than the other options, but very refreshing.
Some other options are also affordable; the Small Giant Squid may sell for
The Rockfish is not edible for most Neopets, but may amuse a Grarrl or Skeith.
Tombola: Tiki Tack!
Some of the foods the Tombola Man hands out fall into the Gross Food category,
but there are also several perfectly reasonable options, many of them canned,
dried, or preserved. Some are healthier than others. You can get a Box of Wheat
Flakes, Box of Trifle Mix, a can of Baked Beans or Musho Mushy Peas, a Can of
Prune Juice, Dried Prunes or Dried Apricots, Homemade Marmalade or Homemade
Gooseberry Jam, a Tin of Olives, a Scotch Egg, Brown Sauce, Semolina, Neoflakes
Cake, a Tin of Olives or Tin of Sardines...
Some of these are hard to find for less than 5np, but you really shouldn't
pay more than that. It may be advisable to make the fresher, sun-baked fruits,
meats, and vegetables available elsewhere a larger part of your Neopet's diet
than some of the greasier or more processed foods available from Tombola, but
the Tombola options are certainly convenient. Besides, the homemade preserves
are very nice (you may want to try the jam or marmalade on the Breadfish), and
a few prunes now and then are good for the system. We have to keep up the Neopian
dung supply somehow.
Desert Food: Not Just the Burnt Stuff
Burnt or otherwise damaged food is not the only inexpensive option in Lost
Desert cuisine -- although it shouldn't actually be overlooked. Some of it certainly
isn't very appetizing, but your Neopets' tastes may vary, especially on what
actually qualifies as too "burnt" or "scorched" to eat. I know some people who
don't regard certain foods as adequately cooked until well past the point
where I'd consider them overdone. The Scorched Tut Trout is unpleasantly burnt
to some; others quite like it (and Smoked Meridellian Fish, a considerably more
expensive dish with an equally unflattering description). Some damaged fruits
and vegetables may be quicker to spoil, but can still be tasty if eaten or cooked
Leaving the damaged desert foods aside, however, there are still several very
The Bagguss, a curiously chocolatey fruit when deflated and sun-dried, may
owe its low price in part to over-hasty individuals who have tried to eat it
fresh-picked and got a faceful of gas -- but more pertinently, it's common and
easy to grow. You can generally find several of these for 1np apiece if you
shop around. I do have one Neopet who won't eat these, but there are always
a few foods like that for any Neopet. At these prices, you can afford to experiment
The Ummagine, a rich purple root vegetable, seems to be a favorite of local
thieves... but this is no reason to deprive your Neopet of its fine flavor.
I'm sure Ummagine consumption doesn't actually have any influence on morality.
Crack the seeds between your teeth if you like, or spit them into your garden
and see if anything grows. The description claims that Ummagines are rarely
harvested because it's too much trouble, but perhaps there have been some advances
in cultivation, as Ummagine prices run only a little higher than Baggusses.
You can probably find these for 1np too, but may have to settle for spending
2-3np if you're in a hurry.
The Cheops Plant is also a little pricier -- 2-3np -- but very tasty if your
Neopets like cherries. Just be sure they bite off the stem below the leaves;
those are toxic. Tchea Fruit is also available for a Neopoint or two; it tastes
like blueberry and banana... No, I have no idea why so many Lost Desert fruits
taste like something else.
The Lost Desert practices its own unique methods of food preservation, and
evidently they work fairly well against the ravages of time, if not of violence.
A Mummified Pepper need not be cracked to be a good deal -- shop around until
you get one for 1-2np. Be careful; these are hot peppers -- especially if they've
been out in the Sakhmet sun.
Ptolymelons, by contrast, are not available preserved, and they spoil rapidly
once cut in half. Why no one either mummifies them or even sells them whole
is anyone's guess. You can eat the rind and collapsed fruit once they do spoil,
but we were ignoring the ruined Desert Food options. Anyhow, in most markets
these seem to be priced at 5np, but you can find them cheaper if you look. Just
A Grackle Bug on a Stick is a good, inexpensive source of protein with a convenient
handle (which can later be turned into a convenient toothpick), on much the
same principle as the far pricier Patrapiller and Honey or the Peppered Kersla
Bug. The Grackle-Stuffed Turkey has some of the same flavor but is much more
substantial; try it for a rather unorthodox Thanksgiving meal this month of
Collecting or Storing, whichever is appropriate. On second thought, try it ahead
of time and make sure you like the combination. A word of warning: since these
foods are now recognizably a type of petpet, don't try them on particularly
squeamish Neopets. Especially if you've given them a Grackle Bug as a
petpet and they're very fond of it. (Same goes for Grackle Bug Steak, although
that is at least fairly unrecognizable, and the pungent Grackle Bug Brew --
but they cost more.)
Avoid Pyramibread and Pyramicake if you want to keep under 5np a shot, unless
you can find a particularly good deal or don't mind the ones discounted for
overcooking. These are mainly baked for visitors; you can tell by the shape,
as tourists are on average more likely than long-term residents to eat food
shaped like nearby buildings. The fruit filling is also decidedly non-local
-- raspberry for Pyramibread, Golden Juppie for Pyramicake. On the other hand,
they're not that expensive as far as tourist traps go. If you feel you've
saved enough elsewhere and your Neopet wants to try a bread pudding with a nice
fruity center, indulge. Sutek Muffins are in approximately the same price range,
as are Sphinx Links.
There are other very inexpensive options; you will sometimes, when searching
for items commonly sold at 1np, find a shop that has just been stocked with
several other items priced just as low, generally in an effort to attract quick
custom. There are a number of relatively inexpensive items originating in the
Haunted Woods, Meridell, or Tyrannia, though pricing can vary seasonally or
apparently at random. Most of these you will have to work out by experience,
as I've already covered the categories with the largest number of reliable options
for feeding a Neopet at less than 5np per day. Besides, this article is getting
a little long. You aren't bored yet, are you?
In short, Cockroach Towers is not the cheapest option for feeding your
Neopets. It's true that feeding them a healthful and varied diet on less than
five Neopoints per day takes a little work and time, and perhaps a few more
page-loads than those with a slow connection would prefer -- but it's still
easier than most people seem to think. You can readily provide your Neopet with
plenty of protein, mildly exotic fruit and vegetable salads from the Lost Desert,
and fresh seafood -- not to mention dessert. The rarest food group at these
prices, curiously enough, seems to be grain, but you can fill that gap with
the recently arrived and tasty Breadfish or spend a few of the Neopoints you've
been saving on 5-10np baked goods instead of 1-5. If your Neopets are particularly
fond of egg and jelly, you may never have to buy food... but be sure
to keep an eye on their health. A balanced diet is almost always best, though
the exact nature of "balance" may vary with species or even individual physiology.
Have fun shopping around!
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|Violin for Timothy|
Only one young Neopet slouched slowly towards
the gates, carrying a brown leather briefcase and wearing a brown cap on top
of his black hair. He hesitated at the border of the barred gates, pondering
whether he should cross into the other world, the one that separated him from
"Oh, Lena," she said patting her daughter on
the shoulder with her heavy paws, "You know I can't afford to buy you another
plushie. They're so expensive these days."